CREATIVE WORK

MULTIMEDIA PORTFOLIO COMING SOON

In the mean time, here are text descriptions of some select projects...

MOMENTS

Editor

A seven-part dance film made in collaboration with Jaclyn Waguespack, featuring the students in her Dance Repertory & Performance course at Tufts University as they explored moving and making within the confines of quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A screendance by Jaclyn Waguespack and Cas Burns

Music: "Moment Again Elsewhere" by Morgan Packard

Assistant Director of Photography: Julie Doten

Performance & Cinematography: Lyanna Abdul Rahman, Jolie Davidson, Genna Doherty, James Elwell, Thomas Felt, Florence Grenon, Val Morlock, Makoyan Toure, Katelyn Young

Additional Cinematography: Michael Hospodarsky

Premiere: RIGHT NOW, December 2020 (Medford, MA)

 

Link available upon request.

ACTIVIST ADJUNCTS: REIMAGINING POWER & PRIVILEGE THROUGH ANTIRACIST PEDAGOGY

Writer

An article co-written with Alexia Buono, Janet Schroeder, and Mariko Yamada for The Activist History Review.

 

Abstract: We’re a coalition of four adjunct faculty in dance who have created a working group around antiracist pedagogy. Our community developed after attempting to work within a larger departmental faculty hierarchy in our University. We conceive of our community as action rather than object (Brooks, Franklin-Phipps, & Rath, 2017), namely for the ways it is transgressive in the individualist, competitive, neoliberal, patriarchal, white supremacist institution of higher education. We question what it means to work within an institution wherein building community is even considered transgressive. As adjuncts, we’re considered to be expendable commodities in the eyes of academia, when in fact, we are humans: varied, different, and valuable. Even though we share the same title, we hold different positions of privilege based upon our degrees, our relationships to the institution and department, the classes we get to teach, and our individual identities within various marginalized and dominant groups. We acknowledge and embrace these similarities and differences, we reject the label of “expendable commodity,” and we work towards equitable power structures in our community of empowerment. In this essay, we describe our ongoing, uncertain process of working towards enacting antiracism in our pedagogy, while simultaneously building a sustainable adjunct community who reimagines and radically changes what educational systems can be(come). We share reflections on our work of self and collective empowerment to dismantle oppressive systems within academia—from white supremacy to the adjunct system itself—that continue to uphold racism and other harmful systemic inequities. We invite our colleagues—adjunct or otherwise—to join us.

To be published in The Activist History Review, date TBD.

Link available upon publication.

MADELINEKURTZ.COM

Designer

 

A website designed for dance artist Maddie Kurtz and her project-based company MKrep.

Link: madelinekurtz.com

DIXIE STATE UNIVERSITY DANCE DEPARTMENT MARKETING (2020-2021 ACADEMIC YEAR)

Designer

Miscellaneous marketing and design projects created for the dance department at Dixie State University to promote their events and update their online presence. Projects include a save-the-date postcard, an updated website banner, virtual concert promotional graphics, and a scholarship audition flyer.

BROCKPORT SUMMER DANCE 2020

Guest Artist

 

Guest artist in dance on camera for SUNY Brockport's annual Summer Dance intensive. Led classes in dance on camera, participated in artist dialogue sessions, and gave a talk on dance, technology, and the creative process.

DANCE, GENDER, AND THE BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL MODEL

Writer/Presenter

 

Lecture-demonstration on queer-inclusive dance pedagogy to be presented at the 8th Annual Somatic Dance Conference and Performance Festival.

Abstract: Using George L. Engle’s Biopsychosocial Model as a framework, this presentation takes a multi-dimensional approach to unpacking the role gender plays in the dance field in general and the dance classroom more specifically. Athletic environments can feel especially unsafe for LGBTQ+ students (Barber & Krane, 2007) and dance studios are no exception. By looking at gender through a combination of biological, psychological, and social lenses, this presentation seeks to outline steps dance educators can take to make their classrooms more welcoming and affirming for students of all gender identities, with a particular emphasis on working with trans and gender nonconforming (TGNC) individuals.

Accepted for presentation at the 8th Annual Somatic Dance Conference and Performance Festival, July 2020* (Geneva, NY)

*currently postponed due to COVID-19

LAUGH TRACK [EXCERPT]

Choreographer/Performer

 

Excerpt of a larger work-in-progress interrogating the representationor lack thereofof queer women in popular media. While the full project is designed to be a multimedia work situated at the intersection of film and live performance, this excerpt focuses on an exploration of lived experience and queer embodiment through the medium of dance.

Choreography & Performance: Cas Burns

Music: "I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry

Premiere: Leap Day Dances & Poetry, February 2020 (Rochester, NY) [shown as work in progress]

DIXIE STATE UNIVERSITY DANCE DEPARTMENT MARKETING (2019-2020 ACADEMIC YEAR)

Designer

Miscellaneous marketing and design projects created for the dance department at Dixie State University to promote their events in print and online. Projects include concert posters, a concert program, audition flyers, and social media graphics.

DESERT PICNIC

Photographer

Photo and video documentation of the process of filming Tammy Carrasco's dance film Desert Picnic.

FAULT LINES

Videographer/Editor

A dance film made in collaboration with James Hansen exploring the distortion of memories over time.

Choreography: James Hansen

Videography & Editing: Cas Burns

Performance: Alex Alletto, Maureen Gorman, James Hansen, Laura Murawski, Heather Roffe, Devon Stedge

Music: "Wings 5" by Michael Wall

Premiere: Merged VII/Rochester Fringe Festival, September 2019 (Rochester, NY)

Additional Showings: DANSCORE, November 2020 (Brockport, NY)

Link available upon request.

GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN

Choreographer/Performer

Duet investigating exaggerated tropes in female friendship as it is portrayed in popular media, made in collaboration with Maddie Kurtz.

 

Choreography: Cas Burns, Maddie Kurtz

Performance: Cas Burns, Sophie Nash

Music: "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - Cindy Lauper (Karaoke)" by Karaoke Hits - Background Tracks for Singers

Text: Christina Aguilera, Cher, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Kendall K, Cyndi Lauper, Mack Z, Madonna, Hannah Montana, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Spice Girls; compiled by Maddie Kurtz; performed by Emilia Bunich

Premiere: Dances at MuCCC, June 2019 (Rochester, NY)

FULL SCREEN

Choreographer

 

Trio negotiating the inconsistency between the capabilities of bodies and the capabilities of technology.

Choreography: Cas Burns, in collaboration with dancers

Performance: Emma Cohen, Claire Fisher, Rebecca Oberstadt

Music: "Ababbabababba," "Fell Asleep in the Thumb-Cinema," "Bypassed Climax," "Dub-Retort," and "Trolling Beatz” by deef

Premiere: WAXworks, June 2019 (New York, NY) [shown as work in progress]

ZEROS AND ONES

Choreographer/Performer

 

Solo exploring the uncomfortable middle ground between female and male, between conformity and “other,” ultimately questioning why not fitting neatly into the binary needs to be uncomfortable at all.

Choreography & Performance: Cas Burns

Music: "The Benthic Slut Has the Face of a Tadpole" by Camilla Ha

Text: Rhea Butcher

Premiere: Women's Work, May 2019 (Detroit, MI)

2019 ACDA NORTHEAST REGIONAL CONFERENCE

Designer

Miscellaneous marketing and design projects created for the 2019 ACDA Northeast Regional Conference at SUNY Brockport. Projects include RegOnline website design, save-the-date postcard, social media promotional graphics, tshirt design, and Whova app customization.

MOMENTS OF GOLD

Stage Manager/Lighting Designer

 

Stage management and lighting design for Maddie Kurtz/MKrep.'s 2018 Rochester Fringe Festival show Moments of Gold, featuring "A One-Woman Show," "Hidden Agendas," and "Still Lingers Here."

Link to earlier staging of Still Lingers Here

VIEW FROM HERE

Photographer

 

Photo and video documentation of View From Here—a Rochester Fringe Festival show featuring the work of choreographers Tammy Carrasco and Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp.

EXPERIMENTAL FILM VIRGINIA 2018

Production Artist

Production artist for the 2018 Experimental Film Virginia artist residency in Cape Charles, VA. Credits include producer, editor, and camera operator for "Trust Your Gut" by by Liana C. Percoco; and producer for "HEART" by Sonia Li.

Link to select EFV films

SET AND RESET/RESET

Projection Designer

Projection design for Mariah Maloney's restaging of Trisha Brown's "Set and Reset." Video documentation of restaging process.

Premiere: DANSCORE, November 2017 (Brockport, NY/Rochester, NY)

Additional Performance: Immerse Yourself in Dance, December 2018 (Springfield, MA) [Springfield restaging by Lisa Schmidt]

Link to documentary short on the restaging process available upon request.

PERFORMING THE DANCE/SCREEN DUET: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF THE INTEGRATION OF VIDEO TECHNOLOGY INTO LIVE CONTEMPORARY MODERN DANCE PERFORMANCE

Writer

A thesis submitted to the Department of Dance of The College at Brockport, State University of New York, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts.

Abstract: For decades now, dance artists have managed to continually invent and uncover new ways of merging technology with movement, allowing man to dance with machine. However, what happens when a human and a computer share the stage? Is it still a solo, or does it become a duet? How is dancing with a two- dimensional image different than dancing with a living, breathing body? Does the dancer control the technology or does it control her? What is she experiencing throughout that partnership? It is through this lens of considering dancers’ lived experiences that I approach my research. By placing dancers’ embodied experiences at the forefront, this paper employs phenomenological analysis to investigate the following question: What happens when dancers and technology interact with and respond to one another on stage? Individual phenomenologies will be conducted on seven dances in order to gain a broader understanding of how dancers and technology interact with each other on stage. The results of this research reveal trends related to the lived experiences of the dancers inside of each technological consideration. Ultimately, how dancers are situated in relationship to technology influences the sense of personal agency experienced by the performers, the implications of which should be considered by all art-makers who use the human body as a medium.

A SOLO MACHINE

Choreographer

Ten-dancer group piece looking at the integration of video technology into live performance and the questions of dancer agency that arise as a result. This project was partially funded by The College at Brockport’s Distinguished Professor Award for Graduate Research grant.

 

Choreography: Cas Burns, in collaboration with dancers
Performance: Katie Brauer, Emilia Bunich, Haley Burns, Emily Conn, Claire Fisher, Jenna Kelly, Mia Martelli, Lucy Mundschau, Sophie Nash, Rebecca Oberstadt
Music: "Keep an Eye Out..." by Michael Wall/soundFORMovement

 

Premiere: A Solo Machine, February 2018 (Rochester, NY)

Additional Performances: Morning Dances, October 2017 (Rochester, NY) [five-minute excerpt shown as work-in-progress]; Scholars Day, April 2018 (Brockport, NY) [20-minute excerpt]

Link

CCTV

Choreographer

 

Solo investigating the feelings of vulnerability that accompany having one’s private life on display as the dancer is confronted with video surveillance footage of herself displayed on an old CRT TV. This dance was first created for Tiny and Short: A Drop in the Bucket at The Dance Complex, Cambridge, MA.

Choreography: Cas Burns, in collaboration with dancer

Performance: Briana Giordano
Music: "Nearly There (Metal Machine Music Remix)" by Lee Rosevere

Premiere: Tiny & Short: A Drop in the Bucket, October 2017 (Cambridge, MA)
Additional Performances: Tiny Dances, October 2017 (Brockport, NY); DANCE/Hartwell, December 2017 (Brockport, NY)

Link

[REWIND] [PLAY] [PAUSE] [FAST FORWARD]

Choreographer

 

Low-tech trio inspired by the unique choreographic possibilities enabled by video editing and how those seemingly-impossible manipulations can be translated to the physical body.

Choreography: Cas Burns, in collaboration with dancers

Performance: Bailey Kernan, Anna Muchard, Lucy Mundschau
Music: "TRNSMSSN No. 1 (mhzsent's beatnoisewall mix)" by T.R.I.v.M.

Premiere: New Dancers Showcase, November 2017 (Brockport, NY)

Link

EXPERIMENTAL FILM VIRGINIA 2017

Production Artist

Production artist for the 2017 Experimental Film Virginia artist residency in Cape Charles, VA. Credits include producer, choreographic advisor, and editor for "Some Way" by Jayne Guinan; dancer for "When You Leave" by Matt Jones; performer for "Revenge of Shucky" by Marcus Holman; and dancer for "Snare" by HyeJeoung Choi.

Link to select EFV films

#00FF00

Choreographer

 

Solo in which projected video is considered as lighting design, attempting to highlight rather than compete with the dancer.

Choreography: Cas Burns, in collaboration with dancer

Performance: Haley Burns

Music: "peaceful melting on shrooms" by deef

Premiere: DANCE/Hartwell, March 2017 (Brockport, NY)
Additional Performance: Dance Awareness Days Guest Artist Showing, February 2017 (Brockport, NY) [shown as work in progress]

Link

AUGMENTAL BREAKDOWN

Choreographer

Quintet exploring the unique choreographic possibilities inherent within video editing as they relate to live dancers via projection.

Choreography: Cas Burns, in collaboration with dancers

Performance: Katie Brauer, Claire Fisher, Jenna Harrington, Chloe London, Rebecca Oberstadt

Music: “nostalgia of an ex-gangsta-rapper” by deef

Premiere: DANCE/Hartwell, October 2016 (Brockport, NY)
Additional Performances: Morning Dances, November 2016 (Rochester, NY); ACDA Northeast Regional Conference, March 2017 (Randolph, NJ)

Link

WILD BEAST DANCE AT ROCHESTER FRINGE

Photographer

Photo and video documentation of Wild Beast Dance's 2016 Rochester Fringe Festival performance.

EXPERIMENTAL FILM VIRGINIA 2016

Production Intern

Production intern for the 2016 Experimental Film Virginia artist residency in Cape Charles, VA. Credits include production assistant for "True Love Waits" by Adi Halfin; dancer and editor for "The Palace" by Sheila Sheppard; editor for "I Have to Go" by Yuhan Su; and dancer for "For Viki" by Mark Edward Atkinson.

Link to select EFV films

DANCING CAMERAS: AN ANALYSIS OF THE USE OF THE MOVING CAMERA IN VIDEO DANCE

Writer

A paper presented at the III International Meeting of Screendance.

Abstract: Advances in video technology over the past fifty years have led to a surge in popularity of the genre of dance known as video dance. Video dance includes any dance made specifically for the camera, so while it does necessitate that the dance itself is filmed, it should also be dependent upon the medium of video through elements such as moving cameras, close ups, video editing, and special effects. It is the first of these elements—the use of a moving camera—that I seek to further investigate, as making a video dance often requires more choreography than just the movement of the dancers. I will first consider the greater historical context of both dance and film in the 1960s that led to the wide-spread emergence of this hybrid field. I will then establish a foundation in film theory in order to examine general filmmaking strategies, focusing predominantly on those involving the use of a moving camera. Finally, I will analyze the ways in which these techniques are utilized in video dance and the impact they have on the physical choreography of the dancers.

Full paper presented at the III International Meeting of Screendance, September 2016 (Valencia, Spain)

Excerpt presented at SUNY Brockport's Scholars Day, April 2016 (Brockport, NY)

CLOSE UP AND PERSONAL

Choreographer

Duet in which a video dance is filmed and projected behind the performers in real time, considering the camera person to be just as much a dancer as the one being filmed.

Choreography: Cas Burns, in collaboration with dancers

Performance: Rebecca Buranich and Claire Fisher
Music: “Chantiers Navals 412” by LJ Kruzer

Premiere: DANCE/Hartwell, April 2016 (Brockport, NY)
Additional Performance: Graduate Choreography Showing, February 2016 (Brockport, NY) [shown as work in progress]

Link

DANCE ON CAMERA: ENGAGING STUDENTS THROUGH THE INTEGRATION OF DANCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Research Assistant

A Tufts Innovates! grant project led by Jaclyn Waguespack.

Grant proposal excerpt: What is Dance on Camera? Dance on Camera, also referred to around the world as dance on screen, videodance, dancefilm, or screendance, is a visual and kinesthetic experience in the form of a film or video work. Dance on Camera prioritizes dance over conventional dialogue and acting to tell a story or convey an idea. Dance on Camera is itself, an innovative genre in the field of dance and has made radical developments with the advancement of technology over the past few years. This grant proposal is centered around the teaching and learning in the Dance on Camera course taught by Jaclyn Waguespack through the Department of Drama and Dance. [...] The overall expected outcome for the Dance on Camera course and for this experience [is] to improve digital and media literacy among Tufts students through the integration of movement and dance, and the use of advanced digital video technologies.  Several methods including, but not limited to, written assignments, video projects, reflection papers, viewings and class discussion, questions, observations and digital portfolios [will be] utilized.

Presented at the Tufts University-Wide Teaching Conference on “Inclusive Excellence: Teaching and Learning in an Increasingly Interconnected World,” May 2016 (Medford, MA)

Link to documentary short on the project

STATIC AMNESIA

Choreographer

Quartet inspired by the changes that occur when a dance is translated from the stage to the screen.

Choreography: Cas Burns

Performance: Miriam Priven, Annie Roome, Alicia Sanders-Zakre, and Erin Sifre
Music: “Flicker” by Origamibiro

Premiere: Fall Dance Concert, November 2014 (Medford, MA)

Link