Herberger Institute student team wins X-Act competition
The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is pleased to announce the winners of its first annual X-Act competition: students Chelsea Pace, MFA in Theatre Performance from the School of Theatre and Film; Ethan Jackson, Master of Science in Design with a concentration in New Product Innovation from The Design School; Kristopher Pourzal, MFA in Dance from the School of Dance; and Matthew Ragan, MFA in Theatre with a concentration in Interdisciplinary Digital Media and Performance from the School of Theatre and Film
The team won with their proposal "Commons." This is the first year for the X-Act competition, which provides teams of students from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts with an opportunity to create work that engages the X-Square space.
X-Square is a sister competition which provides students with an opportunity to create a public installation that transforms a mundane area of the ASU Tempe campus into a social environment. X-Act challenges teams to integrate the X-Square space into their music, dance, film or other performance ideas.
Proposals were considered by a panel of jurors, including Elizabeth Johnson, project coordinator in the ASU School of Dance and choreographer, dancer and educator with a particular focus on youth and connecting communities through choreography; Mary Stephens, owner of Hostelling International – Phoenix Hostel and Cultural Center and producing director for the ASU School of Theatre and Film Performance in the Borderlands series; and Tania Katan, author, playwright, comedic performer and program coordinator for Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Lounge.
"Commons" will be comprised of 100 ASU graduate and undergraduate students from various disciplines and departments. The ensemble will emerge from the X-Square installation in a choreographed sequence; theatrical lights and sound will build and immerse the audience. Live video of the performance will be projected onto the textured wall of the Art building west of the installation, not only activating X-Square but also the surrounding environment. As the ensemble moves from the installation to merge with the crowd, they will continue to perform.
“The piece inherently activates the space by reaching out to so many disciplines and getting people together, working together and making art,” explained the "Commons" team in its entry. The performance will end as they exit the crowd and move to a significant place on campus, continuing their choreographed sequence.
"Commons" will perform during Emerge at 7 p.m., March 2 and 7 p.m., March 3 and 4. All performances are at Neeb Plaza on the Tempe campus.