The Department of Dance Presents the Spring 2024 MFA Thesis Concert Vitromer

Vitromer Photo

Case Western Reserve University’s Department of Dance continues its 2023-2024 season with Vitromer, a thesis concert featuring Master of Fine Arts candidates Joel K. Linebach and Chengyao Zhou. Vitromer features the candidates in solos, duets, and ensemble works. Performances are March 21, 22, 23 at 7:30 p.m. and March 24  at 2:30 p.m. All performances are located at Mather Dance Center on the Case Western Reserve campus.

Both candidates created ensemble works featuring graduate students and undergraduate dance majors and minors. Joel Linebach’s - MER - utilizes selected concepts from polymer physics and biology to inspire the generation of a wide range of dynamic movements for a cast of nine dancers. Through spatial arrangements of groups of varying sizes and an interplay of dynamics across the groups, the work emulates Brownian dynamics of biochemical molecules and biological systems. Zhou’s Motion Ink is loosely inspired by abstract expressionist paintings, with music by Travis Lake. This sextet uses dancers’ sweeping movements and linear paths as well as shapes and tableaus to simulate a painter's brush strokes on a canvas. The interaction of different bodies generates a variety of unique images, exploring the endless possibilities that arise from the combination of movement and expression; yet unlike a canvas that can be viewed over and over, each movement is transient, existing only in the present moment.

In addition to creating larger ensemble groups, both candidates will perform in their own choreography. Zhou dances a solo entitled The First Time of Death which takes its inspiration from a line in an ancient Chinese poem: "Wildfires burn endlessly, but with the arrival of spring winds, life is reborn." Set to music by Chen Yi, this solo incorporates movements that inherently weave moments of regret and struggles with growth and revival to portray a journey of resilience and revitalization.  Like Zhou, Linebach will be featured not only as a choreographer, but as a dancer.  In his trio Cerulean, Linebach begins his ‘ode to the motion of water’ with a solo of sweeping movements that travel through space evoking qualities of water in various forms.  As other dancers enter, the trio carves through the space, channeling and cascading in patterns with flowing movements, often swirling, bursting, and spouting like water itself.  Kinetic Echoes, Linebach’s quartet in which he also dances, is a culmination of research funded in part under the auspices of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University with a Graduate Research Grant.  Investigating the use of wearable technology in exploring the intersection of movement and sounds generated through movement in a contemporary dance was the cornerstone of Linebach’s creative research.

Returning after its premiere in 2023, Shall we drink a cup of tea before we leave? choreographed by Zhou, is a quartet inspired by the traditional Sado tea ceremony. At the heart of the choreography is a sense of a "once in a lifetime" moment that we might all experience at some point in time. All knowing of the sense of impermanence, the host or hostess treats their guests with reverence and honor while the guests simultaneously reciprocate to create a harmonious atmosphere.

Ticket Information

Tickets are $10 for students with ID, $12 for seniors age 60+ and CWRU personnel, and $15 for general admission.
Reservations are now open, and may be made by calling (216) 368-5246 or online at