Boston University School of Theatre and Dance Program present Aurora Borealis 6: A Festival of Light and Dance

Contact: Ellen Carr, 617-353-8783 |
Contact: Jean Connaughton, 617-353-7293 |

Boston – The Boston University School of Theatre, in collaboration with the Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, presents the sixth annual Aurora Borealis: A Festival of Light and Dance. Judith Chaffee and Micki Taylor-Pinney are again co-directing the production that will feature new faculty works, dances from the Boston University Dance Theatre Group, as well as collaborations with seniors in lighting design and theatre, and composers from the School of Theatre and School of Music.

Over the past six years, this festival has evolved into a four day contemporary dance festival featuring explorations involving theatre, dance, and light:

Judith Chaffee and Uli Praeger are again teaming up to choreograph a light-inspired theatre piece, investigating images created from round, portable lights to music by CFA School of Music composer Joshua Fineberg. Chaffee is also directing Samuel Becket’s Act Without Words, a theatrical study of frustrated efforts and survival, performed by senior Theatre Arts major Rosine Moss.

Reversible Spontaneous Combustion, a group piece by graduate student Sarah Foster, is a quirky examination of a group of scientists who spontaneously stumble upon a great and miraculous discovery. Balls of energy jolt and bounce the dancers around the stage. Consequentially, the experiment goes awry and the scientists are forced to deal with the aftermath of such a precarious experiment.

Rosine Moss and Raina Lewis, Theatre Arts seniors in the School of Theatre, have choreographed En Miette, a dance exploring very stylized marionette movement to “110 Miette” (artist unknown), which evolves into contemporary hip hop dance using Timbaland’s “Release.”

Margot Parsons is recreating Tracings to a spiritual recorded by Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, and Jack DeJohnette with a cast of students and professionals. The lively piece reflects Parsons’ talent for sweeping, intricate pieces that fuse the ballet and modern vocabulary.

Micki Taylor-Pinney was inspired to create Urban Birds after listening to Peterson’s Field Guides. The piece reverses the practice of anthropomorphism and dancers reveal the idiosyncratic, bird-like qualities associated with human behaviors of posturing, primping, fretfulness, and flitting about.

Nicole Tomeo, a College of Communications film major, has choreographed a striking solo piece, An Entrance Somewhere Else, to music by Eon Blue Apocolypse. The dance, restricted in the frame of a doorway, is a reflection upon the line, “Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else,” from Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.

Finally, Theatre Arts majors, Alexis Bloom, Felicity Doyle, Betsy Drake-Studstill, Julia Garcia Coombs, and Julia Miller have created The Five Box Symbols, also called The Box Dance, a movement study exploring transformations that occur in inanimate objects when imbued with human characteristics. The piece features music composed by Alex Neumann, a senior design major from the School of Theatre.

The Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre, founded in 1954, is one of the country’s leading institutions for the study of acting, stage management, design and production, and all aspects of the theatrical profession. Since 1982, the School of Theatre has enjoyed an educational and artistic collaboration with the Huntington Theatre Company, the professional theatre in residence at Boston University. Other professional theatre affiliations include Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Guthrie Theater, Olney Theatre Center, Pendragon Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Notable School of Theatre alumni include Jason Alexander, Michael Chiklis, Geena Davis, Faye Dunaway, Andrew Lack, Stewart Lane, Craig Lucas, Julianne Moore, Wynn Thomas, and Alfre Woodard.

The Boston University College of Fine Arts was created in 1954 to bring together the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts. The University’s vision was to create a community of artists in a conservatory-style school offering professional training in the arts to both undergraduate and graduate students, complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students. Since those early days, education at the College of Fine Arts has begun on the BU campus and extended into the city of Boston, a rich center of cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.

Dance at Boston University: Along with the movement and dance component of theatre training in the School of Theatre at Boston University, an extensive program of dance and movement courses is housed within the Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance in the new Fit/Rec Center on Commonwealth Avenue. Through the Physical Education Program, students, faculty, and staff may choose from a wide selection of dance genres, ranging from the beginning to the advanced level. These courses are taught by accomplished instructors, all of whom have professional affiliations in Boston. This past year, enrollment in dance courses numbered 1700. Boston University supports numerous dance organizations, including the Dance Theatre Group, directed by Ms. Taylor-Pinney. A Dance minor is offered through the School of Theatre in the College of Fine Arts.


Location: Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street, Boston

Tickets: $12 general public; $10 BU alumni, Huntington subscribers, students, senior citizens, and WGBH members. BU community: one free ticket with BU ID at the door, day of performance, subject to availability.

Box Office: online at, by phone at 617-933-8600, or in person at the Boston University Theatre box office.