This semester, I had the honor of being cast in Eddie Taketa’s original work “Onionskins, Opaques, Ox Bloods, and Pearls” for the Department’s Spring Concert (April 7 – 9, 2016). With a cast of twelve dancers including myself, rehearsals began at the start of the semester. A mixture of grades and training backgrounds, we entered into the studio with essentially nothing. We were starting from scratch with the intention of creating something as a group.
As a Freshman in The Ohio State University Department of Dance, I have gained so much from just these past two semesters. With fresh eyes and an open mind, I have learned from both faculty and my peers and have developed the tools to further myself as a technician, as an artist, and as a person. It has been a whirlwind, but one that I will always remember and would never trade for anything.
As a result of Spring Fever, we have begun working with the idea of landscapes in Composition I. Prior to Spring Break, we were broken up into to groups and assigned to develop our own landscape and to use such landscape in order to create a compositional score. Our landscape (to the Left), drawn by Hazel Black, was that of a country road: black road, power lines, grass, hills, blue sky – exactly what you would see when looking out your window on a long road trip.
In our study, we attempted to use the ideas of motion and time, showing the juxtaposition between a still photo and the moving image that it captures.
In February, our Composition I class with Daniel Roberts studied what it meant to derive inspiration and movement from still portraits and photographs. Of the many studies that we experimented with and performed, this particular duet which I performed with Alize Raptou sticks out to me as a moment which I began to find some new movement vocabulary.
In addition to being a Dance Major here at The Ohio State University, I have had the immense honor of dancing on The Ohio State University Dance Team (Ohio State Athletics). Aside from keeping me busy, this “double-dance opportunity” has helped to shape both my artistry and style in ways that I never would have expected. In taking technique classes through my major and increasing my performance opportunities through the team, I have been able to study both foundational movement practices while also delving into the commercial side of the dance world. As someone who is largely interested in the commercial dance field, this has helped me to grow physically and clear up the pathway which I would like to continue my studies in.
When we were assigned to create a Documentary, my team and I had just recently returned from UDA College Dance Nationals in Disney World. Immediately, I was determined to focus my Documentary on not only the Nationals experience, but my team experience as a whole.
There is something naturally peaceful about a garden. Regardless of where it is or what it holds, the colors and the diversity found within it leave one curious while also providing us with a step away from reality. In the case of David May’s Documentary, “A Place Like This,” the garden holds a similar symbolic meaning.
Until these past few weeks, I would never have considered myself a videographer. Even now, I would not call myself an expert. However, I feel that in creating “nohy-láb,” I was able to explore this medium and develop the essential skills needed to continue with it in the future. Final Cut Pro was a new frontier for me to adventure through, but I can honestly say that I enjoyed the process.
As I would consider myself and amateur videographer, I am always impressed to view pieces such as “Gravity of Center.” I find myself not only drawn into the movement and artistry of the dancers, but also focused on the camera angles and the “magic” which they create.
Specifically speaking to this film, I think the videographer was able to draw the viewer into the film through the use of close-ups. Often, these close-up shots would result in a change of either dancer or setting. Through zooming in on one particular area, a seamless transition was made, almost as if some sort of “trick” had been performed. In doing this, the zoom became a theme and, as a viewer, I was able to pick up on this. I knew to pay close attention when the camera was zoomed because I was eager to see whether or not another interesting change such as this would occur.
A hallway is a pedestrian space. The space is intended to perpetuate movement, incorporating organic aspects, and our artistic interpretations of those pedestrian habits.
Initially, the hallway’s structure inspired our phrasing. From the audience, the alcove corners catch one’s eye. The architectural design and pathway led us to create a phrase based on precision. We disappear and reappear using these alcoves; highlighting this architectural feature and adding dynamic to our movement. The movement is a series of arm gestures and usage of the wall as a partner. In the way that the walls hold the structured site together, the walls are the basis of our choreography and hold us up as we move – and further continue to support us as we improvise.
The improvisation exaggerates the original inspiration of the pedestrian movement, paralleling the unpredictable pathways and habitual movements of those who walk by. While keeping the original phrase as a guideline, we repeat, slow down, and add different dynamics and textures. In the way that our improvised choices reflect the organic-ness of the space, the pedestrians’ ability to choose their pathways around us reflects the organic nature that we originally focused on.
“My life is a series of eight-counts.”
This was the opening line to the essay that helped win me the title of 2014 – 2015 AmeriDance Dancer of the Year.
Music has been a large part of the past four years of my life. Throughout high school, I became more involved in the Musical Theatre scene – performing in our high school Show Choir, the Fall Musicals, and even receiving solo voice parts in a variety of performances. Although reading music still is not my forte, it has helped me to better understand tempo and meter, something that I had previously just referred to as “the beat.” It helped me to develop a better sense of appreciation for the music that I move to, and the work that goes in to creating that. These past few weeks in Freshman Seminar have further helped me to grow in my musical knowledge.