University of Richmond, DANC 365: Advanced Contemporary

Final Project: Innerspace


“Innerspace” is inspired by the spirit of community in Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba, an ancestral music and dance form we studied this semester in our Advanced Contemporary course. The structure of our final project is also informed by Mitchell Rose’s “Exquisite Corps” and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s “Rosas danst Rosas–Dance in Times of Isolation.”

Because of the current need for social distancing due to COVID-19, it is very easy for people to feel separated from each other. However, we believe that dance can connect us and bring people together at this time.

This project is anchored in Bomba’s values of unity, individuality and connection. For the first half of the work, each dancer choreographed their own dance with different styles and emotions, brought together through an underlying bomba rhythm, same costume, and choosing a location in our houses. Even though the houses are thousands of miles away from each other, it gives a sense as if it were just one house. The structure of the second half is inspired by ‘Rosas danst :Rosas’. Each dancer contributed an individual movement to create a shared phrase, and we are finally united when we come together in one unison order.

A heartfelt thanks to our special guests Alicia Díaz, our professor, and Laura Suárez, our classmate prior to COVID-19, whose participation augments our message of connection and presence.

We hope our work can provide a sense of unity and connection as well as individuality to those undergoing times of social distancing.


Choreography: Aiko Decker, Helene Leichter, Hera Liew, Melisa Raja Gopal, Kayla Schiltz, Anna Tartline

Dancers: Aiko Decker, Alicia Díaz, Helene Leichter, Hera Liew, Melisa Raja Gopal, Kayla Schiltz, Laura Suarez, Anna Tartline

Music: Héctor “Coco” Barez

Videography: Wyatt C. Anderson, Helene Leichter, Audrey Ong, Ji young Park, Kristen Schiltz, Pete Tartline

Editing: Aiko Decker, Hera Liew, Melisa Raja Gopal, Anna Tartline

Professor and Artistic Advisor: Alicia Díaz

Artistic Statement: Hera Liew