Welcome to the Performing Arts Abroad blog! This is a space where music, dance, theater, and film intersect with international travel and intercultural experience. It is a place to explore that connective tissue that unites all societies: the performing arts.
What makes Barcelona tick? How have the rhythms of American jazz, Congolese rhumba, and Cuban soukos influenced each other? What do Performing Arts Abroad volunteers find while working with a circus arts group in San Isidro, Costa Rica? Which theaters in Florence still use a hemp rigging system? How is ballet taught at the Bangkok City Ballet different from ballet in Russia or France? We at Performing Arts Abroad are providing a forum to discuss these kinds of questions, and we are drawing on our own participants and alums to answer them.
Each week, we will feature posts by different students, interns, or volunteers who are either currently abroad on one of our programs, or alums who have used our programs as a jumping off point for their careers. Interspersed with these posts will be pieces written by our own staff members who have a wealth of experience traveling the world and pursuing a wide range of artistic endeavors. Many of these will fall into several main categories to allow visitors to explore their areas of interest:
- Thinking Outside the Black Box: a place to discuss theatre, and especially that which takes us outside our comfort zone or challenges us to see the world in a new way.
- The Music Note: a chance to explore music and its multiple manifestations.
- Dance-a-logue: the dancer’s opportunity to reveal how different cultures are telling stories through the body’s movements.
- World Scoop: current events and international news told through the eyes of performing artists.
- Volunteer View: perspectives on how the performing arts are being used for education, development, and social change and how marginalized corners of society are finding a voice through music, dance, and theater.
- Intern’s Turn: examining the value of a professional experience to both boost one’s career and to provide an international perspective on your craft.
- Study Abroad: what it means to receive instruction at an institution outside your home country, and how that informs your studies once you return.
- Director’s Post: a chance for Performing Arts Abroad’s director (that’s me!) to offer insight on the developments of the company, new opportunities, and occasional rants or tangents about nothing in particular…
Through all of this, we hope you will gain insight into the diverse performing traditions of our amazing planet, and start to notice a point where we all meet in an effort to tell the story of what it means to be human.
Study, teach, discover, inspire, and be inspired. All the world’s a stage.
Written by Reynolds Whalen
Founder and Director of Performing Arts Abroad.
To read more about Reynolds and his background, go here.