MADE in France, a Washington University Performing Arts Department
summer study abroad program, engages students in a learning process that integrates
diverse aspects of movement arts.
Our program offers a hands-on historical survey of European art, dance and design. Courses are developed to stimulate collaborative engagement between young choreographers, designers (costume/scenic/sound), actors, experimental musicians and visual artists wishing to learn more about multi-disciplinary performance involving choreography. Participants collaborate directly with European artists and scholars.
The MADE in France program simulates the trajectory of a professional dance-theater ensemble's creative process, beginning with dramaturgical research in Paris and moving through conception to écriture, construction and performance in Normandy. From start to finish, students experience immersion in the professional parcours of a French performance company. The program culminates in a performance of original student works attended by local artists and residents of the Normandy region.
Artifice, Authenticity & Paradox is our research theme for 2013.
We invite young designers and choreographers to explore the contours of the body – both concrete and abstract or social – as they observe performances of contemporary dance theater in Paris and make choices about how to create their own work. One of the ways that we will explore the limits of the authentic body and the paradoxical transformations made possible through artifice in performance will be to engage in an in-depth study of the history of masks and carnival in relation to the movement arts. What ritual technologies might contemporary rites of passage for young artists involve? What historical and contemporary ritual technologies engage artifice as a way to permit deeper truths, or a “truer authenticity” to emerge in performance? Looking at the history and anthropology of carnival and the carnivalesque and examples of historical street theater like the Fête des Fous of the Middle Ages, we will investigate how performance can privilege the inversion of social norms and the transformation of cultural values.
The MADE in France voyage d'initiation goes well beyond training in costume construction, dance dramatugy, art history and creative process. We offer students an occasion to live and study abroad in both urban and rural settings, to train with professional European artists, to develop skills of collaboration with peers, and to hone French language skills. Finally, students are hosted in Normandy by Le Tapis Vert, a rural retreat center with thirty years of experience hosting artists, musicians and performers.