Rocking the block
Though the annual Red Block Bash has happened before, this year’s get-together saw a greater collaboration among the arts colleges at UH. The Grove witnessed an evening of co-mingling among the Blaffer Art Museum Student Organization, UH Arts and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
Theater and dance junior Gabriela Leodiou was a stage manager for the performances at The Grove. At this bash, she would not have to stay behind a curtain, watching from the side. With an outdoor stage and many vendors, everyone was a spectator at all times.
“It’s important, seeing what the other schools can do,” Leodiou said. “Sometimes we’re so wrapped up in our own major.”
The Men of Moores sang a cappella, then Flirt Renolds did improv comedy, then suddenly dancers were on the center sidewalks performing. There was ongoing movement of art.
Music junior Victoria Flores’s opera practice kept her from seeing the a cappella performance, which disappointed her.
“I’m glad to see the dance. I haven’t seen a lot from the school of dance… That was so cool, and the fact that it was all improv looked really cool,” Flores said.
She arrived just as the dancers came out of the crowd and performed. Instead of taking the stage, they gathered in the center and then spread out onto different pathways.
Randrea Singleton, a communications senior, was one of the dancers. Jackie Natlett, a modern dance professor, asked a few of her current and former students to perform. Part of the choreography was from the students’ midterms, but the solos were improvised.
“It was weird since people were everywhere; I am used to rows,” Singleton said. “It was an opportunity to perform, and it was crazy.”
The event offered a lot more than just music and dance. Inprint had Poetry Buskers, who, when given a theme, would type poems on a typewriter in 10 minutes. There also were dress-up photo shoots and food, including free snow cones, free cotton candy and free crepes from Melange Creperies. The Blaffer Art Museum Student Association paid for them, and several food trucks were available for bashgoers as well. Across the way were even more activities.
“On courtyard side, we stuck to activities that would bring the art to the community and show off the artists’ skills,” said Leah Esparza, fine arts senior and BAMSA financial officer.
The Blaffer courtyard was a space for origami, panel painting, speed sketching, giant bubble blowing, cosplay and prizes.
The goal of the collaboration was to show off creative organizations and engage the community. Meera Bowman-Johnson, marketing and communication director, wanted the event to be all-inclusive. Bowman-Johnson was sure to reach out to as many school organizations for participation. That’s how BAMSA joined; according to Esparza, this was the best turnout yet.
“Our hope is for the community to get something from this and bring out their inner artist, their inner child,” Esparza said.