We can’t believe our undergraduate Physical Theatre and Dance students are already approaching the halfway mark of their semester here in Italy! As they reach this pivotal moment in their studies, we asked them to tell us their “break-through” stories: moments where they overcame a personal or academic challenge, gained valuable perspective, or developed in a critical way as an artist. Read on to hear from Laura, Nicky, Sydney, Sean, and Vassileia!
Laura Mullaney: Physical Theatre (Muhlenberg College, PA)
I think that my “break-through story” here in Arezzo hasn’t necessarily been one moment, but rather the culmination of a series of moments that truly have shown me the magic of this place. It also happened when I realized that this was my story in Arezzo, and it was going to be different than the ones that I had heard about from the people that came here before me, and that’s what’s so incredible.
For me, being a performer involves gathering training from everywhere you can to create a well-rounded artistic experience. I think I really started to feel myself begin to grow as a performer when I realized how many different things we’re learning every day. I’m learning so many different things about what it means to be a part of an ensemble, and that’s an incredible part of getting to be a performer. Our Italian and Philosophy classes, while not performance based, have also provided me with a world -view that’s so different from my own. As an artist, it is crucial to open yourself up to new experiences and immerse yourself in new worlds.
Perhaps the biggest “a-ha” moment for me at ADA, and the moment that really made me realize that I could dive right into this experience was when I realized that the minute I stopped being fearful, was the minute I really started to learn. There are things that I am doing in class here that I never thought I would have been capable of months ago. This was also the moment I realized I had found such a supportive home here because no one wants to watch you fail. As Cliché as it sounds, it isn’t about succeeding on their first try here. It’s about the journey, and the people that are here supporting you every step of the way. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive community, and that’s what it made it so easy to immediately start creating together.
So, while I can’t necessarily pin point a moment where I can define it as my break-through, it was something I seemed to arrive at one day here. It came in the form of a newfound confidence. It gave me the courage to be the first one to volunteer for an exercise (something I rarely would have done back at home), or to walk into a store and practice my Italian, or to go to a studio and try something new. I know there are plenty of more lessons I’ll learn in my time here, and I can’t wait to watch us find new parts of ourselves both in and out of the classroom.
Nicky Leiter: Physical Theatre
Three notes and before me stands a face
Between our eyes runs dialogue beyond language
“come out sacred soul
come out through the layers of sugar, screens, and academic fear that coat you”
That’s the human moment
When someone looks back
And I continue walking through the space.
Sydney Burrows: Dance (Goucher College, MD)
This week at ADA, the dancers have been treated to a contemporary and partnering workshop. Each day of the week, we have had a three-hour class working on a high-energy modern technique as well as basic lifts and sharing weight with another dancer. This morning, I had a wonderful moment, while running through one of the combinations, in which I completely lost sense of where I was and what I was doing. While I was moving through the steps, I wasn’t thinking about what came next or how I looked or what specific corrections I needed to be working on. I was simply dancing, living in the moment, as cheesy as that sounds. My body is extremely fatigued from this week, but that somehow adds to this blissful feeling. While I have been here at ADA, my love for dance and art has grown exponentially. Of course I doubt dance as a profession when I think about the long hours and minimal pay, but being here has made me realize that I at least want to give it a shot. I have toyed with auditioning for companies before attending grad school, but since I’ve been here I never seriously considered trying to make it in the dance world. But if I get to dance everyday and continue to have incredible moments like I did this morning, it is most certainly worth it.
Sean McCoy: Physical Theatre (Boston University, MA)
The Most Wonderful Time of Year
I can only think of you
Swirling in my mind the
Way snow turns to rain
When the world heats up
By the prospect of spring.
A new beginning.
Blooming in the awakening of
The Sun and Moon and Earth.
True vulnerability is the allowance
Of myself to grow, to open,
When everything else around me
Stays closed, dormant.
Spring happens every year so that
The flowers can sing to one another.
Over here I can look
At the green in the mountains,
And though I cannot see it
I can understand it.
Vassileia Kazee: Physical Theatre (Boston University, MA)
ABROAD by vassileiafoxy: A Photo Blog Entry
Snapshots say a lot. Chanting with your squad says more.