Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Home Project

A video about the Michigan State University dance department and their creative movement workshops with Peckham Inc. for the 2012 Repertory Dance Concert.

Photos/Interviews/Video Production by: Abbey Moore

Music: Adele - Hometown Glory (Instrumental)

Dance Minors in San Francisco!

I first want to apologize for the tardiness of this blog post. Back in early March during Michigan State University's spring break, four dance minors; Colleen Synk, Tricia Gordon, Kristen Eisiminger and myself traveled to California with Sherrie Barr to present at the 2011 HERA Conference. The conference, which was called "transformations" is part of the Humanities Education and Research Association which calls itself a professional organization for humanities teachers, scholars and museum directors.

My three colleagues and I presented a workshop with the purpose of sharing our strategies of translation that drove our choreographic and dancing endeavors in the 2011 Orchesis Student Dance Concert. The participants of our workshop (who were mostly non-dancers) experienced activities mixing everyday movement and language to understand the different experiences each of us discovered while choreographing and dancing. These experiences varied from working with memories to create movement, to building a community and relationship with those you are dancing with.

The workshop was a complete success and we received a lot of feedback on our ability to articulate exactly what our process was and how we learned and progressed throughout time.
Once the conference was over we were able to explore the city of San Francisco.

Here are some images from the trip that I truly think show the beauty of the city as well as the fun that we had while in (my favorite state of) California.

The whole group before getting on the historic cable cars!
Sherrie's red shoes walking on some interesting pavement!

A view of the nightlife in San Francisco.

Kristen, Colleen and Tricia outside of a graffiti wall in the Castro area of the town near where Harvey Milk had his campaign.

Colleen's delicious looking tofu/avocado salad!

A closer look at the Ghiradelli chocolate we purchased after walking through the gift shop of the factory!

Sherrie and me outside of the cable car!

The whole group at the highest point in San Francisco! This is quite impressive that we made it this far after being so tired and having two injured persons with us!

The four us outside our first REAL glimpse of some green grass!

Welcome to China town!

A really cool breakdancer that we saw outside of our hotel.

Tricia and I getting antsy after going over our speeches for the workshop.

Kristen and a quick glimpse at the beautiful hotel we stayed at, Hotel Whitcomb.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

State News Coverage

This week the dance minor received some great attention from the student newspaper, The State News.

Click HERE for an article written about the concert that took place last weekend, "United: Dancing & Moving"

Click HERE for an article about the newly implemented Dance Minor program.

Click HERE for a video about Scott Stafford and his passion for dance.

Click HERE for a video of the flash mob that took place Monday February 8 that dance minors Scott Stafford and Lyndsey Korte choreographed.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Theatre and Education Residency - Winans Elementary

When the theatre students of the "Space Station 3G" ran into the elementary students classroom buzzing about their future venture into the unknown, it was apparent that the sense of reality the theatre majors had created for the younger students was working. These pictures document Day 2 in Barb Knighton's classroom at Winans Elementary. Knighton, along with the other elementary teacher Gini Larson have been absolutely thrilled with the work. Both teachers have commented to Joni Starr on how they enjoy watching their students engage in learning in a different way. They have spoken to individuals who don't usually participate fully as being right in the middle of things and contributing effectively. Starr is equally proud of her students. "I m very proud of my students and their commitment to the work," She said. "It is difficult to simultaneously balance the skills of actor and teacher and to facilitate students from the inside of dramatic situation, but they are performing beautifully." The theatre students returned to Knighton's class on Thursday, Dec. 9 to complete Day 3 of their residency. The audio in this video is of teacher Barb Knighton taking part in the activity and reading a letter to the students from "the founders" of the Space Station. She gave an inspiring and believable speech that ended Day 2 with a bang.

Nov. 13 Orchesis Showing

To ensure that the Orchesis Student Dance Concert is a continual learning experience for both the cast and choreographer, the students involved are all participating in three different showings to share, discuss and receive feedback on each piece. Two respondents who are immersed in the dance world were invited to MSU and gave feedback to the choreographers and dancers at the first showing which took place on November 13. Alison Woerner, a visiting assistant professor of dance at Oakland University, and Heather Vaughan-Southard, a dance professor at Everette High School in Lansing and previous choreographer for MSU Repertory concerts, provided feedback at the showing. Through the use of constructive feedback they challenged the students to ask themselves questions about what is or what is not working in their piece. They told choreographers what they saw and gave them things to think about for the future rehearsals.

Rehearsals for this concert started in September and the dances have been continually evolving. These showings are just one aspect of the choreographic process of the concert. For many of the choreographers (myself included) this is the first time we have crafted a dance. The feedback provides us with a fresh pair of eyes to view the dance and give thought provoking ideas and questions to ask ourselves. A second showing took place December 5 and the last showing will take place January 22. This is the first year that three showings have been utilized in the completion of the concert.

Megan McDowell - Arts Bridge Scholar

Megan McDowell is a senior Theatre BFA student at Michigan State University. McDowell is part of the Arts Bridge Scholar program, a national program placing University students in local schools to integrate the arts in everyday learning. She is placed at the Heartwood School and Capital Area Career Center in the Ingham Intermediate School District working with young adults with special needs. The individuals she works with range between the ages of 14 and 25. As a part of her time in the field McDowell and the students will be putting together their own rendition of "The Wizard of Oz" in May which will be performed for the student's parents. Along with putting together the final performance, she also helps the students to express themselves through theatre as they use their imagination to explore and discover more about themselves.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sam Gould - dance accompanist

Sam Gould, a MSU College of Music graduate student, spends his Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings in the dance studio of IM Circle where he is a dance accompanist for Sherrie Barr. This is not the first year that Gould has worked in the dance studio with Barr, he also worked with her for two years at Grand Valley State University. When asked if he liked working in the studio he replied, "It's probably the best job in the world." Gould and Barr work together to challenge the dancers to learn more about dancing through musicality. When asked if it's like having two teachers in the room at the same time, Gould said "definitely."