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The fall of 2021 marks the first semester in which Rice Dance Theatre will have professional dance teachers leading every class. Founded in 1970, RDT is the only organization on campus that trains students in modern dance technique and choreography. In the past, it has occasionally invited professional dance teachers from the greater Houston community to host classes, with fellow students leading the majority of classes.
Milkessa Gaga (Martel College ’22) challenges norms within the realm of Japanese art by creating manga as a Black artist. Drawing inspiration from comics such as “Naruto,” “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” and “My Hero Academia,” he constantly integrates new techniques to refine his artistic style, and often shares his work on Instagram (@avantgaga). Unfortunately, because of the lack of Black creators in this field, manga and anime often depict Black characters with racist stereotypes. As a result, Gaga is passionate about uplifting other Black artists and hopes to someday create his own comics to reimagine manga in the image of Blackness.
An avant-garde multimedia film project created by McMurtry College sophomore Connor Chaikowsky and Martel College sophomore Ling DeBellis, “Le Boeuf en Concert'' is an intersection of classic Soviet cinema and Latin American music and artwork. The project weaves together Chaikowsky’s violin performance of the piece “Circus Fantasy'' with DeBellis’ artistic rendering of the 1936 film “Circus.” It will also feature pieces commissioned by Rice University composers alongside artwork from the Houston art gallery Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino. “Le Boeuf en Concert'' will stream on A440.live on Feb. 12 and 13.
From performing for world-renowned classical musicians to recording music for Kanye West and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Shepherd School of Music alumna Chelsea Sharpe (Lovett College ’15) has done it all. As she reflects upon key experiences and lessons that have shaped her journey to becoming a professional violinist, Sharpe offers her perspective on the role of music in politics, representation and empowerment. She is currently a fellow at the prestigious New World Symphony Orchestra and works remotely with students from Medellín, Colombia as part of an educational outreach program.
Dancers across Rice campus are facing an unfamiliar set of obstacles as they shift online for the fall semester. COVID-19 restrictions may have brought regular rehearsals and performances to a halt, but Rice’s student dance organizations refuse to let these challenges deter them from doing what they love.
Any other year, Baker College’s P-Quad would be bustling with people gathering to eat, study, and socialize. COVID-19 restrictions this semester have subdued some of that energy, but recently, students and faculty across Rice have been flocking there for an unexpected reason. For the next month, P-Quad will be home to PANDEMIA: an outdoor art exhibit featuring students’ perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic.