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Meet your Oles: Lily Moreschi ’24


Auguste Bernick/The Olaf Messenger

Photo caption: Lily Moreschi ’24 and the senior dance students


Dance students and educators will flood campus from March 23  to March 26 for the North Central United States Regional American Conference Dance Association (ACDA) Conference. Among the hundreds of dancers are the St. Olaf Dance students on campus for part of spring break to expand their horizons as dancers and choreographers. For Lily Moreschi ’24, the conference is a chance to showcase the culmination of her choreography training at St. Olaf.


Moreschi expressed her excitement for the conference in an interview with The Olaf Messenger. “It’s just so exciting to be able to dance among people that have different dance experiences than you and go try new things,” Moreschi said. “It’s a conference for people who are learning about dance, so there’s not really judgment.”


For most of the day attendees have the opportunity to take classes from every dance genre imaginable, regardless of their experience in the genre. “Everyone knows that everyone is there to learn, gain a new experience, meet new people, meet new artists, and see different perspectives, and it’s a really fun environment,” Moreschi said.


The piece Moreschi choreographed for her Senior Dance Capstone, “Sisyphean Task,” is also up for adjudication at the conference.  Each school gets to present two pieces for adjudication form a panel of professionals unaffiliated with their institution. “Historically, the second adjudication spot goes to a Senior Capstone Piece because those have been really intensively worked on, and schools want to present what they think is some of their best work for that year,” Moreschi said. She premiered the piece at “Baggage Claim,” the 2023 Senior Dance Concert in December 2023.


As a Quantitative Economics and Dance major, Moreschi’s career in Dance after her time at St. Olaf will be as multifaceted as her education. While she already has a job as a Philanthropy Associate at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival,“I also hope to have my own choreographic career,” said Moreschi.


“Sisyphean Task” examines the constant struggle to maintain human connection in a time of widespread loneliness. It incorporates several dance styles to create movement that transcends genre and embodies the emotions and music of the piece. 


“Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18: II. Adagio sostenuto” by Sergei Rachmaninoff creates a soundscape for the dancers as they move with the music to create movement that Moreschi describes as, ‘human.’


“I could care less about counts, measures and bars, who cares. But I do care about music being attached and in harmony with music so for me, I’d much rather have a dance who could sing out a song rather than count it,” Moreschi said. “It brings a deeper, more rich feeling that they’re truly living in the movement as opposed to doing it.”


The humanness of dance appeals to Moreschi. “You can watch a dance video, and it can be great and wonderful, but there is no comparison to watching it in person and physically seeing someone work, sweat, and experience something that can’t be captured on video,” Moreschi said.


Dance appeals to Moreschi because it taps into the body as a source of art that necessitates being together. “You can’t get the same visceral feeling you can get from looking at a photo of a painting or listening to a piece of recorded music,” Moreschi said.


As a dancer and choreographer, she knows that unlocking this freedom to create natural movement takes time. The experience of teaching this to her dancers has been a challenge for her, specifically learning how to express her ideas in words.


“They’ve had a lot of ballet training, but they haven’t had a lot of human training, so we’ve been doing a lot of, ‘How do we move these shapes from ballet and make them a little more human and a little more postmodern,” Moreschi said. “The movement feels a bit more human.”


Preparing for the ACDA performance has let the choreographer and dancers polish “Sisyphean Task.”


“We’ve been doing some upkeep rehearsals and getting the chance to dig into some of the nitty-gritty things that are watching during the [2023 Senior Dance Concert]. I thought, ‘Hmm, maybe we should look at that.’ Changes that make it more effective,” Moreschi said.


Opportunity to share her work for adjudication at ACDA. “Most of the formal feedback I’ve gotten has been from professors here and students here who have intensively seen the process of a work developing, so I think being able to present it [Sisyphean Task] to 500 people who have never seen it before and know nothing about,” Moreschi said. “it is a really valuable resource that you only get when you’re in an educational setting.”


Presenting “Sisyphean Task” is an especially impactful moment for Moreschi, as it is her longest choreographic work and “a very accurate representation of who I am as an artist. Being able to get feedback on that is very exciting.” She is also excited about the opportunity to continue to share the piece with the St. Olaf community through its publication in the Spring 2024 Quarry Magazine, which will print in April. 


Professor of Dance Jeffeery Peterson’s piece “Side by Side” is also up for adjudication at the ACDA conference. Bea Beaman ’25 will present their piece “don’t look down” for informal adjudication at the conference.

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