Paper Is Meant To Be Torn
November 19, 2016
Life’s a party and the LVA student body was invited to Mrs. Huggins’ party held on the Lowden Stage. Every year, the dance and theatre department collaborate to create the dance drama; this year the production was called Paper Hat and drew an audience in with concepts like #paperismeantobetorn. “We all wear hats when we grow up but they are just made of paper, and paper is meant to be torn,” said Mrs. Huggins.
Mrs. Huggins created the show solely for her students, so the creative process was dependent on the dancers and theatre majors, of course with her guidance. Theatre majors do not have many opportunities to work with dance majors within their element, but the dance drama allows for a dynamic collaboration. “The theatre majors just brought this different energy that was very welcomed,” said senior dance major, Michael Artiga. Mrs. Huggins has a background in both dance and theatre so with her mentorship, the two art forms managed to create something inspiring.
The character Jack made his appreciation for cake well known throughout Paper Hat. Besides the common appreciation that people hold for the dessert, it symbolized several things within the show. The ballerinas in white would finish the pointe number by eating their party hats and senior theatre major Madison Garcia’s character, Jill, would pop out of the hatch on stage and say, “that doesn’t look like cake.” According to Garcia, “The whole idea is that cake tastes like love. Here are girls trying so hard for love but they can’t get it. They are starving for cake so they eat their hats. They take whatever love they can find.” Cake truly was love in Paper Hat.
Mrs. Huggins is known for inspiring her artists, but she seems to be just as inspired by those she collaborates with. Paper Hat was a culmination of everything that had interested Huggins in the last year. She would take notes and collect music, and then make the pieces for her students. One of Mrs. Huggins’ inspirations was not one of her students, but her daughter. As she said in the poem she wrote for the program, “I hope we never forget the relevance of play in our lives. We all wear many different hats; sometimes it is nice to take the time to set them aside and jump rope. This piece is dedicated to my daughter. I love watching you fly without a hat on. I hope you choose your hat well. I keep eating mine.” The sense of play and childlike innocence possessed the Lowden stage and left with the audience every night of Paper Hat.
The beauty of the dance dramas is that there is no correct answer when it comes to interpretation. It is a production that incorporates several physical and technical elements that are perfectly formulated together to make an individual ponder. Many audience members left Paper Hat with a mantra, but for performers like Garcia, “I was scared for it to end quite honestly. It was something I, just like everyone else, was so dedicated to and it meant so much to each of us individually.” As made apparent on closing night, it was their party and they cried if they wanted to.