Columbia College Chicago Theatre and Dance Department Alums Present New Works April 18-19

Synapse Arts, a dance-theatre company co-founded and led by Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alum Rachel Damon ’05, presents Synapse Arts–New Works, a program that includes performances by Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago alumni. The program takes place Thursday and Friday, April 18 and 19, at the Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater, 3035 N. Hoyne, Chicago.

Rachel Damon

Gretchen Soechting


Dylan Roth

The program includes the premiere of “Leverage,” a series of episodic dances choreographed by Damon, who is a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Theatre Design and a former faculty member at the Dance Center. In “Leverage,” four performers use handheld lamps to reveal moments of leverage. Cropping up throughout the concert, these short episodes include comedic moments, striking visuals, and unique uses of the theater space to shed light on the making of an artistic life while facing embodied challenges. The cast of “Leverage” includes Dance Center alums Gretchen Soechting ’11, a graduate of the Dance Center’s BFA Program in Dance, and Dylan Roth ’12, a graduate of the Dance Center’s BA Program in Dance.

Camila Rivero Pooley

Marceia Scruggs

Also on the program are two other pieces that feature Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago alumni as dancers. A new piece by the dance team Loud Bodies features Dance Center of Columbia College alums Dee Alaba ’17 and Camila Rivero Pooley ’18, both graduates of the Dance Center’s BFA Program in Dance, and Marceia Scruggs ’17, a graduate of the Dance Center’s BA Program in Dance. Loud Bodies’ piece explores ideas of sexuality and what it means to be a sexual being. And Amanda Ramirez’s “The Three Vacillations,” which explores ideas and environments surrounding the concept of choice, decision, or lack thereof, features Dance Center alum Monica Carrow ’13, a graduate of the Dance Center’s Dance BA program.

Synapse Arts’ New Works program supports independent dance-based artists, helping them to build their skills and develop their individual styles as they create original performance pieces. Each artist receives a dedicated mentor, rehearsal space, and a budget to help them through the creative process, which culminates in two professionally-produced concerts. The program reflects the principles on which Synapse Arts was founded in 2004 by aiming to connect artists with one another to share resources and develop their unique voices. For tickets, click here.