Tag Archives: project

MFA Project: Episode 1: Pilot

mfaproject

Over the holidays I’ve been processing about my MFA project that I have to create in order to, for a lack of better words, establish my legitimacy as a graduate student in dance at The Ohio State University and show how artfully intellectual I am which I’m clearly doing by writing this long-behind sentence…

I’ve recently had to write a third-draft, five-page proposal for my committee to look over, and hopefully approve. Now if you know me, you know that I am not a writer. I don’t like it, never have. However, since I love Hiphop and want to make a case for how important it is to academia and American culture, I have found that I must painfully accept this art-form, and all its wrath, if I’m going to convince the academic gurus of how the dance-form-from-the-streets is legitimate in the institution.

Foundationbboybook
Foundation by Joseph Schloss

So there are two problems with me and this monstrous obstacle called my MFA proposal. One, I am way too heady for my own good. Every time I want to make a statement, I contradict myself ten-times over until I find myself, an hour later, with a digital blank page and the blink-blink of the cursor staring at me. Two, as if being heady isn’t enough, the documentation of Hiphop dance is, to say the least, scarce. The one book that I have found and read that delves deeply into the physicality and culture of Hiphop dance is a book called, “Foundation” by Joseph Schloss (It’s actually pretty dope so if you’re into the bboying scene you should check it out).  But ultimately, the field could use some more writers, not named Quilan Arnold, who are into the Hiphop dance scene.

Electric Boogaloos: (Left to Right) Mr. Wiggles, Popping Pete, Boogaloo Sam, Skeet, Suga Pop
Electric Boogaloos: (Left to Right) Mr. Wiggles, Popping Pete, Boogaloo Sam, Skeet, Suga Pop

Although there isn’t much written documentation, there are a few OG’s (Original Gangster’s… slang for old heads, also known as founders if we were speaking formally) in the game who are talking about Hiphop dance history and culture through video mediums such as Youtube (which is nice because I’d rather listen than read for my research). But, these OG’s are getting interviewed informally by students who have a thirsty knowledge for Hiphop dance. I, who have been in the game for all but five years, have to formally write a paper for faculty in an academic setting. No offense to the OG’s, but they can talk to me when they have to start defining terms and what-not (Which hopefully happens because I want to talk to founding Hiphop dancers as a part of my project! #swag).

Anyways, so after all of the thinking, stating, contradicting, and frustration, something like this has conjured up: “The evolution of Hiphop dance learning styles has fostered a culture within the academic and professional environments that marginalizes the importance of sharing knowledge through improvisational movement; thus, the essence of Hiphop dance, in expression of individuality, has deteriorated as the form has transferred from the streets to the studio.”

I’ll get into that statement in the next post… #cliffhanger #youwasntready

Shout out to my pops @ haroldarnold.com. He’s helped me so much in this whole process and he, along with the rest of my family, is such a big reason for the blessings I am living in today. Love you!

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FACEless

yellow-mask-2

Hey y’all,

This is my second major film project from Ohio State. We were required to pick a piece of artwork and create a short movie based off of what inspired us.

I chose a piece of artwork of a Krump dancer in open space. There is no title or artist; however, this work has inspired me for years now. For me, it represents the freedom of giving yourself up to the Lord.

I used the artwork to create Faceless, a short film based off of the masks that individuals wear when they are interacting with others in society.

We rarely, if ever, show our entire selves when we are living amidst society. More so, we put on different masks to show portions of ourselves depending on our situation. This film explores the pressure that builds upon us as we put on these masks in order to be accepted and meet expectations in society; and then, the breath of freedom that comes with escaping society and allowing our true selves to be expressed without restraint.

I hope you enjoy and take something away from the piece. Blessings.

First Mark

Hey y’all,

“First Mark” is my first dance film project created here at Ohio State University. We were required to choreograph 2 movements and film the movements from 22 angles. Using our clips, we used our creativity to tell our own story.

The title represents the last name of the dancer, Mel Mark, and my first step into making a difference in the dance field here at OSU.

Special thanks to the dancer, Mel Mark. Freshman dance major at OSU.