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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 “Kevin Irving”

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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Set to go: Midwinter 2012

This past Tuesday marked the last day Butler’s Department of Dance hosted guest repetiteur and teacher Kevin Irving, who set Nacho Duato’s Por Vos Muero for the Butler Ballet’s Midwinter Dance Festival.

After two solid weeks of rehearsals, we bid farewell to Mr. Irving and now continue to rehearse under dance professor Derek Reid. There’s a lot to work on — naturally, since we can always improve always in perpetuum — but I look back and see that everyone involved in the piece has come a long way.

Musicality, musicality, musicality.

The intricacy of the choreography requires a most exact sense of the music and makes working on the piece a rather delightful challenge. As our department chair said in another article, “The Butler Ballet is excited and humbled to have been selected as the only American College Dance program to perform a Nacho Duato work.”

We are all honored, and I for one am very excited… if my relentless posts on the subject haven’t convinced you, check out this article from the Butler Collegian, where I rave yet more (and more incoherently, probably) about the Midwinter Dance Festival this year.

As absorbed as I’ve been in the rehearsal process for Por Vos Muero, I haven’t seen too much of the other works in the show. I caught my first glimpse of Bournonville’s Flower Festival yesterday, which was exciting. I love the airiness of Bournonville choreography, and it offers a different view of classical ballet than the usual Petipa story ballet.

I highly recommend the Midwinter Dance Festival to anyone who has not been exposed to a lot of dance. Because the pieces come from a wide variety of genres and aren’t as lengthy, it makes for a good introduction. Make sure you buy your tickets for the shows on February 17 and 18 at 8pm!

If you’re in Indianapolis for the Superbowl… you should probably stick around for another two weeks so you can see Midwinter.   : )

Can you tell which dancer is me?

Working with Kevin Irving

Kevin Irving -- click through for source.

The big happenings in my life revolve around the dance department for the moment. We’ve been rehearsing, rehearsing for our Midwinter Dance Festival. As I’m sure you know by now — since I keep talking about it — this year’s commissioned piece is Nacho Duato’s Por Vos Muero, being set by guest artist Kevin Irving.

So far we’ve learned a group dance and various duets. The piece is actually mostly a series of duets. I had a rehearsal on Friday morning and learned my section, third “naked” pas at the beginning of the piece. (Explanation for the epithet: We’re wearing flesh-colored leotards.)

This Saturday, I worked with Mr. Irving for two hours on the duet. I ate half a sandwich while he worked with the first two duets, then we tried to string the first section together into the group dance. The group dance came next, then one of the pas from the end of the piece — and then a costume fitting! The costumes are beautiful, and mine actually fit. This might be the first time in a very long time I haven’t required a zillion alterations.

I simply must include a plug for Mr. Irving. I love working with him. He is demanding but clear, and he goes at just about the perfect pace for my learning preferences. Also, one of my best friends is the principal dancer in one of the other Midwinter pieces as well as understudying three parts in Por Vos Muero. So as much as I feel busy… She’s like a superwoman.