UMS Night School Session 5 Recap: Reflection and Graduation
By Morgan LamonicaTweet
Please note: This post is a part of series about the free and open to the public UMS Night School. UMS Night School: Constructing Identity runs January 18-February 15, 2016.
On Monday, February 15, I attended our last UMS Night School session of the season. We chatted about the 2016 edition of UMS Night School, and our special guest speaker was Jennifer Harge, Artistic Director of Harge Dance Stories.
We began class with a different spin on the usual movement activity. Harge asked us to create two movements: one that reflected what others think of us, and another that reflected our self-image. Harge then asked us to draw upon a childhood memory to act it out. The purpose of this activity was to get us thinking about the difference between performing the movement as a child and performing it as an adult. This led into a discussion of Camille A. Brown’s Black Girl–Linguistic Play, which was performed this past Saturday, February 13 at 8pm in the Power Center.
We talked about how Brown’s work challenged the perception of dance. Harge explained that the work challenged the dancers in the show because they had to let go of everything they had been trained to do as dancers; they had to become naïve in order to successfully portray Brown’s experience as a young black girl.
One Night School student said that Brown’s work made him think of the old Peanuts Cartoons–the characters are all children, yet they each have their own idiosyncrasies as adults do.
I’ve learned a lot about constructing identity as an artist and an audience member, and I’ve been introduced to several new and exciting ideas. It’s also been nice to step away from school and engage with community members from around the area. In the future, I strongly suggest that you experience at least one of these classes; the worst thing that could possibly happen by trying it just once is that you won’t win the perfect attendance award ;)!
Details about next season’s UMS Night School will be available in Summer 2016.