Joseph Ahmed (Theatre): The Accademia, more than any artistic community I’ve experienced, feels like a family. Living together, eating together, and of course working together. There’s a closeness between peers as well as between students and teachers that I’ve never experienced anywhere else. Back at school I might slog twenty minutes to a big building where a teacher whom I only see while in class will instruct me in a windowless black box. At the ADA, after practicing headstands in the light of the Italian sun, I go and eat a relaxing hour-and-a-half meal alongside the same teacher who just helped me lift my pelvis over my head. The classes have the sort of relaxed atmosphere that assumes a relationship among professionals, not an authoritarian hierarchy. Classes blend into eating, into travel, and slowly life as an artist becomes more than just an idea – it’s a here-and-now-feeling. Here in Tuscany I learn how to juggle, to do a handstand, to lift, to be lifted, to explode, to sing, to act, and more than anything, to live.
Emily Ancona (Dance): So far, our classes with Giorgio and Gianni have been most unique and different from my courses at home. Giorgio’s classes are intensely focused on moving organically and naturally in the space. Gianni’s classes are based primarily on traditional dance styles of the Mediterranean. These courses have given me a new, more holistic appreciation for dance.
Mia Alcorn (Dance): My classes with Gianni have definitely been the most unique from my classes at home. While teaching us Tarantella and other Mediterranean dances, he really focuses on the religious, emotional, historical, and cultural motivations behind the movement. Since most of the dances I have performed only have the the setting of their own story to follow, it is quite amazing to dance movement that has deep emotional roots.
Kyla Deichl (Theatre): Before I came to ADA I felt as though I had reached a plateau as an actress. I was no longer vulnerable as an actress and I was proud to perform for audiences. I didn’t question myself as much. Coming to ADA I knew I was going to start a new path towards a new plateau, which is what happened. I have completed my theater classes in college (I receive my diploma in May) leaving the ADA as my last undergraduate acting school! The classes that I took in college consisted of scene work (learning how to be a real person on stage) creating compositions, all the way to being duct taped to a wall in my underwear (experimental acting class). At the ADA the classes are very different, yet without my training from my college back home, I know I would be lost. I am able to incorporate the voice and movement work that I’ve learned and enhance it. I am surprising myself everyday here and learning about myself as an actress. Just working with other actors and dancers who have not attended my college has been it’s own class! At my college the actors never have the opportunity to work with the dance majors, so I never felt pushed to move in a different way like I do at the ADA. I know when I return I am going to be a much stronger actress and of course know so many fun tricks! I love going to class everyday, never knowing what to expect, its exciting and it keeps me on my toes!
Pictures coming soon!