Tag Archive for common moment

Students Embody Dances from Different World Cultures during Annual Common Moment (Video)


The Class of 2025’s New Student Orientation concluded on Friday, Sept. 3 with a celebratory return to an in-person “Common Moment” which was held on Andrus Field.

The annual shared participatory arts event is one of the culminating experiences of students’ first week on campus. The movement experience for incoming students, which has been held since 2008 starting with the Class of 2012, featured both faculty and alumni choreographers from Wesleyan’s Dance Department.

The event had pivoted to an asynchronous event last summer. The Class of 2024 participated virtually (view performance) from their residence halls on Aug. 28, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Choreographers this year included Chair of the Dance Department and Professor of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Hari Krishnan, Assistant Professor of Dance Iddi Saaka, Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance and African American Studies Joya Powell, Visiting Instructor in Dance Nik Owens ‘12, Visiting Associate Professor of Dance Doug Elkins, and Eury German ‘16.

Following the performance by first year students embodying dances from different world cultures, there was a concluding fire dancing performance by the student group Prometheus.

Past guest teaching artists at the Common Moment have included the Asphalt Orchestra, Heidi Latsky, and the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. View past Common Moment celebrations online here.

Students Go “ON DISPLAY” During Common Moment

New Student Orientation for the Class of 2022 concluded Aug. 31 with the annual Common Moment, an event where members of the incoming class are brought together through music and performance.

This year, the students worked with choreographer Heidi Latsky to create her installation ON DISPLAY, a performance art investigation of the body and the gaze. In a large-scale, participatory version of Latsky’s touring work, the first-year students performed the roles of both seer and seen on Andrus Field and discussed their personal experiences of these roles. Students were challenged to commit to the exercise without judgment, to trust both their individuality and the group, and to experience profoundly the act of seeing and being seen.

The Common Moment’s theme is tied to Wesleyan’s First Year Matters program, through which first-year students are collectively reading A Body Undone by Christina Crosby, professor of English, professor of feminist, gender, and sexuality studies. ON DISPLAY relates not only to Crosby’s narrative about body and ability but also to the near-universal process of constructing/curating a self-image for the gaze of social media.

The event was cosponsored by the Center for the Arts, the Office of Equity and Inclusion, and Office of Student Affairs.

View photos of the Common Moment below: (Photos by Sandy Aldieri)

Class of 2021 Participates in ‘Common Moment’ on Andrus Field

On Sept. 1, drummers and dancers representing several cultures led the incoming Class of 2021 in a performance on Andrus Field as students embodied dances from different world cultures during the “Common Moment” of New Student Orientation.

This year’s first-year students learned Caribbean, modern, Brazilian, Indian, and West African dances from Iddi Saaka, Dance Department artist-in-residence, and other master teachers. The event culminated with a performance by Prometheus, Wesleyan’s fire-spinning group.

The Common Moment is sponsored by the Center for the Arts. A video and photos of the Common Moment are below: (Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography)


Class of 2020 Experiences Different Cultures, Dance Styles at Common Moment

The Center for the Arts hosted the Common Moment Sept. 2 on Andrus Field. As one of the culminating experiences of New Student Orientation, the Common Moment brought the Class of 2020 together as they experienced cultures and dance from around the world. Prometheus, Wesleyan’s fire-spinning group, also performed during the Common Moment.

Photos of the event are below and in this Wesleyan Center for the Arts photo gallery. (Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography)

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Class of 2016 Participates in the Common Moment

The Center for the Arts hosted the annual Common Moment for first-year students on Aug. 31. The event is part of Wesleyan's Feet to the Fire initiative, which examines critical environmental issues from science to art. As part of the Common Moment showcase, the Class of 2016 divided into groups to learn traditional folk dances from around the world. One group of students performed a folk dance from North India, which was taught by visiting artist Rachna Agrawal.

The Center for the Arts hosted the annual Common Moment for first-year students on Aug. 31. The event is part of Wesleyan’s Feet to the Fire initiative, which examines critical environmental issues from science to art. As part of the Common Moment showcase, the Class of 2016 divided into groups to learn traditional folk dances from around the world. One group of students performed a folk dance from North India, which was taught by visiting artist Rachna Agrawal.

Class of 2013 Participates in Common Moment

The Center for the Arts sponsored the 2009 Feet to the Fire Common Moment Sept. 4 on Andrus Field.

The Class of 2013 showcased drumming and dance movements from six different cultures—Korean, Cuban, West African, Japanese, Irish and South Indian—where water is an important component of their cultural traditions.

The event included drumming, rhythmic movement and fire spinners. The evening culminated with the Class of 2013 forming a human histogram about its own water footprint. (Photos by Nick Lacy)