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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dante Through Song and Dance: OU in Arezzo students do Dante

Dante Through Song and Dance: OU in Arezzo students do Dante

Teaching Dante in Italy is a joy. From here in Arezzo I can often just point out the window of our classroom and say "see, that is exactly what Dante is talking about!" Another pleasure is the small class size, less than half of what I have in Norman. This has allowed me to include a new assignment for the class. My "creative interpretation" assignment (I lack creativity, hence the boring name), invites students to create something that, in their own way, interprets Dante. I invite songs, interpretive dance, drawings, whatever each students feels inspired (amor mi spira, Purg. XXIV), to create. Below are three videos examples of what my students did. I enjoyed evaluating these assignments, and I think the students really enjoyed the change of pace. These three are below are fitting for this blog.

First, Amanda and Michela did a "interpretive dance" of Inf. XXVI. I often joke that students should do an interpretive dance of Dante, never imagining that someone would be bold enough to do it. Well, I guess I have to change my stock line.

The second video is of Kolby and Tanner who perform their rewritten version of the theme song  to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Noting my gray hair, the students kindly explained to me who Will Smith is.

Finally, Jordan and Will did a 70's classic rock medley with lyrics to some great songs rewritten to tell of Dante's journey. Noting my gray hair, the students assured me that I would recognize some of the songs (from the 60s and 70s).

Thanks to all the students who gave me permission to post their performances.

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