MDRW 6 - Dance and da Vinci

Image courtesy of Ann Dahlman.

Monday, all the MDRW students had their Intermediate Research and Methodology course with professor Hiie Saumaa, in which they discussed an excerpt from Susanne Langer’s book titled Philosophy in a New Key: A Study in the Symbolism of Reason, Rite and Art They. The course was filled with fruitful discussion centered around why humans engage in what can be considered worthless actions, in contrast to actions performed for the sake of survival. Near the end of class, students divided into groups to start planning the symposium that they will hold at the end of the semester.

Tuesday, students had their first Collaboration course with professor Hiie Saumaa (who also teaches their Intermediate Research and Methodology course!). Hiie is a writer, dance scholar and somatic movement educator. The two day Collaboration course was comprised of three sessions.

In the first session on Tuesday, Hiie lead a high intensity movement course accompanied by music. This was followed by a guided meditation and body and mind check-in. Throughout the day, Hiie asked students to journal about each activity they did, and to reflect on how it made them feel. They discussed somatics, the state of flow that creators often get into, and how it is important to be aware of the position and stress that one puts on their bodies while creating.

Wednesday, students started the day early at the Musée du Louvre to attend the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition. It was a beautifully curated exhibition compiled of numerous paintings, drawings, sketches and writings.

After the exhibition, students headed back to PCA’s campus for the last session of Hiie’s collaboration course. Here, they reflected on movement that they sensed in da Vinci’s works, and what kind of collaborations could be made between them and dancers. They proceeded to dance for a portion of the class. To end the day, Hiie suggested that they continue to work on their personal art projects while being mindful of how their body and mind felt while creating.

Thursday night, some of the MDRW students attended the Professional Networking Series course. This weeks guest speaker was Neha Lad, a trend consultant and textile designer working between India and France. Lad explained her creative process, her way of collaborating and networking, and the academic and professional steps she took to get to the level she is currently at in her career.

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Life in Paris and Students.

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Hiie Saumaa.