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Photo of dancers Marlene Garcia & Kelsey Gerber

In May 2019, choreographer Alyssandra Wu traveled to New York City to work with world renown choreographer, Doug Varone (DOVA), through his choreographic mentorship program DEVICES. The program involved a week long intensive learning how to craft, design, and compose dance works using Varone's choreographic devices he has honed through out the years. 20 Suny Purchase dancers and the entire DOVA company were at the disposal of the 12 dance makers selected for the intensive this past year. Choreographers were challenged to use these movement artists to get out of their comfort zone and work with dancers in a way they may not have ever done before.

After the incredible week in May, Wu went back to San Francisco to create a new dance "Umbra" using the devices she learned during the intensive. Working with dancers Kelsey Gerber and Marlene Garcia, Wu created a duet referencing her own experiences with mental illness and how living in a constant state of fear can create all kinds of illusions or fantasies in one's mind. Wu played with shadows, lighting, and film (created by resident AKD Film Director Clare Schweitzer). The whole program culminated with a dance performance in August at the Gibney Dance Center and was well received by the New York City community.

To learn more about DOVA DEVICES please visit:

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