The IU Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance will present a new piece, “Color Me Human,” at 4 p.m. Sept. 23 and 2 p.m. on Sept. 24. Both performances are free and will take place in Dunn Meadow.
The performance will explore human experience through colors, featuring six movements about the diverse ways individuals understand themselves and their place in the world.
“Color Me Human” is a piece by IU senior Zoey Dickensen, where she uses the symbolism of color to exhibit different human emotions.
Dickensen said she utilizes small groups and solos to present the slow sentimental movements and bigger groups for the faster, more celebratory movements.
The colors represented in this performance include yellow displaying warmth, pink depicting femininity, blue illustrating peace, green symbolizing growth, red portraying both anger and grief and rainbow exhibiting pride and diversity.
“I wanted something that would be a clear message,” Dickensen said. “A lot of people have shared experiences with a color, but there are different meanings associated with different cultures, so I wanted to show that.”
Dickensen said she started choreographing at her studio at home and fell in love with the creative process. She said this is where her passion grew for contemporary dance.
Dickensen said contemporary dance works best to encompass the message of the dance.
“Contemporary is a combination of all types of dances, so it’s nice to take everything I have learned through my training,” Dickensen said. “It’s not boxed in.”
"Color Me Human” dancer Anya Gustafson, an IU senior, started dance at 3-years-old, and said she fell in love with the collaborative aspect of it.
“When you can connect the dancers you’re dancing with, it connects with the audience, and the end is really freeing,” Gustafson said.
Gustafson enjoyed learning about the different cultural meanings behind each color and said having a clear focus helped anchor her dancing.
Dancer Audrey Chen, an IU junior, also said she also enjoys being a part of the collaborative environment. She uses dance as a way of speaking to people, she said.
“Not only is it choreographed by a student, but it’s not something she was forced to do, and having the opportunity to be a part of it is very special,” Chen said. “I want the community to see the educational points of dance. They overlook it as an art form, I hope they understand that it is our way of speaking.”
Chen started when she was 5-years-old because her parents wanted to keep her busy. As she got older, Chen said she realized that she couldn’t survive without it.
Dancer Lila Hodgin, an IU freshman, also found a passion for dance when she was young and spent most of her training as a competition dancer.
As Hodgin matured, she participated in summer programs and was exposed to different types of dance. After this, Hodgin said she decided that she wanted to become a performer and explore her artistry.
Hodgin said she enjoys how the piece displays the multiple meanings of color through different cultures.
“I want people, regardless of their background, I want them to see it and take something from it,” Hodgin said.” “Or at least find their own idea of connection and community from the piece.”
Hodgin was assigned to blue, which happens to be her favorite color. She says she loves that blue displays peace and community.