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I met Ari briefly while working with Kars on their senior project last fall. Between that experience and multiple recommendations I decided to ask Ari to be my lighting designer for my senior project which happened on the weekend of February 28. The project was one of the most stressful times in my life, a weekend I had been anticipating and planning since freshman year. Looking back I had no idea what was to come a few weeks later and I am so incredibly grateful that the show happened at all. Ari was extremely professional. I remember my first meeting with her was so wonderful that I went home and raved that I loved my lighting designer to all of my friends. She seemed to find a way to understand the concept behind my piece and even put it into words, which I hadn’t been able to really do yet. I wrote it down because it seemed so clear and simple “The break down of structure and then figuring out what to do without it.” She was so on board, so competent, hardworking, smart, and creative. Without fail, every time I got flustered or felt uncertain about my work, Ari always knew exactly what to say to make me feel as though everything would be okay. She went above and beyond, meeting me at odd hours to practice in the theater or talk to me about lighting. It was inspiring to watch her work. I’m sure I was a bit hectic to work with. I had a lot of ideas for the lighting and often had a hard time knowing what I wanted without a lot of trial and error. When I worried out loud about my lighting being too complicated or asking too much, she always said, “This is my job, I’m excited to do it,” and I knew it was true. I could see the passion quite clearly. I wasn’t the only one in the dance conservatory who was impressed by Ari and her abilities. The director of the program said the lighting really solidified my piece.  Ari lit projects for other dancers at Purchase beautifully. Everyone only ever had good things to say about her. The first week of March, the senior class met to discuss second senior projects, an evening of dance featuring a short piece by each senior. We all decided to ask Ari to light the show because of how impressed we were with her work. The last time I spoke to her I told her that while this show would no longer happen, I wanted her to know that we thought of her. It was so bitter sweet to hear that she had grown to love lighting dance. She had such an eye for it and I feel so honored to have been able to work with her and know her for the short time that I did. Thank you, Ari.

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