Comps Profile: Lucia Webb '16 presents Ephemera

Lucia Webb ’16 presents Ephemera, a dance show comprised of three works that investigates communication, place, identity, and authenticity.

Laura Westneat and Jack Noble (Carletonian) May 4, 2016
  • Dancers in EphemeraAbby Star

  • Lucia Webb '16 alongside the other dancers in EphemeraAbby Star

  • Dancers in EphemeraAbby Star

  • Lucia Webb '16 in her solo dance during EphemeraAbby Star

  • Lucia Webb '16 during her solo dance in EphemeraAbby Star

  • Lucia Webb '16 in her solo dance during EphemeraAbby Star

  • Dancers during EphemeraAbby Star

  • Dancers in EphemeraAbby Star

On Friday, April 15, Lucia Webb ’16 presented her Comps show, titled Ephemera, in the Weitz Blackbox Theater.

Jack Noble ’17, writer for the Carletonian, described Lucia's show as: “Dances that sample broadly from hip-hop to ballet, communicating in a postmodern language that employs pre-existing dance vocabulary. The show remains within reach of its audience. Webb chooses a variety of interesting yet accessible American musicians, from LCD Soundsystem to Johnny Cash, thereby attaching her work to pre-established and familiar cultural objects.”

Lucia Webb is from Portland, Oregon, and started dancing when she was three years old. Before Carleton, she performed ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and modern dance. Lucia is one of only two Dance majors at Carleton, and is a double major with American Studies. While working on her dance show, she drew heavily from her recently completed American Studies Comps on the commodification of place in neoliberal America.

Lucia Webb discusses her thought process and motivations in creating Ephemera through her artist statement:

“Over time, I have come to especially enjoy the moments when my choreographic work gets away from me, when it becomes something I had not previously imagined. In my work, I aim to use dance as an investigative tool, an embodied inquiry into questions of theory and practice. I am interested in examining the ways in which dance as an artistic medium has a unique power with which it can turn theory into physical practice.

As an embodied art form, the physicality of dance allows it to be a useful tool for the exploration of connections, encounters, and the relations between bodies. I attempt to find ways to get past the oxymoron of authentic performance through a commitment to acknowledging the personal subjectivities of the dancers with whom I have the privilege of working.

In my choreographic process I make sure that dancers move in ways that are comfortable for their individual bodies and that much of the idea accumulation comes about collaboratively. The internal experience of the dancers is very important to me, which works symbiotically with my desire for the audience to see the dancers as relatable yet complex. I try to achieve this through collaboration and a focus on improvisation. In the same vein, I am interested in creating empathy and in the ways in which an authentic sense of embodiment can foster connection between audience and performer.

Dance shouldn’t just be for those who are performing it. By including non-virtuosic movements in my work, I aim to suggest a dissolution of the traditional audience/performer dynamic. Recent projects, most notably my piece Yes Manifestos, involve my interest in dance as a way to disrupt commodification through its ephemerality. I see my dance works as constantly unfolding, constantly becoming. By putting process prior to product, I seek the disruption of fixed ideas of identity.”

Special thanks to Jack Noble from the Carletonian and Lucia Webb for assistance in writing this feature.