“Sunset Mirage,” a play that took place at Binghamton University’s Watters Theater in the Anderson Center, captures the idea of what it means to be free for a moment in time.
With its carefree tone and well-curated dancing, “Sunset Mirage” explores the freeness of its characters through styles of tap, ballet and contemporary dance. “Sunset Mirage” takes the concept of yearning for more and translates it through dance. By showcasing a lust of want purely through movement, it creates a call of celebration to the arts and its ability to present complex themes of desire, self-expression and vulnerability.
David Wynen, an assistant professor of theatre and head of dance, directed “Sunset Mirage.”
“My vision was to create something that was theatrical and storytelling so it wasn’t just dance as an abstract thing, it was dance as telling a story,” Wynen said. “The prescription from the department was to be just a dance show but I wanted to not just do separate pieces that meant nothing. I wanted there to be some sort of story and things within it.”
Wynen’s inspiration for “Sunset Mirage” comes from an events held in rural Australia called Bachelor and Spinsters Balls, where young adults come together to have a good time from night until morning.
“I was interested in what would happen in one night in one place,” Wynen said. “What I also tried to do was make it that if you looked at the scenery it was like one night and if you looked at the sky, the sky changed, the lights changed, as the day went on.”
RJ Fox, a senior double-majoring in economics and theatre and Mijiang He, a first-year master’s student studying theatre directing, performed one of the show’s most intimate scenes and captured the essence of what it means to live in the moment. Fox and He perform a style of contemporary dancing that allows for their characters to have a push and pull with one another, thereby creating an unspoken tension that is reflected onstage. Janalyce Lane, a senior majoring in psychology, recognized their tension and said their scene was one of her favorites.
“The scene between the two guys … the choreography was really good and it was a really intense scene,” Lane said.
Lane also shared the impact “Sunset Mirage” had on her individually.
“I’ve been a dancer for a really long time so it was really nice coming to see a stage performance because it was a while since I’ve been able to do that, especially with [COVID-19],” Lane said. “So, it was really nice getting to see everyone just up on stage.”
Lane added how plays like “Sunset Mirage” can impact the Binghamton community.
“It’s a hub where people can come together,” Lane said. “I’ve been involved in the arts for a really long time and I think I’ve seen a lot of beautiful things that it can do and I think when people are able to find access to it, it can be a really nice thing.”
Annaliese Santoro, a freshman majoring in engineering, shared a similar viewpoint.
“I think it adds more culture and exposure to different things,” Santoro said. “I think it’s always good to have more exposure to different things.”