DECEMBER 27-31, 2016
Panel Discussion with: Ana Maria Alvarez, Ariel Osterweis, and Stephanie Zaletel
Click here to learn more about the faculty!
Click below to view this year’s schedule. Classes, schedule, and faculty are subject to change!
An experiential laboratory for movement, this somatics class explores strategies for thinking bodies to expand their range and ease of motion, revealing their truest movement potential. Class will address anatomical principles that are essential to any movement practice (i.e. embodied imagery, awakening of all body systems, dynamic alignment, balance, connectivity, and spatial clarity). We will begin with a thorough warm up consisting of gentle floor-work, both learned and improvised (incorporating spheres of learning that include ideas from Irene Dowd, Bartenieff Fundamentals, and PNF patterns). Investigating flow and energy while paying attention to the dancer’s awareness of focus, breath, and muscle use/tone, the class aims to integrate mind and body so that the body can move with greater articulation, expressivity and intent. We will awaken the subtle body, breathe with intention, feel deeply, befriend gravity, vocalize, and perform interventions that resist habituated patterns that no longer serve our dancing.
Undoing – Choreography as a Colonizing Force
Choreography can be viewed as a colonizing force. When movement is generated by one body and taught to another, concessions occur between choreographer and dancer. This class contends with this intimate negotiation and the problems inherent in creating and learning movement from other bodies that are not our own. Rethinking the ways dance-making is traditionally taught, we will undo habits reinforced by the usual objectives of choreography classes derived from Western/Eurocentric musical forms (theme and variation, form and content, movement that is generated by one body that is learned, adopted, and manipulated by another, etc.). Returning agency to the dancer as collaborator, we will explore modes of movement invention and composition that critically probe various choreographic tasks, structures, and assumptions not usually challenged in dance-making. We will practice various techniques that disidentify from compositional techniques that re-inscribe normativity and interrupt the production of sameness. Students will experiment with random generators, drawing and speaking, tracking the mind while improvising, prosodic physicality, duration and boredom, indigeneity in the body, and decolonizing the gaze. Ideas and solutions will materialize in the form of solos, duets and trios, expressing the diverse ways that movement and meaning inter-relate.
Somatic Practice: Slowing, Sensing, & Softening
Somatic practices are like micro and meta dances that wake up the connection between our inner selves and the people/space/world around us. In this workshop, we will play with (and sometimes indulge in) theories and practices from somatic systems to enhance our ability to work “smarter, not harder”, enrich our relationships, and discover our dreams and desires as individual dancing humans. What if becoming aware of our bodies leads to becoming aware with our bodies? Do your heart and mind know each other? What can we learn from pain? How do we dance forever?
Catching the Choreography: Sequences, Sensation, & Sincerity
In this workshop, we will practice spontaneous dancemaking by softening the separation between “choreography” and “improvisation”. Paradox will provide the creative juice needed to generate dances that we love to dance. Chaos and order will combust within our bodies/dances. How can we be fully aware of others and deeply immersed in our own dancing? How do we make bold choices and simply allow the dance to unfold? How do we see while being seen? What kinds of performances will happen when we stop performing?
Technique: Riding the Fall
As a teacher, choreographer, and performer, I am interested in momentum and how the ability to direct and re-direct it at any given time has a motional and emotional effect on both the performer and audience. This technique class will have an emphasis on the alignment of the skeletal structure and the freedom this allows for expansive and dynamic movement. The class begins moving right away with simple weight shifts and directions changes that begin warming up the body. From there we will move into a series of warm-up exercises that expand awareness of space and focus. Emphasis is placed on the movement and articulation of the torso and how material is threaded through the center of the body to the extremities. There is a lot of repetition of material and re-enforcement of conceptual ideas with a focus on breath, dynamics, and athleticism. The skeletal structure is not separated from the muscularity of the movement but both work together to generate the ability to ride momentum and falling as a means of traveling. Both center combinations and across the floor work will involve highly athletic material. Be prepared to move.
Inside of improvised scores and learned movement sequences, we will cultivate and interrogate strategies for dancing. We will observe how we engage with material, and what we notice about our engagement will also become material. We will consider functionality and expressivity. We will dance together and for one another.
Panel: Making a Living Making Dance That Matters
Moderated by: Stuart Singer
Panelists: Ana Maria Alvarez, Ariel Osterweis, and Stephanie Zaletel
What does it mean to be a dance artist in 2017? In the wake of the election, in which many challenges were illuminated for us as citizens, how does our dancing matter? How might we continue our work as artists while also exploring our role as engaged citizens? In this panel, we will observe expectations, challenge traditional narratives, and hopefully broaden a sense of possibility around our notions of what it means to build a career in dance. Join dance artists Ana Maria Alvarez, Ariel Osterweis, and Stephanie Zaletel in a dialogue drawing on their experiences as dance artists. Moderated by Stuart Singer.