Amy O'Brien

Amy O'Brien

Instructor, Department of Theatre Arts
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences

Phone:(607) 274-3925
Office:034 Dillingham Center
Ithaca, NY 14850

I am a teaching artist who is inspired by the pure quality of movement and clean lines of the ballet technique. The implementation of ballet vocabulary and responsible professionalism when taking class is apart of my ballet curriculum for all levels. My hope for students is that they gain a better sense of who they are by their exploration in strength building, stretching, improvisation and understanding their body alignment. I feel energized by those who decide to dedicate their whole mind and spirit to an art form that has no boundaries. I believe that creating an open space for one to take risks and travel on their own path is rewarding. I trust and rely on the complete atmosphere of a working space to create fresh living movement. When I create the movement of a piece I work from an internal emotional state which creates a more meaningful story. I appreciate a collaborative rehearsal process with dancers and find energy in the sense of community.

I am a dancer who is in constantly investigating ways my body can move through any situation and environment. I am drawn to the sculptural shapes of the human body and how our muscles help define our movements. Through that work I am curious how adding improvisation to my dancing can guide myself in a more natural quality. Investigating what doesn’t come naturally allows me to add more tools in the tool box. The constant willingness to explore more from within creates pathways for making work. My ballet training is innate in me and gives stability which I value and trust above all. Like the structure of the body, I am drawn to the structure and organizational of patterns in movements and behaviors. People watching and looking into why we are the way we are is intriguing I try to be conscious of that element when working with others.

I am a collaborator in every sense of the word. I thrive on the artful minds of others coming together to create the “whole” experience of a performance. Collaboration between sound and lighting designers, costume and set designers and now the imaginary minds of technology. I enjoy the process and journey of an idea and how that travels through people before it gets on stage. I am motivated by creating work in the traditional sense of a theatre, however, I also am intrigued on setting dance in different environments. Site-specific work for me adds the element of spontaneity between dancer and audiences that can’t be captured in the theatre. The eyes of others bring fresh light, breath and love to the work. We travel through this life hopefully not alone and I want my work to be touched by others so that it can be fully alive.

I am human and open to taking on challenges and embracing changes in order to provide growth in personal and artistic endeavors. The gift of movement and creating is to be cherished and I find that in order to pay respect to my art form I need to be continuous aware of my place on this world. 

School of Humanities and Sciences  ·  201 Muller Center  ·  Ithaca College  ·  Ithaca, NY 14850  ·  (607) 274-3102  ·  Full Directory Listing