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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Brandeis love stories: Talking with the director of ‘Brandeis, I love you’

Published: November 5, 2010
Section: Arts, Etc.

GRAPHIC BY Ariel Wittenberg/The Hoot

Love is in the air at Brandeis. This weekend Brandeis Ensemble Theatre along with the Adagio Dance Ensemble, Kaos Kids and Hooked on Tap are putting on the show “Brandeis, I Love You.” Based on the love stories of Brandeis students, choreographer and director Danielle Zipkin ’12 has created a series of performances that celebrate love on campus.

Zipkin took the time to do an interview with The Brandeis Hoot via e-mail.

The Brandeis Hoot: What inspired you to do this project?

Danielle Zipkin: I was largely inspired by the exploration of love in the films “Paris Je T’aime” and “New York, I Love You” in which different forms of love were explored within a mapped out space. I figure, why not map and celebrate love at Brandeis as well?

BH: What kind of love stories did you receive? Did you notice any trends or themes?

DZ: Love stories were submitted in all forms of creative writing. I received short stories, stories with chapters, poems and song lyrics. Many people submitted love stories that contained a girlfriend and a boyfriend as the main characters. I chose six stories that represented a wide array of types of love, from sexual tension to random acts of kindness.

BH: How are Brandeis love stories unique?

DZ: Brandeis love stories are unique more in setting than anything else. One of my stories centers on Pachanga as a turning point in his love life as he struggles with the consequences of a one night stand, while in another two girls discover their deeper feelings for each other as they walk along the spine after a Hillel Dinner. These site-specific events set a mood, which serves as a catalyst that only Brandeisians can truly understand.

BH: What were the challenges you encountered setting up this performance?

DZ: The main challenges in setting up this project were purely technical. It was extremely difficult to coordinate so many people to form one cohesive show. Now that things have come together, I just hope that I have done the stories justice!

BH: What was the most rewarding moment (so far) that you’ve had while working on “Brandeis, I Love You?”

DZ: I recently had a showcase for my composers so that they could see the dances set to their music. After the showcase was over, my dancers and composers were all congratulating each other on their pieces. It felt great to see that everyone involved was as invested and proud of the show as I am.

BH: How would you describe the process of adapting a written piece into a choreographed dance?

DZ: I first took the setting into consideration and decided what style of dance would be appropriate. From there, I matched the piece with a composer who I felt could execute that style. Then, after delving into the characters of the story, I assigned the movement I felt best fit the circumstance.

BH: What do you hope your audience will walk away with from this project?

DZ: I hope that the audience will learn to appreciate the importance of love and the power it has in each of our lives, no matter the setting or form.

BH: What would you say in a love letter to Brandeis?

DZ: Love is everywhere. Take a look around!

“Brandeis, I Love You” will be performed on Nov. 6 and Nov. 7.