Friday, June 21, 2013

Students Expand Horizons at Quartz Mountain

by Victoria Harrell, OSAI PR Counselor

Here at Quartz Mountain, things often start in the wee hours of the morning.  As soon as the sun begins to peek over the horizon, you can see small groups of students and staff going on hikes up the mountains, walking to Pilates class, or dragging their instruments across campus to get a jump on the day's rehearsal.

Wednesday morning, in front of the long, familiar bridge that leads to the Performing Arts Center, the modern dance and photography classes met for a collaborative project.  Modern dance instructor Daniel Squire and photography faculty Troy Word, Konrad Eek, and Ben Long joined their students to take advantage of the unique opportunity for multidisciplinary experiences that OSAI can offer.    

In what must have seemed a very odd request, modern dance students were asked to bring haz-mat suits with them to Quartz Mountain, which will be used in their final performance, but also came in handy in this early morning project. 

At the end of one of the many trails that spring from the OSAI campus, the modern dance students slipped on the white, hooded suits. As the sun came up, the natural lighting changed constantly, giving the photography students endless inspiration. 

 In the first set of pictures, Squire gave the dancers a sequence of hand motions to perform while walking in a row along the trail, setting up a scene for the photographers.  Meanwhile, Word instructed his students on placement, having them imagine they are paparazzi who need to get shots of celebrities walking down the red carpet. 

For the next set of pictures, the photography students broke out into groups with the dancers. Some groups ventured up the mountain, while others chose to stay along the trail, each letting the dancers use one another to create different forms and positions as they posed.    

One of the most exciting things to witness at Quartz Mountain is students stepping out of their comfort zones. They try new things and take advantage of opportunities to be creative. While the two disciplines collaborate, you can see students’ minds working. Each student gives input, coming up with completely different concepts than what any of them had previously imagined. The creativity that OSAI cultivates is the “magic of the mountains” at its finest.

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