Middle schoolers turn art into movement! • Brooklyn Paper

Middle schoolers turn art into movement!

Prima ballerinas: Middle schoolers at David A. Boody performed for their “Dance Museum” show on May 17 and 18.
Photo by Jon Farina

They were truly moved by works of art.

About 100 middle school dance prodigies at the David A. Boody School for Magnet Studies turned artwork into choreography for their “Dance Museum” performance on May 17 and 18 for a packed house. The students had immersed themselves in museums — paintings, films, sculptures — and used the emotion from the pieces to create movements. And they all did a beautiful job, said the Gravesend school’s director of dance.

“The performance was fantastic,” said Jan Ford, who also collaborates with Brighton Ballet teacher Irina lapteva. “What I really enjoyed seeing was their understanding of the process of relating research to choreography and seeing how art and dance can collaborate together, and they ran with it.”

The students spent the summer and beginning of the school year walking through museums, like the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, plus some more eclectic ones, such as the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, said Ford. They had studied Pablo Picasso’s famous a “Girl before a Mirror,” and Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” but both took on new meaning once they saw them in person, said Ford.

“When they went to museums and saw Picasso’s paintings, they were just floored,” she said. “They saw it online and did research, but when they saw it in person they revised some of the choreography because it was not authentic enough based on what they were feeling about this painting.”

And International Museum Day happened to fall on the last day of the performance on May 18, so it was a great way to celebrate the arts, said Ford.

“It’s a beautiful city that has more museums than any other city and they use these museums to cultivate their understanding of art,” she said. “Museum Day was yesterday, which was really just great.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Out of the canvas onto the stage: Middle school dancers used art to create their dances.
Photo by Jon Farina

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