Of all my years, the sophomore dance schedule was the most challenging for me. Sophomore year is tough overall. I have the theory that it’s the weed-out year. If you are not happy taking so many dance classes, then a dancing career probably is not the right choice. I would want to learn that sort of thing about myself sooner rather than later.
When I was a sophomore I took:
- Ballet Technique (2 semesters)
- Modern Technique (2 semesters)
- Jazz Technique (2 semesters)
- Pointe (2 semesters)
- Improvisation (2 semesters)
- Spanish and Slavic Character (1 semester each)
- Music Theory for Dance (2 semesters)
- Choreography 1
- Laban Movement Analysis
- Voice class (2 semesters)
- Butler Ballet (2 semesters)
- Costuming class
- GHS — Global and Historical Studies (2 semesters)
- American Lit 1
- Intro to Acting
- Honors Class: A Brief History of Love and Friendship
- British Lit 2
Basically, sophomore year was crazy. If you meet a sophomore dance major today, give him or her a hug. I’m told the School of Music is the same way. Sophomore year in the JCFA must be the equivalent of COPHS clusters. Maybe?
Laban class, unite!
As a wanna-be double major, I’ve dealt with my fair share of scheduling conflicts. I really dislike scheduling my classes, since often the process ends in frustration. As the semesters pass by and I fulfill more and more dance requirements, the frustration diminishes… and though scheduling my last semster of classes as an undergraduate still held a few “gosh-darn-it!” moments, it was much, much easier than scheduling during my sophomore year.
With only one semester left, I don’t have that many required classes unfulfilled. I plan to take:
- Ballet Technique
- Classical partnering
- Butler Ballet
- Theory and Philosophy of Dance
- English class 1
- English class 2
It looks like I will finish my Dance BFA degree (well, that was never really in question) and be just one class sort of obtaining my English Literature degree. The class in question? French.
When you major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, you must take six hours of a second language as part of your core requirements. JCFA majors do not have to do this. With a second major in LAS, however, I need six hours of French.
I visited France with my cousin. Does that count?
The sad part of this story? I’ve been confused about my requirements both for my dance degree and my English degree since the first semester. Part of this is my fault; part of it is not. Either way, it’s frustrating — especially since I thought by testing into a 300 level French class, I had fulfilled that LAS core requirement. Not so.
I somehow have three extra hours this spring (because I was confused about my dance degree plan, mostly), and I shall take a French class. And then what? Graduate just three hours short of my second major? Take French this summer and graduate a semester late? I’m not exactly sure how everything will work yet.
BUT THEN one of the English classes I planned to take was cancelled, and my dance schedule really doesn’t allow for many English class options… so I’m not sure still what my spring semester will look like.
Whoops, I thought the Tech Fast was last Friday — hence the post. Then I discovered it was this coming week, Nov 10-11, with supper/discussion on the 11th. Then I discovered I had oodles of things I’d forgotten to do, and this blog fell by the wayside.
Last Thursday-Friday, instead of being filled with Tech Fast merriment, was filled with Luna Negra festivities. Luna Negra is a contemporary dance company based in Chicago whose mission is to provide a platform for Latino choreographers. The company has three branches: Luna Negra to produce mainstream, large-audience works; Luna Nueva to present more avant-guard works; and Luna Ninos to show works specially created for children.
On Thursday, the artistic director of the company, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, gave a master class to the senior and Level 4 dance majors at Butler University. He showed us the class the company takes twice a week, his own creation of contemporary movement vocabulary coupled with music ranging from Beyoncé to what sounded like a German dance party. It was great fun.
Thursday evening, I attended a discussion with Mr. Sansano and the dancers of Luna Negra facilitated by Dance Kaleidoscope’s artistic director, David Hochoy. Friday night was the performance itself, with a pre-performance talk with Mr. Sansano and member of the Turtle Island Quartet (which performed the music to the second piece live, onstage) Mark Summer. The facilitators of this talk were the Department of Dance’s Derek Reid and the School of Music’s Richard Auldon Clark.
The show itself was wonderfully danced, with the choreography of the first and third pieces and the music of the second piece being especially well-received. If you have the chance, you should definitely try to see Luna Negra and/or the Turtle Island Quartet live!
I have loads of exciting things to tell you about… but the BCC’s apparently annual technology fast starts this evening and runs through Friday evening. I will turn off my phone and my computer (homework is excepted) and see what happens without the texting and constant communication college students so love.
The fast includes communication and entertainment technology. “Technology” is a pretty broad word, but I’m counting electronic entertainment/communication devices. Books are fine; iPods not…
You can read about last year’s Tech Fast here and here.
You can buy tickets for the Luna Negra concert at Clowes Memorial Hall this Friday, Nov 4 at 8 pm here.
EDIT: Haha, just kidding, Tech Fast is Nov 10-11… My bad, my bad.
I spend so much time talking about the Dance Department, I feel like I’m giving the other areas of the JCFA the cold shoulder. To remedy this — the Department of Theater.
The two most memorable Butler Theater shows I’ve seen are The Cherry Orchard (2010) and Phaedra (2008). I think Phaedra stands out because the story is fairly intense and the entire production played out on a large, wide staircase that served as the stage. I remember The Cherry Orchard production so well because we discussed the play in my Global and Historical Studies class. I read the play for the class, and I wrote a review of the Theater Department’s production.
What impresses me the most about the Theater Department is their willingness to engage more obscure works. I know they did The Photographer a few years before I began at Butler (you can see snippets here). One of the dance professors choreographed for the show, and I think some of the dance students were involved. I love the music for The Photographer… I would have gone in a heartbeat. This music is in my Favorites on Youtube:
I also love the Theater Department’s sets. Those I’ve seen have been gorgeous. If I remember correctly, the Cherry Orchard stage had white flower petals coming from its sides.
The Cherry Orchard, Butler Theater 2010
I know this post hasn’t been extremely organized, but if you want to learn more about Butler’s Department of Theater, just browse through the links below!
Collegian article about visiting artist — and the source of the incessant drumming coming from their third floor Lilly classroom…
Faculty and Staff
How to Apply