Elements: The Choreographic Process

By Hailey Arindaeng (’18)

As a dance minor and president of Orchesis Modern Dance Company, I am excited to be in the process of choreographing the finale piece for Orchesis’ student choreographed show, An Evening of Dance. Entitled Elements, my finale piece explores the four natural elements of life. The finale features all 22 members of Orchesis who were divided into four groups: fire, earth, water, and air. The dancers were assigned their elements based on movement aesthetic preferences as well as practical logistics such as providing a variety of class years for mentorship as well as height considerations. The movement will explore the organic interactions that arise between these elements. I was inspired by how nature can coexist in such a breathtaking, peaceful manner that one can observe while hiking a mountain or venturing into a forest ecosystem. However, the elements can also cause unpredictable and alarming natural disasters in the form of devastating hurricanes and monsoons to name a few examples. The overarching movement quality will leverage my personal movement aesthetic of powerful, more angular movement with jazzier undertones. However, the movement and accompanying motifs will also reflect the qualities of each element. Water and air, for instance, will have more sustained and ethereal qualities, while fire and earth will be more percussive and grounded.

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Whaddaya mean there are no records?!

I had only barely started and my research had already come to a screeching halt.

“Almost all of the records for the city of Richmond for the 1840s were burned during the Civil War,” said the researcher at the Library of Virginia.

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Silk stockings are the smoking gun (Navarrese Private Libraries – Part 2)

In the first post about what I’m using my Student Research Grant for, I tried to give an overview of what I’m using it for and a little taste of my research. In this post, I’d like to take you through the most thrilling example of what has come up in my research.

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Navarrese Private Libraries – Part 1

For my Student Research Grant, I was able to fund the digitization of some 16th and 17th court documents from the Archivo Diocesano de Pamplona (ADP) in Pamplona, Spain. These are for the honors thesis that I am currently writing about private libraries in the 16th and 17th centuries. Within these court documents, scribes and notaries painstakingly (or carelessly) noted down the household goods, papers, and books of individuals. I am interested in the books of 35 individuals whose personal libraries were inventoried so that the parties fighting over the goods could be sure of what the deceased owned. These documents offer some of the best insight into how people interacted with books in the 16th and 17th centuries.

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Abstract–African American Credit Use in the Early Republic

My name is Amanda Gibson, and I am a PhD candidate in the history department.

Credit was and is central to the growth of capitalism. My dissertation will uncover the credit market experiences of those most vulnerable to the externalities associated with a slavery-based capitalist economy. It will describe enslaved and free African Americans’ use of credit from the American Revolution to the Civil War.

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Orpheus Island in closing

Well, Dr. Allen and I leave Orpheus Island in two days. This trip has been extremely fast!


We finally figured out how to culture the crown-of-thorns larvae. It turns out our larvae were dying from copper toxicity. The freshwater here runs through copper pipes, so when we wash our glassware in the freshwater and place larvae in it, they die.

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One week in the land down under

Dr. Allen and I have been in Australia for a week now, and it has been a whirlwind!


We left Williamsburg on Sunday December 3rd at 7AM and reached Orpheus Island where we’re conducting our research Tuesday December 5th at 7PM ET. (Or something like that; it’s tough to keep track of time here given this place is 15 hours ahead of Virginia.)

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An investigation of alternative phosphorylation sites in arsR in Helicobacter pylori(part2)

Since the start of this semester, I’ve performed qRT-PCR for several times. qRT-PCR with taqman probes enables us to know the relative concentrations of mRNAs from the cells cultured under acidic (in my case pH5) and neutral(pH7) conditions. This technique requires a lot of patience and great attention to details. Although at the beginning, the error bars for the result bar chart were very big, indicating potential technical problems, I’m getting better results overtime. Practice makes perfect!

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An investigation of alternative phosphorylation sites in arsR in Helicobacter pylori(part1)

Over last summer, I conducted a series of experiments to test out my hypothesis: 47th and 59th positions are alternative phosphorylation sites for arsR in H.pylori with the presence of glutamic acid at 52nd position.

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Research Update

I returned from my research trip to London earlier this summer and found a lot of really interesting things! I visited the National Archives in London where there were a wide variety of documents and reports that outlined the student movements that were rising up in both East and West Pakistan. They detailed various aspects of the movements and even the British governments contribution and involvement with them, which was largely educational and set up through the dispersion of aid to help improve infrastructure and curriculum.

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