The Oberlin Review

College seniors Rashad Saleh and Imke Hart perform in Jad Kaiss’ senior production Ana La Habibi, which opened on Tuesday.

“Ana La Habibi” Explores Arab Identity in America

April 19, 2019

Two men stand around a record player, listening to the dreamy voice of Lebanese icon Fairuz. One man leans back on the couch, struck by nostalgia. He reminisces about when his mom played the song every day before school. He used to hate it, but now he smiles when it comes on.  “Ana la Habibi,” Fairuz sings, “I belong to my love.” This scene from Ana la Habibi, which premiered last Tuesday, reveals the inspiration behind its title. College senior Jad Kaiss, who wrote and directed this pla...

College seniors Elijah Aladin and Nani Borges rehearse Songs from my Mother’s Seashore before opening night Thursday.

“Songs From My Mother’s Seashore” Celebrates Black Trans Woman Love

April 5, 2019

A woman in white and gold walks on stage, caressing a framed portrait of a Black woman shrouded in white cloth who stares defiantly at the viewer with one breast exposed. Over the sound of gentle waves in the distance, she wonders aloud, “If God were to stand before us, would we recognize her magnificence?” Songs from My Mother’s Seashore is an original work written and directed by College senior Nani Borges, who also plays the lead in the show: a character with Borges’ name who repres...

Dance major Teddy Ment performs in her senior dance showcase, Nova.

Senior Dance Students Impress with Creative Performances

November 16, 2018

This past weekend saw the presentation of incredible senior shows from two Dance majors. I sat down with Tian Yoon Teh to talk about Embrace Me: A Dance Opera, and will share my personal perspective from working tech on Teddy Ment’s Nova. To create Embrace Me, the first of the evening’s shows, Yoon Teh took on an ambitious pre-production process that included storyboarding, which began last semester, a variety of experimental explorations, and finally a nine-week production schedule. “In t...

Innovative Senior Show Highlights Natural Connections

Sophia Bamert, Managing Editor

April 12, 2013

Since their first year at Oberlin, College seniors Samantha Bergman and Nona Brown have been impressing audiences with their grace, agility and choreographic talent, on their own, in ensembles and as collaborators. Their senior show, What is it, then, between us?, which ran from April 5–6 in Warner Main Space, proved a fitting culmination of their college dance careers. The embodied collaboration among the ensemble of 15 dancers onstage reinforced the importance of this work as a collaboration between director-choreographers Bergman and Brown. With a script written by ensemble member and College junior Charlotte Istel, What is it, then, between us? — the title taken from a line in Walt Whitman's "Crossing Brookl...

College seniors Devra Freelander and Lucas Briffa brought nature into the gallery, offering a type of organic experience within Fisher’s architectural container.

Senior Studio Duo Leads Viewers Through Earth in New Light

May 4, 2012

This last week marked the 42nd Earth Day, a worldwide holiday to increase awareness and celebrate the Earth’s natural environment. Many honor this holiday, which takes place annually on April 22, by planting trees, holding garage sales, educating themselves about the environment or simply spending a relaxing day in the sun. College seniors Lucas Briffa and Devra Freelander, however, celebrated our planet five days after the rest of us, through a more abstract, artistically deconstructive manner,...

Claire Lachow's drawings, sculptured masks and performance impressed audiences.

Yellin and Lachow’s Not-so-Fatal Attraction

May 6, 2011

Artists and College seniors Claire Lachow and Isabel Yellin closed out this year’s Senior Studio series with their playful twists on classical tradition and abstract expressionism. Their show, Attraction is a Basic Instinct, created what was simultaneously a dramatic and understated finale to the year’s exhibitions. Lachow’s work is a clever reimagining of the ancient Greek ritual of arkteia, a ceremony in which, according to Lachow’s artist’s statement, pubescent girls were allowed ...

Vera Obscura Upsets Senior Studio Dominance

Jimmy Hagan, Arts Editor

May 6, 2011

Vera Obscura, an independent senior art show that opened last Saturday night at the Richard Baron Gallery behind Slow Train, dispelled the myth that Senior Studio is the only premier venue for the top talent in the Oberlin art community. The show consisted of impressive and exciting work by College seniors Eli Steltenpohl and Sophie Miles and College fifth-year Jake DeVito. In general, Vera Obscura presented a complex investigation of various media and artistic disciplines. While Miles’s work addressed the idea of portraiture and the myths the genre reinforces about identity, Steltenpohl’s focused on the artificial distinction between sculpture, toolmaking and organic forms found in nature; additionally, ...

Double-degree senior Will Floyd assists with the realization of Matt Orenstein's vision, an original score to the 1920 silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Senior Recital Review: Orenstein Scores Scary Movie Classic

May 6, 2011

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is still a quirky horror movie from the 1920s, but as of Sunday, May 1, it is no longer silent. For his senior recital, double-degree fifth-year Matt Orenstein fulfilled his long-time “pipe dream” of composing a score for the entire 70-minute German Expressionist film. Visually, the film resembles an eerie cross between the worlds of Dr. Seuss and Tim Burton. Everything is cockeyed and nothing stands at a right angle — even doors and windows hang like off...

Haydée Souffrant Reinvigorates with Senior Dance Show To Say the Words, to Speak the Truth

Claire Petras

March 18, 2011

Equal parts performance art, spectacular drumming, traditional Guinean dancing, singing and spoken word, College senior Haydée Souffrant’s senior show addressed her personal struggle to navigate her relationship with her familial history. To Say the Words, to Speak the Truth; Following the Sound of Legacies was refreshing. It was exciting to finally see a dance performance at Oberlin that was not a vapid modern dance piece. Souffrant’s performance was anything but empty. The piece’s energy, soul and emotion resounded throughout the crowd in Warner Main Space. The space was decorated with large draped banners listing the names of her family members and her mantra, “Lakie ou se Kote Historie Kommence,” ...

“Translucidity” Envisions a Clean, Sharp and Concise Photo-Universe

Alex La Ferla, Staff Writer

March 18, 2011

According to the Merriam-Webster and Oxford dictionaries, “Translucidity,” the title of College seniors Caroline Casey and Skylar Sweetman’s Senior Studio collaboration, is not a real word. In the absence of a dictionary-sanctioned definition for the word, a more accurate — but significantly less catchy — title for the show might have been “translucence,” a characteristic evident on a number of levels in the work on display. Light and ethereal, yet surprisingly potent, Casey and Sweetman’s work was revealing, but still shrouded in a disquieting air of surreality. Casey perhaps embodies this trait more literally in her work, which consists predominantly of small rectangular Polaroid-style film photographs...

The artist staged a 5 person zombie doll extravaganza to a flashing powerful video and the sound of smooth techno.

Senior Studio Review: Singer and Kelly’s “Supernatural” Super Awesome

March 11, 2011

Supernatural, the duo Senior Studio Show by Calder Singer and Mary Kate Kelly, unfolded like a delicate boxing match. Upon first impression, their work read like a battle between the ethereal versus physical, glamorous versus earthen, timeless versus fleeting. Could we even say hipster versus hippie? Although they were at odds in terms of naturalism and plasticity, the show moved beyond these dichotomies, working together and rocking out individually. In Fisher, Singer orchestrated a performa...

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