Ross School - Senior Projects 2012


Student: Emily Watson

Mentor: Kerry Sharkey-Miller

Domain(s): Media (50%), Performing Arts (50%)

Faculty Grader: Chris Engel




Documentation of Product


Title: Becoming Sugarplum



My Senior Project is based around the famous principle role of the ballet The Nutcracker: The Sugar Plum Fairy. This role, which I performed in my ballet company's production at Guild Hall in December, was the perfect culmination of my adolescent love of the performing arts. Half of my project is the performance itself, including the technique and steps I learned. The other half is a conceptual documentary photo and video installation that delves into the backstage world of performance and my own personal experience of becoming Sugar Plum.





Here are three (1, 2, 3) of my favorite final images, and three (1, 2, 3) images of the final presentation in the senior building. I rehearsed my dance for about 3.5 months for about 20-30 hours per week. I brought my camera to all my classes and rehearsals, and also shot at the classes of younger students. I also shot video footage from my still camera, which I turned into a video montage. I included footage of myself dancing as the sugarplum to show that aspect of my project in the exhibition, as well.



Attached is my powerpoint, with my presentersŐ notes.



Exhibition & Presentation Summary



I had two separate presentations: the first was my performance at Guild Hall, the second was my photo and video installation, which was set up for gallery night at Ross. My performance in the show went very well, I was proud of my dancing and I felt that the hard work had paid off. The installation was also a success. I had gone through many different plans for my installation, spanning from using the slipper cubbies as light boxes, stacks of video monitors, and creating a space that evoked the feeling of a dance studio or backstage space. In the end, I decided to go for a cleaner look and use the three walls on the left side of the main-level hallway in the senior building. I printed ten prints on 17x22 inch paper, and my video piece ran on the monitor in the center of the exhibit. I also displayed my tutu and the eight pairs of dance shoes that I used in the process of learning and performing my role.


My presentation went well. I felt confident in what I was saying and calm enough that I could honestly portray my project in the way that I wanted to.





Bibliography or Works Consulted


Works Consulted

McNally, Joe. Photograph. Dancers. Joe Mcnally Photography. Web. 1 Sept. 2011. <>.

Morris, Christopher. Photograph. Americans. Christopher Morris Photography. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. <>.


The Nutcracker - Grand Pas De Deux. Perf. Miyako Yoshida and Steven 23 Dec. 2010. Web. 20 Aug. 2011. <>.