Texas Tech University

Student Spotlight: Deborah De Farias

Lindsay Rigney

February 21, 2019

Deborah De-Farias

Deborah De Farias is a dance student and performer in the upcoming production of "DanceTech."

Deborah De Farias will be performing in two distinct DanceTech pieces, one choreographed by Sydney Petitt, Adjunct Instructor of Dance, and the other by Kyla Olson, Assistant Professor of Practice in Dance and Artistic Director of DanceTech.

Choreographed by Sydney Petitt, the first piece is inspired by the 1927 film Metropolis, with musical inspiration from musician Scott Faris. The second, choreographed by Kyla Olson, is inspired by the way that people obsessively use their cellphones, with musical inspiration from the musical West Side Story.

Both of the pieces address some fundamental issues that society currently faces. Sydney's piece explores what it might feel like to be "living a life that was not meant for you, and blindly and robotically going through the actions of life," says Deborah. "Sydney demonstrates this through the movements she has created, as well as the characters. In this piece, a robot cloned from three workers constantly tries to control them, simultaneously blending into their lives."

De Farias says Kyla's piece "simply but effectively demonstrates the modern-day struggle of living completely attached to technology. She demonstrates this by having her dancers dance with our focus completely on our cell phones, and then shutdown the minute we are disconnected."

DanceTech will be the sixth show in a completely site-specific season. Both dancers and choreographers have found themselves working with unique challenges. According to De Farias, "Site-specific performances are different, and in some cases, more challenging than classical performances performed on a stage. Multiple considerations include where the audience will stand or how to plan for bad weather. However, once Sydney and Kyla became aware of the performance spaces, their choreography began to embody the spaces we in which they would ultimately perform."

While Deborah remains excited for the audience to see and experience the work, she is most excited by Petitt's musical collaboration with Scott Faris: "Scott Faris re-did the entire score for the film Metropolis and he has been working with Sydney to create an original work specifically for her piece," explains De Farias. "These active original musical and dance collaborations are rare in the dance world, so this opportunity has been very exciting!"

It was the faculty and staff that drew her to Texas Tech and solidified her decision to join the School of Theatre and Dance: "Every professor has much dance experience and they are always willing to help their students grow and prepare us for our dance careers. I always learn something new in classes and rehearsal, so my technique and artistry have truly transformed because of it."