After a somewhat harrowing arrival process due to the winter storm in the states, we are thrilled to once again have a full house, and to have begun a brand new semester here at Villa Godiola! With the first full week of classes underway, a few of our fabulous Spring 2016 crew have taken a moment to reflect on their goals for the semester, and where they envision themselves come April. Read on to hear from Carly, Lydia, Rafi, and Rhyver!
Carly Haig: Dance (Goucher College, MD)
This is real life. I’m in Italy, and it’s absolutely incredible! Mi chiamo Carly, sono studentessa di danza. That is about all the Italian I have learned so far and in case you are as clueless at Italian as I was before Friday, I said, “My name is Carly and I am a dance student.” (I think.) As my first week comes to a close, I find myself already feeling at home at this incredible villa, surprisingly feeling full despite having to fend for myself all weekend for food, and most of all looking forward to the incredible experiences that lie within the weeks ahead.
This is a very special place and I can tell that in this place I will be molded into a more artistically expanded, fearless, fluent-Italian-speaking (I can dream), version of myself. Throughout my journey at the Accademia, I hope to push myself to my limits and to find an even deeper passion for what I love most: Dance. I’m excited to get to know all of the other awesome people that are here even better and to learn from them as much as I know I will learn from the faculty. I am excited to explore Arezzo and beyond, explore myself as a dancer and a person, and to have the most amazing adventure imaginable. I am so grateful to be in this incredible place!
Lydia Utter: Physical Theatre (Boston University, MA)
Some simple goals for myself:
- Get strong.
- Feel the bern.
- Eat so much pasta.
- Be open to new experiences.
Things I’ve learned so far:
- Pesto is not for sandwiches. It is for pasta, and if you ask for it on a sandwich an old Italian man will yell at you and give you something else instead.
- You can cook most things in the microwave if you’re smart about it.
- Eggs are orange here.
- The best orange juice is red
- Running across a room can be a spiritual experience
- People really want to help you learn Italian.
- You can walk around town for hours and never get bored.
- Supermarkets are so incredibly cool. I found Romanesco broccoli and a pepper bigger than my face (which I bought and subsequently ate like a giant yellow apple).
- Every single cathedral is the most beautiful cathedral ever.
- I had tiramisu that made me cry.
- The cappuccinos from the vending machine are better than anything in the states.
- Why do I only know things about food?
- I lost the prompt, this is the best I’ve got. We also haven’t had much class yet, so I don’t know what to expect. But it’s been less than a week and I’m already in love with this place. I walk outside every morning and just sigh because I have no other way to deal with the incredible beauty of the land surrounding me. That’s all I have to say so far, this is a new experience and I look forward to knowing more every day.
Rafi Schneider: Physical Theatre (Macalester College, MN)
Hello erstwhile blog readers! My name is Rafi Schneider and I’m a Theatre major from Philadelphia, PA. Of course, now I suddenly find myself on the hills overlooking Arezzo, the Tuscan countryside, and a semester of (very intensive) theatre work here at the Accademia dell’Arte. And I’m slightly terrified. In a good way. I think. Back in the States, I attend Macalester College, a small liberal-arts school in St. Paul, Minnesota, and though I love my school and my theatre program deeply, with only about fifteen theatre majors (in all disciplines, including theory and design) there isn’t really an opportunity to do conservatory-style training. So here I am, writing this blog less than twelve hours from a physical conditioning class that has already kicked the crap out of me twice and will undoubtedly continue to do so well into the foreseeable future, which will then be followed by four hours of intense physical work and four more hours of academic classes.
I love it. I love the work we’re doing, I love the people here, I love the fact that outside my window is a field populated by grapes, olives, and (allegedly) wild boar. More than any of that, I love that I suddenly have the chance to study what I love all day, every day, in a place more beautiful than perhaps anywhere else on the planet.
Maybe in three months I’ll even be somewhat in shape.
Rhyver White: Physical Theatre (Boston University, MA)
As we walked up the stairs and into the lobby of the Accademia dell’Arte, or what I now like to call “HOME,” I felt my eyes widen and my heart open to receive any and everything that this program and city had to offer me. Family is one of the major influences and inspirations on my artistry, and based on the rave reviews of the Accademia – which have now proven to be far more than true – there was no better place for me to choose to spend this semester abroad. To have the opportunity discover a deeper understanding of performance through physicality alone is one thing, but to make this discovery in a room full of artists who are discovering with you is truly A GIFT! From beginning the program with an introduction to new family members and rekindling with ones from made back in the States, to ending it with a reintroduction to a whole new family of artists that have grown and evolved on our journeys through artistic development at the Accademia. Wow, I must say, I don’t think I could have been given a better 21st birthday gift, and to think, I have already fallen in love with just the first part of it…THE BEST IS YET TO COME!