Goals for the semester
By Moscelyne PH
The spring semester has come rolling in full force! I started back to school after two weeks of a restful break, and a week of dancing at the Gaga intensive in NYC. For those of you unfamiliar with this funny term “Gaga”, it refers to a movement language and practice developed by a dancer and choreographer named Ohad Naharin. Naharin now creates visceral, and poignant works for the Batsheva Dance Company in Israel. I gathered with 60 dancers from all over the world, with various backgrounds and levels of dance training, The beautiful thing about practicing Gaga is that you do not have to be a dancer in order to take part. Gaga is centered around sensation, it is a practice of harnessing different sensations and manifesting those through movement. Thus I began my first week of school sore, tired, and with a heightened awareness of my body and the wonderful availability which is present in Gaga. I also came with an appreciation for the dedication and the openness of the participants in the program, and with an anticipation for the new projects and creations which awaited me in the spring semester.
Spring semester is one of the more stressful times at Juilliard. The theater department takes on numerous plays, the musicians tackle recitals and auditions, the dancers conquer two main stage performances, a handful of blackbox productions, and too many summer auditions. It is at times a grueling semester, that results in fantastic productions and displays of hard work. Yet this is also a time of numerous growth, and astounding displays of dedication and personal breakthroughs.
After having the experience of beginning my year with a dance experience that was removed from Juilliard, I came back with a mindset that I wanted to take with me throughout the journey of this semester. The beauty of being a human who breaths out art. The curiosity of a child, and the openness of the unknown. My roommate Mathew also took part in the Gaga intensive, and he has had a number of encounters with the technique. I asked him how he planned to integrate the experience of the intensive into his second semester. He answered: “ I need to keep listening, I need to let things in before throwing them out. I need to reignite. I need to create a fire, and I need to do more things for myself.”
This time of year is full of resolutions, new goals, and grand plans of change. But this year I am looking to simplify, to condense my goals into working hard, and to bringing more of myself into everything I do. As usual, simple things are always more complex than they seem! Thus I will look to others in order to better understand myself. I can do this in daily life, and within my training as an artist. I hope that through understanding others I can become a fuller version of myself.
Highlights from spring semester last year: