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About Me:

My name is Olivia and I am a senior at Butler University. I spend most of my time in Lilly Hall as a BFA Dance Performance major. When not in rehearsal or ballet class, I write papers for my English Literature second major. In my super-abundant, never-lacking, this-is-highly-sarcastic spare time, I attempt to cook in my apartment kitchen, watch Youtube videos of ballet, knit sweaters that never seem to come to an end, and read books both silly and serious. If I could take any class at Butler just for kicks, I'd go for DiffyQ.

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Posts Tagged “art”

A quick plug for I-Dance

Having worked with guest repetiteur Kevin Irving for the past two weeks in preparation for the Butler Ballet’s Midwinter Dance Festival, I wanted to put in a quick plug for I-Dance, the non-profit organization Mr. Irving founded in 2010.

With the intriguing mission of choreographic exchange between the U.S. and countries in Latin America, the organization strives to bring high quality dance teachers and choreographers into contact with some of the poorer or less-exposed regions of Latin America. The mission statement expounds on the need for an international community of dance and the important of broad exposure to global artistic trends.

Even though I-Dance is not affiliated with Butler University, I can’t help but feel a sympathy between the organization and a liberal arts mindset. I know I often wax sentimental (or wane, depending on your perspective) about the liberal arts, but I can’t begin to describe the importance of having a broad worldview, especially as an artist. We cannot make art in a vacuum, and just as all text draws its meaning from other pieces of text, so all art is, even if unwittingly, a reaction to other aspects of life (sorry, I guess I’m waning deconstructionist as well). Like literary scholarship, art functions as part of a wider and longer dialogue. I-Dance, committed to opening that dialogue with places which have been somewhat isolated from the artistic conversation, deserves some sort of liberal arts gold star.

Okay, I’m done mooning over inter- and intra-disciplinary conversation. You can watch this video now.

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Haha, jk; also, Luna Negra

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!

Halloween: How to make a bird costume

I was a bird for my Halloween potluck, and the costume was surprisingly easy and inexpensive. You need:

  • a bag of feathers
  • some fabric
  • hair pins
  • sewing materials
  • duct tape
  • tulle
  • ribbon/belt
  • brown leggings
  • brightly-colored shirt, long sleeves
  • brightly-colored skirt

I made a feather fascinator for my hair by sewing feathers onto a piece of plain white fabric. Then I pinned it into my hair. I’m most proud of this aspect of my costume, since an Etsy search for “feather fascinator” revealed some beautiful but scarily intricate creations. (See a crazy one here, also one here.)

Feather fascinator

Fascinator, front view, rotated oddly and the photo software not cooperating

Fascinator back view

I made the tail with some tulle which I bunched together, the longer pieces on the bottom. After sewing it fast at the top, I sewed the entire tail to a fabric belt I have and used that to tie it around my waist over brown-legging-bird-legs and skirt.

Tail attached to belt

Tail/belt close-up

The wings began as two strips of fabric sewn into rectangles. I duct taped feathers all along the length of the fabric, then sewed the wings duct-tape-side-down along the sleeves of the shirt.

A wing, flipped up

Duct tape/wing underside close-up

Wing sewed onto shirt sleeve and flipped down

For make-up I used:

  • False eyelashes, with two small feathers from my feather bag glued on the outsides of the lashes
  • colorful shadow and a precise make-up brush

You can sort of see the bird make-up in this picture...

 

And voila! You are a bird!

Summer at Butler: What I Learned

  • The “so hard to say goodbye” in “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5 can use a I V IV V I chord progression.
  • Fish tacos in Chicago make an excellent snack.
  • Welsh eisteddfodau: Grown men dress in bardic robes for the ceremony which declares the winner of the traditional-form, Welsh-language poetry competition. There is a sword involved, and the whole crowd shouts “Peace!” in Welsh.
  • Pianos are expensive.
  • BSI projects can be wicked cool: YouTube Preview Image
  • Both Howards End and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog are more entertaining than A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
  • If you leave your bike overnight at the IMA, the snack fairy leaves you a fruit bar.
  • Don’t use the recipe on the side of the cornmeal container to make cornbread, because it doesn’t taste very good. On the other hand, add a bit of coco powder to pancake batter, then some bananas to make chocolate banana pancakes. Heavenly.
  • Guerilla knitting happens.

    I saw this tree when I visited Downer's Grove during my epic trip to Chicago.

  • English publications generally don’t like papers over twenty-five pages.
  • Some species of sour cherries are self-compatible.
  • The GRE is a) necessary for grad school; b) expensive; c) changing and half price if taken this August or September; or d) all of the above.
  • Biking up hills is much easier when one’s bike is not stuck on the lowest gear.
  • Jude the Obscure is the most depressing book in the English language, and, as Jasper Fforde recommends, one should read it backwards if there is to be any chance of a happy ending.
  • G-protein receptors. They exist. You have them almost everywhere in your body.
  • ISIS stands for “Image subtraction, image subtraction.”
  • Straws aren’t so bad after all.
  • Euchre isn’t so complicated after all.
  • Don’t put potato peels down the kitchen garbage disposal. You’ll only clog the sink and render the dishwasher unusable for almost a week.

Art scholarship is cool

Art scholarship is cool. I had never really given it much thought, though I always enjoyed my trips to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The IMA is quite close to Butler’s campus, and I rode my bike there for the BSI event I attended last Thursday afternoon. Close proximity to a free art museum is one of the many perks of attending Butler University… (nudgenudge, I’m winking at you, prospective students whom I saw touring today in the Atherton basement. I was the one in the flowered dress smiling at you when the guide mentioned the ATM I was using.)

Anyway, for the IMA program a guide / art scholar gave a short talk; we then split into groups of threes and fours to make our way through a selection of six contemporary works of art. At each work, we wrote our initial impressions, research questions, technology connections, and queries for the artist. Afterward we regrouped, discussed, and were given ticket vouchers to attend some of the special exhibits.

Art scholarship can be cool. I never really felt engaged with artwork before, but the simple exercises we did have me raring to return and think more carefully about the work displayed. Thank you, BSI/IMA, for helping unravel the mystery of visual art.

When we reemerged after the program, the rain hurled itself to the earth not in drops but in bucket-sized sections. Biking home via the canal path? Even if my brakes worked while wet, the rain would reduce visibility too much. A fellow Butler student was kind enough to give me a ride home. We were soaked even from the short run from IMA lobby to door.

The rain abated, and the next day my roommate dropped me off at the IMA. (One can walk, though it takes a bit longer.) I biked back, though not before puzzling over the gift someone left for me.

(I just spent 45 minutes figuring out how to transfer this picture from my phone to my computer. Appreciate it.)

I found a fruit bar, apple, unopened, and squished from my bungee cord attached to the back of my bike. I poked it, and nothing exploded. Someone must have left it there overnight. But why?

This is a mystery I fear we shall never solve. The fruit bar is still on my desk, a week later. I somehow don’t want to eat it, but since it’s unopened I haven’t the heart to throw it out.

I’m not so cool

Sometimes, you want to go to Indy’s First Fridays event. Sometimes, open art galleries and talk and free humus and grapes are really cool. Sometimes witty banter, discussions of hipster, and mock battles are really cool as well. Sometimes, strolling down the sidewalks and admiring the architecture, the cupcakes in the bakery windows, and the random scupltures made out of tires is stupendously cool.

And sometimes, at the end of it all, you find yourself down in the dumps instead of uplifted, ready for a shower and sleep instead of a board game night, wanting to write about hybridized nations and postcolonialism rather than relax with friends.

Is this weird? Have I been spending too much time working, that I kind of, in a little way, prefer Anglo-Celtic writings to complimentary crackers, the quiet of an English paper finally unlocking itself beneath my fingers to the raucous wind in my hair, music in my ears, sun in my face? This is definitely not the usual sequencing, and I’m sure this pensive mood will pass.

Tomorrow we are working downtown with the Keep Indianapolis Beautiful project, which I’m looking forward to doing. This is a busy weekend, with several other events in the works. Here’s to a more energetic Saturday!

Off to chill with Jude the Obscure. That’s a good compromise, isn’t it?

The best of the Internet

High school seniors, I know you are still very busy. My own sister will graduate from high school this year, and she’s running all over the place. Last night, we went to her International Thespian Society program! So proud of my little sister.

So yes, you high schoolers are still in the thick of things.

Buuuut, for those of us in college who have been on summer break for a while, here’s my recommended collection of links for your spare-time, lazy-summer, viewing pleasure.

1. Yarn art. Juliana Santacruz Herrera fills Parisian potholes with yarn.

From http://www.flickr.com/photos/39380641@N03/

2. The periodic table of storytelling. Science, English, this has it all! Mary Sues? Check. Lovable Rogues? Check. Chekhov’s gun, Retconning, Fridge Logic, and Technobabble? Cheeeeck and check.

3. More yarn art, this time guerilla-style! “Yarn bombing” is a phrase used to describe guerilla knitting, the placement of knitted or crocheted pieces in a public place.

From http://yarnbombing.com/global-yarn-bombing-round-up

4. The ever-popular wooden cell phone commercial. It’s so oddly mesmerizing…

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5. Gender-neutral book titles. One of the Dalloways.

6. A blog with participative poems, doodle-y programs, games, applications… I can’t really explain it. You’ll just have to go there. I’ll leave you with this one since, if you are like me, you’ll be there for a while.

Summers are for…

Summers are for

waking up at 8 o’clock… then falling back asleep for another hour and a half.

walking to the library to read books containing knitting and magic tricks and French travel writing instead of nationalism and postmodernism and hybridity.

eating gelato at Deluca’s in Richmond.

wandering Maymont Park on a perfectly warm and light, yet cloudy (so neither squint-making sunny and nor uncomfortably hot) day.

viewing the Virginia Museum of Fine Art‘s Picasso exhibit until 10 o’clock at night. (Also, switching heels for flat shoes halfway through the African period.)

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trading the morning mug of black tea for one of white, since I don’t need the caffeine.

playing with my pet rabbits for hours on end.

realizing I’m now a senior in college.

Yeah. It’s happening. New college students, they tell you your years will pass by quickly. Believe the rumors.

End of the semester

Quick update on last week, with another, better post maybe to follow: Last week was production week. We had to help load in at the theater, then ran the ballet on Monday. I dropped the paper on which I was writing notes for a dance professor under the bleachers and had to finangle my way under them to retrieve the sheet. Embarrassing.

We ran the ballet on Tuesday in the studio, then went to the theater for spacing. Wednesday was a tech run on stage, dinner, then another full run onstage with the orchestra. Thursday was full dress rehearsal. Friday, we had classes off (except choreography and academics)… and opening night!

Aurora's tutu, photo by the extremely talented Anna. Visit her photography site at http://annadarla.blogspot.com. Or else.

My dress rehearsal went really well, and the shows felt good too. I mean, there were the wobbles. There are always little things to be improved. I decided with a good friend that if we were ever perfect, there would be no reason to try again; without something to strive for, there would only be a disappointing fall in quality. Human imperfection makes the act of art-making meaningful.

And in the last show, the four of us fairies in the Prologue finally all turned at the same time. Better late than never? My family came to town as well, and there were lots of introductions all around. I can’t wait to go home in less than a week! Just three more papers… which I will now continue writing.

This is supposed to be an artsily-cropped picture of meeting friends and family after the show.

To be continued/supplemented? We’ll see. Good luck to all working on finals, and good luck to all graduating seniors, in high school or in college. Next year that will be me.

Yikes.

Another post about breakfast

I have not blogged so much about breakfast this year. Last year, I feel like “breakfast” might actually have shown up on my tag cloud for a little while. I think I have more of a life now and have more to talk about. That’s just a theory, mind you.

However, this post relates both to life and to breakfast! (As if breakfast weren’t life. I love breakfast.) My dancer roommate turned twenty-one this past Sunday, and we celebrated by having brunch at Zest! (I’m not actually excited enough to use two exclamation points in one paragraph–the restaurant is called “Zest!”)

Indianapolis has loads of awesome breakfast places. My current favorite is the Three Sisters’ Cafe, but I also enjoy Taste, Zest!, and Le Peep. I have also heard wonderful reviews of Good Morning Mama’s.

Breakfast was good, but even better were the crayons on the table. We all drew lovely pictures on the tablecloth. Here’s mine:

I’m not sure what this collection of images reveals about me, but I shall explain them in case you cannot figure out what my scribbles are supposed to be.

Tour of the tablecloth:

Starting in the upper left, you see some text that belonged to a rendering of my roommate. Traveling clockwise, the next drawing we encounter is a stick figure typing an Irish Literature paper and being distracted. Then come the fireworks with a few physics equations to go with it–the kinetic energy of a rotating body and the kinematic equation for the velocity of the center of mass. (I hope. I have a physics test coming up.)

Math aside, we have a blue figure that was originally a person but had, for reasons of good taste, to be scribbled out. She/he/it is is holding a bass. Then we see some colorful blocks of squares. Off in the corner is a chef holding a spoon: NOT an ice cream cone, thank you very much. I’m not a great artist, but I’m not that bad. Mostly.

In the middle is a green woman with a curly perm. To the bottom is a tipsy, blonde woman in a huge bustle skirt. The last math-type object is a horrible, horrible recollection of a LaPlace Transform. DO NOT believe anything I ever say about math. L{cosh(theta)} does not equal what I said it does.

L {cosh(alpha*t)} = s / [(s^2) - (alpha^2)]

What does that mean? Apart from the fact that a hyperbolic cosine is oscillating (and doesn’t it normally do that anyway?), I have no idea. I just think it looks neat.