A skilled dancer and choreographer, Peter Kyle is nimble on his feet. When he wants to be.
But do not expect to see sudden movements during Kyle’s November 14 session at 10:45 a.m. on Slow Tempo, a physical performance style that he studied in Japan two decades ago. The associate professor of theater and dance’s workshop is a part of Trinity College’s Bicentennial Fall Symposium.
“Slowness as a concept certainly feels vitally important in our current era of instant gratification,” said Kyle, one of more than three dozen presenters and facilitators of the symposium’s morning sessions, which follow the opening remarks and a keynote panel.
Titled “Memory, Presence and Possibility,” the day-long symposium invites faculty, staff, students, alumni, and local partners to dedicate time to discuss aspects of Trinity’s history, identity, and future.
Award-winning poet and essayist Claudia Rankine, professor of creative writing at New York University, will be the evening keynote speaker. She will cap off campus discussions on such topics as the value of a liberal arts education, entrepreneurial ventures, slavery and Trinity’s founding, and the Trinity Tripod and the future of student journalism.
Participants are also encouraged to fill out commitment cards, offering ways they can work within their own areas for the College’s future.
“Your participation enriches the intellectual and cultural life of the community and energizes the discussions and explorations that have been brought forth by fellow community members,” noted the co-chairs of the Bicentennial Core Planning Committee, Mitch Polin, associate dean for curriculum and professor of theater and dance, and Hellen Hom-Diamond, vice president for strategic marketing and communications.
Over in the dance studio, Kyle will be focusing on movement. “This work has informed me greatly both in my art practice as well as in living,” he said.
Slow Tempo draws on principles of contemplative practice, said Kyle. “I feel it affords remarkable lessons on efficiency in motion, expression, and can help develop a profound sense of presence.”
For a decade, Kyle taught a week-long summer workshop in Slow Tempo in rural Maine. He is currently developing a course in Slow Tempo for Trinity College students and, in the meantime, plans to lead another session at the Bicentennial Spring Symposium on February 28, 2024.
“The symposium will be a challenge because, well, it takes time to slow down deeply, so we’ll see what we can accomplish in 75 minutes,” said Kyle.