A Summer of “Fantastic Confusion”

With the downtown cityscape as their backdrop, the teens of “Arts Enterprise” embarked on a mission of creativity, imagination and invention in Melodic Connections’ immersive summer arts experience with our arts partners Cincinnati Ballet, Visionaries + Voices, and Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati.

A powerful voice emerged, as 15-year-old Rithik answered the question, “How would you describe this morning’s camp experience?” His story about his experience at Cincinnati Ballet, which he titled “Fantastic Confusion”, was created through Rapid Prompting Method in which he points to letters on a board to form words while his mom, Sheila, writes them down. This doesn’t slow down his creative process. “Doors open to another world of grace and beauty, ” he said. “Elegant as swans they go up on tiptoes and twirl around to the music.”

A journey that began in February with applications, portfolio submissions and personal interviews led to a week of music composition, choreography and visual design, culminating in a collaborative interpretation of Fantastic Confusion that left no doubt that this group of enterprising teens is ready for anything!

They visited the Cincinnati Ballet on day one of camp, and were challenged to write a story about how the experience made them feel. Rithik, one of the campers, was excited because when it comes to writing, he’s in his element. His ability to craft a compelling story shone through with his contribution entitled “Fantastic Confusion” which was inspired by the beauty of the dancers.

Each camper shared their written story with the group. Then they voted and Rithik’s was chosen to be transformed into a performance. All the campers worked together and used their talents to bring the story to life through a custom logo, choreography, lighting and music – including sampled and remixed sounds recorded by some of the campers at Washington Park. (See photos at the end of this post.)
“Crossing roads was part of the adventure.”  -Rithik
Rithik communicates through Rapid Prompting Method in which he points to letters on a board to form words while his mom, Sheila, writes them down. This doesn’t slow down his creative process, though.

Following camp, he also created a drawing to depict his experience. “He letterboarded what shapes, how many of each, where he wanted to place them, colors etc. I asked him if the shapes symbolized anything. His explanation of his artwork blew me away,” said Sheila. This was Rithik’s first experience with Melodic Connections and it went so well, he’s signed up for the second session of Arts Enterprise.

“He typically does outdoor activities in the summer, so we were looking for a new experience and we liked that Arts Enterprise was just for teens,” said Sheila. Because Rithik Skypes into school, the opportunity to socialize and connect with others his age was a big plus.

She also appreciated the ability to join Rithik as his communication partner. Because she is trained in Rapid Prompting Method, it allowed him to not only participate but bring his voice and share his thoughts. “The letterboard helps others to see his personality and how smart he is,” said Sheila.

Following camp, he created this drawing along with a description of its elements and their meanings.





“Not too long ago, I experienced a camp that really exceeded my expectations. Here is my creative interpretation of camp. The path that we take through camp goes like this.

Triangle filled with hearts: Everyone really discussed the activities and the games with warmth and directed their campers to do their best. 

Big circle with lots of tiny circles: Each day started with a big group circle. Had a good time calling out somebody’s name and throwing the ball to the person.

Stop sign and crosses: Most enjoyable were the field trips to the Cincinnati Ballet, the art studios, and the Makerspace at the Main Library. Crossing roads was part of the adventure.”

Rithik’s looking forward to the next session and we asked him a few questions about his experience.

What surprised you about the camp?

I feel that the camp organizers really took the time to get to know us and they went to great trouble to get the most out of everyone. 

What else would you like to tell others about your camp experience?

The energy in the camp is so palpable. The activities were interesting and fun. Most enjoyable were the field trips that got us out to places in the community.

Arts Enterprise gave campers the opportunity to express themselves through music, drama, dance and art. You can see the photo album from the First Session here. We want to thank our arts partners Cincinnati Ballet, Visionaries + Voices, Cincinnati Ensemble Theater and the Cincinnati Public Library for their contributions.

Fantastic Confusion

At a quiet Cincinnati location, I nicely got to experience the ballet. Doors open to another world of grace and beauty. I had a most terrific morning getting a glimpse behind the scenes. I made my way through narrow hallways, past many offices and looked into dance studios filled with graceful dancers. Elegant as swans, they go up on tiptoes and twirl around to the music.

Too many dancers are strangers making their debut. To break the ice, the ballet decides to send them to Melodic Connections for camp, nice change of pace. The dancers are happy to show off their athletic skills while playing ball. Fantastic confusion as names are called and the ball is thrown to someone else.   –Rithik


The music cohort tours Washington Park to record city sounds. Enjoy listening to the music mix they created:


Riding the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar was definitely part of the adventure.

Rehearsing movement and staging for “Fantastic Confusion” in the lobby of Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati.

Recording and mixing sound at the Cincinnati Public Library MakerSpace recording studio.

Kieren works on logo design.

Finished designs are created at the Cincinnati Public Library MakerSpace.

Lucy is tasked with final approval of costume design.