Last week was the culmination of the third years collabrotive arts project that meant everyday I got to see some live art.
The project is pretty new to the curriculum, and was guided by Luis Lara Malcavaris, a choreographer, dancer and artist who lives in NYC but works globally. (A classic example of the global dance community - Luis' work was the first thing I saw when I moved to NYC, I took his class, I see him when he teaches at NSCD and he has also danced alongside Ricardo de Paula, the director of the company I dance/d with in Berlin. How does the song go 'Its a small world after all...').
Through our conversations, and watching him endlessly working around college and Leeds city centre, I know Luis gave a lot to the students. Its a project that takes a lot of work. And I know from talking to friends in third year they appreciated his presence greatly.
And some really interesting work was produced. I enjoyed experiencing it all. It ranged from an audience participating paint covered street installation to a hugh spiders web covering the stage in Northern's theatre. There was video, can sculptures, huge floor collages, roller coaster simulation, naked bodies, paint covered bodies, open spaces and enclosed spaces.
It was great to see creative work that wasn't 'dance'. Refreshing to see students expressing their creativity in new ways, but still using their bodies. (I would say all pieces used movement in some form or another).
And I think most importantly it was important to see work in a wider context. Lots an lots of work is produced at NSCD. But it rarely gets out of the building. Equally rare is the general public coming into the building. The collaborative arts project gives the chance to puts the work outside our four walls. Mainly onto the street.
When watching the street installation that invited members of the audience to come and paint the performers. I found it great when normo's interrupted their daily toil between work and primark to stop an stare. 'What's that? Why are they doing that?'
It makes me happy to think that NSCD students brought a bit of, if some what baffling, colour to people's lives.
With the introduction of this new project I hope that NSCD's integration in to Leeds' culture will move to a new level, and students will use their talents to challenge, and in my opinion, enrich the lives of the good people of Leeds.
I have invited the groups involved in the project to upload their videos so I can blog some of their work. So watch this space.