Emma Loewen

Together, For Dancers

Class of: 2025

Major: Interior Design BFA

Medium: Wearable sculpture

Faculty: Aviva Maya Shulem

Prompt: Develop a 3D object/artifact, which demonstrates its connection to the community you identify with or de nes you, your belief, your personality, etc. The item can be a sculpture, a functional object/tool, a body “extension” (accessory, tool, object, prosthesis, etc.).

When I think of an environment that brought me a sense of community, I immediately think of the world of ballet. Literally growing up in a dance studio, the people I encountered and the lifestyle I lived largely shaped who I am today. For this project, I interviewed friends and family, all within the ballet community, and began to realize how complex the dance community is. It is far from one-note and has many layers, both positive and negative. Dancers are notoriously known for looking the same, each thin, beautiful prima ballerina is trained to be perfect, sometimes creating an overly competitive or toxic environment. But as time progresses, I see the community becoming more understanding of our differences. We are all connected by our love but have more freedom to present ourselves as dancers, not cookie cutters of unrealistic standards. So, for this project, I wanted to illustrate this complexity within an object that is representative of ballet, a tutu. A tutu is comprised of layers (of usually tool) which I feel represents that complexity I discovered in my research. I used black and white Bristol paper for the majority of the structure to  figuratively convey those contrasting positive and negative aspects. The tutu is comprised of one central band, with spokes radiating out like how in the dance community we are all our own people, united by our universal passion. Lastly, I wrote my interview responses on the tutu. The responses I got were entirely honest and unfiltered, and I believe highlighting actual voices from dancers added a personal touch and a more concrete representation of my idea to the rest of the tutu which is largely symbolic.