In case you haven't heard, Every Beat of My Heart--the upcoming exhibition featuring the work of Wexner Center Residency Award artist Kerry James Marshall--will also be featuring some local talent. Twenty-three Columbus-area youths ages 14-18 have the opportunity to work closely with the artist to bring his Rythm Mastr story to life in the Wexner Center galleries. They are learning about the traditional Japanese art form of Bunraku puppetry and about African and African American dance and music.
Rythm Mastr tells a tale of urban life using African American superheroes. The students have just jumped into a full schedule of 28 rehearsals from now until they perform publicly on February 2-3 , 2008.
The project kicked-off last weekend with a two-day, two-night retreat in the Short North/Arena District. Over 47 hours, the students got to know the artist, Wexner Center staff, and one another. They immersed themselves in movement activities designed to challenge and engage them in ways that would demand coordination, teamwork, and concentration. Each morning the students joined Amaniyea Payne, Artistic Director of Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago, for a series of movement and dance exercises in a variety of styles. In the afternoons, they dove into capoiera, a martial art with roots in Brazil. Tuzinho, their teacher and guide, is originally from Brazil but now lives in Cincinnati. The group enjoyed meals out at Buca di Beppo and Mongolian BBQ and took a well-deserved break at the Short North Gallery Hop Saturday evening. As evidenced by photos from the retreat, everyone ended up both well fed and entirely exhausted.