Updated: Jan 29, 2020
I moved to Ann Arbor, MI at in late-August of 2014 to begin studying at the University of Michigan. Three years later, at a loss for what to do post-degree, I sent in an application to the Fulbright program, proposing a research trip to Argentina. I am about to leave on that trip now.
My proposal is to learn how the performing arts can build and strengthen communities. I plan on examining this through the lens of Argentine tango culture. I will be playing with the tango orchestra at the Universidad Nacional de las Artes, taking lessons with local musicians, and enveloping myself in this world any other way I can discover. I went to school to learn how to be a better violinist - a path I am most definitely still navigating - but this year will be spent learning how to be a more connected and thoughtful person.
I first played tango in my hometown of Buffalo, NY. A few times a month, this band would go play milongas downtown. We would enter through an unmarked front door of a Ukrainian restaurant, whose seating area consisted of a few bar stools and a pool table. Walking through the kitchen, we found ourselves in a giant dance hall, including a fully-equipped PA system, stage, grand piano, and a full audience. Go figure. These nights were fun and intimate and refreshing. It’s this this type of unsuspecting, caring world that I am hoping to explore more while in Argentina.
Ann Arbor has treated me well. I’m lucky to be supported by great professors and fellowships like EXCELerator and Turn the Spotlight. With this trip, I’m taking a step back from directing a growing ensemble, Red Shoe Company, and am excited to re-meet it upon my return. I’m leaving behind a lot of friends, the Arboretum, a few pairs of shoes, a very cuddly cat, and a boy. It’s intimidating and exciting and I wish that I had some sort of rubric to follow along with so that I could check-in and make sure I’m living up to the full potential of this nine-month residency. But, suffering the fact that life is more or less a roulette, I’ll be sharing thoughts and stories from the next few months on here and we can all go from there. Thank you.