Saturday, May 13, 2006

Dancing into the Future

Last night, I saw my very talented nephew in his senior dance recital at the Perpich Arts High School in Minneapolis. He was superb. But I won't brag here about a family member. I want to talk about his teachers; and how they use technology to help their students learn. Even when what they are learning is dance!

At the beginning of the program, Tom Kanthak, one of the instructors, told a story about how he had contacted a current American Classical Composer Marc Mellits and worked closely with him to ultimately enable the Perpich senior class dance students to make videos of some wonderful dances to Mr. Mellits' delightful music.

First, two side notes: I was so impressed with how lucky these students are to have Mr. Kanthak as their teacher! He was so enthusiastic and creative. Moreover, it's wonderful that Mr. Mellits spent significant time reviewing and critiquing these young dancers' work.

But the real point here is that a group of seniors in high school -- whose passion is dance, not computers or math or anything scientific -- were able to so simply use a computer to create their own movies. It was stunning to me. It's only a matter of time till we all communicate in movies and video as easily as we do in writing and voice!

I certainly am not the first to understand this; I guess YouTube and OneTrueMedia understand it on some level. It certainly means something significant about the way we share ideas. Perhaps we will really all become minstrels: developing a new kind of oral communications tradition that will last through the ages.

We will watch this play out. I am sure it will be quite a dance!


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