Meet the Dancers of Week of Dance! Spotlight on Full Swing Dancers!

By Alexandra Villareal

In order to kick off the Arts Council event Week of Dance, we have begun to explore the stories of the students that form Boston College’s various dance groups, so we would like to introduce you to BC dancers Naz Subah and Dave Hoffman, two dance partners in BC’s swing group Full Swing!

Be sure to check out the Week of Dance Facebook event for more info and be sure to get your tickets from the Robsham Theater Arts Center!

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Boston College’s high-flying, toe-taping dance group Full Swing will be returning to Week of Dance. We focus on two dancers, Naz Subah and Dave Huffman, who have been partners for three years. Naz is currently president of the club and Dave is also on the executive board, helping choreograph their dance for Showdown in the spring.

What’s your favorite memory of Full Swing?

Naz: My favorite memory is from a rehearsal my sophomore year. In the middle of an aerial, Dave lost grip of my ankle, but he continued to spin me, holding me by the toes. That was when I realized I could trust my partner to catch me, even if it was by the toes!

Dave: I’d have to say that my favorite memory was my sophomore year Showdown. After countless hours of work, just getting to be on that stage was such an incredible experience, but hearing the crowd’s applause afterwards was truly unforgettable.

Why did you join Full Swing and what made you stay?

Naz: I joined Full Swing because I wanted to learn a new style of dance. I had to quit a competitive dance team after my freshman year, so I needed something more easygoing, and Full Swing was just that. I stayed for the same reason as anyone else; we all really love to dance together and when we’re not dancing, we are hanging out together. My Full Swing fam knows me better than most people on campus.

Dave: I had a flyer shoved in my face by people dancing in the aisle on Club Day my freshman year.  I decided to go, because why not? I had fun and the people were so friendly and welcoming that I wanted to go back next week. The dancing kept being fun and the people that made up the club became my close friends. I wanted to go back, so I did. And still do.

Why do you like to dance?

Naz: Dance started off as a stress reliever, because it allows me to clear my mind and just throw myself into choreography. But as I’ve grown with dance, I recognize that the best part is being able to express individuality through dance.

Dave: I like dance because it is a great outlet. Dancing is inherently fun and expressive, and I’ve found that dancing can put a smile on your face even when you’re having a rough day. And when you’re close with the people you’re dancing with, there is no judgment, which makes you feel comfortable just being yourself.

What do you like most about being partners?

Naz: Dancing with a partner requires a tremendous amount of trust, which accumulates over time. You can anticipate a partner’s next move from his/her body language if trust and chemistry exist. Having danced with Dave for so long, I know his favorite moves and the meaning of his facial expressions

Dave: Naz was my first partner freshman year, and have danced with her a lot over the years. Not only do we have great chemistry, but also we feel comfortable together and just know how each other dance. More than that, though, she’s become a very close friend. I know she’ll always be there for me if I’m panicking and need advice or am stressed and just want to vent, just like how she knows I’ll always be there for her.

Come out and support Full Swing during the 2016 Week of Dance hosted by the Boston College Arts Council and the Robsham Theater Arts Center! Make sure to also check out the Full Swing Facebook Page and grab your tickets to Week of Dance online at the Robsham Theatre Arts Center.

Be sure to check out the BC Week of Dance workshops throughout this week (schedule below) as well as the Week of Dance Showcase shows on Friday Dec 2nd at 7:00pm and Saturday Dec 3rd at 7:00pm; tickets through at Robsham Theater Arts Center.

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Meet the Dancers of Week of Dance! Francisco of Fuego del Corazon

by Estefania Szapiro

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Dancer of Fuego del Corazon– Francisco Uzcategui

“Having so many great people on the team and in the dancing community is incredibly important when you spend so much time with them. A lot of the friendships I developed through college have come from Fuego and it has brought my BC experience to a whole new level” – Francisco Uzcategui

Francisco (CSOM’ 17) is an international student from Venezuela and has been the the captain of Fuego del Corazon for the past two years. Fuego strives to encourage the awareness of Latin culture through dance in a positive and co-ed environment. They perform Tango, Bachata, Merengue, Salsa and every other dance style with Latin roots, but also like to mix it up with some contemporary styles like Hip-Hop. More than a dance group, Fuego is before all else a family.

Initially, Francisco considered himself a social dancer and claims to never have imagined joining an actual dance team and performing before an audience. This all changed when he came to BC and decided to branch out and try new things. He first heard about Fuego at a party in freshmen year where a member of the team saw him dancing and urged him to try out. He was selected among the many students that auditioned and made a life-changing decision by joining the team. Not only did he discover a passion in the arts, but also made life-long friendships that positively influenced his college experience.

For Week of Dance Francisco is excited to see what the other teams are bringing this year, especially choreographies. He encourages everyone to come to the Week of Dance shows and workshops to enjoy some good dancing and cool performances and promises you wont regret it.

Come to Week of Dance and support your friends and dance groups! Experience BC’s art of dance and see more than 100 talented performers do what they love most.

Be sure to check out the BC Week of Dance workshops throughout this week (schedule below) as well as the Week of Dance Showcase shows on Friday Dec 2nd at 7:00pm and Saturday Dec 3rd at 7:00pm; tickets through at Robsham Theater Arts Center.

 

And be sure to check out Fuego’s special workshop on Tues Nov 29 in the Brighton Dance Studio!

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Week of Dance! Dancer Spotlight: Monica of On Tap

By Rachel Vishanoff

In order to kick off the Arts Council & Robsham Theater Arts Center event Week of Dance, we have begun to explore the stories of the students that form Boston College’s various dance groups, so we would like to introduce you to BC Senior and tapper Monica Cosica of BC’s On Tap!

Be sure to check out the Week of Dance Facebook event for more info and be sure to get your tickets from the Robsham Theater Arts Center!

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On Tap is BC’s only all-tap dance group on campus, and it is also BC’s newest dance group! Since the spring of 2015, On Tap has grown tremendously and is now proud to perform in events like Week of Dance, Showdown, Arts Fest, and Dancing with bOp!

Monica Coscia, a dancer of 17 years, is a senior in On Tap and a member of the executive board.

“Watching On Tap grow through my transition as a member of the first e-board to a leader of the group has been one of my most formative experiences at Boston College: it has taught me that anyone with enough self-motivation and perseverance can turn his or her passion into a successful enterprise that has provided a community to dozens of dancers and entertainment to thousands of audience members.”

“Because I, like so many others at BC, am constantly expressing myself through complex conversations, discussions, and essays, dance allows me to self-express in a non-verbal, non-written way”

“Tap is my favorite style of dance because the possibilities for choreography are endless—there are innumerable combinations of each tap step that can be performed with any style of music or no music at all, mixed with other styles of dance like jazz and hip hop, and performed in traditional or modern styles.”

“Tap is its own language, and there is something unspeakably satisfying about many dancers speaking it in perfect unison.”

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Be sure to check out the BC Week of Dance workshops throughout this week (schedule below) as well as the Week of Dance Showcase shows on Friday Dec 2nd at 7:00pm and Saturday Dec 3rd at 7:00pm; tickets through at Robsham Theater Arts Center.

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Career Night for the Arts Alumni Feature: Lauren Pollock ’07, Gallery Director

by Rachel Lee

Meet Lauren Pollock from the BC class of 2007! Pollock is currently the Gallery Director of the Leila Heller Gallery in New York City (read more about the Gallery, with locations in New York and Dubai, here).

Career Night for the Arts 2016! Come join us on Thursday, November 16th between 7:00pm – 8:30pm in the Heights Room to meet tons of BC alumni working in the arts to network, ask questions, and get advice about developing your own creative career! Check out the Arts Council Career Night for the Arts website for more info, or look at the Facebook event page! This event is a collaborative endeavor between the Arts Council, the Career Center, and the Alumni Association, bringing together all of BC’s best resources to help BC students turn their creativity into a career. You can also read the bios of all of the attending alumni here. 

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Lauren Pollock graduated from Boston College in 2007, with a degree in Art History. She continued her graduate studies at Hunter College in New York City, and completed a 6-month internship at The Jewish Museum where she assisted with the exhibition Chagall and the Artists of the Russian Jewish Theater1919-1949. Currently she is Director of Leila Heller Gallery, an art gallery specializing in contemporary international art with locations in New York City and Dubai. There she oversees the gallery’s ambitious exhibition and art fair programme, manages artist relationships, and helps to organize numerous off-site projects. Currently she is serving as the editor of a forthcoming book on the work of Shiva Ahmadi, to be published in 2017.

What is your most memorable art-related experience at BC and could you describe what you learned from it? 

Definitely the many afternoons spent at the MFA [Museum of Fine Arts, Boston]! It is so wonderful that the Art Department at BC takes advantage of having so many amazing museums and institutions at its fingertips. The time I spent engaging directly with works of art for coursework was immensely inspiring and a driving force behind my decision to pursue a career in the arts.

In today’s fast-changing art world, what are some of the biggest changes you have witnessed during your career? 

The accessibility to art, or more specifically to images of art. Art enthusiasts, collectors and the general public now have vast resources for viewing art online and via social media. Already just in the number of years that I have been working in the gallery world, I feel there has been a noticeable change in how art is experienced. While there are many advantages to this of course, I hope that galleries and museums continue to remain spaces of learning, enjoyment and social engagement!

As a director of a contemporary art gallery, what is the most rewarding part of your job? 

Being able to work closely with so many amazing and talented artists. There is a great feeling of fulfillment in seeing a project or exhibition of their work to fruition, especially one that is well received publicly and critically.

Some of our artists have also had really fantastic public installation projects, which are especially exciting to work on…You feel the work is able to have this whole other life outside of the gallery! One of our artists currently has a large-scale outdoor sculpture featured in a public park in the city of Chicago, presented through the Chicago Parks District. Knowing that countless people pass by that work every day is pretty special!

What are some of the qualities or skills that you feel will help a BC student succeed in today’s art museum/gallery field?

Being passionate, driven and curious I think are all very important qualities to have! And definitely being proactive and engaged. For anyone seriously interested in pursuing a career in the arts, my advice is to just get out there: see art, visit museums and galleries, connect with people who are in the field, and ask questions!

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BC Students: Don’t forget to check out all of the amazing artistic alumni attending Career Night for the Arts 2016, and make sure to read our interviews with Maureen Donovan, the Deputy Director of Harvard Art Museums; Eric Butler, Theatre Producer; Erin Dionne, Author; Karen Stein, Art Director and Principal Designer at goodgood; Daron Manoogian, the Communications Director of Harvard Art Museums; and Stephen Zubricki III, Principal Designer for Mystic View Design, Inc.  Meet these alumni and more at Career Night for the Arts, Thursday November 17th, 2016 at 7-8:30pm in the Heights Room!

Meet the Dancers of Week of Dance: Emily Durkin, Dance Ensemble

What happens when you put together about 30 amazing dancers who also choreograph their own dances? You get Boston College’s Dance Ensemble. According to BCDE’s own website, “All the proceeds that BCDE generates from performances benefit the Boston College Campus School, a non-profit special education day school for students ages 3-21 with multiple disabilities.”

In order to kick off Week of Dance, we have begun to explore the stories of the students that form Boston College’s various dance groups, starting with BCDE’s Director Emily Durkin.

Emily is currently a senior at Boston College pursuing a major in Economics and Philosophy. Not only is Durkin the current director of BCDE, but she was also formerly the Vice Chair of the Student Organization Funding Committee at BC.

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We had a chance to sit down to ask her a few questions about her dance experience:

What inspires you to dance? How has it impacted your life? 

Dance Ensemble at BC has given me my best friends and most special memories. I auditioned for the team at the last minute my freshman year, and I am so glad I did. We feel so lucky that we get to spend time in our beautiful rehearsal space sharing our passion with one another through our choreography each semester. I am consistently blown away by the creativity of my peers.

What is your favorite dance memory at BC? 

I love the entire week leading up to our Week of Dance show in Robsham. It’s hard work – we are at the theater for upwards of 6 hours a day for the entire week – but it is also rewarding as we finally get to perform for an audience at the end of the week.

What makes Dance Ensemble “Dance Ensemble”? 

Everyone on DE truly is the luckiest. We get to learn about ourselves and each other throughout our four years together. DE’s emphasis on technique with weekly ballet classes makes it truly unique.

What are you looking forward to at Boston College with dance?

Our show is always the highlight of the year, it is the culmination of hundreds (maybe even thousands) of hours of hard work, but the opportunity to share our dance with the BC community on the Robsham Theater Arts Center stage is truly special and one that we do not take for granted.

Come out to support Boston College Dance Ensemble during the 2016 Week of Dance hosted by the Boston College Arts Council and the Robsham Theater Arts Center!

Check out the BCDE Facebook Page! BCDE will be teaching a FREE workshop on Tuesday November 29th at 7:30pm in Brighton Dance Studio! And be sure to pick up tickets through the Robsham Theater Arts Center for Week of Dance performance tickets!

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Career Night for the Arts 2016: Meet Theatre Producer Eric Butler from CSOM ’12

Meet Eric Butler! Eric is a theatre enthusiast and business aficionado, proving you can combine your interests in both management and the arts in building your very own career! Eric is one of our incredible BC arts alumni guests attending….

Career Night for the Arts 2016! Come join us on Thursday, November 16th between 7:00pm – 8:30pm in the Heightscareer-night-final-1 Room to meet tons of BC alumni working in the arts to network, ask questions, and get advice about developing your own creative career! Check out the Arts Council Career Night for the Arts website for more info, or look at the Facebook event page! This event is a collaborative endeavor between the Arts Council, the Career Center, and the Alumni Association.

 

 

Eric Butler is the founder of Final Bow Productions, a commercial production company that invests in live entertainment, specifically Broadway and touring theatrical productions. He has served as a professional fundraiser in the not-for-profit sector since 2006, and his passion for education and the arts has helped him raise several millions of dollars for private institutions in his home state of Massachusetts. With substantial professional experience in fundraising and investor/donor relations, and an educational background in business and theatre arts, Eric is able to utilize these skill sets as he explores opportunities to produce and invest in works for the commercial stage. In the corporate sector, he has served as a consultant for Brown Brothers Harriman and an MBA Associate/Project Manager at Liberty Mutual, both with headquarters in Boston, MA.ericbutler.jpg

Eric is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA where he received degrees in Psychology and Theater. Following his graduation from Holy Cross, Eric served as a production assistant on the Broadway musical High Fidelity. In 2012, he received his M.B.A. (specializations in Marketing Informatics and Brand & Product Management) from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA. Eric is also an alumnus of the Commercial Theater Institute in New York City, NY.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/finalbowproductions3

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ButlerEric

  1. You have worked extensively in the art world, specifically in the theater arts, and your career has progressed along. How would you describe this journey? 

My career in the arts, like everything else, is a work in progress. The learning never ends. I’m blessed to be able to balance my work in commercial theater investing/producing with a more than full-time career in educational management. I do have to say that I have been overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness shown to me by the Broadway community. I have been very fortunate to have received advice and mentoring from some of Broadway’s most successful producers. There is a tremendous level of support and opportunity out there for those who seek to network with and learn from the best.

  1. What made you decide to start your own company and what was the most fun part and the most frustrating part about starting your own company?

At Boston College, mostly through Professor Gallaugher’s Graduate Tech Trek, I developed a love of entrepreneurship. Starting Final Bow Productions was a way for me to begin to apply the skills developed in graduate school on a very practical level. It has been a blast for me to combine my love of theater with my interest in business. In my life, I always strive for balance. Investing and producing allows me to think analytically, yet be surrounded by great creativity.

In this industry, you need patience. It can take a very long time for a project to come your way that you think has strong commercial viability, but still possesses artistic integrity. The good ones are worth the wait.

  1. Your past/current work experiences involve being a fundraiser in the non-profit sector and also a consultant and an MBA Associate/Project Manager in the corporate sector. Could you describe and talk about your involvement in both non-profit sector and corporate sector and how it impacted your career? 

In many ways, my past and current experiences have served as a ‘perfect storm’ for producing. As an undergraduate psychology and theater double major at the College of the Holy Cross (the other Massachusetts Jesuit school!), I was exposed to many of the Western world’s best classic and contemporary dramatic works through theater history, dramatic literature, acting, and production courses. These classes gave me the ability to think critically about dramatic structure and recognize and appreciate strong, quality work.

My experiences in business school and in the corporate sector have given me the skill set to recognize investment potential in the arts. Broadway is a business and when evaluating investment opportunities you need to be comfortable dissecting contracts, capitalization and operating budgets, and recoupment schedules. There isn’t a project that crosses my desk where I don’t apply Porter’s Five Forces as part of my analysis!

And the last piece is the ability to raise funds. Obviously, theatre can’t be produced without the necessary resources. There are certainly many similarities between fundraising for a non-profit and raising capital for commercial theatre. Both philanthropists and investors want to see their funds treated with the utmost fiscal responsibility and to hopefully see an impactful return from their support.

  1. What during your time at BC do you feel was the most helpful advice or experience on your path to your career?

The best piece of advice I received in grad school might have come from Professor Bob Radin during the first week of class in his Managing People and Organizations course. He told a group of wide-eyed MBA candidates, “If you’re not good at something at this point in your life, you’ll probably never be good at it. Find something you’re good at and be the best you can be at that.” In a society that hands out ‘participation’ trophies left and right – this type of direct advice really brought focus and direction to the type of discernment that should be a part of your graduate school experience.

Given my unconventional background, the Boston College MBA program also put me out of my comfort zone. Having never taken a business course previously, I was forced into intense, academically rigorous accounting, finance, marketing, and management courses during our first semester. This fish-out-of-water/underdog experience (genres that almost always work) proved to me that natural competence combined with hard work can lead to unbridled satisfaction amid risk.

Also check out our interview with the Deputy Director of the Harvard Art Museums, Maureen Donovan!

Student Artist Feature: Sanjay Pamaar

Meet Sanjay! As a 2015 Arts Award Recipient and an active member of the Boston College music scene, he has plenty of art stories to share. Read on as he reflects upon his BC art experiences. Spoiler Alert: you may spot Sanjay on stage with bOp! a couple of times during the 2016 Arts Festival! Don’t miss BC bOp!’s free performance on Friday, April 29th at 12:00pm in the O’Neill Plaza, and definitely don’t miss the                                                swirled-dance-and-music-extravanganza that is…

Dancing with bOp! 2016, this Saturday, April 30th, at 8:00pm in the O’Neill Plaza. All Students get in for FREE with your Eagle ID, and tickets are available at the door for the general public ($15, or $10 for senior citizens).

In what ways have you been involved in the arts at Boston College?

I’ve heavily involved myself with music here at BC. Since my freshman year, I’ve been heavily involved in the BC Bands program here as a percussionist. I’ve been an Executive Board Member and Percussion Section Leader of the Symphonic Band (affectionately known as SymBa), Drumline Section Leader in the BC Marching Band, and a drum set player in both BC bOp! and the Pep Band.

Lately, however, I’ve also been taking classical music composition very seriously, studying with Professor Ralf Gawlick, which eventually led to my Senior Composition Thesis – a work for Symphonic Band, which was premiered on April 12th.

I’ve also been doing some music teaching around BC. I currently volunteer as a Student Mentor at St. Columbkille through the BC Bands Service Group and assist our percussion instructors in teaching the Percussion Tech class, or winter drumline. I also love to attend other concerts with groups I’m not involved in, keeping my ears filled with the music made by my friends.

What has participating in the arts meant to you during your time at BC?

Well, in January I decided to leave my pre-medical studies behind to pursue graduate school in music composition. So perhaps being so engrossed in music at BC caused an entire career change for me! Musical and artistic processes also require me to pour 100% of myself into them. My time at BC has definitely taught me a lot about my weaknesses and strengths as an artist, leader, and teacher. Speaking with all of my teachers, professors, and directors about musical leadership has also helped me become more aware of my role as a musician.

Studying composition, in particular, has kept me engaged in the artistic process. I really like being around artists at BC too, because they are so well-rounded and willing to discuss their art. For example, I compose more modern classical music, but my friend likes to write music for musical theater, and my roommate writes screenplays, short stories, television scripts, and comedy. The three of us really enjoy speaking to each other about our work, and discussing different problems in the creative process.

Who or what inspires you and why?

My teachers and mentors have definitely been huge role models for me, encouraging me to keep working hard in music, whether with composition, conducting, or teaching. The work that they all do is fascinating, and they greatly influence me. My family has also been so supportive, and they keep me motivated to continue in my musical path. Other than that, my friends and I who are involved in the arts help push each other, and keep each other in check. I really enjoy our lively discussions about art.

What is your most memorable arts experience and what did you learn from it?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 is a day that I’ll never forget. That night was the premiere of my senior composition thesis with Symphonic Band. This 15-minute piece for wind band is titled Visions of Marian Rose, and it’s a reflection and meditation on conflicting emotions that occur during my involvement in my family’s medical mission work on our home island of Iloilo in the Philippines. Marian Rose World Mission has teamed with LIG Global Foundation to bring our volunteer services to Iloilo each January for the past four years, focusing on women’s health and well-being issues, providing medical and surgical services to less fortunate women and young girls with limited access to necessary health assistance.

The premiere itself was emotional to say the least – the energy in that room was incredibly spiritual. It was really scary to share and conduct this extremely personal work with so many people in the audience and Symphonic Band, but I felt the love and support of the people in Trinity Chapel that night. My family and some of the mission workers were also there to experience that special moment. I’m still processing all of it a few days later, but it’s something for which I’m eternally grateful to everyone involved – audience, mission workers, teachers and musicians alike. That night really taught me that so many people go into art, including the source of inspiration, parents, teachers, friends, supporters, and performers.

What are you most looking forward to for this year’s Arts Festival?

I’m looking forward to seeing my fellow seniors perform all over BC – I really appreciate their camaraderie and friendship over the past four years. We all love to see each other’s events and works, and this Arts Fest is a great culmination of our work. Although SymBa is not performing at Arts Fest this year, I’ll be playing with BC bOp! on Friday, April 29th at 12:00 PM and at Dancing with bOp! on Saturday, April 30th at 8:00 PM.

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