October 17, 2014
by Alyssa Leal
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Open Arts: New Dance Courses For Spring 2015

Alan Watson's photo by Samantha L. Siegel

Alan Watson’s photo by Samantha L. Siegel

Registration for spring 2015 courses begins on November 17th and we’re excited to share some new courses with you! Students who are interested in the Minor in Dance, can add these courses to their list of options.

OART-UT 808 Steps, Rhythm, and Movement: Hip-Hop Dance will introduce students to the wide array of dance styles that have shaped contemporary Hip-Hop today. Along with steps, students will explore it’s history, emerging trends and the globalized nature of Hip-Hop. Read Alan Watson’s Bio and check out this short video about the course.

OART-UT 807 Steps, Rhythm, and Movement: Flamenco Dance will help students explore the dances that make up the hybrid form of Flamenco i.e., Banjara Gypsy Dance of Rajesthan (India), Zambra Dances of the Sephardic Jews and Moorish influences. Students will also have readings, research and practice projects. Read all about Najma Harissiadis in her bio.

OART-UT 703 Why Dance Matters investigates the various social, political, and historical contexts that have contributed to the evolution of dance, and how performers and choreographers have utilized the medium of dance to reflect their personal concerns back to society in powerful ways. Some of the topics to be explored will include: the impact of the Industrial Revolution on ballet; sexual manipulation in the roles of Nijinsky; and the political work of early modern dancers. Learn more about instructor, Patricia Beaman, in her bio.

Full course descriptions are available on Albert.

See the full list of Open Arts courses available this spring on our website.

October 17, 2014
by Justine Drayton
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Television Production with the BBC Information Session

From left to right: Yonatan (alum), Jane Elsdon Dew, Jenny (alum), & Alana (alum)

From left to right: Yonatan (alum), Jane Elsdon Dew, Jenny (alum), & Alana (alum)

Yesterday we had the pleasure of hosting an information session for our Television Production with the BBC program in collaboration with Jane Elsdon Dew, course supervisor and trainer for the BBC Production Academy, and past alumni from the program. Jane engaged prospective students with her account of her career in television production and the BBC training offered to students in the fall and spring program.

The alumni shared personal stories about their attachments and their experiences working with individuals who have been with the BBC from the onset of their careers. The alumni from the program expressed the connection they felt to their professors, the valuable lessons they learned along the way, and how they were given opportunities they never would have been exposed to in the U.S.

If you couldn’t make it to this session don’t worry! We will host another one in March 2015!

The alumni listening intently as Jane Elsdon Dew (standing center) provides in-depth details about the program

The alumni listening intently as Jane Elsdon Dew (standing center) provides in-depth details about the program

A glimpse of the attendees and our guest speakers

A glimpse of the attendees and our guest speakers

One of our alumni, Jenny (center), relaying her experiences in the program with the audience

One of our alumni, Jenny (center), relaying her experiences in the program with the audience

October 15, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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A Class Visit with Matthew Robbins

Course instructor Brane Zivkovic with Matthew Robbins.

Course instructor Brane Zivkovic with Matthew Robbins.

Students in the Open Arts course Portrait of an Artist: Walter Murch were recently treated to a class visit and discussion with writer and director Matthew Robbins. Matthew is known for his work on films such as Mimic, The Sugarland Express, and *batteries not included.

Matthew left the students with one piece of advice regarding filmmaking. He said, “Stick to your gut and go for it.”

October 6, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Greetings from Wood Norton

Left to right back row: Ishan Seth, Graham Raubvogel, Collin Hutsell, Avery Ksander-Turner Left to right front row: Sarah Sommers,  Liv Senghor, Claire Mordowanec, Mirsada Abdool-Ramen

Left to right back row:
Ishan Seth, Graham Raubvogel, Collin Hutsell, Avery Ksander-Turner
Left to right front row:
Sarah Sommers, Liv Senghor, Claire Mordowanec, Mirsada Abdool-Ramen

Students in this semester’s Television Production with the BBC program in London took a minute to pose for this group shot while at the BBC’s Wood Norton site in Worcestershire. Students were there for their intensive multi-camera directing course in which they were able to direct in a three-camera studio crewed by professional camera operators, vision mixers, lighting and sound engineers.

Want to learn more about this program, RSVP for the BBC Information Session being held on Thursday, October 16 at 6pm.

September 30, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Five Questions for a Fall Semester at Tisch Student

Doug Gleicher left New York City for St. Louis but his passion for music brought him back. He is spending his fall semester taking classes in the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music through the Semester at Tisch Program. Here’s a little more about Doug:

Why did you want to study away for a semester?
I grew up in New York City and obviously feel a strong connection to it. When I moved to St. Louis to attend Washington University, I didn’t know exactly what my passion was. Now that I know it is music and entertainment, leaving St. Louis to study in one of the epicenters of the music industry seemed like a no-brainer.

Your major at Washington University is Comparative Literature. Why recorded music at Tisch?
I major in Comparative Arts at Wash. U. because I love writing and foreign language. The music majors at Wash. U. are focused heavily on classical music, but my focus is contemporary and popular music: Hip-Hop, Pop, R&B, Reggae, etc. The Wash. U. music department is great, but for what I’m interested in, making the move to ReMu at Tisch and studying exactly what I’m passionate about was an easy decision.

Photo courtesy of Doug Gleicher.

Photo courtesy of Doug Gleicher.

Please tell us about some of the courses you’re taking at Tisch.
Right now I’m taking a lot of in-studio courses, which is amazing. I’m learning how to mix, engineer, and record at the highest level. I’m also taking voice lessons and a music business course, and I’m starting a course on women as entrepreneurs at the end of October. Not to mention working in A&R at Columbia Records – which I got connected to through ReMu.

Photo courtesy of Doug Gleicher.

Photo courtesy of Doug Gleicher.

What are you most looking forward to this semester?
I’m most looking forward to being fully immersed in music and music business. It still seems surreal to me that I’m being graded on things I would be doing on my own time anyway. There’s always something going on in the city as well, so I try to go to at least three shows a week – a luxury that you won’t find in many other places.

A number of students who participate in the Semester at Tisch program have never been to New York City prior to entering the program. What’s a must to see and do in New York City?
A must see and do in the city… That’s tough. There’s so much to do. I’m sure everyone says see a Broadway play but I’d say just experience the culture of as many parts of the city as possible. Don’t rush to make it to Times Square either. There are so many great things to see and do so I also wouldn’t stress over trying to do everything. Go try a restaurant in a new neighborhood as often as you can, and try to get to a few concerts. Also just go out one night and see where you end up.

Applications for the Spring Semester at Tisch Program are being accepted on a rolling basis. Apply now!

You can follow Doug on Instagram @dougieson.

August 22, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Adrián Fernández on Cuba and Photography

Adrián Fernández will be a visiting scholar at Tisch this fall. He teaches Photography: On Location in Havana in the spring semester. In this interview, Adrián shares his creative process and what students should expect from the semester in Cuba.

What drives your creative vision as a photographer?
I pursue images that bring questioning to an audience, that are suggestive further than visual experience only. My photographs are means of dialogue with a certain context, object, aesthetic or concept. Studio photography has brought great opportunities for several of my series as I can control every detail about the final image. In my case that’s important, I like to create an image, to build it from the ground up, leaving few spaces to causality. I plan myself before I photograph; I sketch and write about some of my ideas and how can they be produce, afterwords the image is a result of all the previous work. I get inspired by films, advertising photography, art history in general but above all things I get inspired by things that happen in the everyday life, and most accurately, by Cuba. I find my roots to be deeply adhere to my country and most of my inspiration comes from there, although my photographs at some point don’t have a sign that says MADE IN CUBA, by the contrary. When photographing I aim for wider meanings and ideas that can exist within the image and that enables its life once it’s out there far from its original context and from the artist that produced it. A good photograph has enough autonomy to have a life of her own.

Do you have a particular style of photography?
Every project I undertake demands its own way of photographing. I always look for the most effective way of photographing for each series, that, not necessarily needs to look similar than the previous one. Each series has to offer me a new challenge somehow, otherwise it is to boring if I end up using the same method I used last time. Each series has a time of research in which I define every aspect about the image. Once I settle that, then comes the production moment, when I exploit the entire workflow getting results and accumulating enough work to edit afterword. When I feel I’m repeating myself with the same formula, then that’s the moments I stop and move on with something else.

22940026Cuba is certainly a unique place. What makes it unique from an artist’s perspective?
I agree, is definitely a unique place!!! From my perspective it’s the mixture of cultures, races, tradition, language and idiosyncrasy what makes it so rich and open. I’m not talking about blue beaches and palm trees and old American cars in the streets of Old Havana. That’s definitely a part, which those of you who decide to come to Cuba will see, enjoy and get tired of too. I’m talking about the people, about how they drive themselves, about how Cuban society works on a daily basis. I’m talking about walking a lot and seeing and experiencing first hand. It’s a complex context that escapes a tourist’s shallow eyes, but when observing closer, a much deeper Cuba reveals.

What do you hope students in the Tisch Cuba program capture with their lens?
What I always request of my students as our program begins in Havana is that they get rid of every previous assumption of how they thought Cuba and Havana would be like (because it’s not). They must be open minded and be willing to immerse into Havana’s daily life, meeting
persons in the street, going to shows, fairs, taking the buses etc…all of that will give them a firsthand experience that nobody can change or interfere with. Then, their photographic work has to be a result of that experience and their thoughts about it.

What will students take away from spending a semester in Cuba?
Each of them will have a different experience by the time the programs ends.  Regardless of their personal feelings by the time of their departure (some of them will love to stay 3 more months, others not so much), to have been in Havana, Cuba for three months it’s today an invaluable opportunity as they are accessing a much discussed and criticized country to which (yet) not so many students (Americans) access, so it preserves the unknown’s exotic patina. They’ll acquire extended knowledge in Cuban arts and culture as well as society all through the hands of field professional of the art from the Ludwig Foundation and Havana University which will be your main host institutions from the Cuban side.

Photographer Adrián Fernández studied at the Superior Institute of Art and at the San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts. His solo work has been exhibited in Cuba and the United States, including the Houston Center for Photography in Houston, Texas, and the Center for the Development of Visual Arts and the Juan David Gallery at the Yara Movie Theatre Cultural Center, both in Havana, Cuba.
Read his full bio and visit his website.

The application deadline for the spring 2015 program Photography on Location: Havana is October 1. Learn more and apply.


August 19, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Faculty Firsts

We each have a story, especially about our first job.  Sometimes our first professional opportunity fuels our passion and launches our career, and sometimes it terrifies us or others.

Below is an excerpt from our upcoming newsletter article “Faculty Firsts”. We asked Tisch Open Arts faculty how they started in their particular craft and what their first “real” job in their industry was. This is what Angela Pietropinto, director of the Open Arts studio, had to say:

Looking back, I feel that I was blessed to have been born and raised in Greenwich Village. Years ago, the Village was teeming with artists, not just stars. The first theatrical production that I saw was The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O’Neill starring Jason Robards. It was playing at the famed off-Broadway theater Circle in the Square located at Sheridan Square which I could see from my bedroom window. Like so many small theaters, it has been replaced by luxury apartment buildings.

Angela Pietropinto's copy of the TV Guide which listed the PBS special The Miraculous Mummer. In those days, Angela went by Angela Peters.

Angela Pietropinto’s copy of the TV Guide which listed the PBS special The Miraculous Mummer. In those days, Angela went by Angela Peters.

When it came time to choose a college, I chose NYU’s Washington Square College of Arts and Science partly because I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I was an English major with a Drama minor. In those days, there was no Tisch but NYU had an excellent drama department in the School of Education and that is where I spent most of my time doing plays. It was through my association with NYU that I was given the opportunity to have my first professional experience in a Christmas special which was filmed in St. John the Divine Church and aired on PBS. It was a dance-drama entitled The Miraculous Mummer. With a mixture of pride and horror, my parents watched me come up from a massive pulpit as Satan denouncing the new born babe. And thus began my love affair with theater.

I subsequently went on to get my MFA in Acting at the new-found Tisch School of the Arts in their Graduate Acting Department. Thanks to the training that I received there, I have enjoyed a long career in theater, film and television. This fall I will be working on a new HBO mini-series as well as teaching Tisch Open Arts courses. Although I have performed on five continents, I have never gotten out of the Village or NYU.

–Angela Pietropinto

Angela Pietropinto teaches Acting for Stage and Screen in Semester at Tisch every spring semester. She also teaches Acting I and Comic Relief in Tisch Open Arts every fall semester.

Read more “faculty firsts” in the upcoming Tisch Special Programs newsletter.

July 30, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Taking the Minor in Producing Abroad

Dramatic Writing + Politics + Producing = One Busy Student!

NYU undergraduate student Lizzie Johnson spent part of her summer with Tisch in the Producing in London program, with courses taught by Sharon Badal and Jack Lechner. The two courses she took fulfilled requirements for the Minor in Producing but after catching up with Lizzie, it certainly sounds like other aspects of her studies at NYU will be encouraged by her experience of studying abroad.

Please tell us a little about yourself: I am a sophomore at NYU double-majoring in Dramatic Writing and Politics, and I am pursuing the Minor in Producing. I’m originally from Michigan, but I also lived in Germany and California. Traveling is one of my passions, so Producing in London seemed like a great opportunity for me, especially as a producing minor.

How did taking producing courses in London differ from taking producing courses in New York City? The classes were much more intensive than they would’ve been if I had taken them in New York, but that is expected considering we were squeezing a one-semester class into 12 school days. There was also a big difference in the guest speakers and references. Rather than seeing a show on Broadway and talking about it, we saw Henry IV, Part One at Shakespeare’s birthplace. We also had various guest speakers from the British film industry, such as representatives from the BBC and Film4.

Students in the Producing in London program outside the Warner Bros. Studio.

Students in the Producing in London program outside the Warner Bros. Studio.

Please tell us about the courses Producing Essentials and Media Moguls. What should a student expect? Producing Essentials is all about the basics of being a producer. You learn about acquiring rights, finances, distributing your movie, production, and the producer’s relationship to all parts of TV shows, movies, theatre productions, and new media projects. In Media Moguls on the other hand, you learn about the big Hollywood producers that have molded the American film industry to be what it is today and how they got it there.

Why do you think it’s important to understand the role of a producer in all creative fields, be it film, television, theatre, music, dance, or new media? As a student pursuing the Minor in Producing, it is essential for me to understand the role of the producer in order to later perform my job to my best abilities. Producers are important because they get projects moving and keep them on track, so if you understand your role as the producer, it is easier to make your project a successful piece of art and entertainment.

As a dramatic writing student, how did studying in London inspire you? London is so full of beauty and culture. While New York has a certain energy that fuels my creativity, London has an elegance that is captivating. Being home to so many wonderful authors, poets, and playwrights, inspired me to explore different types of writing that I hadn’t really considered.

What are some of your favorite sites in London? The London Eye at night is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. While it might sound cheesy, I would highly recommend using one of your few free days to take a bus tour. There is so much beauty in the city that it is easy to miss something extraordinary. I always knew that Big Ben would be incredible up close and personal, I did not realize how much intricate details it has and how awe-inspiring it is when the sun hits it. Definitely a great place to be inspired by.

What did you take away from your overall studying abroad experience? Studying abroad was a wonderful experience. I met lots of great people and tried lots of things that I hadn’t otherwise. It was also nice to be there for such a short period of time because I spent so much time trying to see everything that there was no time for me to be homesick. I would recommend this program to anyone considering it.

July 10, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Locking and Popping in New York City

Tisch’s own Alan Watson, administrative coordinator at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, and instructor for the Open Arts summer course Steps Rhythm, and Movement of Hip Hop Dance, will be competing in the hip-hop dance competition StepYaGameUp 2014. This is one of New York City’s most anticipated annual dance competitions.

Alan Watson's photo by Samantha L. Siegel

Alan took some time out today to answer a few questions for us.

How did you get involved in hop hop dance?
After studying briefly in high school, I got involved in hip hop when I moved to New York City to become a student at NYU. Since then, I’ve studied different forms of freestyle hip hop, danced with a few different crews, and now primarily teach and battle.

How would you describe your style of dance?
When I’m battling, it’s all about being funky and charismatic, as I compete in the “Locking” categories at battles. When I’m teaching, I hope to infuse freestyle into my hip hop choreography. In either case, I’m usually keeping it fun with deep connection to the music.

web-AlanWatson-SamanthaLSiegel-46Who influences your moves?
Most of my moves are influenced by “old school” party grooves, popping, locking mixed together to create something new and fresh. I’m always trying to keep a connection to the old while infusing some of the new.

Is this your first time competing at StepYaGameUp?
I’ve competed in StepYaGameUp for 4 years, and each year I feel like I get closer and closer to the goal of eventually winning. We’ll see how this year turns out :)

StepYaGameUp 2014 is produced by the first hip-hop dance choreographer and dance pioneer, Buddha Stretch. The event will be held on Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19. Judges on the panel include legendary pioneers in street dance and international street dancers. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Photos of Alan Watson by Samantha L. Siegel.