intra-district exchange was designed for Hopkins, the
most-wired [yet sadly underutilized] school district
in the state. A training tape was shot and shown to all
participants. Subsequently, two elementary schools participated
in 3 interactive sessions in order to devise a collaborative choreography.
Children in the two schools had never met. They came together for the first
time at a post-exchange performance for friends and family, where their interactive
choreography was performed in one space on a stage.
Design interns from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design joined the
staff for the fall and the first few months of 2003. They guided staff in
the redesign of the TPL website to accommodate a streamlined history of the
project and an extensive “how-to” component, part of the “Tool
Kit” envisaged at the outset of the project; a guide for the field.
22 Senior Dance Majors at GCIT/Southern New Jersey Academy for Performing
Arts presented final choreographic compositions for Mary Harding, coach
from the Perpich Center for Arts Education. After critique, the pieces
were performed again for the coach. Each piece was presented for the
public accompanied by a video commentary edited by each student. Seven
interactive sessions in all were held prior to performance. One final
session critiqued performance and brought the exchange to a close. This
project had built on similar exchanges among peers and coaches in 2002.
Risa Steinberg and Gus Solomons, Jr. coached interactive sessions from New
York City for Springboard pre-professional dancers [Ballet Arts Minnesota]
as demonstrations for new partners on the East Coast. Observers included
the Manhattan Theatre Club, dance Theatre Workshop, National Dance Intitue,
and the Juilliard Dance Initiative.
Gloria McLean, a Hawkins coach, worked interactively for the first time and
created a spontaneous interactive dance with dancers from the University
of Minnesota, Springboard DANCE and the Perpich Center. The occasion
was the AAPHERD Conference held annually, this year in Philadelphia.
The demonstration aimed to develop new partnerships; over 75 educators
from across America attended.
An innovative interactive Drama Exchange called “Building A Character” was
conducted. Participants were 19 Sophomore and Junior Drama Majors at the
Southern New Jersey Academy and 19 International Baccalaureate students [including
Freshmen] from Southwest High School, Minneapolis. Students first chose a
character name, then designed an icon that metaphorically represented a character.
An interactive session was held that featured improvisation across space
and introduced the characters to partners across the country. Then, students
exchanged letters on the TPL Bulletin Board with a partner across the country.
The exchanges were refined by improvisation in subsequent interactive sessions,
resulting eventually in a written script that was played out interactively
across space. The entire process can be tracked on the TPL website.
Interactive training sessions for educators continue under the direction
of the Perpich Center.