For the first time in Tisch Dance history, Masters candidates will be required to write a thesis. Here is a look into what the 2018 Dance and Technology Masters candidates are doing!
DJASSI DACOSTA JOHNSON
As a Dean's Fellow, Djassi is the first dance student to do her thesis work abroad. Over January 2018, Djassi traveled to Cuba to take part in a photo journalism class, quickly making contact with Carlos Acosta's company, ACOSTA DANZA.
She photographed, filmed, and interviewed the dancers of ACOSTA DANZA, and she will be interviewing and covering the company for their NYC premiere at City Center in April.
in Djassi's words....
"My interest in going to Cuba was a fascination with a culture steeped in music and dance with a government that supports the arts to the degree that everyone is entitled to a free education (through graduate school as well!) and more importantly a free ARTS education.
As someone who didn’t get Ballet until I was 14 and whose parents couldn’t afford dance classes, I feel fortunate to have been a native New Yorker who had access to scholarship programs around the city where I received my training. But I had to audition every summer. And it was a struggle. I always wondered what my career would have been had I had ballet at 6 or if my parent's didn't struggle so much to put 4 kids through private and Ivy League educations. What if access to a quality education -- and to and ARTS education wasn't a priviledge in this country but simply a "right" ?
So... with this perspective, it was amazing to meet so many artists and hear how proud they are of their training, their country and their culture.
World renowned Cuban dancer and choreographer Carlos Acosta, founder of ACOSTA DANZA, defied the limits of the Cuban embargo by being an excellent ballet dancer - despite being a black boy from the poorest of Cuban communities. He is probably the most famous black ballet dancer of his generation. I believe his dance company will be the like “Alvin Ailey” of Cuba - - with its classical base, its Technica Cubana base (a modern dance fusion technique soecific to Cuba - based off ballet, post modern techniques, Graham, Horton and Cuban folkloric & cabaret dance). The company has its NY premiere in April and I plan to interview Carlos and profile the company for an article for the Copenhagen based lifestyle magazine KINFOLK where I've published several articles highlighting pioneers of color in the dance and art worlds.