‘Poetry in Motion’ comes to WNP
The Hot Springs World Class High School Dance Program will bring its “Poetry In Motion” exhibition to this week’s Wednesday Night Poetry at Kollective Coffee+Tea, 110 Central Ave.
The regular open mic session for all poets will begin at 6:30 p.m. The dancers will perform at 7 p.m., followed by another round of open mic. Admission is free and open to all ages.
Dancers in the Hot Springs World Class High School Dance Program are bringing poetry to life through choreographed dance, as part of a “Poetry in Motion” assignment, a news release said. A few months ago, Wednesday Night Poetry host and teaching artist in poetry with the Arkansas Arts Council Kai Coggin collaborated with Hot Springs dance instructor Amy Bramlett-Turner on a project.
Coggin curated and provided a packet of 100 poems on various social justice issues for the dance students to choose from, and taught them how to annotate and find deeper meaning in the poems that they selected as their piece. Each student deconstructed their poem, finding figurative language elements and unpacking meaning and sound, and recorded their own reading of the text. Bramlett-Turner then guided the students through movement theory with the poems, having them identify the energies of the pieces, which led them to understand the direction they would choreograph the works. Each student created their own choreography, staging, set design elements, and music if necessary. They cast other dancers in solos, duets, or trios to perform their choreographic vision, so it became a full-scale production from initial conceptual idea to execution. Students then taught their choreography and practiced reflective exercises to ensure their intended messages were conveyed appropriately. Choreographers and dancers provided feedback to one another to improve interpersonal communication and constructive criticism skills. Students practiced countless hours outside of class to refine intentional steps and techniques. In all, the process took almost two months to complete.
“This assignment was a reflective opportunity for our dancers to explore their own beliefs about social justice, practice good teamwork and intentional communication, and apply their dance and choreography skills in a nontraditional way,” Bramlett-Turner said in the release. “Poetry and dance are completely different creative processes, but unique similarities allow for a wonderful interpretation of movement, voice inflection, music, costumes, lighting, and any other concepts they chose to include. I couldn’t be more proud of the hard work and creativity from these kids. Their projects are truly inspiring because they are expressing themselves in a nonviolent, academic, and artistic way about sensitive subjects.”
“WNP is excited to showcase the talent of these young people, in this poetry and dance collaboration as a part of Arts & The Park 2019. WNP would also like to recognize that Mrs. Bramlett-Turner was just recognized as Teacher of the Year for HSWCHS. Congratulations!” the release said.
This week marks 1,579 consecutive Wednesdays for the weekly poetry reading. Email Coggin at email@example.com for more information.