When Are We Not Dancing?

McAlister, Barbara
Williford-Shade, Mary
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“Ninja Death Tag” is a dance-theater performance piece derived from folk games and sport. As the clock ticks down, six helmet-clad performers breathlessly romp, roll, and wrestle across the stage in a series of self- interrupting games, teetering between the lighthearted joy of a recess playground and the all-out ferocity of an international rugby match. The idea for Ninja Death Tag was born from years of observing athletes in training, the choreographer’s own experience growing up in sport, and creative influences such as Fay Driscoll, Miguel Guttierez, and Abby Zbikoswki. Relying on structured improvisation in the context of true play, Ninja Death Tag teases viewers’ assumptions about the limits of dance, what makes a performance, and where the boundary lies (if at all) between high-stakes improvised dance movement and sport movement. Do we really know the difference? (Faculty Sponsor: Ms. Mary Williford-Shade)