MIT's Independent Activities Period is a special four week term at MIT that runs from the first week of January until the end of the month. IAP 2005 takes place from January 3 through January 28. Below is a sampling of this year's arts-related offerings.
Music offerings include an audio history of Russian popular music of the 18th to 20th centuries ranging from folk to Soviet to rock; change ringing in Boston's Old North Church tower; Middle Eastern rhythms on the dara bukka/dumbeg, an hourglass-shaped drum; a sea chantey sing-along; and an experimental musical instrument workshop in which participants build, play and record experimental musical instruments with guest artists. Music listings
If you're looking for movement more codified than stomping the slush off your boots, try Rueda, swing, ballroom, break and contra dance. Dance listings
Participants can make their own film in a filmmaking workshop or make a short film using miniature sets, stop-motion animation and a robotic camera rig in an animation workshop. IAP also offers a marathon of the documentaries of South African filmmaker Angus Gibson and a series of films from the Middle East. Film listings
Learn the basics of improv comedy with Roadkill Buffet or hear the iambic pentameter of Shakespeare Ensemble's Scene Night. A Friday night coffeehouse series titled "Think" will focus on searching for the meaning of life through poetry, skits, joke-telling, monologues, songs and scenes. Theater listings
Visual arts offerings include beginning life drawing, photography and darkroom techniques, sketching, watercolor, printmaking, pottery and clay carving. MIT Cable Television offers a gallery for these creations with the ArTtV art competition. Members of the MIT community can vote for their favorites. Visual arts listings
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 15, 2004 (download PDF).