As the sun and warm temperatures infiltrate the library annals once again, Bowdoin students are faced with the unavoidable fact that the academic year is coming to a close. While this may be a startling realization for many, two Bowdoin seniors are taking advantage of their final days at tge College in their upcoming independent study performances.

Seniors Elizabeth Jones and Aislinn Curry decided to undertake independent studies that built upon the knowledge and experience they had gained throughout their time at Bowdoin. The final productions, Jones' dance performance "Vermilion" and Curry's play "Trojan Women" are the results of their hard work, motivation, inspiration, and talent.

For Jones, dance has played an integral role in her Bowdoin education.

"I'm majoring in visual arts and art history, minoring in dance," Jones said. "But it's in the theater that I spend most of my time."

In her first independent study with Senior Lecturer in Dance Performance Gwyneth Jones, Jones honed her affinity for choreographing, which culminated in a dance film.

"After working on that project, I realized that I really liked choreography but that I wanted to take on a larger project. I wanted to choreograph dance that was not solely made for the camera, and this has definitely been harder," Jones said. "When you're working to a final, live production, you have to have everything ready for the performance. You can't go back like you can with film and piece everything together so you have only the best parts."

Live performance proved to be different than film, not only in terms of the choreography and production but also the dancing. "Vermillion" has allowed Jones to scrutinize the difference between dancing for film and dancing for a live audience.

"When you're dancing for the camera, there are so many different ways you can look at the dance and the choreography versus when you're seeing a live performance and you only have that one view from your performance seat," she said. "With film you can get so much closer with so many different angles."

Choosing appropriate music was integral to the success of Jones project as well as establishing and strengthening the theme of the production.

"The theme of the project is the color red," Jones said. "Red has so many different connotations and thus each of the nine sections of the performance have a title and music that feel like some aspect of the color red. I chose from a wide range of music including Chinese and Mongolian, American and Argentinean."

Jones cites Yo-Yo Ma as one of her major influences.

"I was very attracted to his music, so I started to look for other music that he was in and that he influenced in, and then I went from there," she said.

Jones has chosen to use video projections throughout the performance.

"I've incorporated video projections into my choreography, both recorded and edited video, that complements the live dancers as well as live video that reflects exactly what they are doing at that moment," she said.

Curry is directing and adapting the play "Trojan Women," a process that has been a similarly stimulating and challenging experience. "Trojan Women" is the product of an independent study Curry did with Associate Professor of Theatre Davis Robinson.

"I've always been involved with theatre," Curry said. "I started acting in middle school, acted a bit in high school, took acting classes here. But at Bowdoin I found my passion in theater lay behind the scenes in tech work, running shows in just about every position you could."

Unique to Curry's play is its connection to Curry's honors project in the Classics department.

"My honors is a paper that examines how to stage a classical tragedy, 'Trojan Women,' specifically for modern women. I look at the themes of the play, the history behind it and the gender issues that run throughout it," Curry said. "In my independent study in theater I'm directing the same play, and it's been an amazing experience to have these two processes coinciding with one another. The knowledge I get in one so heavily influences the knowledge I get in another, even though they remain two distinct entities."

For the focus of both her honors project and her independent study, Curry chose to work with the play "Trojan Women" because it resonated strongly with her on a personal level.

"I read through every Greek tragedy in existence, and I got to a really low point," Curry said. "I was not connecting with any of them and then I found 'Trojan Women,' with which I felt an immediate connection. My favorite characters out of all of Greek mythology, ones that I've found fascinating since my youth, are all in this play. It's also a play that connects strongly with women."

"Trojan Women" takes place the day after the Trojan War has ended in the city of Troy, which has been completely destroyed.

"The play doesn't have your standard plot," Curry said. "There's not a single event that everything leads up to. Instead, it's a series of episodes about the women whose lives have been destroyed, each one talking about what has happened to her. It's really a play that explores these large, social questions of what happens at the end of war and what is the meaning of war."

"Trojan Women" will be performed on Friday at 2:00 p.m. in the Studzinski Outdoor Amphitheater and in Drake Lobby if it rains. "Vermilion" will be performed Friday night at 8:00 p.m. at Memorial Hall in Wish Theatre. Admission for both shows is free.