Friday, May 13, 2011

Congratulations class of 2011!

Listened to the speeches of the graduating seniors at GMU's School of Dance yesterday... Fantastic!

Such beauty and eloquence... I am still savoring their stories about lessons learned, changing definitions of success, and remarkable plans for the future. Faculty member Susan Shields prepares the graduating class for the event through her course called Senior Synthesis and I cannot put into words how much I admire her work and can see her attributes in the ways the students present themselves: poised, confident, reflective, and generous. All in all, a magnificent event.

Many students talked about plans to move to New York, several dancers already have projects and positions in place. In NYC they will join other GMU alumni, like Maya Orchin who just sent an update about a recent audition: "I had a really positive experience auditioning with Trisha Brown.  I have always been inspired by the company and her work.

I remember seeing 'Spanish Dance' when I was younger and impressed with how simple and brilliant her concept was.  Before the audition you had to apply and fill out an application form.  I found the form really personal, and it was a great way for me to explain what I liked about the company and why I would be a good fit.  There were about 15 questions we had to answer.  I have done auditions before where its like a cattle call and you have a number and it feels extremely impersonal.  At the audition it was nice since I recognized a few faces but there were 4 groups of 30 people (insane).  In the studio at City Center the whole company was there and they all sat in the front while one taught the phrase.  We were lined up and it was slightly difficult to move but after the first cut we had a lot more space.  It was really nice how all the dancers were there and everyone had a really positive vibe.  Although I did not get the job, it was a good experience auditioning for a company I have long since admired and met some great people at the audition. On a side note, I saw the premier of the Pina Bausch movie by Wim Wenders in Brussels and I'm not sure when it comes to the U.S. but when it does SEE IT! it's amazing. amazing. amazing."

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