Seniors share their choreographic process

The senior BFA dance majors have been hard at work since September creating solos and groups pieces to be performed at the Fall Senior Dance Concert on Nov. 13, 14 and 15 at 7 and 9 p.m. The performance will be held at the Shirley Wimmer Theater in Putnam Hall. Each senior shared a little insight into what it was like to choreograph their senior piece and how it feel to be a senior in the program.

“Seeing my vision come to life on stage is surreal. It’s a little overwhelming once the process of choreographing a piece begins, but I have been taught to use so many different tools in the creative process. I am proud of my work, and excited to present it as my step into the professional world.” -Becky Sebo

“What a whirlwind! It’s so cool to put in to perspective all that we have learned the past three years. It’s been an exciting (and sometimes frustrating) process to watch my senior piece develop. I feel so supported and consistently pushed to take my work to the next level.” -Bethany Logan

“It’s hard to use all of your comp tools to make a solo–you’re inside it, so you can’t see the movement or your own performance to know how to coach yourself. It’s a great exercise in self-discipline and motivation and you have to learn to have faith in yourself and your decisions.” -Leah Crosby

“These last three years have been quite a process. There have been hard times, some easier than others. Doing my solo forced me to work from the inside out. It caused me engage the different disciplines we have learned over the years and be responsible for own self.” -Curtis Johnson

“Getting to this place of being a senior and stepping into the role of ‘almost professional’ to make work for an evening length concert is a big leap of faith, but I have been well prepared. The program has exposed us to some pretty spectacular dance, choreography, performance groups, and opportunities. We’ve been asked to take risks and every year I find myself adding something new to my ‘dancer toolbox’. I’ve increased my knowledge of my own body, grown my artistic self (in ways I never thought possible) through challenging composition classes and concert performances, shared my love of dance with others through instructing non-major courses, and developed wonderful professional relationships with encouraging and dedicated faculty. I entered the Division of Dance with one interest and one dream and will now leave with hundreds. I have been transformed from dancer to artist: versatile, hungry, and equipped for the next part of the journey.”-Kaitlin Flynn

“It’s been a crazy experience with a lot of ups and down and self-discovery. You have to be prepared and willing to put yourself out there for everyone to see, it can be a really vulnerable and difficult place to be. You have to learn how to keep your own artistic voice present and out there but also be willing to keep alive the feedback that you receive and I think, personally, that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned while I’ve been here and especially this semester. Although it can sometimes be a struggle figuring out how to keep both sides alive and not let it overwhelm you, you also are fortunate to work through all of this in such a supportive community. The people who surround you, from the professors to the younger students and especially those in your class, are the ones who keep you encouraged and understand how difficult and beautiful this process can be and they constantly remind of that.” -Annie Scott

Posted in Dance | Leave a comment

Performing This Weekend: Oct. 24-26

Groundworks Dance Theater:

Photo via Groundworks Dance Theater

This Cleveland based dance company will be performing new works by David Shimotakahara and Artistic Associate Amy Miller, as well as commissioned work by nationally and internationally acclaimed choreographers including Ronen Koresh, Dianne McIntyre, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Jill Sigman, Gina Gibney, David Parker and others. Performances will take place at the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare. Tickets range from $10-25. For more information check out ohiodance.org 

BalletMet: Innovations

Photo via BalletMet

Innovations is a collection of contemporary dance works by three

exceptional choreographers—-Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Matthew Neenan and
Brian Enos. Visit www.balletmet.org for more information. The show will run through Nov. 8 at the BalletMet performance space in Columbus.

Opera Columbus: Pagliacci

Photo via Shadowbox Live and Opera Columbus

“Crazed clown murders wife in front of live audience!” Experience Opera Columbus’ presentation of Pagliacci as an hourlong, abridged, English-version performance in one of Columbus’ best casual and comfortable environments. The show runs through Nov. 2 at the Shadowbox Backstage Bistro. Tickets cost $10. For more information visit  http://www.shadowboxlive.org/shows/pagliacci

Posted in Dance | Leave a comment

Nathan Andary: Teaching in Motion

“Hmmm”

Eyes squinted, head cocked to the side, fingers pressed over his mouth, dance professor Nathan Andary sighs while watching his students perform the choreography they have created with careful intensity, occasionally uttering an “oh wow” or “beautiful” under his breath.

“Do it one more time, and really perform it. Don’t drop out,” Andary says as he coaches a freshman dance major through her choreography sequence. Andary tells the students what to think about to enliven their performance, whether it is a specific quality of movement or how their breathing affects a particular movement or shape.

Andary became a fulltime faculty member of the Dance Division at Ohio University at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year after spending two years as a visiting professor. He teaches a variety of classes in the Dance Division from Composition to Laban Movement Analysis to Senior Seminar. Each class requires a different approach but one thing stays the same: Andary’s commitment to himself, his students and the field of dance as a whole.

Andary started out as a “little bumpkin from Kentucky” pursuing a dance degree at Ohio University just as his students are now. After graduation he moved to New York in search of professional dance opportunities. He encourages his students now to explore career opportunities and internships to expose themselves to new opportunities in the field.

“I was so afraid of going to NYC because there’s so many people, and I thought ‘Will I measure up?’” Andary says. “But I did, and I do and you will.”

Andary later started his own dance company called Andary Dance, originally based in Providence, Rhode Island. He then moved the company to Boston in search of more competition among dance artists and a different aesthetic.

“Providence is a beach community and when you live at the beach, everything is chill. Life is a beach,” Andary says relaxing into his chair, reflecting the atmosphere of the beach with his body.

Even after moving the company, Andary was still experiencing a lack of creativity and passion for his work.

“I wasn’t feeling like I was being fed artistically. I was really at a crossroads, so I quit my job and joined the Laban program.”

Laban Movement Analysis is a way of analyzing and describing specific body movements created by dancer and theorist, Rudolf Laban. Laban also created Labanotation, which is a language that describes specific movements so they can be written down and recreated.

“Among its many contributions to the study of dance and movement, Laban Studies provides a language on which to build movement observation and description skills for performance coaching, teaching in dance, sports and other movement, and use as a creative tool,” says Madeleine Scott, director of the School of Dance, Film and Theater. “Its reach extends beyond dance to theater, sports, and rehabilitative applications to training.”

Andary is currently the only faculty member teaching the Laban Movement Analysis course.

Becoming a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA) gave Andary new perspectives and allowed him to get his creative juices flowing again.

“It opened up so many new worlds of thoughts and perspective for me and so many deep meaningful connections in the body and the work that I had already been doing. It justified what I had been doing internally and intrinsically,” Andary says.

Laban is a growing field of study in dance and is becoming more and more popular in college-level dance programs.

“Give me more twist through the torso,” Andary says as he demonstrates a shape from a student’s choreography sequence, using Laban language to get the students to understand the spiraling concept he is working on with them. The student mimics Andary, trying to recreate the movement in her own body.

“It really makes a difference, it’s more than just a shape.”

Although Andary no longer maintains his own company, he still continues to create and perform professionally in what he calls “Nathan’s Projects.” Over the summer he worked with sophomore dance major Holly Goldberg in two performances in Massachusetts.

“Working for him gave me the experience of what it is like to work as a professional,” Goldberg says.

Andary has also been working with Class of 2014 alumna Tori Casagranda since she graduated in May. Casagranda and Andary are working on a solo that will be performed during Andary’s piece for the annual Winter Dance Concert in February.

“Because of Nathans help, I have been able to deeply embody the material in a way that I never have before,” Casagranda says. “It has been a rewarding experience that I am very grateful for.”

Goldberg also says that Andary has the ability to see something that no one else does and brings new perspectives into his work.

“He is always generous with himself and his time for his students or for his dancers,” Casagranda says.

Andary’s generosity extends beyond the students he teaches in the Dance Division to the residents in the residence hall where he lives in as a part of the Faculty in Residence Program. Andary lives in the Reed-Johnson complex but he also works with the residents in Lincoln Hall.

“Providing curricular opportunities in the residence hall or in the residential area breaks down not only the division of faculty and student and makes it more accessible, but allows for the learning to happen anywhere. It doesn’t just have to happen over there on that side of campus or in that building or in that classroom. Living and learning partner with each other. They are not separate,” Andary says about the FIR program.

In his three years in the FIR program he has provided opportunities for students integrate the principles of dance into the everyday student life with meditation sessions, dorm room workouts, and weekly bike rides.

At the end of class the freshmen gather around Andary for some last-minute notes.

“I’m so happy with you all,” Andary says, his face glowing with pride.

Andary is a part of the students growth from the time they are freshmen, just beginning their journey as collegiate dancers, to the time that they are seniors about to enter the professional world. His desire for them to succeed constantly pushes him to become a better teacher, mentor and dancer.

I think it’s obvious that there is a level of passion and a level of commitment and a deep-seeded need for excellence that comes out of what I have been saying,” Andary says.

Looking around the room, making eye contact with each student, he smiles warmly at each.

“I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing and I wouldn’t be so in love with you all if I didn’t. You will make it, I know.”

Photo via Ohio University Dance Division

Posted in Dance | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Performing this Weekend: Oct. 17-19

Don’t miss these wonderful and diverse programs this weekend!

No Boundaries: RED Company real.edge.dance.

Photo via RED Dance Company

Akron’s professional modern dance company RED will present their annual fall concert at the University of Akron Oct. 17-19. General admission is $20 and $15 for seniors and students. For more information visit RED’s website at  http://www.realedgedance.org 

Get the Led Out: The American Led Zeppelin

Photo via Cincinnati Arts

This Philadelphia based rock group mimics legendary band Led Zeppelin. The performance will be at the Arnoff Center in Cincinnati on Oct. 17. Ticket prices range from $33-$46. For more information click here.

 

Posted in Performing This Weekend | Leave a comment

From Israel to Athens: “Dancing in Jaffa”

“Dancing Jaffa” tells the story of ballroom champion, Pierre Dulaine, who returns to his birthplace of Jaffa to teach a dance program for children. The children in this divided community must learn to get along and dance together. The film will be showing on Thursday, Oct. 16 at the Athena Grande in Athens, Ohio.

The film showing is presented by The Movement Organization and Bobcats for Israel. The two organizations came together to get free tickets for members of their organizations. The general public can also buy tickets for the event as well.

“”This film is a great opportunity for OU students and the Athens community to see how the arts, and in this case movement, can bring people from all different cultural, political, or geographical backgrounds together in harmony,” Grace Nicklos, president of The Movement Organization said about the film.

See the trailer for the film below:

Posted in Dance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

International artists take the stage Oct. 11

The fifth annual “Global Excursions” will be performed on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. following the week long World Music and Dance Festival, celebrating music and dance from all different cultures around the world.

This year’s concert will feature a variety of guest dance artists and musicians from all over the world including first time visitor to Ohio University, Nii-Tete Yartey, Artistic Director of The National Dance Company of Ghana. Yartey has been teaching African dance workshops all week. He will be performing a solo piece and students who attended his workshops will have the opportunity to perform a traditional dance from Ghana called “Fume Fume.”

Sashar Zarif, a multi- disciplinary artist from Toronto, Canada will also be performing a solo in the concert. Zarif’s style comes from a variety of cultures including Iran, countries in the middle east and Russia.

Musical performances by Mark Stone, Talavya tabla ensemble, Rushi Vakil, and New Directions will also be part of the program.

The show is directed by professors Zelma-Badu Younge and husband, Paschal Yao Younge. The two take pride in being about to provide students of Ohio University with new cultural experiences.

Tickets are free for students who present their OU ID at the door. For more information visit the Division of Dance website or the OU Performing Arts Series website.

Posted in Dance, Music | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Performing This Weekend: Oct. 10-15 (Extended version)

This weekend’s most exciting performances won’t begin until next Tuesday so enjoy this extended version of Performing This Weekend.

The Lion King

Photo via CAPA

One of the most beloved shows on Broadway is coming to Columbus on Oct. 14. The show runs through Nov. 9 at The Ohio Theatre. Spectacular costumes, songs and dances will leave you feeling like a child again watching this Disney classic. Show times and ticket prices vary. Click here for more information.

Golden Dragon Acrobats

The Golden Dragon Acrobats will be performing at Templeton Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium in Athens, Ohio on Wednesday. Oct. 15 as part of the Ohio University Performing Arts series. This group astounds audiences with the best of both traditional and contemporary chinese dance. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 for students, $18 for seniors and $20 for the general public. For more information about the Performing Arts Series, click here.

Motown the Musical

Photo via PlayhouseSquare

Motown the Musical follows Berry Gordy’s journey to become a heavy weight champion through song and dance. The musical features favorite musical numbers of the popular Motown era. The show will be playing at State Theatre in Cleveland from Oct. 3-19. For more information and ticket prices visit http://www.playhousesquare.org/events/detail/motown-the-musical.

Posted in Performing This Weekend | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment