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Presented By: School of Music, Theatre & Dance

MFA Thesis Concert: Once there was not

Once there was not is an evening-length multimedia dance theater performance by Master of Fine Arts in Dance candidate Leah O'Donnell, whose thesis work is in two parts: the premiere of O'Donnell's screen dance, Blue Burrow, immediately followed by a live performance featuring six dancers and one singer. Runtime is approximately one hour.

Blue Burrow is a short film fully immersed in the sun, sand, and water of Lake Huron. The shore is the meeting place for characters of different species, while the world underwater comes to represent the subconscious. Perspectives shift from fish to human to sun, and metaphors about our relationship to the natural world emerge.
The live performance portion of Once There Was Not explores impermanence, contradiction, and ambiguity through a surreal lens. At once dark and nostalgic, six dancers dodge Death, the oldest friend, and find purgatory in a pub, forgetting and remembering bits of life along the way.

Friday night’s performance will also be livestreamed:

Photo credit: Robert Platt


  • Free and open to all - In person and livestreamed

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