Photo by Alec Himwich
Kenneth Stewart: “I took an improvising environment, and we choreographed, literally, my motions to construct the piece.”
Read story in The Chronicle, 2/13/2012
The CHAT Festival is underway and runs through Thursday at several locations across Duke's campus.
This festival is a celebration of work in progress, where artists, humanists and technologists get together to talk about all the ways they're pushing the boundaries of their work.
The four-day festival includes exhibits and panel discussions on Duke's East and West campuses and at Smith Warehouse.
For more information, check out this Duke Today story.
Join us: Friday, Feb. 3rd
In: von der Heyden Pavilion
& start your Friday night in Duke literary fashion
Readings by students Alex Alston, Ellie Beam, Helen Cai, Andy Chu, Dan Fishman, Tony Gouw and faculty members Joseph Donahue, Nathaniel Mackey, Frederick Moten, Deborah Pope, and musical selections featuring a jazz trio led by John Brown, director of Duke Jazz Studies Program. Reception to follow.
For more information contact Tong Xiang at email@example.com.
Sponsored by The Archive Literary Magazine, the Undergraduate Publications Board, the Duke English Department, the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts, Student Organization Finance Committee (SOFC), and Latent Image.
By Thea Neal
His work creates striking, bold movement that is hard to look away from. Jeffrey Page, 32, has choreographed for the biggest names in the business, including Beyonce, R. Kelly and Will Smith. His work is a fusion of African, hip hop and funk styles.
But Page says that it was at the age of 10 when he was “tricked” into dancing.
Growing up in Indianapolis, IN, Page said he saw flyers for hip hop group around town.
“It was actually African dance, and (the dance teacher) kind of tricked all the kids into coming. I was the only boy, and I liked it, so I stayed,” Page said.
An artist in residence at Duke this week, Page has already taught a master class and is now choreographing dances for Duke's African Repertory Ensemble, a group of 10 advanced dancers. The dance he creates will premiere April 21 at 8 p.m. and April 22 at 3 p.m. at Reynolds Theater.
Here, Page talks about his work and visit to Duke.
Who are your favorite people to work with?
I enjoy working with artists who have become master craftsmen at their particular art. Not one particular style or person. I just really enjoy working with the person who has time to polish their art. From modern dance to African to hip hop, to the celebrity, I really enjoy working with all kinds of things from the entertainment field to the very "artsy fartsy" field. It's a real joy. I enjoy working with students a lot because they have less baggage that they carry along the way. But then again, I also like working with really seasoned folks who have years of experiences, and lots and lots of bags to grab material from to color the execution with their past experience.
How would you describe your work?
I would describe my work as for and about the people. It's what art is. Art exists to reflect the people. If you want some type of picture of how the people are doing and how they're living, just look at their art. Look at their music, look at their dance. Listen to their literature. Listen to their dialect. I find that my research with African dance and my research with vernacular jazz dance gives me a better block on how to explain those things visually in terms of art. I think that's my texture, that's my hue.
What upcoming projects are you working on?
I'm working on developing a Broadway show called "The Hole in the Wall," and as artists we're always looking for funding to make the art happen. I'm looking for investors, and I've been working on that for a few years now. I produced it in LA in 2008. The show was very beautiful on a commercial stage. I'm working on that with a writing partner, and I'm really looking forward to making that happen.
What should Duke students look forward to with your visit?
I never try to expect anything. I get into a situation and then figure out what the situation is, and then I move forward to the best of my ability. What could be expected is for some great art to happen, and for some moments of reflecting the common man's language. I'm really pushing what it means to be a creative person in this world. But I'm not really sure. The artist part of me wants to make it big, but the really human part of me says I'll figure it out when I get there!
The office of the Vice Provost for the Arts joins with the rest of the Duke community in mourning the loss of Mary Semans. Over her long and distinguished life, she transformed the cultural landscape of North Carolina. Her unwavering support of Duke, and especially the arts, continues to grace our lives. We can draw strength and inspiration from her determination to make the world a better place. May she rest in peace.
What is Good Art? (WIGA) is an annual art competition held in March exploring the intersection of ethics and aesthetics. The theme for this semester is “How much truth can art bear?” First prize is $500! Deadline for submissions is March 2, 2012. The competition will culminate in a gallery exhibit in West Duke building, East Campus, opening April 9, 2012. For more information, visit www.teamkenan.org/goodart.