In the Spring of 2015, Professor Jaclyn O’Toole applied for the 15th Anniversary Gala year of the White Wave Dance Festival in New York City. The work submitted was entitled Eve, which presents a women’s struggle with dissociative identity disorder. Instead of taking professional dancers, Prof. O’Toole chose to take the JCSU Repertory Dance Company to NYC to perform Eve. To help fund part of this trip, Professors Ebright and O’Toole co-wrote the Smith Institute grant “Evaluating Professional Readiness in Dance”.
Jaclyn O’Toole is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Johnson C. Smith University, as well as the Artistic Director of the JCSU Repertory Dance Company. The JCSU Rep Company is comprised of 7 undergraduate students majoring in Dance.
Eve is inspired by the 1957 film and novel “The Three Faces of Eve”.
“I was inspired to put more art into this idea and choreograph a dance about the true story presented in the film, which is a woman’s struggle with dissociative identity disorder,” said O’Toole. “By taking on such heavy-weighted topic, the process brought upon much research and investigation to help portray and developed the movement for the sake of the artistry. In the dance, there are three women who are supposed to look and move as though they are one, with slipping personalities. In the music score, you hear overlapping text from the 1957 Fox Film “The Three Faces of Eve”. I developed this piece when I was in graduate school at Florida State University and debuted the work in London in 2009.”
After much planning and preparation, the JCSU Rep Company traveled to NYC with Prof. Ebright and Prof. O’Toole to perform. The JCSU students were the only college students performing in the festival, as every other dancer was of professional status.
While in NYC, the JCSU Rep Company took classes at Steps on Broadway, took a private tour at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, and enjoyed other NYC performing arts landmarks such as the Metropolitan Opera house at Lincoln Center.