2020 Master Classes︱Workshops︱Lectures
In addition to these presentations, I am available for guest artist residencies as both a choreographer and theatre director.
While I teach a range of dance techniques, my primary interest is sound alignment/placement relevant to each individual student’s body. Class lengths can be arranged based on the needs of hosting organizations, unless otherwise noted. These technique classes were designed with pre-professional and professional dancers in mind, however, most of them can be adapted to students of any age or experience levels.
PREPARING TO MAKE ART
Mindfullness & Movement for Artists: helps dance, theatre, and visual artists prepare for the practice of artmaking. We begin with the breath—our primal source of observable and controllable movement that can inform/impact the art we create, thus bringing the artist’s awareness into the body and the present. A variety of techniques and somatic materials are used to help the artist create an embodied practice that facilities listening to and observing the body, in order to gain greater dexterity in making creative choices in the moment/movement. This can be arranged in a variety of format from introductory workshops to semester-long courses.
Ballet: an American approach drawn from the Balanchine Style that focuses on safe anatomical practice, dynamic alignment, length of line, musicality, weight shift, and speed.
Body Listening Warm-up: (single workshop format) encourages participants to engage in a dialogue with their physical selves. By responding to proprioception (or sensory awarenesses in the body), we can create our own unique warm-up in preparation for more structured dance practice, yoga, running, or other more vigorous activities. Open to dancers as well as those with no movement training. [2-hour format.]
Contemporary: a fusion of movement principles drawn from ballet, classic modern techniques, Bartenieff Fundamentals and other somatic practices. Breath work, bodymindspirit centering, dynamic alignment, isolation/undulation, rhythm/musicality, clarity, space, and place, and time are major themes.
Modern: chose from a Dunham-Horton blended class, Limón, or my take on the Taylor style.
Musical Theatre Jazz: straightforward traditional musical theatre styles.
Movement for Actors: please note that this is not a dance class, but rather, an exploration of the actor’s physicality designed to help better create embodied charters in theatrical work. Using concepts from Bartenieff Fundamentals and other somatic practices, actors explore the body’s primary weight centers, dynamic alignment, and principles such as initiation and response. [Note: 2-hour minimum for single class sessions.]
Introduction to Viewpoints: explores Viewpoints as both a component of performance training, building ensemble, and generating performance material. This system of principles address movement, space, and time. Originally seen as a set of 6 movement principles, the system is now often practiced with 9 physical and 5 vocal Viewpoints. My practice adds two additional Viewpoints: breath and stillness. [This can be arranged in a topic-based 2-hour workshop, a series, or a semester-long course.]
Choreography: this workshop can be structured based on the experience/skill level of the participants involved, from introductory through advanced.
Collaborative Dancemaking: introduces a functional way for artists to work together in the creation of a dance piece. It can be geared for both novice and experienced choreographers.
Interdisciplinary Collaboration: introduces a functional way for artists to work together in the creation of a performance and visual art piece. It can be geared for both novice and experienced artists.
Site-Specific Dancemaking: looks at approaches to making and performing dances in non-traditional spaces, and leads participants through the creation of a new site-specific dance.
Improv︱Teen or Improv︱Adult: improvisation is the art of generating spontaneous movement in the moment. It can stand alone as a performance practice, or serve as an entry point to creative exploration and development of more structured choreography. This workshop can be geared to those who are trying to find their creative voice by exploring movement for the first time, or designed for dancers looking to deepen their improvisation practice. Beginning through advanced levels are available.
MOVEMENT FOR LIFE
Lifelong Movement: this gentle practice is geared for those wishing to maintain a flexible, nimble physicality for a lifetime. It draws on a variety of somatic practices, and is custom-designed to meet the needs of each group.
Case Studies in Collaboration
In the contemporary worlds of art and education, we place a great deal of emphasis on collaboration and interdisciplinarity. In this talk, I present case studies of long-term collaborative partnerships between choreographers (ballet and modern), musicians, and visual artists that propelled some of the greatest masterpieces of the 20th century. Among the collaborations introduced are:
+ George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Igor Stravinsky, and Marc Chagall
+ Martha Graham, Louis Horst, and Isamu Noguchi
+ Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns
Modern Dance & Anthropology at the Crossroads
During the rise of American modern dance in the last century, three major choreographers were also engaged in anthropology and sociology. Their ethnographic fieldwork produced deeper understanding of traditional dance forms in Western Africa (Pearl Primus), the Caribbean (Katherine Dunham), and North America (Lester Horton). Each of these choreographers/ethnographers then infused those traditional dance vocabularies into their own artistic work in American concert dance—thus making major contributions to the development of American modern dance. Dunham and Horton in particular designed dance training systems (drawing on key elements from their fieldwork) that remain major dance techniques today. The primary focus of this talk is on Katherine Dunham’s research-to-performance methodology.
How They Trained: A Biography of Modern Dance
The rise of modern dance brought new ideas about art and about how we train for artistic practice. Choreographic interests and responses to world events led to the creation of new dance training systems that facilitated bold new visions of a truly American artform. These training systems mapped contemporary cultural ideas into dancing bodies, changing the physicality of the American dance landscape—and perhaps, of American itself.