Duane Cyrus is a Professor in CVPA’s School of Dance. Cyrus teaches studio-based courses — repertory, choreography, and technique — and he says those are challenging courses to teach online:
“The Performing Arts are all about human interaction. They involve bodies moving together in the same space.”
Cyrus says that although there is no substitute for face-to-face teaching, he’s found ways to make Zoom work for his students. The gallery views allow them to work “together”, and it’s been a good platform for the students to have discussions and support each other.
In this visit to the Virtual Classroom, Cyrus shares his and his students’ successes, obstacles, and art.
Photo: Zoom session from Cyrus’s undergraduate choreography class, DCE 253
This story is part of an ongoing series, The Virtual Classroom, in which we highlight the way CVPA has pivoted to online classes during this time of social distancing. If you have a story to share, from either a teaching OR learning perspective, please send your information to email@example.com with The Virtual Classroom in the subject line.
Congratulations to all of the CVPA students who participated in this year’s 14th Annual Carolyn and Norwood Thomas Undergraduate Research and Creativity Expo! Thanks also go to all of the faculty mentors who advised these research projects. If you would like to sample the research of our undergraduate students, just click on the project title for the YouTube link to the project:
In a virtual ceremony this spring, CVPA recognized five faculty members and one staff member who are retiring this year.
Collectively, James Fisher, David Nelson, George Dimock, Robert Hansen, Gregory Carroll, and Jeff Gillis have contributed 159 years to the life of UNC Greensboro.
Watch the presentation here.
An important aspect for the College of Visual and Performing Arts is its community engagement, and the School of Music Private Lessons Program is one of the foundations of that effort. The lessons are available for all ages and allow community members to experience the joy and accomplishment of gaining artistic and technical skills in music. They are also a key tool for undergraduate and graduate students to gain valuable one-on-one teaching experience during their time at UNCG.
When COVID-19 struck, the private lessons instructors and students had two choices: discontinue or, like everything else the at university, move into a new, virtual world.
Lalia Mangione ’20 MM Violin Performance, took the challenge:
A famous monologue in Shakespeare’s As You Like It begins, “All the world’s a stage…”
It’s not exactly what Shakespeare meant, but taken literally, it’s true these days. Theatres — and theatre classrooms — are closed and suddenly professors and students are relating with each other from “stages” in their homes. But how do you teach an art that depends on human interaction when the participants are apart? Dominick Amendum is the Artist-in-Residence and Coordinator of UNC Greensboro’s Musical Theatre Program:
Jennifer Reis, Assistant Professor in Arts Administration has created a mask making initiative that has distributed over three hundred masks to health care, social services, and education organizations in Martinsville, Virginia. Check out the article in the Martinsville Bulletin about this amazing initiative:
With an uncertain U.S. economic forecast, no state budget in sight, and a national health crisis causing procedural changes almost weekly, you’d think that the chief financial officer of UNC Greensboro’s College of Visual and Performing Arts might have her hands pretty full right now.
If you think that, you haven’t met Brigette Pfister, CVPA’s Assistant Dean of Finance. Balancing budgets and managing the college’s operational systems by day, Pfister still finds time to spend at the sewing machine in her basement making COVID-19 protection masks to donate to healthcare workers in the Triad and beyond:
Mitchel Sommers ’78 MFA Theatre sings to his mother at her window in senior living community.
During homebound days, the Weatherspoon’s website and social media will become platforms for re-imagined engagement. You’ll see highlights from their collection with commentary by museum staff, be able to respond to weekly themes and questions that they post, and submit your own thoughts and comments.
School of Art Assistant Professor Leah Sobsey’s work is featured in an article about the exhibition Winter Blue at the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, California.
Leah will be giving an artist lecture on Tuesday, April 14th via Zoom. She will be discussing work from her current exhibition at The Center for Photographic Art as well as work from her monograph, Collections, released in 2016. Collections contains images of birds, herbaria, butterflies, artifacts, bones, and nests. The work is an exploration of our constantly evolving and increasingly intertwined relationship with nature and science. Leah’s work combines historical photographic process and current digital technology. Learn how she created her Swarm, on view at CPA, and discover her inspirations, ideas, and her working methods. Visit the website below to register!
In the Summer of 1989, UNCG offered a set of two sociology classes, applied research and social theory, focused on the study of the Grateful Dead community. The instructor, a photographer, a film crew, two graduate assistants, and 21 students went on tour that summer and made history.
For UNCG it was the Year of the Dead.
During the 2018-2019 academic year, almost 30 years later, UNCG hosted a series of events celebrating the legacy of the Grateful Dead. The events included a showing of The Long Strange Trip, the Grateful Dead Documentary Series; a curated Psychedelic Counter-Culture Art Exhibition at UNCG School of Art’s Greensboro Project Space; a performance, and an encore performance, of a UNCG Grateful Dead cover band, the Spartans Play Dead; a semester-long online course focused on the Grateful Dead Legacy; Images of the Grateful Dead and Deadheads, a photographic exhibition; and finally UNCG Dead Scholars Unite!, a day of scholarly presentations focused on the Grateful Dead and their fans.
The team at Another Year of the Dead have been posting documentation of these exciting events on their Facebook page during this trippy time, including videos from the April 2019 conference UNCG Dead Scholars Unite!
If you’re enjoying the Met Opera online performances, you can thank a behind-the-scenes CVPA alumna. Read how Sidney Dixon ’09 BM Vocal Performance is a part of them all.
A quarantine isn’t going to keep this group from rehearsing. Read and see more here about how the Old Time Ensemble practicing music while practicing social distancing.
School of Art Professor Lee Walton has been creating remotely facilitated online artworks for decades. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic he has been sharing some of these projects on his website:
School of Art MFA Student Grace Clark creates a social distance artist residency program called ‘Shelter.’
“Through Shelter, I aim to provide a way to help each other stay propelled, purposeful, and productive whether that looks like a creation of products or an introspective turn inward to focus on these complex feelings. If what you feel you need right now is a structured, resume building work time to keep moving and not fall behind, or on the other side, want to allow yourself the space to sit in emotions and process for a period of time, this residency can be whatever you decide you need as all experiences are valid and upon reflection encourage growth and depth. With your participation, I hope to empower people to embrace however their experience may look, gather evidence of what we can create and consider in times of crisis, and learn how through these struggles we can continue to grow and prosper. ”