By: Kristalyn Gill, EC Scholar and Honors College Junior
What is movement without initiation?
What is creativity without curiosity?
As an artist, I am fascinated with thinking not only outside of the box, but also outside of the thrift store where the box is stored on the second bookshelf to the right.
Like I said, I enjoy thinking differently. A junior dance performance major in the School of Theatre and Dance, I am constantly being exposed to new methods of creative thought and technical knowledge regarding dance training. My peers and my teachers challenge me to explore ideas, emotions, and inquiries through my craft and my passion of dance. Dance studios may not have desks and tables, but as dancers, we submit to our professors our undivided attention and dedication to constantly better ourselves as professionals and as individuals. We feed off energy, excitement, adrenaline, fear, and the weight of hundreds of eyes upon our skin rather than a numerical figure on the top on an exam. It is a different environment than what is occurring within other classrooms on campus; however, neither environment is superior to the other.
Academia and the fine arts go hand in hand. I am inspired to create dance pieces because of research. The information I glean from textbooks and essays ignite in me a curious desire to move and portray images in the form of dance. Being a member of both the Honors College and the School of Theatre and Dance is a huge blessing, one that has enabled me to expand in movement creativity and in educational discovery.
After learning that the Honors College was in the process of planning an event to celebrate the fine arts, I was ecstatic. Finally, my two families on campus were conjoining! My decision to participate was an instantaneous “yes.” I desired to share with the Honors College a piece of my training experience and ideas nurtured by my time at ECU through the medium of dance. I wanted to showcase that, because of my professors’ shared insight regarding performing and directing performances, I am able to craft and exhibit my own creative dance works.
When selecting a concept, I decided to generate a dance about the strength of women and their role as ezer kenegdos, or sustainers. I was energized and in awe of the power and bravery of women in the 1940s as they entered the work force. Also, I have multiple women in my life who serve as excellent role models through their optimism, dedication to personal success, and expansive kindness.
I casted Lauren Culver, a sophomore dance performance major that is also in the Honors College, to be my duet partner. She is a beautiful dancer and a wonderful friend who inspires me in her perseverance and her joy. Sharing the stage with her at the Honors College Fine Arts Gala was an experience like none other for me. We were blessed to perform and present alongside a handful of other artists who blew me away with their voices, films, poems, monologues, jewelry, and canvases. It was an honor to see and hear their talents and to share with our friends, families, and faculty mentors our love for the fine arts.
In its entirety, I would like to say that the gala impacted the Honors College and the ECU community. It revealed that there are students within the Honors College that have academic rigor for a large variety of career fields. Also, the event allowed for a diverse group of fine arts disciplines to be presented during one performance, an interesting and exciting experience for many artists.
I fully enjoyed my experience participating in this wonderful, thrilling event. Thank you to the Honors College and the Alumni Society for assisting in sponsoring this event. Thank you to Dr. Linda Quick and Mr. Hardik Patel for taking initiative in coordinating the gala.
This experience brought me countless amounts of joy. What an incredible feeling it was to feel those stage lights on the night of September 12th, 2015.
I deny failure. To fail means that I have been defeated, kneaded like dough and burnt in the oven, yet I refuse to say that my art can be bludgeoned. I refuse to believe that my work is meaningless.
It is between creativity and ingenuity that I find my purpose.