Olivia ’12 RSS feed

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 “JCFA”

Kind of like a snow day…

The week after the week after. The following items are related.

1. Midwinter production/performance week, check. Evaluation week (i.e. the week I apply to many jobs), check. Coppélia-rehearsals-begin week: in progress.

2. I didn’t intend to be writing many blogs this week after seeing our rehearsal schedule combined with the terrifying prospect of whipping my BSI paper into shape.

3. This winter has been extremely temperate. Last year, we had two snow days thanks to the ice storm which coated the campus and its environs. The “Icepocalypse,” we called it. This year, there are no snow days for us, which suits me just fine. I like warmer weather.

4. The reason I am writing now and not frantically finishing English homework?

All dance classes have been unexpected cancelled. Snow is not the reason. Instead, we must blame the Lilly Hall sewage system backup which flooded a basement mechanical room last night and resulted in all the water being shut off/bathrooms being closed.

Facebook has been rather amusing, with all the sewage jokes. You fill in the blanks — I’ve included one of the tamer examples below.

Still, I’m a bit conflicted. I enjoy being lazy, I promise! But I’m disappointed/waiting for the backlash of the missed day: I had over three hours of rehearsal scheduled, and learning new material is always exciting. Plus, I’m sure we’ll have to make up for lost time over the next few days.

One thing is for sure. This is probably the oddest reason classes have been cancelled.

Two Talks: Jennifer Homans and John Bohannon

In my last post, I didn’t mention the two talks I attended this week — one informal conversation with John Bohannon of “Dance Your Ph.D.” fame and a formal presentation from author of “Apollo’s Angels” Jennifer Homans.

1. John Bohannon

My roommate sent me a link about a month before the dance majors got the email. The link I’ll post below. The email said John Bohannon would be talking at 1 pm on Tuesday in LH 168. I went and listened to his story about dancing science, about collaborative efforts, and about the game of zero-gravity tag he wanted to play with the dance majors on Thursday. While I didn’t attend the game — fighting expedia for decent airfare took longer than anticipated — I walked past and saw dance majors slowly rotating a water bottle and a stool through the air. It was cool.

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2. Jennifer Homans

The Jennifer Homans talk was through the JCFA’s Leadership Through the Arts forum. Each other, Leadership Through the Arts brings in speakers across the range of JCFA disciplines to speak. In past years, Ralph Lemon, Joe Goode, Denise Jefferson, Alonso King, and even Jacques D’Amboise have come to Butler through this program!

Ms. Homans outlined early French ballet and Russian ballet under the Soviet during her talk, ending with a Q&A conversation about the necessity of bringing new relevance to the art form.

I really liked the talk, but I was sitting onstage with other dancers (I don’t know why they wanted us onstage, except that Ducky, the venue, was completely full, and they were even live-streaming the talk to more people in the reception room in the basement). I have a very hard time sitting still for longer than about 40 minutes, so the whole time I was trying not to fidget!

It’s funny that Ms. Homans came this year — my grandmother gave me her book as a Christmas gift this December. What perfect timing!

Internet Roundup

College students are incredibly in tune with Internet trends. I believe this stems from the natural and widespread desire to procrastinate — as I am demonstrating now by writing this blog post instead of reading literary criticism. As a result, Facebook and other sites tend to become repositories of the crazes of the hour.

Because I don’t want to be the only one procrastinating, I’m going to drag you down with me. Here is my highly curated list of fun things on the internet:

Amigurumi Dragon crochet pattern (via All About Ami)

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Cute music video

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I just have to include a Butler link! The new Art + Design program will expand into the old JCAD building. (It’s still sad JCAD had to close, but the art program seems way cool.)

Brownie Batter Ice Cream that looks delicious… (via food blog Lauren’s Latest)

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The perfect Valentine’s Day scarf (via TheHatandI)

My sincere hope is that you will become as distracted as I am, so I will feel better about myself. The perfect plan.

Theater Department

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:

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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!

2011-12 season

Degree plan

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

Student Choreography 2012

This is the first year I have not been part of the Student Choreography Showcase. Since I’ve been dealing with a foot injury, this was probably the right choice. Still, the show last night was great — once we got in.

When we arrived, they had just closed the doors because the Studio Theater in Lilly Hall was packed to the gills. I saw the stage manager leave and asked if we could enter if two people left the show early. Sure enough, after the second piece two audience members trickled out, and we got a seat at the very side of the theater.

I’m going back tonight to see the beginning of the show, obviously.

I thought the program this year was very strong. There were no pieces I disliked (and in years past there have always been one or two) and many that I loved. The music was overall predictable, but that uniformity did help to make a cohesive program. There were a bunch of good moments, and this year I saw more choreographic technique than ever before, if that makes sense.

Anyway, the JCFA is on Facebook, and you should follow them for updates — like this advisory about the Showcase seating:

Also, the Butler Ballet on Facebook, and Butler University and the Office of Admission.

Applying to the Department of Dance

If you want to apply to Butler’s Department of Dance, you must attend one of the dance auditions unless you live outside the 48 contiguous states. Sign up for auditions earlier rather than later! Butler has two admissions deadlines, Early Action and Regular Decision. Both are NON-BINDING, so if you apply by Nov 1 (early action), your acceptance will be mailed on Dec 15. Regular Decision dates are Feb 1 for the application and Feb 15 for the decision. I would highly encourage you to get your application together in time for the early action dates.

Advantages to applying/auditioning for colleges at the beginning of your senior year:

  • You have the best chance for receiving academic scholarship awards if you apply by Nov 1, (according to here).
  • You have a better chance at JCFA talent scholarships (according to here). The earlier you audition, the more money the college will have to give away.
  • I received my Butler acceptance some time in December, I believe. This meant my entire second semester was free, if not from stress, then at least from the stress of college decisions. It’s really nice knowing early in your senior year where you will be come fall.

What you need to apply to the Department of Dance (I’m getting my info from this webpage):

  • Butler academic application
  • JCFA departmental application (I can’t find this, and I think it might be part of the Butler University general application I linked in the first bullet point…)
  • 5″x7″ full-length photo: Women en pointe in first arabesque or attitude, Men in relevé attitude derrière (wear dress code leotard and tights)

    The JCFA is comprised of the School of Music, the Department of Dance, the Art Program, the Arts Administration Program, and the Department of Theatre. For more information on these other fine arts majors, check out the JCFA webpage.

    Other important tips:

    • While you do not have to be admitted academically to Butler before auditioning for the dance program (or music, theater, or arts administration — auditions and interviews also required), you DO have to have submitted your academic application.
    • Follow the dress code. The website says black leo, pink tights for women/solid color shirt, black tights for men. Ladies, don’t wear tights on the outside of your leotards. You want to look as professional and tidy as possible. The auditions are not en pointe.
    • Dance as cleanly as you can. Musicality and artistry, tidiness of technique and attitude toward class are much more important than pulling out tricks.

    Good luck!

      Q&A: Dance Department

      Last week I got a series of great questions from a high school senior looking into Butler’s dance major. I thought I would answer them here on the blog so other prospective students can see and comment!

      Q: Is Butler’s dance program based in classical ballet? Most programs seem to be modern emphasis.

      A: Yes, the dance department is grounded in classical ballet. I was struck by the scarcity of options for a serious classical ballet, liberal arts program when I was looking for schools four years ago. I take a ballet technique class five days a week, plus pointe, classical variations, and classical partnering.

      Snow Corps, The Nutcracker, 2010, choreography by Cynthia Pratt

      Q: What other techniques are you learning at Butler?

      A: The semester counts here are out of seven, since I am taking my seventh of eight semesters. I have studied jazz (4 semesters), modern (7), contemporary partnering (1), Slavic character (1), Spanish character (1), and improvisation (1).

      In less technical-movement-based classes, I’ve studied: Laban Movement Analysis, Teaching Analysis of Classical Ballet (of Jazz and of Modern are also offered), Body Placement (a sort of Pilates-nutrition-anatomy mishmash), and Choreography.

      On the purely academic front, the Dance Department offers/requires: Masterworks of Dance, a history of music class, Music Theory for Dance, Design and Construction of Dance Costumes, Dance History, and Theory and Philosophy of Dance. Other related requirements include an acting class, piano, and voice.

      Midwinter Dance Festival 2010, 1st of 3 in 17, choreography by Cynthia Pratt

      Q: Anything you think would be helpful…

      A: This senior mentioned double majoring, which I am doing with great difficulty. If you want to double major, my advice is to be realistic and to become intimate with the requirements of both departments and with the colleges of each department. The trouble I’ve run into personally is the language requirement demanded by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (for my English Literature major) — though it’s not required by the Jordan College of Fine Arts (the college of my primary major in Dance Performance). Look carefully at all your requirements and do the credit-hour math beforehand. You might, as this senior wisely mentioned, have to stay an extra summer or semester to finish.

      Q: I live in Georgia, so scheduling a visit is tough. Can you give me some pointers?

      A: Here are some questions you might want to consider before flying/driving to Indianapolis if you are from out of state or looking at the dance major:

      – Do you want a liberal arts environment (versus a conservatory)?
      – Do you want a program based in classical ballet?
      – Are you open to learning all sorts of other techniques?
      – Does Butler offer the classes you want, both in and outside the dance major? (Which you can check here…)
      – Could you live in Indianapolis? Could you fly/drive a substantial distance for the holidays?

      As I told this senior, if you have any other questions you want answered about Butler University, don’t hesitate to ask! If I don’t know the answer, I can find someone who does and get that information to you as you begin your college decision process. You might also like to peruse the departmental requirements or the Jordan College of Fine Arts Facebook page.

      Faculty Artist Series — The School of Music

      As a student in the JCFA, I encounter my fellow fine-arts aficionados quite frequently in the halls of Lilly. We recently received a new Dean, Ronald Caltabiano, who wants to emphasize inter-disciplinary learning. I think this is a great idea, and I also think more students in the JCFA from outside the School of Music should look into attending the Faculty Artist Series.

      The Faculty Artist Series runs concerts by the music faculty on Tuesday nights at 7:30 pm in the Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall on campus. If you are visiting campus and interested in joining the School of Music, I’d recommend trying to see one of the concerts. Not only will you hear what the faculty have to offer, but you are also bound to meet a bunch of the students currently in the School of Music. I went last Tuesday night with a jazz minor to see the Faculty Jazz Combo, led by the director of jazz studies at Butler, Dr. Matthew Pivec. The combo performed jazz renditions of pop tunes by Stevie Wonder, Sara Bareilles, No Doubt, and Sting — as well as Charlie Chaplin! Clearly, the music program has its fair share of diversity.

      Dr. Pivec

      Having attached myself to the the periphery of the cluster of students following jazz music at Butler, I’ve become marginally more familiar with Dr. Pivec by hearsay and meeting. I must report a double thumbs up — if you want to join the jazz studies program at Butler, you are in for a treat. Dr. Pivec is one of the nicest professors I’ve met, and he has even begun to recognize me, a random dance major!

      For more info about Butler’s Jazz Studies program, go here.

      To see the course of study for other degrees and concentrations offered by Butler’s School of Music, go here.

      For a schedule of concerts from the School of Music, go here.

      One Week In: Dance Department

      One week into my last fall semester, and I’ve done a fair amount of dancing, homework completing, cooking, talking… not so much blogging in there. Highlights from the dance department in the first week of classes:

      • Everyone suffers for about three days from post-vacation soreness. I don’t care how much you danced during the summer — if you took off four days to move in (the weekend, then Monday and Tuesday before classes began on Wednesday), you will be sore. And holy cannoli, was I sore! But — apart from a mildly strained hamstring that’s almost completely gone now — that soreness was short-lived, only two or three days.
      • Department meeting on Thursday. We introduced all the new students (or rather, they introduced themselves). We welcomed old and new faculty members, including a guest teacher for the semester… the former Boston Ballet member, Michael Johnson. I have had two classes from him this year, both extremely enjoyable.
      • Also as the department meeting, we met the new Dean of the JCFA, Ronald Caltabiano. I actually met and enjoyed conversation with Dean Caltabiano at a lunch during Butler Summer Institute. This should be an exciting year in Lilly Hall with all the new people!
      • Monday we conducted our annual height line meeting for Butler Ballet. Every student participating in Butler Ballet (the performing aspect of the dance department) filed into a long (very long) line according to height. The department records the line to aid with casting. Speaking of which…
      • Tuesday marked the first of Nutcracker auditions! Level 3 and 4 women performed several sequences of movement different faculty members prepared; the men had the next slot of time. Then 3 and 4 women joined forces with the men as faculty members watched a short partnering sequence performed by dozens of different pairings. Auditions for underclassmen continue later this week (as well as call backs, if needed).

      And there seems to be the big news from the dance department. What can you look forward to during your first week as a dance major at Butler? You will be sore. So will everyone else, to some degree — use this as a bonding experience. You will attend various meetings with introductions, waivers, interest forms, and other non-dancing activities. You will line up by height and the truth will come out. (Or not.) You will dance and dance and meet dozens of people. Friendship, lactic acid, tutus and pointe shoes… Sounds good to me.

      Astrology

      Even now, I sometimes say “astrology” when I mean “astronomy.” The reverse hardly happens, as I put no stock in horoscopes or any of that business. However, my recent trip to Chicago led me to Chinatown, where I was informed I would have to take a picture with my animal of the Zodiac.

      Horses are supposed to be independent, selfish, egotistical, intelligent, and energetic, which actually describes me fairly well. All the same, I do love rabbits. I was born three years off, I suppose.

      When I am older I want two things in my household: a piano and a pet rabbit.

      Butler’s piano sale today was neat–I went to the Reilly Room in Atherton Union and looked around. (I think you were actually supposed to make a private appointment ahead of time, but I just went and asked to look around.) Pianos are expensive. But so pretty… Apparently the piano sale happens annually with a partnership between the university (JCFA, I think) and Meridian Music, with some of the proceeds from the sale going to Butler. Music and charity: destiny.

      (Get it? The connection between the beginning and end of this odd post? Destiny and the zodiac? Rabbits and pianos?)

      Oh dear.