Archive | July, 2011

Getting Whipped into Shape: Brown Style

2 Jul

So I meant to post on Monday, but time kinda got away from me (that’ll happen here.  A lot.)  So I’d like to take this brief break I have to give you a rundown of my day:

9:00-9:50:  Movement!  And by movement I mean an exercise in sadism in the form of ballet.  The teacher of this class is an intense, highly focused women whose insanity is balanced by the fact that I love her.  The morning workout consists of dance, stretches and some stuff I don’t even have a label for.  I spend the majority of my time falling down (but it’s so worth it!)

10:30-1:00.  Acting! More scene study!  YAY!  Lately we’ve been working on “Art Exercises.”  This means:  you have a group, this group chooses a painting, the group devises a piece inspired by said painting, art is born.  Theoretically anyway.  My group (a lovely bunch of people.  I’ve literally never done a smoother group project) did a piece based on Salvador Dali’s Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening.  You know, this one:

It ended up being a series of monologues in which various people recount their (often quite disturbing) dreams.  The performance went well, although there was one person who actually did fall asleep.

2:00-5:30 (sometimes 6).  Creative Ensemble!  Here’s the meat right here.  Creative Ensemble is an incredibly draining series of exercises meant to create ensemble and develop an original performance piece by the end of the summer.  The class is incredible, and pushes me in ways I didn’t think were possible.  I want to devote an entire post to this course, so look out for that in the future!

7:00-10:30  Rehearsal!  This is another part that deserves its own post.  That’s gonna come once hell week is over (we open on July 6th).  If you’re in Providence you should check out the show.  You can see me moving set pieces dressed like a hipster (more on that later.)  Here’s the link for tickets:

But I have been learning a lot from rehearsals.  Even if I sometimes try too hard, mess up and then do this (internally):

That’s all for now.

Signing off,

Mike Trottier

P.S  I have two bathrooms in my apartment.  One is normal.  The other is apparently the bathroom where they filmed Saw.


Week 1 of Dance Internship

2 Jul

Hi all! Hope your summers are fantastic so far! After my first week of work and my first dance class in 3 weeks, I may be extremely sore, but I had a great week and look forward to learning more. Aside from my 9-5 marketing internship which is four days a week, (and not the most fun) I also have an arts administration internship in New York City with Megan Sprenger, who is not only the head of marketing and PR at New York Live Arts (NYLA), but is also the artistic director of her own company, mvworks. Working for Megan is a wonderful opportunity. The greatest part of the internship is that while I am doing work for mvworks, I am at NYLA observing the inner-workings of a great dance venue. This past week, I had many tasks to complete. My favorite one, though, was the compilation of the annual report for mvworks. This report gives descriptions of all of the company’s projects over the past year in order to show donors that their money is being put to good use. It was really interesting to see how much it costs to run a company-you need funds for travel/transportation, performance venues, lighting, and of course money to pay the dancers. But despite the myriad expenses, as the movement component of my internship, mvworks paid for me to take an open class with one of their dancers, Kendra Portier (remember her?) at Dance New Amsterdam (DNA) last Saturday. Taking this class reminded me of why I was so inspired when Kendra and Ali (who also dances with mvworks) taught the master class up at Colby. Kendra really encourages dancers to push their boundaries. Her class is not only physical, but also thought-provoking. She urges you to think about where movement comes from and why it makes you feel a certain way. The class was two hours, so there was ample time for an extremely thorough warm-up, with opportunities for improvisation weaved throughout. I am personally not the biggest fan of improv only because it feels so foreign to me and I get really self-conscious, so it was really good to be forced out of my comfort zone. Watching the other dancers improvise was really inspirational and gave me tons of ideas. Hopefully, by the time I go up to the Bates Dance Festival at the end of July, I will be more comfortable with improvisation. This is an area that I (and I think many dancers) view as an exercise, as opposed to a form of exploration and a vital part of the creative process. I am really looking forward to continuing with my internship and can’t wait to give you all another update!

Much love and happy dancing!


From Mike: Reporting Live from Brown

2 Jul

One weekend down and I’m already a little exhausted, but that’s fine.

For those of you who don’t know (which is everyone) I’m doing the Brown/Trinity Apprentice Program at Brown University.  Basically my job is to take classes, help out with the productions this Summer and mentor high schoolers in another summer program.  It’s a lot, but I’m excited to jump into everything.

I got here on Friday had a little meet and greet and settled into my apartment.  It’s a rather old house (from the 1860s or something like that) and I’m 76% sure it’s haunted.  Seriously.  I have a growing suspicion someone was murdered or least severely maimed on my staircase, due to some suspicious stains I can’t explain.  At night the place emits this weird noise that sounds a lot like the music on the main page of a Wii.  Again, I’m not kidding.  But aside from a murderous ghost that apparently likes tennis, the place is nice and spacious.  It also doesn’t have WiFi.

My Saturday was spent putting up posters in Providence’s Italian district.  In order to understand the slight failure of this adventure, you need to see the poster:

While very eye-catching, the nature of the poster (in all its stabby glory) meant no fancy restaurant or gallery would hang it.  So, of course, the majority of the places on our street were fancy restaurants and galleries.

The real work starts on Tuesday.  That’s when the real schedule kicks in and I’ll probably have no time for anything but sleep and food (although I’ve been told I’ll probably have to pick one of those per week).

My goal is to post every Monday since it’s my only day off.  Yay.

Signing Off,

Mike Trottier