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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Comparative Arts and the North Country Trail

Today I got to see something really unusual although it combined several things I really like.

If you are a reader who isn't from Michigan, or even the Midwest, I probably need to begin by explaining that Interlochen Fine Arts Academy educates gifted high-schoolers. These students are selected from all over the world to attend.

As one of the exercises in the Comparative Arts class this year, the 15 students went on an overnight hike on the North Country Trail, then they had to work together to create an artistic piece to express their feelings and whatever else they took away from the experience.

The performance was a combination of script, choreography, and semi-improvisation (as in- the performers did what they wanted within a certain framework).

There wasn't a lot of advance notice about the performance, but even so about a dozen North Country Trail volunteers managed to make it. I left right after work and met up with a friend (Ramona) in Manistee, and then we drove together the rest of the way.

It was quite interesting in a deconstructed sort of way. They began with sounds created by using traditional instruments in non-traditional ways. Let me also say that I only got a few pictures worth using, because it was very dark.

Interlochen comparative arts

One of the middle sections was more structured, with segments of dance. The suitcases represent pilgrimage.

Interlochen comparative arts

The end was highly improv, using fabric and rope.

Interlochen comparative arts

Just for the record there were ten segments: Connection, Four Corners, D'arting: These Shoes, Colony, Migration, Roadmap, Ring, Journal, Shelter, and Reflection.

Afterwards (or maybe this was the Reflection section) the people who attended got to ask questions of the students. (Many in the audience were other students and faculty members)

Interlochen comparative arts

Of course, at the very end, the set must be struck.

Interlochen comparative arts

Here are some of the North Country Trail people who came, with the students and faculty who were involved.

Interlochen comparative arts

Ramona and I discussed it on the way home, but I need to think about it some more. It was a difficult kind of art for me to enjoy, but it really was a class learning assignment rather than a public performance sort of piece.

For sure we decided that young people see the world differently from the way we do.

See The Inside Story for another trip to Interlochen
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vanilla said...

Interesting. Your comment regarding the young seeing the world differently relates to thoughts I was sharing this morning. In the torrent of books being published there seems to be less and less to read The familiar authors are into rehashing what they wrote fifteen years ago and the new authors seem to live in an incomprehensible world.

Ann said...

sounds very interesting

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