Animation and Dance Collaborations at the Putney School Summer Programs

The verdant pastures and unfurling meadows of Southern Vermont are an inspiring place to develop creative work. Each summer students come from all over the country and the world to actively participate in a unique community at the Putney School Summer Programs. A pastoral residential setting where students create compelling work in Visual Art, Music, Writing, Farm and E.S.O.L. Students push the limits of their art practice, participate insightfully with teachers and peers, and have an active and present voice amongst new experiences and learning opportunities. Creative sparks can be struck at anytime. Both students and teachers are brimming with a fiery passion for learning and collaborating with one another.

My animation students and myself draw inspiration from the movement in Cara Surico’s Contemporary Dance Workshop. Cara’s thoughtful choreography and joy of the process of dance takes on a narrative quality, which can be illuminated by the process of animation. Experienced dancers and students who are new to dance are overtaken by a pure love of expressing themselves through movement in Cara’s class. The opportunity to collaborate with Cara’s dance class is a building one. Creating an animation of her students transforming into objects, environments and animals has left a lasting impression on the value of collaboration with the dancers, the animators and the instructors.

The hard work and leadership of the students is where the work really comes together. It gives students and teachers insight into how collaboration can bring projects into new and exciting directions. For the dancers it is interesting to see the kinetic steps of their movement break down into individual drawings. It is the gesture and movement of the dancers that inspires and feeds the creativity of the animation students.

Music by: Wiensenfeild, Will “Apologetic Shoulder Blades.” Baths. June, 22, 2010. Cerulean. Anticon Records

Does your school do something similar?

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