Hometown: Houston, TX
Education/Training: Agnes Scott College, B.A. in Theatre (expected May 12, 2018)
Position: Production management intern
Delights: Netflix, theatre, coffee, and dogs
How did you come to Core Dance?
I found out about Core Dance and the internship opportunity through my school’s job search engine. I was interested in learning about production management and working with a performing arts organization, different from theatre, that was close to my college. I got an interview and was offered the internship shortly afterward.
What is your favorite part about working here?
My favorite part about working at Core is the fact that I have gotten to work with almost everyone in the office and therefore been exposed to the other jobs involved with maintaining an arts organization and putting on performances. Something else that I have enjoyed is the fact I have gotten to do office work as well as hands-on tasks in the studio. While shadowing Sharon, I believe that I have gotten a good understanding of what being a production manager entails and I think that it could be a job possibility for me in the future.
What is one of your favorite memories of your time here so far?
One of my favorite memories of my time here is when I went to the performance of Patton’s piece. I loved the dance and the performance as a whole. I got to see the final product of some of the behind scenes elements that were talked about in the office as well as in the rehearsal that I attended. It was also nice to see the staff all together at the performance. I appreciate the company culture because it is very understanding and supportive, and I have felt that throughout all of my time here.
I usually try to stick to one post a week, but on Monday, I attended my very first march, and I have strong itch to write about it. Monday morning, our Core Dance company and staff bundled up and jumped on the MARTA to join the Martin Luther King Jr. March for Humanity. While we gathered with hundreds of other participants at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, I felt, for the first time since I moved here last fall, the importance of Atlanta’s history. At home in Rochester, NY, we don’t have too many landmarks for the civil rights movement. Here, in the true South, it surrounds us constantly.
As we folded into the crowd and got real close and personal with strangers, I could feel this vibration of energies coming together for the one vision of humanity. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that we followed the exact same path as the funeral procession for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, fifty years ago. To me, a 22 year old from Upstate New York, the march first felt like an exploration of downtown Atlanta. It was exciting to walk new streets of a city with which I am still fairly unfamiliar. But when Bernice King took the stage, I felt the significance of being physically in the same spot as a legend. I couldn’t believe that Martin Luther King Jr’s family was a few feet away, leading this united crowd. Some groups chanted in a celebration of life and an enthusiastic drum-line accompanied their voices, almost like the second line in a funeral. I wondered if MLK Jr’s family felt the same energy of that procession fifty years ago, a combination of mourning for our world and the determination to unite for change, today, in this march for humanity.
Although I wasn’t immediately aware of the significance of our path, it seemed that even the youngest marchers knew they were participating in a significant moment. One group of kids - no older than five or six years old - linked their arms and created their own chant of “MLK JR!” I was in awe. If they felt this strong need for change in kindergarten, who knows what they’ll achieve in the future. One girl was clearly the leader, counting in her fellow chanters with “A one, and a two, and a three!” I feel like if she has anything to say about our world in the next 15 years, we’ll be okay.
Yesterday morning, I took a very sweaty class with guest artist Frank Van de Ven. He created a circuit for us that included improvisation techniques like “rain walk,” where you think of the feeling of rain on your body, and “newspaper,” in which you let your body sink like a wet newspaper. Dispersed in between the improvisation were workouts - arms (pushups - yikes!), legs (squats and lunges), and cardio (jump rope). After finishing two cycles, I felt like I had completed a workout that should count for a weeks worth.
Last week, instead of a workout circuit, Frank taught a fast-paced class that focused on movement across the floor. I felt like I couldn’t completely loosen up in my arms, especially when the steps became complicated and I started thinking a lot. Some of the combinations felt like rubbing your stomach and patting your head! When I can’t figure out what step goes where, my tension goes into my upper body. A lot of dancers seem to hold their stress here, and Frank kept reminding us to loosen up. By the end of the class, I felt like I could finally let go and stopped thinking so much (even though I was messing up pretty consistently).
Frank lives in Amsterdam, and has worked with Core Dance in the past. This time, he is creating a piece entitled “Carrying Water to the Sea,” as part of National Water Dance. Core Performance Company will perform this Saturday at 4pm EST on Driftwood Beach at Jekyll Island, GA. In Houston, Core Dance is commissioning artists Lydia Hance and jhon stronks to create two other pieces for National Water Dance. Our Houston staff members are preparing for their performance, which will happen at the same time as ours here in Georgia. For more information on our performances this weekend, check out http://www.coredance.org/national-water-dance---houston.html and http://www.coredance.org/national-water-dance---houston.html
Sydney Burrows, Publications Manager, and the People of Core Dance