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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 “music”

Flecktone Friday

I went to see Bela Fleck and the Flecktones right here on campus last night at Clowes Memorial Hall. I didn’t know what to expect, since I didn’t know much about the group — and since I haven’t been to a bigger concert like this before. It. was. so. cool.

I went with my boyfriend, who plays the bass, and I think he about passed out when the bassist Victor Wooten did his crazy solo — playing up and down the neck of the bass like a piano, crisscross his hands, coaxing out sounds I’ve never heard a bass make before.

I really liked that the whole band was on an equal plane. Sometimes it bugs when when the melodic instruments (including vocals) take the musical lead all the time. Why does the guitarist/lead singer/etc get to be the star? Why not the percussionist or bassist? Or pianist/harmonic player or banjo player, in the Flecktones’ case. Each band member had a chance to solo, and even within the tunes they definitely took turns. For someone not great at differentiating sounds, this was wonderful because it helped me really listen to each individual part.

Overall, great show, great experience, great night. I highly recommend seeing them if you have a chance. Butler students often get discounted tickets for shows at Clowes, too, so while you are a student here, you should seize the chance to see top-tier artists without killing your budget!

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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!

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

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!

      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.

      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.

      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.

      Life with BSI

      To continue my stilted outline of my summer schedule as a Butler Summer Institute scholar, I shall pick up where I left off on Sunday, pondering the goodness of mochas.

      Sunday: Research. Try to get into Lilly Hall to use the practice rooms, but the building was locked.

      Monday: Memorial Day! Research. Bike along the Canal Path (so flat! such an easy ride!) to The Flying Cupcake to buy treats. Give treats to the girl taking my headshots. Take headshots. Check out of the Apartment Village.

      Discover Lilly Hall is still locked. Discover there is no piano in the Reilly Room. Discover the room with the piano in it on the third floor of Atherton was locked. Sweet talk my way into the piano room at ResCo. (“Sweet talk” = ask if I can use it). Plink around–I can’t play the piano, though I often get irresistible urges to plonk happily for two hour stretches. Talk to a friend. Relax with my roommate.

      Tuesday: Research a lot to make up for Monday’s frivolity. Take a ballet class with some other Butler dance majors. Attend a research ethics module for BSI. Research.

      Wednesday: Research in the morning. Have (I admit it) another mocha. Decide Hubbard and Cravens is far superior to Starbucks–and cheaper. Attend a BSI lunch and hear about other students’ projects, a faculty mentor’s career history, and a very funny comparison of the Midwest to Florida. Research.

      It’s the life, I tell ya. I decided about three hours ago I need to begin broad and go narrow, rather than the other way around. I have since produced much more writing then I did all this morning. Hooray for helpful insights!

      Taste test: “As ongoing unrest throughout the world indicates, location alone cannot determine national identity: Living within a country’s borders does not guarantee loyalty to that country’s sense of self. We cannot dismiss location as a quality of nation entirely, but often location engenders cultural similarities which serve as much stronger factors in shaping a national identity.”

      A bit salty? I thought so too.

      Also, Pandora just played Dvorak’s 9th symphony and is currently on Arvo Pärt, so I am a very happy camper.

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      Be kind to your web-footed friends

      The Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall, known around campus as “Ducky,” hosts smaller-setting lectures and music performances. It’s part of Robertson Hall, but it has a separate entrance. The acoustics are awesome, though the stage is a bit small. While you won’t find any dance performances in here, last year I went to Joe Goode‘s lecture and video presentation.

      Inside the recital hall

      Recent events I’ve attended in Ducky:

      1. Jordan Jazz. A presentation of vocal jazz pieces by the student group Jordan Jazz. It’s so, so hard to pick, but this might have been my favorite of all of them, just because I love to watch one girl, whom I know is in the ballroom club, dance on the side as she sings.

      2. Abbey and Eli’s junior recital. I know Abbey through the Butler Catholic Community, and Eli is a friend of hers. I’ve heard both play in the jazz combos at Starbucks, so it was nice to hear them play some different, more classical pieces. Abbey plays the horn, and Eli the bass. Both were excellent! I liked Abbey’s first two movements of Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 3 in particular.

      3. The Jamey Aebersold Quartet. As the jazzers say, “These cats can jam!” Well, maybe they don’t say that. Regardless, I very much enjoyed the Jamey Aebersold Quartet. The men were all great performers, with the exchanged looks on stage as amusing as the musical jokes they played. (Most of these went over my head, although I did catch a phrase of “Joy to the World.”) They offered a master class before the concert, too.

      And those were the recent Ducky adventures I’ve had.

      Finally

      “Final”-ly? Get it? Get it?

      I’m done with finals!

      After I finished dance finals on Friday, I went straight into academic final week, which is when most of the rest of campus freaks out.

      The finals week schedule of a dance/English major

      Saturday: I attended the Butler School of Music’s Rejoice! holiday concert with a friend and saw Blue II ride across the stage during a rendition of Blue Christmas. I had never been to Rejoice! before, and this was the 25th anniversary of the show, which is offered every year, free to the Indianapolis community. Students from the University’s various faculty- and student-led choral groups performed with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir and two students from Butler’s Dance Department.

      At the end of the show, there was a live auction for a special conductor’s baton and the chance to led the choir in the Hallelujah Chorus. The show was terribly exciting, and it should probably merit its own post, but I’m feeling lazy.

      Sunday: I failed to get groceries due to the snow.

      Monday: I sat my dance history final and wrote about Imperial Russian ballet and Romanticism until my fingers went numb.

      Tuesday: I submitted my final copy (final for the class at least… I’m about to revise part of it yet again as soon as I finish this blog post) of my Irish literature paper. The final title? An Argument for Cosmopolitanism: Creating National Identity in Brian Friel’s Translations.

      Also, I completed the science lab I had missed due to a Nutcracker dress rehearsal. And studied like mad for physics.

      Wednesday: In the morning, we presented our dance for the Choreography I final. In the afternoon, I sat the physics exam. I don’t really want to talk about it. In the end physics might have come out on top in this semester-long smackdown. I was not doing too badly, but then I rather abruptly ran out of time. I thought the professor told us we had four hours, and I was doing a solid 25 problems an hour, just barely. Twenty-five times four is one hundred. Perfect.

      However, at 3 hours, 15 minutes, he announced, “Fifteen minutes left.” Panic! Let’s just say physics won this round, hands-down. It was not the best way to go out after a semester of hard work, but there’s nothing I can do about it now. Oh well.

      After I frolicked with a friend through the halls of Lilly (which means we played with the piano in one of the practice rooms and I showed off my awesome C minor scale, of which I quite proud), I checked more books out of the library to read for my proposal for a summer project through the Butler Summer Institute. If anything progresses past this planning stage, I shall inform you.

      Thursday: I woke up with the realization that I was done, done, done with this fall semester of my junior year! I had a lunch date with the on-campus Catholic priest, Fr. Jeff. I’m going to be president of the Butler Catholic Community next semester… wish me luck! Our last president was extremely organized, so I have large shoes to fill.

      Now I’m just finishing up little things before I fly home. For example:

      1. Scrubbing the kitchen floor to rid it of the salt that gets tracked in from the snowy, slushy, disgusting sidewalks.

      2. Organizing the massive heaps of school papers that congregated on my desk during the last third of the semester.

      3. Pestering my one remaining roommate, who–I must add–is exceedingly tolerant. When she is not being troublesome.

      4. Drinking massive amounts of tea. Necessary.

      5. Finishing one book (remember McCall Smith?) and starting another (which I got way back in September for my birthday and which turned out to be the second of a trilogy… I have a winter project!).

      6. Organizing and consigning to the “deshank later” pile about ten pairs of pointe shoes. Okay, perhaps there were only eight pairs. I despise going through pointe shoes. I never want to admit they are dead, because that means sewing more. However, when one cannot stand en pointe without the box collapsing forward, it is time to bid the offending shoe adieu.

      7. Taking a Playdough break with a friend. I found Playdough while organizing a hideously untidy drawer and promptly decided to distract my friend, who probably really needed to finish the due-the-next-day computer science project. Hanging out with friends who still have finals when one is finished for the semester? Probably not the best idea. However, I created a Playdough rabbit in anticipation of seeing our two baby rabbits when I go home for break in a few days. Admire.

      My friend made a person. Sadly, the arm did not want to stay. I managed to capture the Playdough limb mid-fall in one photo, a fact about which I am extremely proud.