Today@Sam Article

Bearkats Hit The Stage In The College Of Arts & Media

Feb. 22, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

Story by: Dionne Noble

The College of Arts & Media at Sam Houston State University continues to offer stand out performances from Bearkat students. New performances in the coming weeks include multiple Master of Fine Arts candidates pouring their skills into their thesis work for virtual audiences.

Sam Houston State University’s Department of Dance presents, “Cardinal”


Jorrell Lawyer-Jefferson’s “Cardinal,” is a dance film that explores the use of cathartic experiences as purposeful creative material. In partial fulfillment of the Master of Fine Arts Degree in Dance this dance for the camera features 14 performers and is the culmination of a year-long creative research process. Inspired by non-traditional story structures and cinema, Lawyer-Jefferson’s work is a reclamation of trauma and its use to facilitate personal change. Split into two acts, “Cardinal” is a commentary on emotional anchors and the process of pushing forward.

This engaging and visually provocative dance film will be presented virtually on Feb. 26-27 at 8 p.m. Streaming access is free and will be available on the Box Office website

Sam Houston State University’s Department of Dance presents, “All in Her Head”


In this virtual live two-act dance concert, choreographer and MFA Thesis Candidate, Meri-Ashton Van Winkle empowers the feminine perspective in “All In Her Head,” a choreographic exploration with an all-female cast of the historical and present-day understandings of anxiety disorders as they relate to the female experience.

Her hysteria. Her madness. Her anxiety. Is it truly all in her head? “Her” in this case is plural and “Her” personal affiliation with the disorder throughout the performance allows the audience to experience a raw and uncensored invitation into the world of living with an anxiety disorder. At the beginning of the dance, anxiety is revealed as a single character manifested into a female body. Throughout, anxiety always appears, lurking about every corner, hidden in the shadows of thoughts and nightmares, taunting the other women into oblivion and pure distress of their breaking sanity. Can something quell the frantic thoughts, or will her anxiety never truly be resolved? As the story unfolds, more is revealed about the many experiences, both current and historical, of living with an anxiety disorder. Join Van Winkle and dancers as they physically and emotionally explore the effects of anxiety on their lives.

The performance will be presented virtually on March 5-6 at 8 p.m. Streaming access is free and will be available on the Box Office website.

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