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ARISE

Day 1 – Session 2

This session began with an UNBELIEVABLE violin performance by 14 year-old Emily from Michigan. This girl was unreal. She did things with the violin that I didn’t know were possible (and you know how educated in the violin I am). At times, it sounded like a banjo, flute, cello, kazoo, you name it. I felt as though I got a “free” ticket to a $70 violin concert. Maybe one step below Joshua Bell.

After that spectacular performance, you can pretty much only go down. So, we moved from high art to low art and had a “Rock Band” competition. They brought up six volunteers from the crowd and had a battle of the bands show, complete with an Idol-esque panel of judges. It was a fun, entertaining crowd pleaser.

This session featured one of the headline speakers for the conference - Gilles Ste. Croix, the founder and creative director of Cirque de Solei. Nancy interviewed him on stage and we learned about how Cirque was born and how it evolved into what it is today. He spoke about the creative process involved in creating a new Cirque performance. The process begins 2-3 years before the 20 week preparation period of a new performance, such as the newly created “Love” show for Vegas, which features newly re-created Beatles music. Nancy said that this show was one of the top three artistic experiences that she has ever had.

Nancy ended by asking Gilles this question: Why is art important in our world?

“It may be one of the things that distinguishes us from animals, but it is more than that. We need to create and art speaks to our emotions. These emotions are necessary for living – otherwise it is like being in a desert without water. It feeds you and changes you. It makes you a better human being. It does not leave you the same ever again.”

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