Their summer was different. Unlike students who go to
About 40 Ewha students flew to New York to participate in a three-week program from July 15 to August 3 called IMPACT (Interactive Multimedia Performing Arts Collective Technology) that was organized by New York University’s (NYU) Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts.
The program began with workshops from morning to evening every day and ended with a performance staged in the Black Box Theatre at NYU. Lee Hyun-joo (Composition, 4), who applied for this program out of her wish to realize her dream of studying at NYU, did not expect it to be so grand or fulfilling. ‘I thought, it’s only a small creative performance. How hard can it be?’ said Lee. From day one, Lee realized she was mistaken when the professors threw the Ewha students an assignment that was as foreign to them as
On the first day of the workshop, participants were given a book called Einstein’s Dreams, which is about the relativity of time and space. They were asked to come up with ideas from the book that could be translated into art. “The professors really try to develop your potential and make it inevitable for students to participate. I was fascinated at how students became better each day. The transformation was incredible,” says Lee.
The intensive training pushed students further as the workshops were conducted in English. In the beginning, the workshop was conducted with the help of Korean-American teaching assistants at NYU. But the professors gradually reduced the role of these translators, saying that it would be helpful for students to improve their English.
Despite the intensive training, participants could feel how caring the professors were. “Our professor, who had long legs, walked slowly for us so that we could catch up. He always accompanied us to buy materials we needed, and really listened to us,” says Kim Soo-jung (Korean Painting, 3). “Professors would also lie down on the floor with us after a tough day of practice,” Kim adds.
Lots of tears were shed. “We quarreled a lot and cried a lot, mainly because of differences in our ideas. But this was all because of the passion we had in wanting to put on a great performance,” says Kim.
On the last day of the program, eight teams performed, with four people in each team--two dance majors and two music majors. Two teams, with music and art majors and teaching assistants at NYU also contributed to the performance.
There was hardly any place to sit, or even stand, and some people even had to leave. Students were touched by the interest the audience showed. After the performance, tears started to roll down our coordinator, Professor Gilbert’s, cheeks. That’s when all the students started to cry,” says Lee.
“My dreams became bigger and I would like to participate in this program if there is another one,” said Kim. Lee says, “I’m grateful because this experience has placed me a step closer to finding what I want to do in the future.”