Rehearsals for CCM's April 2016 production of SWAN LAKE.

E-Media Alumnus Wins Regional Emmy for Collaborative Student Video Series

Behind-the-scenes of CCM's production of 'Swan Lake.' Photos by UC News Writing and Production Class.

Behind-the-scenes of CCM’s production of “Swan Lake.” Photos by UC News Writing and Production Class.

After months of work and hours of filming, University of Cincinnati students produced a video series that recently won an Emmy at the Ohio Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Mark D’Andrea (BFA E-Media, 2016) won the Emmy as director and videographer of Building a Ballet. He worked on the project as a student with classmates enrolled in the Advanced News Writing and Production course, part of UC’s Digital Media Collaborative (DMC) between CCM, the College of Design Architecture, Art and Planning, the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences and UC Libraries.

Taught by Assistant Professor of E-Media Hagit Limor and Journalism Professor Bob Jonason, the class was created under the DMC umbrella in 2015 to build a bridge between colleges, giving students a hands-on learning experience that goes beyond the classroom. It blends technical and production skills  with creative expertise and storytelling.

“They learn to collaborate, they learn from each other, and they learn what it takes to produce professional-quality work,” Jonason said. “We think the class emulates real life. No matter where students land a job, they likely will be working in teams and with colleagues with various skills and from various backgrounds. And they will be held to high standards. This class helps prepare them for that work environment.”

Once completed, student projects are pitched to local media outlets for publication. The “Building a Ballet” videos were featured in Cincinnati Magazine. Previous class projects have been published by WCPO, FOX19 and the Cincinnati Enquirer, according to Limor. Students carry the project from idea to reality setting up interviews, shooting the film and editing it down to the final product. “They are in charge,” she said.

At the beginning of spring semester, students pitched the idea to create a video series focused on CCM’s production of Swan Lake.

Students spent months filming 'Swan Lake' rehearsals and interviewing cast members.

A clip from the “Building a Ballet” videos. Students spent months filming “Swan Lake” rehearsals and interviewing cast members.

How do you build a ballet? What do rehearsals look like?

They answered those questions in four videos composed of cast interviews and raw rehearsal footage.

Visit the class website students created to watch all four videos.

The series was created by students Brevin Couch, Tyler Dunn, Daniel Honerkamp, Ailish Masterston and Andrew Wilkins under D’Andrea’s “amazing eye,” Limor said.

D’Andrea shot and edited hours of footage featuring interviews with Swan Lake cast members Madison Holschuh, Sam Jones, Kianhna Saneshige and Dance Department chair and Swan Lake co-director Jiang Qi. The student director said his biggest challenge was capturing the emotion of the dancers on film.

“Watching the dancers perform was incredibly powerful, and at first, I didn’t feel like I was doing it justice,” D’Andrea said. “So I asked my teachers, and I kept experimenting and trying new things, really watching the dance and seeing where I needed to be to get it right.”

A recent graduate, D’Andrea is currently working as an assignment editor at FOX19 and has applied to several video production jobs. His dream is to one day make music videos or special skits for Saturday Night Live.

The Advanced News Writing and Production class is designed to give students professional work experience so they can build their resumes before they graduate, Limor said. Each project serves to strengthen their skill sets with hands-on experience.

“When you get out of school, potential employers want you to be as well-rounded as possible,” Limor said. “This is an innovative class that is exactly what the future needs to be for this line of work. Experiential learning is everything when training people for a job.”

CCM News Student Salutes
Rehearsals for CCM's April 2016 production of SWAN LAKE.

Building a Ballet: E-Media students give inside look at CCM’s ‘Swan Lake’

CCM Electronic Media and UC journalism students take us behind-the-scenes with a look at the rehearsals for next week’s production of Swan Lake. The video series chronicles all of the work and dedication students, faculty and staff put into the lavish new production of Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet.

Students within the News Writing and Reporting class, taught by Assistant Professor of E-Media Hagit Limor and Journalism Professor Bob Jonason, created the videos, which star faculty and students within CCM’s Dance Department.

In the video above, Dance Department chair and Swan Lake co-director Jiang Qi discusses the work that goes into presenting such an iconic ballet. He explains:

Swan Lake is one of the top classical ballets in the repertoire. It’s almost textbook. You learn Swan Lake and then you get much stronger. This is an art form that requires a lot of physical and mental endurance to get through.”

The videos and photos, created by students Brevin Couch, Mark D’Andrea, Tyler Dunn, Daniel Honerkamp, Ailish Masterston and Andrew Wilkins, can be viewed on the Building a Ballet website. Visit the website to view interviews with dance students Madison Holschuh (Odette), Sam Jones (Prince Siegfried), and Kiahna Saneshige (Odile). The package was recently featured in Cincinnati Magazine.

Swan Lake is only the second story ballet ever presented as part of CCM’s Mainstage Series. The production runs April 22 – 24 in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium.

Co-directed by Jiang and Professor Deirdre Carberry, the production features students from CCM’s BFA Ballet program, which Dance Magazine has hailed as one of the country’s “top programs to consider.”

The lavishly staged spectacle features accompaniment by CCM’s lauded Concert Orchestra under the direction of Professor Aik Khai Pung.

This production marks the first time in CCM’s nearly 150-year history that a dance production has featured brand new costumes designed and built in-house. You can learn more about the work that went into costuming Swan Lake here.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 22
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 23
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, April 24

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Swan Lake are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 for UC students with a valid ID.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/swan-lake.

Parking and Directions

Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.

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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Production Sponsors: Rosemary & Mark Schlachter, Teri Jory & Seth Geiger and Graeter’s

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Story by Curt Whitacre

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