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Cover Boy



Cover Boy is a stage set for Tere O'Connor's dance performance - entitled 'Cover Boy'. It was showcased at St. Marks Church At The Bowery in 2011, then Jacob’s Pillow Dance in 2013, and lastly at Kiplinger Theatre at Cornell University in 2014.

The set is a series of folded, cardboard elements that ‘poof’ to make the territorial surface structural and movable over time. The modules were CNC milled to ensure accuracy of angles. By puncturing the surface twice and folding the cardboard, the two mirrored surfaces of a given module would connect to the other; thus fusing them together and structurally holding them in a ‘thick’ position. Only zip ties were used to connect all the mirrored modules together. There are four significant joints to create the undulation and variation of surface bending.

The construction and details of the project are a result of stringent weight and time constraints to make the project a reality. The set needed to be extremely light, as to not put strain on the fragile structure of the church, while

simultaneously covering a large area above the dancers. The set needed to move during various acts which required a dynamic rigging system as well as fast assembly of the set.

The 3D modeling techniques were used to generate the unfolded forms with the CNC router and were then used as patterns to re-assemble the pieces. Once all modules were attached, the cover was positioned in the space with ropes and winches. The illusion of ‘thickening’ the surface to become volumetric, rather than a thin sheet of cardboard, created ambiguity in what the roof construct was made of and how it was built. Through the overlap of structure and skin, or object to territory, the construct took on many different behaviors and qualities during the performance.

Project Credits
Dance Choreographer: Tere O’connor

Stage Set Design
(aptum architecture)

Students Interns:
Gaelan Finney-Day, Kevin Jele, Brian Vesely

Photo Credits: Julia Cervantes

Performance Venues
Cover Boy was an ongoing performance showcased at the following prestigious dance venues:

2014 Kiplinger Theatre, Cornell University
2013 Jacob’s Pillow Dance
2011 St. Marks Church At The Bowery

Publications (print and online)
2011 New York Times (Claudia Rocco), Nov. 14
2012 Weheart Jan. 1
2012 Frame Magazine Jan. 7
Publications cont. (print and online)
2011 Andy Horwitz, Culturebot Dec. 11
2011 Gus Solomons Jr, Solomons Says... Dec. 9
2011 Deborah Jowitt, Dance Beat Dec. 16
2010 Melissa Mitchell, Newswise Jan. 17

Conference Proceedings
2015 ACADIA Conference
ACSA 103rd Annual Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, 20% acceptance rate for projects

Poster Exhibition 2015 ACADIA, Opening: 10.2015
Poster Exhibition, ACSA 103rd Annual Mtg 3.19.2015

Tere O'Connor

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