From the Dance Program:
One jewel that I have come to treasure in the ADA dance program is that your work is beautiful so long as you are authentic and dive deep into it. No matter your technique level or your experience with improvisation or choreographing, as long as you are truly present and commit yourself to your performance, you will captivate your audience. A lot of dance is simply presence–you could be doing the simplest thing–even just being still–and the energy and focus you bring to yourself can be just as powerful as a high, perfectly executed leap. I cannot wait to work with peers back home to discuss and explore the presence of dance and art in everyday lives. My greatest wish is that I will have the opportunity to facilitate other dancers’ discovery of the feeling of ease within movement that I have always had within my own body in improvisation, but am evolving and now finding within other techniques of dance. ADA has given me the opportunity to delve into my inner artistic essence while expanding my foundation of skills. I hope to share this internal information by discussing my experiences here with other dancers I encounter and by being open and vulnerable around other dancers I get the opportunity to collaborate and interact with.
– Raven Nee
From the Physical Theatre Program:
One jewel from our physical theater training is the applicability of Commedia training to all types of acting. Commedia requires an intimate connection with the audience. This has taught us not to be afraid of the audience, to think of the audience as a friend. As Tommy Walsh put it,
“I didn’t know that much about Commedia dell’Arte when I first came to the program but since I’ve gotten here, I’ve learned how to think of the audience as a giving scene partner instead of people who are going to judge me. Instead of being inhibited by people watching, I can allow the audience to fuel the energy of the room and make the performance more unpredictable.”
Our Commedia teacher stresses that this work involves an intense amount of listening, both to your scene partner and also through interactions with the audience. Actors are frequently told to make big choices, but are rarely given the opportunity in performance to fully explore the potential of that choice. Commedia characters follow such a specific algorithm that actors and actresses must be hyper aware of their actions and intentions. Commedia characters operate at the most extreme end of the emotional spectrum; understanding this extreme gives us as actors the ability to access any point on that spectrum when exploring every type of theater.
– Claudia Jordan Ramos, Julia Rufo, Tommy Walsh
At the Accademia dell’Arte, dancer, actor, and actress alike are working towards the same goal: to become a more powerful performer. Dancers are working on being more in touch with their emotional selves, as well as discovering and improving their vocal and acting ability, while actors are learning to be in tune with their bodies. Each performance track works on honing ability and rounding out skills to make a more capable, potent, and emotional performer. Dancers are becoming actors, while actors are becoming dancers.