“All voices were hushed and eyes were drawn toward the stage at UC Santa Barbara’s Studio Theater. The lights dimmed and black silhouette-like dolls walked out onto the stage. I looked on in awe at the undergraduate UCSB dance majors performing in a student-choreographed modern dance recital. I was then a sophomore but butterflies struck my stomach, reminding me of the nervousness I had felt years earlier before a dance competition. Then I realized I was no longer the one who was looking out from the stage into the black sea of an audience, but rather the one spectating a university dance student performance.”
Here, Katie Orr recalls the jarring moment in a UCSB Humanities course in which she realized that dancing on a stage was still calling to her years after she had stopped her practice.
Dance and Psychology major Yuna Choi has been planning the Mini Beach Ball hosted by UC Santa Barbara’s cotillion club. The Mini Beach Ball, a collegiate dance competition, will be held later in May. In a recent interview, Choi talked about her experience planning the upcoming dance competition and what she hopes to accomplish by coordinating this year’s Mini Beach Ball.
In a series of video interviews, Humanities and Fine Arts professors share thoughts on the merits of their fields and their most rewarding experiences as teachers and researchers.
Blake Thompson, a third-year student at UC Santa Barbara who is pursuing a double major in Theater and Communication, devoted the last weeks of summer and first weeks of fall preparing for her role in the pared down Hamlet, which ran for 19 performances over a two week period.
In a recent interview, Thompson talked about the field of acting and how the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts helps an aspiring actress reach her potential.
Monique Meunier, a ballet dancer and UC Santa Barbara assistant professor, felt a need to respond to the polarizing, divisive presidential election of 2016, believing that national solidarity is more important than ever.
So she choreographed and directed a Fine Arts and Performing Arts collaborative performance titled Still We Rise, for UCSB students to come together to support those whose futures are imperiled by proposed changes to DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was begun during the Obama presidency.
The performance premiered last winter to 120 people over two nights and concluded with ten dancers coming together at center stage to recite poet Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise.”