Students Professor Colleen Thomas-YoungThis year marked the ninth year in a row that the Barnard Dance in Paris program has sent students to France, with professor of professional practice Colleen Thomas-Young, for an immersive education in Paris. Eight students and Thomas spent the month of June seeing over a dozen shows, taking 24 days of private workshops, and composing a show that includes each student’s choreographed solo work. “This year,” said Thomas-Young, “my top experiences included our Dance for Parkinson’s workshop and performance, a master class and incredible performance by Barnard alumna Sara Silverblatt-Buser ’15 in Yoann Bourgeois’ Requiem, and a bike ride to Giverny with my Barnard students, where Monet’s gardens are masterpieces come to life.”
For art history and dance major Halima Mossi ’20, some of the most memorable experiences were dancing in Wanjiru Kamuyu’s modern classes, attending the Paris Opera Ballet’s Mats Ek program at the Palais Garnier, and visiting the Musée d’Orsay to see Black Models: From Géricault to Matisse. “Visiting Paris reminded me of the importance of exploring and seeking out inspiration from a multitude of things, places, and people,” Mossi said. “The program introduced me to artists with fresh perspectives. I feel I am heading back to Barnard with a more open mind and a new energy to pursue what I am passionate about in an academic setting.”
Emily Young ’20 couldn’t agree more: “It is so rare that a dance program places equal importance on your experience outside the studio as it does for the one inside.” Among the dance and American studies double-major’s most memorable moments were the simpler things that informed their dance. “My frequent walks from Place de la République to Canal Saint-Martin inspired my solo choreography,” Young said. “This program expanded my notions of what a dance career can look like. I am entering my senior year more confident in my artistic choices and eager to create.”
As both Mossi and Young look forward to graduation, they aim to take the lessons learned during their summer in Paris with them to wherever they go next.
View a slideshow from the trip below: