Arts & Community Research

I recently presented my community research project on the University Circle Neighborhood in Cleveland, OH at the May Environmental Professionals Network event. For the past few months, I have been researching this community’s assets and power structure as part of my Asset Based Community Development Class. I focused on studying the arts and cultural programming in the area and how that community asset has led to neighborhood growth and development. I really loved the opportunity to combine my passions of arts and community development through this project and further validate why arts are so important to the growth and sustainability of a community.

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BFA in Dance

On May 5, 2019, I graduated Summa Cum Laude from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and dual minors in Nonprofit Management and Society and Environmental Issues!

Credit: Jamie Benjamin

I am so grateful for these past 4 years of that have been full of learning, dancing, friendships, and memories; and I am so glad that I chose to spend these past 4 years as a Buckeye. After my first visit of OSU in 2015, I knew that this school was exactly where I wanted to be.

Now looking towards the future, I hope to continue dancing and also exploring my other passions of arts and the community. I will be taking this summer to solidify my path and make some decisions around dancing for the future. But in the meantime, I will be sticking in Columbus through May and continuing to dance with Hixon Dance. And in June, I will be headed to Chicago to work with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago for their summer intensive program.

“what the horizon looks like at 4:48 pm” – Senior Project

My senior research project, titled what the horizon looks like at 4:48 pm, was a choreographed solo that was presented during the Ohio State University (OSU) Dance Senior Concert. This piece served as an investigation into my self-identity, my relationship with the environment, and how both of those parts influenced my artistic voice. Finding a way to combine my studies in dance and environmental science is something that I have been seeking to explore since my first year attending OSU. I originally started as a dual major in both of those disciplines, and I have always disliked the fact that the fields felt so separate. Through this project, I sought to find the intersection of the two seemingly-separate fields by investigating how choreography can be used as a tool to express science-based concepts in a more personal or human way.

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The past 3 months

This semester has been filled with many performance opportunities, and here are some highlights from the past three months:

November: “Well of Pearls”, OSU Department of Dance Big 5-OH Motion Lab (MOLA) Performance

I had the honor to work with visiting guest artist André M. Zachery, artistic director of Renegade Artistic Group, on a new work for the OSU Dance Department’s Big 5-OH! It was such a wonderful experience to work in collaboration on this multimedia work and so great to work with the best cast in existence! I took a course last year that introduced me to multimedia performance techniques and the many possibilities that the Motion Lab offers, and it was great to see all the elements of dance + motion capture + graphics + sound + text + audience interactivity work together in this work. I loved that I was able to perform in a space where the audience was included in the performance. We performed this show 32 times, yet each show was unique because the audience and their energy gave weight to the outcome. What a great experience – I couldn’t have asked for anything better for one my last shows of senior year!

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Autobiography – Compositional Study

I was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, and what I remember the most is the physical environment. It is a beautiful place encircled by mountains with blue skies and red rocks. Though I was young and Las Vegas mostly lives in my memory, I still remember the richness of the land. I feel that my love for nature and the environment grew from being surrounded by and living in such a beautiful physical environment. Growing up, I remember playing in the dirt in my grandmother’s backyard for hours and loved learning about the plants and wildlife native to the valley. Trips to the nature center or one of the many state park werIMG_2319e very memorable events for me. My value of the environment came out of the physical space that I was in, and this value still shapes who I am today. My favorite places always seem to be related to nature. I see myself outside, surrounding by the sky and the surrounding environment. I believe that this place attachment forms a large part of my identity and gives reason to why my Autobiography study is centered around those memories.

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Intermedia Jam

The intermedia jam was an end to a culmination of history learned and acquired in this class. Entering the space, I was transported to a place that brought together our favorite elements of the course with artifacts and memories that were significant to our learning. These memories were brought into the space with audio clips our class had recorded, photos that our class had taken, and showings of our work and others’ through viewings. All of this added to the physicalization of the word “intermedia” and what it means to me.

To me, intermedia is a way of portraying of the world. I feel that the importance of inclusivity to intermedia, and the importance of identities is something that is salient to what I have learned throughout this class. Intermedia is not only a reflection but a form of communication.

 

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Expression through Intermedia

Intermedia is information {comma} expression {comma} building.

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Reflecting back on my first lab, I feel that I was very stunned by the ability to create and the tools at my fingertips. I had never worked in the medium before and was not very knowledgeable about what it necessarily was. I had seen a few Intermedia performances from students in department and was completely amazed by the ability to create a fully dimensional and immersive performance and by the many composition possibilities. I do not consider myself a choreographer – I find it so hard to express ideas through movement and adding infinite layers of possibility through multimedia seemed overwhelming. However, I was intrigued by this course, and I am very excited to learn how to create in different ways this semester. There is interest in seeing what I am able to do when bringing in aspects of digital technology and visual media to dance composition and seeing what channel opens for expression. Already, I have seen exponential growth with my knowledge in use of technology and artistry in correlation. Continue reading Expression through Intermedia

Composition – Final Study & Reflection

In making my final study, I have realized how much I have grown as a choreographer and dancer in this class. I found that I have learned so many techniques for generating and using movement material. All the lessons I have learned have found their way into the process of my final compositional study. I see my final study as a culmination of all the topics, discussions, and viewings of this course.

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Reflection on application of movement analysis concepts

Of the concepts that I have been introduced to in Analysis thus far, I am most interested in the area of Laban Movement Analysis. This concept is the most interesting to me because of its openness to interpretation and ability to be applied to all types of movement. Defining and describing the body, space, and effort qualities of movement are way more appealing to me compared to Labanotation or Motif notation. There is something about language that can closely capture the feel of movement and that cannot be translated into a score.

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