On Friday (May 20), CalArts held its 2011 graduation ceremony on the Valencia, Calif., campus with the theme of “Metamorphosis”—complete with butterflies being released in the middle of the ceremony—to underscore the life-changing transitions ahead for the class of 2011.
The afternoon’s festivities began with a Gamelan music and dance ensemble to greet guests arriving for the ceremony; Alfred Ladzepko, faculty member of The Herb Alpert School of Music, ended his 41-year tenure at CalArts by leading the African drumming and dance ensemble in the graduation processional (and then capped the opening performance with a raucous set at the after-party in the Main Gallery).
Special guests at graduation included Austin Beutner, chair of the CalArts’ Board of Trustees, and keynote speakers actress Annette Bening and choreographer Donald McKayle, who both received honorary degrees from CalArts. The ultimate performer, Bening recited an excerpt from Romeo and Juliet in lieu of a traditional speech.
But the day ultimately belonged to CalArts’ 2011 graduating class, who discarded the pomp and circumstance for more fun and ever-interesting ways to celebrate. We posted a few candid shots from throughout the evening.
We’ll post additional photos and video later this week.