Chrysalis, senior dance major Caitlin Iles’ meditation on instability and transformation, will be presented in Pembroke Dance studio at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 27 and 28, by the Tabitha Performance Group. In addition to Iles’ original piece, the evening will include junior Crystal Fraser’s rendering of the short “Parsons Etude” and a performance by a string quartet composed of Bryn Mawr and Haverford students. The show is expected to last about 45 minutes and will be followed by a reception; it is free and open to the public.
The Tabitha Performance Group, which is funded by the College’s undergraduate Self-Government Association, stages an annual show at which the thesis projects of senior dance majors are performed. The dancers who wll perform Iles’ piece are Emily Altiere ’10, Anisha Chirmule ’10, Luciana Fortes ’13, and Aliza Rothstein ’12, in addition to Iles herself.
Iles is a double major in dance and mathematics who is also completing a math thesis in which she applies calculus to the analysis of AIDS transmission in Nigeria. The double major, she says, helps her combine creative and analytical approaches.
“I have danced since I was four years old,” she says, “and when I started college, I certainly meant to continue dancing as a hobby. But then I really got into it and declared a minor.”
When she was looking at study-abroad programs, Iles says, one of the most appealing she found was at the Laban dance conservatory in London.
“Its founder, Rudolph Laban, systematically studied the way people moved and developed a notation system for movement—which is a very mathematical way to look at dance,” she says. She declared a second major in dance and spent a semester at Laban last year.
Her inspiration for Chrysalis, Iles says, began with her membership in the College’s Body Image Council.
“I had done a lot of thinking about body image and eating issues,” she explains, “that led me to think about mental, emotional, and physical instability.” The theme proved a fruitful one to explore with movement, she says.
Iles was able to stretch her costume budget a little further than the average Tabitha choreographer, she says, because her mother, a computer programmer, happens to be a highly skilled fabric-arts enthusiast. Mother and daughter spent Winter Break designing, dyeing, sewing, and hand-painting costumes.
Iles says her family will travel to the College from Wisconsin to see the performance: “No way is Mom going to miss seeing her beautiful work in use!”