Video artist creates virtual dance world

April 27, 2009

Tempe, Ariz. -- Muriel Magenta is an intermedia professor in the ASU Herberger College School of Art, who consideres herself a new genre artist with a focus in video, computer art, web technology, multimedia installation and performance. She explores the relationship between various 2D and 3D electronic media in conjunction with gallery installation. On May 22 at 8 p.m., she introduces CLUB M, an exciting video environment where art meets Salsa, animation tangos with hip-hop, and street dancing encounters Flamenco in an urban-club atmosphere. The stage environment of CLUB M is a one-time event, especially designed for the video premiere. 

The viewer is immersed in the CLUB M ambiance upon entering the theatre. Sweeping spotlights, shifting projections and club music create the ultimate setting for viewers to imagine themselves inside CLUB M. When the screen drops and the video begins, the stage becomes a “virtual” dance floor.  Download Full Image

Magenta’s video, also entitled CLUB M, is a digital fusion of computer animation with Latin and hip-hop dance styles. Spontaneous and choreographed movement work in tandem with animated costumes, props and backdrops to enhance the club dynamic. Special lighting effects reveal striking, multimedia visual patterns. Simultaneously, lighting provides a distinctive sense of place for “virtual” dancers (within the video) who frequent CLUB M. The video includes performance work from about 40" title="ASU Herberger College Dance">ASU Herberger College Dance alumni and undergraduates, in addition to four community members from Open Dance Studio in Phoenix, Ariz. The entire production is created from a visual-art perspective.

“My passion for creating multimedia environments that mix 3D animation and live action video was the motivation for producing Club M,” Magenta says. “I said to myself: an urban dance club is the perfect subject for such a production -- besides, I love Latin dance and hip-hop fusion!”

The Club M video will be distributed nationally and internationally to festivals, galleries, events, media libraries and on the Internet." title="Magenta's">Magenta’s 3D animations and video works have been screened internationally and throughout the U.S. Magenta is a native of New York City. She received her art training at CUNY- Queens College, and Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.  

Experience CLUB M on May 22 at 8 p.m. in the Paul V. Galvin playhouse, which is located in the Nelson Fine Arts Center on the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and 10th Street on the ASU Tempe campus. This event is free and open to the public. Visit the ASU Herberger College of the Arts" title="calendar">calendar for venue and parking information.

The School of Art is a division of the Herberger College of the Arts at Arizona State University. Its printmaking, photography and art education programs are nationally ranked in the top 10, and its Master of Fine Arts program is ranked eighth among public institutions by U.S.News & World Report. The school includes four student galleries for solo and group shows by graduate and undergraduate art and photography students: Gallery 100, Harry Wood, Northlight and Step. To learn more about the School of Art, visit">">

Wendy Craft

Marketing and communications manager, Business and Finance Communications Group


Performance Center helps Native Americans fight diabetes

April 28, 2009

Arizona State University’s growing Diablo Performance Recreation Center is using its health and exercise platform to help the Native American Fitness Council (NAFC) fight a growing epidemic of diabetes among its youths.  The center, located at ASU’s West campus, will host a two-day Native Youth Fitness Leader certification workshop on May 14-15.

“Our involvement in this program is important, because it provides us the opportunity to reach out to a segment of the community,” says Keith Munson, director of the center.  “ASU’s vision of excellence, access and impact is well-served in our partnership with NAFC; we’re providing access to our facilities at a locale that makes it more convenient for all to participate.” Download Full Image

The program will attract as many as 30 Native American fitness trainers to the Valley and is designed to help prevent the high incidence of obesity and Type II diabetes affecting Native American youths.  The training certification teaches individuals how to work and motivate Native American youths.  The program includes athletic drills, fitness play, basic exercise principles and the leadership skills necessary to positively impact the youths’ exercise habits.

“This program is very important,” says Brian Laban, NAFC director of training and fitness who helped found the council in 2004 as a division of the Institute for Sports, Health & Fitness.  “With the rising rate of childhood obesity and the ever-increasing numbers of Type II diabetes in children, we cannot just sit back and hope someone develops a pill to fix the problem.

“A common statement that is made is, ‘We just don’t want to throw kids a basketball and let them shoot around for a couple of hours.’  With the Native Youth Fitness Leader program, we show how to work with the youth by giving them different tools to make fitness fun.”

Laban reports Native American fitness trainers are coming from as far away as Alaska to attend the workshop, the third annual program hosted by the Diablo Performance Recreation Center.

“There is a great need for trainings and certifications to be brought out to Native country,” says Laban, who is a Hopi/Tewa and lives in the Hopi village of Moenkopi, Ariz., near Tuba City.  “There are a lot of talented Natives out in their communities who really want to help their people.  Natives see that if there are Natives out there on a national level, then they feel they can get the certifications and get out to the communities to make a difference.

“Keith and the Diablo Center are making it easier to be a part of the participation process, from a location standpoint, and the fitness center also provides the fitness atmosphere and gives others another perspective of how fitness centers are run.”

Munson sees the May 14-15 workshop as a win-win for ASU and the NAFC.

“The participants will take back the performance techniques learned to their own community centers and schools,” he says.  “There is a real need for wellness in Native American communities because of the high percentages of diabetes and other health issues.  By providing a modern fitness facility and professional service, we are doing our best to help curb health challenges among Native Americans.”

ASU's West campus Diablo">">Diablo Performance Recreation Center is located in the University Center Building (UCB) and is open to students, faculty/staff, family members and alumni on a fee basis.  The 6,000-square foot facility houses a fully equipped weight room, aerobics room, men's and women's locker rooms, and is accessible to accommodate individuals with disabilities.  Amenities at the center include group aerobic classes, weight machines/free weights, cardiovascular equipment, and the capability to do fitness assessments and body composition analysis.  In addition to a fully equipped fitness center, the facility also checks out recreation equipment with any ASU ID card for use on its basketball courts, racquetball courts, sand volleyball courts, and the multipurpose soccer/football field.

Steve Des Georges