Our Spring 2022 students are here and they’re diving right into everything the ADA has to offer! Read on to hear all about what physical theatre students Emma, Jordan and Madeleine and dance student Hayden have to say about their experiences so far.
Jordan Greenbaum, Muhlenberg College
Semester Physical Theatre Program
Last Tuesday, Monica Capacci, Accademia dell’Arte’s lovely Director of Admissions and Student Affairs took us on a historical tour of Arezzo. We made a stop at the Cattedrale dei Santi Pietro e Donati and learned about how it was built. We looked at several ancient buildings and statues, got to touch the last remaining Etruscan structure in the town, and learned about the rich history of the Medici family. We also stopped in front of one of two original wooden calendars remaining in Italy which was pretty cool! As an added bonus, Monica pointed out the store Sugar, which has been rated the most beautiful store in the world. We were sad to find out everything in the store was more than we could afford. We were then left to explore the town on our own.
Lessons Learned from a Student at Accademia dell’Arte (thus far…)
Emma Luxemburg, Wagner College
Semester Physical Theatre Program
● Take your time at meals. Meals in the mensa (dining hall) are one of the best aspects of ADA thus far. So why rush it?! Sit with new people, try new foods, and don’t be afraid to ask for seconds!
● Write in your journal as often as possible. Yourself ten years from now will thank you.
● Italians do American food better than Americans.
● NOBODY does Italian food better than Italians.
● Bruises aren’t always a bad thing. Who knew physical theater was so…well…physical?! With that comes adjustments and most definitely some bruises. No need to be embarrassed, but rather wear it as a badge of your hard work and dedication in class.
● Nutella biscuits can do wonders. But who’s surprised…
● Learn to be selfless. Being a true ensemblist is a skill and it comes with prioritizing the group’s needs above one’s own desires or ideas.
● Learn to be selfish. As much as we work in an ensemble in class, when it comes to your individual needs and desires outside of class, don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself.
● Frizzante means sparkling. Keep this in mind when purchasing water.
● If you can’t hear your own instrument in a 20 piece band, don’t play. Take it as an opportunity to listen to your bandmates, appreciate what they are creating, and when the time is right, join in with what you can contribute to the collective song.
● Embrace the opportunity to make lifelong connections. As much as the classes are what we all come to ADA for, we stay for the people. Knowing this, make it really hard for yourself to leave at the end and make friendships you will cherish long after this
● You can never have too much pizza and pasta. Bold, I know. But I plan to circle back in a few months from now to see if this statement still stands…
● It is so liberating to be in an environment not based on approval from others, but approval from yourself.
● A true leader knows both when to lead, and when to empower others to lead.
● Fettuccine Alfredo does not exist in Italy. Take it from me…I learned this hard way…
Madeleine Bedenko, Boston University
Semester Physical Theatre Program
The mornings here are chilly, and it takes a little while for the sun to burn through the early-morning mist that covers the valley. It is overcast today, so I have little hope that the sun intends to burn through anything. The day begins with breakfast in the Mensa; I choose strawberry yogurt with corn flakes. Every meal comes with the most incredible orange I’ve ever had. Somehow whatever orange I open always exists somewhere between a bright orange orange, and a red blood orange. I am not complaining. It’s hard to find things to complain about so far. After breakfast, we make our way to the Teatrino, a small yellow building with 3 large windows and a rooftop terrace. The floors are cold, but the more people enter the room, the warmer it gets. We begin by finding our spines.
Everyone who lives and works in the villa sits on the floor as Alessio, the head of the Dance program, and Sam, the head of the Physical Theatre Program, lead us in an exercise that brings our awareness into the vertical spine. We spend time finding movement in the curves of the spine – discovering our torsos through intuitive motion. Then we are grouped together with a classmate or cohort, and we begin to move together, back to back. This eventually leads us up onto our feet, and we start to find a small community of practitioners to move with. I follow someone who’s following someone else, and as the group shifts its focus, everybody gets a chance to lead. Alessio introduces imagery that awakens our imaginations, and we play together in the space. The room is warm now.
Alessio and Sam bring us outside, facing the olive grove that rolls on below us. There is a hesitation as Sam leaps down the hill, bounding towards an end we can’t see. At first timidly, we begin breaking off one by one into the trees. I take a running start and jump down a small decline. The momentum pulls me forwards and I roll into a somersault. I do not stop. I run downhill, directly into the center of a clearing. People have started to gather. There is a drop-off directly in front of us that seems to be keeping us from going any further downhill. I veer to my left, and run full-speed towards a view I have only seen from the Mensa windows.
The view uphill is unbelievable. Curving vineyards, each topped with a simple square building – white and yellow. Miles and miles of unfamiliar flora. Cypress trees line the way up the hill, stretching always towards the sky. It is more than beautiful. I try to imagine it in the sun, in the Spring, in the snow. I take it in, memorizing it. I see another student a little ways away, facing the same landscape. Two of my classmates approach from behind me and we sit in the grass. We stay there for a while. Two more join us. We sit and watch and listen until one of us stands and breaks into a sprint, circling us. This brings some of us to our feet and a chase ensues. And even though I’m running faster than I can ever remember running, I can’t seem to lose my breath.
Hayden Hubner, Emory University
Semester Dance Program
È forte. È storicamente e poeticamente profondo. Voglio restare qui per sempre.
So much has happened in the past week and a half here at the Accademia. I found myself in Florence taking in a Botticelli painting that I spent months studying and writing about a few months ago, we walked to a vineyard 10 minutes from our villa and shared wine together as we got to know our classmates/collaborators, I saw a man riding his bike with a very large dog in his arms (balanced on the handlebars), I watched the Tuscan sunset that made the yellows of our rooms turn to a deep gold. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a generally an insanely heady person or if poetry is ubiquitous in Italy, but it seems that everywhere I look there is a wide range of emotion, history, and form. And… risotto……..