We can never believe how fast the semesters fly by and fall 2016 has proven to be no exception. Having just returned from fall break, physical theatre students are currently immersed in Mask Making with Andrea Cavarra, while music students are welcoming Furman professor Mark Britt as their second guest faculty member of the semester. Read on to hear what the fall crew has been up to, both in and outside the classroom!
Voice Work: Dory Sibley and Kevin Crawford
Students are halfway through their Voice and Ensemble Performance course led by Dory Sibley. In this course, students systematically break down the definition of sound to discover their personal storytelling aesthetic and language. They had the opportunity to have a workshop with Kevin Crawford, one of the founding members of the Roy Hart Theatre Company and the Accademia’s Associate Director of Graduate Studies.
DORY: I have been working with Kevin for over 10 years and continue to be astounded by his presence as a teacher. He’s incredibly intuitive and knows how to bring the best and most surprising discoveries out of any student.
At this point in the semester, the students are starting to explore what stories they want to tell. They began with the rediscovery of breath and sound through various Fitzmaurice destructuring techniques moving into experimental voice and Roy Hart Techniques alongside ensemble building. This class is built to encourage curiosity about ourselves and our world in order to incite a dialogue and subsequently a building process that takes them far beyond their habitual patterns and fosters the formation of deeper choices.
Kevin Crawford, founding member of the Accademia, current director of MFA Cohort IV and MFA voice professor, joined the undergraduate students for a two-hour voice workshop in Roy Hart’s experimental voice methods. When asked about her experience in Kevin’s master class, Genevieve Wall (Muhlenberg College) said,
“I really enjoyed Kevin’s voice class. Both Kevin and Dory begin class with partner massages that help us warm up and bond with each other. I loved how we built up to a song– his “Spirit of the Wind, Carry me Home” song was a fun and simple way for us to incorporate the vocal technique he had taught us.”
Coming next week: Announcement of 2017 Summer Programs!
As one of their core courses of the semester, physical theatre students study movement with Nhandan Chirco. A former company member of the Jerzy Grotowski Workcenter, Nhandan gave us a look into her pedagogy for the movement course:
“We started triggering the creative needs of each student and the images or themes that actually matter to him/her by sessions based on associative process, starting from imagination and from relation to a concrete space. We are…exploring how a specific content could be shared by an individual action developed in a personal way. Students are invited to choose freely their means of expression and their language, discovering their individual bent in performance work.”
We asked Molly Cook (Goucher College) about her process so far in Nhandan’s movement course. She responded,
“Nhandan’s movement class has made me think about theatre in a new way. My favorite exercises so far involve tapping into the imagination by letting it lead you. By not restricting my imagination I have been able to better understand myself as a person and an actor.”
Led by Nhandan but also featuring many guest lecturers and screenings, the performance theory module is designed to expose physical theatre students to the major theorists and practitioners in the world of contemporary theatre. We asked Erin Paxton (Coastal Carolina University) about her experience in performance theory:
“The course has been fascinating so far because my classmates have all gone above and beyond with their presentations. We are not only well informed about the artist or topic they chose to research, but we also get to experience their work through interactive performances.”
This semester, we are thrilled to have Giangiacomo Colli teaching Commedia! From canovaccio writing to Italian theatre history to mask and character work, Giangiacomo is the resident expert. Sydney Watt (Muhlenberg College) describes her Commedia experience:
“Giangiacomo brings a strong positive energy and boundless commedia-related knowledge to our class. Students feel comfortable – nay, excited! – to take risks under his tutelage.”
What do you get when you add together one harpist, five vocalists, one oboist, two violinists, two pianists and a trumpeter? An evening of fine music! On October 13th, under the direction of Furman music professor Bill Thomas, twelve talented musicians filled the historic home of Petrarch in the city center of Arezzo with beautiful instrumental, vocal, and choral performances. Stay tuned on our facebook page for more photos from the showcase!
For the first time, this September we sent our physical theatre students and faculty to Spanski Borci in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, for a four-day intensive study tour. Accademia Founding Director, Scott McGehee, and Undergraduate Physical Theatre Program Director, Nhandan Chirco, reflect below on the value of the excursion:
SCOTT: Ljubljana was a great experience for both students and faculty. The city is truly a jewel but our involvement with artists and scholars who so warmly engaged all of us was the real highlight. I look forward to many return visits.
NHANDAN: The important tools of composition provided by Iztok Kovac in the Contact Improvisation workshop in Ljubljana, and the intimate discoveries allowed by Tomi Janezic’s Acting Principles and Psychodrama workshop in Arezzo and Ljubljana are integrated in the movement work, as great impulses into the creative process. This experience provided a huge development of the group dynamics and contributed in turning the student ensemble in a safe, challenging and fertile ground for collective and individual creative work.
Want to hear stories from students about the Ljubljana study tour? Click here to read their entry on the ADALife Blog!