Opening Dal’s doors for Culture Days
Asha Katz - October 11, 2012
On September 28, the Dalhousie Arts Centre opened its doors in the name of Culture Days, a nationwide, annual event dedicated to increasing Canadians’ awareness of and involvement in the arts and cultural activities around them.
Professors and students worked together to give others around the Dal campus and Halifax an insight into what goes into the creative processes behind the likes of music recitals, dance performances, and acting classes.
This was Dal’s first year being involved in Culture Days, which is in its third year.
“It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to invite people in to the building,” said Jennifer Bain, chair of the Department of Music. She explained that the building often gets overlooked and is simply referred to as “The Cohn” because of its main auditorium. Hence, Culture Days was an open invitation for everyone to come inside and be reminded of the building’s purpose as a centre of the arts in both performance and teaching.
A number of events took place earlier in the day, including open rehearsals and classes, and from 4-6 p.m. the Sculpture Court was alive with activity. These weren’t final performances: they were all behind-the-scenes showcases of works in progress.
A small but constant and appreciative audience passed through the Centre during the late afternoon. The Sculpture Court’s floor-to-ceiling windows and atrium-style architecture allowed sunlight to flood the modern, concrete interior of the building, making it a striking setting. First up was the fourth-year acting students’ movement class, followed by a group of music students in classical rehearsal, and finally a flamenco rehearsal with Martine Durier-Copp of the Faculty of Management and her performance group ¡Viva Flamenco!
Many members of the audience were merely passing through the building to buy tickets at the box office, or on their way home for the day, but stopped to take in the performances. One onlooker came to have a closer listen after hearing the music rehearsal, saying, “It’s such a treat to hear live music like this, and it doesn’t happen so often.”
The students performing enjoyed it too. When asked how they felt presenting their work in such a different environment, members of the fourth-year acting class eagerly exclaimed, “We loved it!”
comments powered by Disqus