Ultimate Catharsis 1

Ultimate Catharsis 1
Created and Directed by Lily Selthofner
Edited Show Recording

Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30, 2024 in the Movement Lab at Barnard College – ninety minutes

Ultimate Catharsis 1 is an interdisciplinary, multimedia experimental performance art piece, with a dynamic cast of fifteen dancers, actors, and musicians — including both students and non-student collaborators — that lead us through a reclamation of Justice and Truth, amidst the sublime of love, divinity, and awareness. There’s a heavy content warning on this show, even though it is by no means entirely or largely negative, you should know that this show tackles a lot of heavy topics including sexual violence, institutional oppression at Columbia University, familial violence, and touches on some current events. While these topics are complex and painful, they need to be talked about and we are doing that through dance, music, poetry, and narrative, with beauty, towards providing a valuable and growth oriented audience experience, in the name of love. There are also mentions of suicide, homicide, mild flash warning, potential depictions of blood, and loud noises/screaming. Thanks for being here and enjoy the show.

Lily Selthofner – Creator/Director, Actor/Narrator, Dancer, Singer
Justine Dugger-Ades- Actor/Narrator and Dancer
Desislava Kremenlieva – Actor/Narrator and Dancer
Adara Allen – Dancer
Nadia Benes – Dancer
Marissa Caldera – Dancer
Asia Gross – Dancer
Eirik Peterson – Dancer
Daniel Weitz- Cellist and Singer
Maria Shaughnessy- Harpist
Justin Shaw – Guitarist
Ray Baker – Drummer
Izzy Pacenza – Saxophonist
Featured Audio:
Rory Bricca – Composer/Pianist
Jane Meenaghan- Composer/Instrumentalist
Sophia Ling – Lighting Design
Shannon Binns – Lighting, Sound, and Projection Operation, Photographer


Creative Dance Thesis Performance Recording

8th House

Choreography: Improvised by Lily Selthofner

Music: Before the Beginning by John Frusciante

Lighting: Sophia Ling

Date: March 21, 2024

Location: Minor Latham Playhouse, Milbank Hall at Barnard College

Thanks for watching! This is one run of my creative thesis, completed towards my Dance degree at Columbia University.

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Acqua Alta

Acqua Alta show program booklet

Full text – Lido

Images from the Show

Piano Music by Rory Bricca

Movement Lab Event Page

Acqua Alta 

Director, Choreographer, Dancer, Writer:  Lily Selthofner

in collaboration with the cast


Adara Allen

Marissa Caldera 

Nina Kulkarni

Lynn Wilcox 

Dancer and Singer: Maddy Manning-Bi

Dancer and Narrator: Moksha Akil

Cellist and Guitarist: Daniel Weitz

Narrator: Eric Butler

Composer and Pianist: Rory Bricca 

Composer and Musician: Jane Meenaghan

Singer and Musician: Makae Brieschke 

Lighting: Isabelle Cowen, Sophia Ling 

Costuming: Lily Selthofner, Adara Allen, Barnard Costume Closet

Venezia Scalzo film credits

Director, Dancer, Poet, Voice, Editor:

Lily Selthofner

Cinematographer: Anna Kasun

Composer and Pianist: Rory Bricca

Makae Brieshke – Vocal Composer and Singer

Special Thanks to Elizabeth Leake

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This project was made as a part of the Student Artist in Residence program of the Movement Lab in the Milstein Center of Barnard College

Acqua Alta is an interdisciplinary experimental performance art piece that wades through the waters of Venice, Italy, featuring a cast of eight student performers. Acqua Alta uses live ballet and contemporary dance, with live cello, opera in Italian and English, and spoken word accompaniment, as well as film, text, and visual arts, to bring contingent narrative vignettes into a labyrinth flow. Venice’s waters suffuse and lull as a linguistic, corporeal, and reflective motif: mortal and eternal, void and full, mundane and sacred, beautiful and putrid. Desire is mechanized as the decadent pain of acceptance — surrounded by undrinkable water, yet still finding solace and nourishment in the grandiosity of the everyday. Intimate and oceanic, Acqua Alta winds through Venetian canals, provokingly juxtaposed forms, emotions, and experiments of truth.

lily memosa copy 2

Space, Falling

Space, Falling is a collaborative and improvisatory performance by Lily Selthofner and Gladstone Deluxe. The work is centered around the transposition of pattern and rhythm from the sonic onto the spatial and sensory, and the exploration of extra-logical geometries.

Performed on May 8, 2023

Special thanks to Marjorie Folkman, Zosha Di Castri, Eva Thomas, and the Barnard Movement Lab


Disco Ball Funeral

Created April 2023

This project was made possible through the production and technical support of the Movement Lab in the Milstien Center of Barnard College.

Screened with live performance and installation as part of Performance Arts Course at the Undergraduate Arts Showcase in May 2023.

Catch Up

Created April 2023

Dancing on January 19, 2023

This short Screendance film was created for the Listening: An Ethnography of Sound Course at Columbia University

This project was made possible through the production and technical support of the Movement Lab in the Milstien Center of Barnard College


Caution Wet Floor

Caution Wet Floor

Exploratory response to questioning posed by choreographer Deborah Hay, excerpted from Using the Sky: A Dance. Made for an assignment in the Dance Composition: Form course at Barnard College.

Created February 2023.

Visual Art Component of Caution Wet Floor
Visual Art Component of Caution Wet Floor
Exploration: Pathways

Climbing, Lost by Lily Selthofner — poetry used in sound

Splash Again(st)

Sometimes people feel like fish out of water.

This short film and visual art piece are components of a performance art work exploring stillness, created for the Performance Art course at Columbia University.

Created February 2023.

Splash Again(st) Visual Art Component
Process — Thoughts on Stillness

Upward Spiral

Upward Spiral is an experimental Screendance documentary that navigates the subjective embodiment of selves, objects, and spaces, forging paths between aloneness and togetherness.

I created Upward Spiral to explore the subjectivities of embodiment that hover in the gaps between aloneness and togetherness. First, I worked with my cast members one-on-one to create single-shot films that explored how sacred objects, spaces, and routines are embodied within aloneness. Woven together, these individual experiences portray collective rituals and moods of identity and grounding – as represented by the “object-altar” – the materialities of embodiment.

I also collected 43 drawings, where I asked people to draw their response to the question: “How do you feel in your body right now?” During the rehearsal process, my cast and I explored how movement can influence, represent, and be inspired by the “body-drawing” lens of embodiment as a shared mode of articulation. We also played games and journaled to explore where the self changes between aloneness and togetherness – these processes culminating in a song and series of audio interviews in the film.

All together, the culmination of many subjective experiences, articulated progressively deeper through various mediums, guides the audience through a fundamentally human Upward Spiral towards a more articulately-embodied togetherness.

December 2022


CoLab Performing Arts Collective Fall 2022 Showcase

Pop-up: Screendance Showing


Satisficing explores resistance, interjection, and compulsion in everyday routines.

October 2022


Pop-up: Screendance Showing

Species Loneliness

In reflection of the COVID-19 pandemic, this video explores ‘Species Loneliness’ as defined by Robin Wall Kimmerer in Braiding Sweetgrass: “a deep, unnamed sadness stemming from estrangement from the rest of Creation, from the loss of relationship.”

Spring 2022


CoLab Performing Arts Collective Spring 2022 Showcase


This experimental dance film was made as an assignment for Text, Magic, Performance at Columbia University, relating to shadow puppet theater in Java, Indonesia, specifically Kala, the demon of time.

Created Spring 2022