Chapman University Department of Dance  kicks off the spring 2023 semester with Works in Progress (WIP), a studio performance showcasing the choreography of B.A. sophomore students. Each piece explores different movements through space, styles, stories and energy. We reached out to sophomore student Bella Murrieta who is double majoring in Dance and Public Relations, Advertising and Entertainment Marketing to discuss her process of choreographing leading up to WIP. 


Bella Murrieta Head Shot

Bella Murrieta, ’25

There are no set ways that every choreographer has to follow to choreograph in the dance community. There are techniques that can be taught but each individual develops and discovers their own process. When Murrieta begins choreographing she likes to experiment with visuals and traveling sequences envisioned in her mind. Instead of having strict, planned choreography, she chooses to go into the space and let the moves come to her. Although partner work can make the choreographic process slower, she finds it aids experimentation and original movements. She likes to find passion to tell a story with out-of-the-box movement. With a broad training in different dance styles, she tries to combine and overlap to generate innovative movements. Her choreography tends to be grounded in energy and challenges shifts in that energy. In terms of combining music to her work, she prefers to find the music and translate the feelings into movement. Murrieta described this to be her current choreographic process but is eager to continue to learn more styles and techniques throughout her career.


For Works in Progress, Murrieta’s piece presents women who have been villainized by the media, twisting a woman’s words, actions and motives. The dancers are the women who decide to lean into their vile reputation that the media created to proclaim they are the anti-heroes. The piece is satirical and exaggerated. She draws from the specific role female celebrities have within society. The celebrities are the ones scrutinized and objectified by the public eye on their characteristics both physical and other. Murrieta hopes that her movements emphasize the false persona these women use as a marketing tactic that becomes their real-life identity and enforces femininity. 

Join us at the new Sandi Simon Center for Dance on February 2, 3, or 4 at 7:30 p.m. for Works in Progress. Tickets are $5. The show is directed by Robin Kish, Julianne O’Brien, Tomas Tamayo and Amanda Kay White. See the choreography of Bella Murrieta and her peers for the first show in our new facility!

CLICK HERE for tickets.