Tag Archives: dance workshop

The Way We Move Can set The tone of How we Feel the World Surrounding Us. 💃🏾

Written By Bria Thurman

Feel the grass under your feet and move with it

Jennifer Monson dance was a way to connect yourself to the earth around you. As humans sometime we need to move and stand up and get all of the feelings from the day out of our system. I am not going to lie I thought the whole experience was going to be weird but in truth, it was extremely interesting an entertaining for myself. I enjoy being in artistic space and enjoy the movement I feel I need to be in.

Jennifer Monson is pictured here explaining to us that her art is based in nature.

We initially started outside, I believe her purpose for this was to find a connection with the world around us. Something I have been noticing for the past couple of weeks is how people find themselves so uncomfortable because the only comfort they have is on their phones. It is what they know and understand. Sometimes, it feels good to experience the world around us and that is something Jennifer Monson insisted on. Through some of the research I did, I found she wanted to quit dance and become a park ranger. I could understand how that could have been her passion, specifically when she brought up how she watched Whales migrate.

I Believe this was when we were facing north.

While we were outside she had asked us three questions that stood out to me: 1) What direction is home for you? 2) Where is North? 3) What is one thing you can here from far away and what is one thing you can here up close? For the first question, I for one moment faced toward my dorm but I suppose any place I can living a feel comfortable in is my home. The second question I was not really sure where to go, so I just watched how everyone else moved. The third question was kind of hard because the sounds I heard from far away began to grow further and the sound I heard from up close I was not really sure if how close by it was. For the third question she asked us to go toward the sound we heard nearby and I didn’t move too far because I had no idea where the sound was.

I am not sure what is happening here but photo creds to Dr. Collins

After this, we walked back inside and walked into the Women of Architecture exhibit and we sat on the floor -which I am not a fan of- and she had asked us to grab a partner. My partner for the evening was Dr.Robinson. Monson had asked one partner to close their eyes and do whatever motion while the other partner witnessed. I am kind of an awkward person who can easily become uncomfortable but in the three minutes, I forgot where I was and forgot anyone was witnessing me. I kind of enjoyed it. We switched roles with our partner and Dr. Robinson said she had also forgotten my presence.

El Sombrero by Barabra Rossi

Jennifer had then asked us to explore a painting and kind of move with it. We had chosen EL Sombrero by Barabra Rossi. The painting was interesting however I did not really move with it I kind of just watched. I think this is one of the most attractive but confusing paintings in the section we were in. Making sure to move your eyes is important when understanding any physical object. I do not believe an interpretive dance number is required but making sure to not just look but to see.

Overall I genuinely enjoyed myself. It sometimes is fun to take a moment and analyze art which makes FAA 110 a really fun class. 🖼

Dance that Opened My Mind

A little trip that opened my mind

Written by Zhengqi Xu

Jennifer Monson’s Dance Workshop is totally different from the events we attend before. Instead of just watching, we join the event and present our own discoveries throughout the whole tour. I was impressed by nearly everything happened that evening.

Jennifer Monson’s introduction of the tour

Before attending the dance workshop, I thought it was just an event that would teach us how to dance, or maybe some history about dancing. However, the trip was completely beyond my mind and gave me a new understanding of dance. We start the trip by walking out of the building and gathering on the turf by the street. There we were asked to close our eyes and fell the nature, and it reminded me of meditation. Jennifer told us to feel the ground under our feet, sound from far away, and even air flowing in the air. I start to calm down by doing all the movement she told us to and it was a good start of the tour.

Meditation outside of the building

Then we entered the Krannert Art Museum to take a tour in the art room. Although I’d been here before, but there were still a lot of artworks I hadn’t seen. Jennifer led us around the building and asked us to do an activity. We needed to get in a team of 2 people and watch each other’s behavior and we could do any movement we want with our eyes closed. This part of the trip entertained me because it was funny to see all the people making some strange movements, including myself.

Talk about artworks with our partners

Later, Jennifer let us choose a specific artwork and follow one of the instructions to look at and think about it. My partner and I chose artwork that we don’t understand much about, and we only chose it because we thought it looked colorful and beautiful. Jennifer was supposed to walk around the room and talk to all the students, but when she found out we were confused with the artwork, she came to us and try to understand the artwork with us. She spent 20 minutes telling us how to look at a painting from different angles and perspectives. I had always thought it was hard to analyze the meaning of an artwork, but Jennifer’s works inspired me and taught me the right but multiple ways to enjoy an artwork. She got so excited looking at the artwork that she was moving around it all the time to come up with new ideas.

I learned a lot from Jennifer Monson and I thought I might never forget about that tour. We’ve all seen people standing in front an artwork and we don’t understand them for the most time. Jennifer Monson really gave me a whole new idea about how to enjoy an artwork.

Dancing in the Krannert Art Museum

By Luke Garza

The Krannert Art Museum recently hosted Jennifer Monson’s Dance Workshop, an event open free to the public which was an interactive event which took place all over the Museum. Participants were asked to move their body in response to different activities. Included in this event was also a response/analysis to artwork to as well as group activities.

READ MORE

Jennifer Monson’s Dance Workshop at KAM

By Rachel Yao

Jennifer Monson expresses a way of experiencing art through movement at her dance workshop at Krannert Art Museum on October 3rd, 2019.

Jennifer Monson explaining her program in the Krannert Art Museum lobby.

We began outside in a small patch of grass outside of the museum. We were instructed to close our eyes and listen to the sounds of our surroundings and to face various directions. While the group was listening to their sounds, I focused my attention to the leaves rustling, cars driving by, and crickets chirping. It felt very relaxing and stress-relieving. Considering my stressful week that consisted of studying for midterms and completing assignments, this experience was a breath of fresh air.

The area of the art museum we stayed in for the next activity.

Then, we went back into the museum and entered the art gallery. We were told to find a partner and take turns watching each other do whatever we wanted with our eyes closed. It was an opportunity to express ourselves and follow our instincts. Next, we were given a packet of prompts and were sent off to find a piece of artwork we liked and stare at it before answering a prompt in the packet. My partner and I chose a large oil painting that features two individuals bracing each other. Looking at the prompts, I chose the one that required me to draw my response to the artwork. Reflecting on my first impressions of the artwork, I remember drawing my attention to the detailed hands and less-distinct eyes of the individuals. I then turned to my paper and began drawing a hand and eye.

A photo of me working on my drawing of a hand.

By thinking about my own body and movement in relation to the artwork made me feel more connected to the piece as well as allowing me to look at a piece of art in a different perspective. I focused more on the emotions conveyed within the artwork as well as my reaction in response to a piece of art.

For more information: https://kam.illinois.edu/event/dance-workshop-jennifer-monson-movement-means-experience-art%E2%80%94move-seesee-move