DECEMBER 28, 2016–JANUARY 5, 2017
gelsey kirkland arts center in dumbo
Confirmed faculty as of November 2016:
Johnnie Cruise Mercer
Christian von Howard
Hee Ra Yoo
Click here to learn more about the faculty!
Click the link below to view a draft schedule as of October 2016. Please note that classes, schedule, and faculty are subject to change!
Ballet: Forsythe Phrasework
This ballet class begins with a pre-barre warm-up and ends with a grande allegro and phrase work drawn from William Forsythe’s contemporary ballet repertory. At the barre we’ll take our time to work on getting grounded and connected, warmed-up and aligned, and we’ll repeat most of the combinations at the barre twice. In the center we’ll continue reinforcing information introduced at the barre with emphasis on breath and release as we explore a wide spectrum of ballet vocabulary and syntax which prepare us for the Forsythe phrase work we will be exploring. Areas of focus include; clarity of direction in the body and in space, differentiation in movement qualities, rhythm, focus and fun! Click here for more information.
Ballet Technique with Thera-band: Alignment & Placement
Hee Ra Yoo
The world of dance is constantly expanding. Without a strong foundation, dancers cannot explore this growing movement vocabulary to its full potential. While traditional ballet techniques are effective, even core concepts — turn out, proper alignment — take many years to properly and consistently execute. Every dancer’s body is different, so what works for one dancer may not for another. By centering on the individual, integrating modern concepts, and adding the use of a thera-band to this traditional ballet form, dancers can more efficiently understand and internalize these essential concepts and expedite the learning process.
With the use of the thera-band, there is a greater resistance placed on the body, allowing the dancer to more acutely feel which muscles are engaging properly or improperly and how this effects individual body alignment (especially helpful in engaging the inner thighs to find true parallel and turn out). An emphasis on contra balance, achieved by placing the thera-band across the body, permits for greater awareness of weight placement, increasing engagement of core muscles, and allowing for further extension while maintaining balance. This quickly strengthens muscles and helps the dancer in springing from the floor, turning, and numerous other aspects of technique.
Through my individualized method, the dancer quickly learns how to increase range of motion, create space to extend, prevent injuries, and maintain healthy technique throughout their career.
Elisa Clark’s modern technique class begins with a structured warm-up that focuses on alignment, placement, weight-shifting and musicality, and culminates with dynamic dance phrases that encourage students to move through space using different qualitative approaches. In this class, dancers will have the opportunity to touch upon a variety of material that is inspired by Robert Battle, Lar Lubovitch and Mark Morris, the choreographers with whom Clark has worked most intimately with.
This class is based on the proposal that we can feel our agency, empowerment, and creativity more deeply when we connect/identify as our physical self: action and material. This translates into: We’ll start with basic, full-bodied exercises based on the developmental patterns that awaken sensation, willfulness, and awareness. We’ll move into solving physical problems and dancing learned material with agency and authority. We’ll be rebellious without being irresponsible and irresponsible without being juvenile. We’ll be wildly encouraged to embody our full authority as dancing agents, hindered only by the limitations we place on ourselves.
Limon Influenced/Classic Modern
In this class, our emphasis will be on clarifying technical skills as well as performance skills. Grounded in the fundamentals of traditional modern technique, particularly the work of José Limon, the class focuses on the concepts of alignment, core strength, and efficiency in movement. Particular attention will be paid to musicality, phrasing, and the use of dynamics to develop a personal sense of expression, freedom, and ease of moving through space.
Modern Root[ed] Technique
Focuses on the ever-expanding ideas about “what is technique?” The interplay between crafting and facilitating a space where Africanist presence is understood as a [modern] movement. In this space we will create and negotiate how to enter and exit a multiplicity of movement techniques from a non-binary historical ideology. Exhilarating crisp and sharp release, grounded pelvis, rounded drop-n-stack gestures, and agrarian movement sensibilities that partner with Afro-Beat, Blues, Butoh and Funk soundscapes. Urban identifiers that contextualize and implode the urban gait, grounded pulsations, flicks, ‘wack’ and head-bobbing gestures that craft underscore trans-global movement.
Pamela Pietro’s teaching exists to widen the physical range and mental awareness of dancers’ technical capabilities. Pamela’s thorough anatomical knowledge and principles of alignment lead to full physical charge underlaid in release and response, incorporating floor and upper body that leads to the expansive movement phrases explored across the floor. The class is pure physicality by designing the body in space through positive motivation, clear detail, initiation, follow-through, focus, and intent while exploring varied spatial directions within the environment. There is no forcing, only a space for individual learning through process.
Contemporary Dance Technique
Christian von Howard
This class is a highly physical movement experience that explores many diverse movement vernaculars. The warm-up will consist of exercises that spiral in and around a contracted and released core, as well as polyrhythmic movement phrases that push across the space. Movement material will call for dancers to transition in and through inverted positions and challenge their ability to take on dense phrase material that investigates the many pathways of the body. The instructor’s goal is to promote an in-depth understanding of alignment, skeletal awareness, stretching, strength building, movement efficiency, and injury prevention.
The focus of this class will be on Yoga as a rigorous practice as gleaned from students’ attention being focused on a fully embodied experience of asana. Using clear alignment principles, correct sequencing, meditation, and attention to the breath, students will move beyond the merely physical aspects of the discipline. The teacher will use hands-on adjustments to help each student understand the subtlety of his or her practice on an individual level.
Elements of Yoga
This yoga class engages students in a contemplative, breath-centered practice that encourages continual adaptation to each individual’s changing needs. We focus on the relationship between strength, relaxation, breath and attention as a way to unlock unwanted mental and physical habits, and find the freedom in being present. Whether moving through an invigorating vinyasa sequence, resting in a restorative posture, or quietly breathing in meditation each student is invited to create a practice that honors the ancient principle to do no harm.
“Ideally, when we take up the practice of yoga we begin a process that offers us a way of stopping what is harmful to us. We do not have to stop doing something deliberately. We do not have to do anything ourselves, but rather whatever it is simply fades out because we have redirected ourselves toward something positive.” – T.K.V. Desikachar from The Heart of Yoga
composition / PROCESS
What we do when we do the thing we do before we know what we are doing: Approaches to Creative Practice, Choreography and Performance
The idea is not the thing. Each of us is an ever-shifting complex of radically divergent memories, desires, impulses and perceptions. This is a lab for cultivating multiple considerations on multiple levels, put into conscious action and practice. Accepting not-knowing as a generative state, we’ll sharpen our responsiveness to emergent materials, then fluidly develop strategies and systems for immersion in and reflection of inherent structures. We’ll generate, reconsider, translate and reinterpret: action, affect, content and context through daily performance. At the core is the willingness to think/move/imagine in unanticipated directions.
This class will focus on methods of creating personal works that explore memory, history, identity, and self-expression. In the studio we will work by responding to direct prompts and questions regarding aspects of your life which you have agency over vs. broader experiences designed by others, which you may not. Some of the questions will be pulled from stories about your life along with more philosophical questions regarding our current cultural/political crisis. Working with the idea that the personal is political, the works will be developed through a blending of improvisational explorations and concrete set material which will inherently, through your dancing, speak of both.
The Athletics of Intimacy
This class will combine applications of Body-Mind Centering ®, skills and practices of Contact Improvisation, and tunings of improvisational approaches in solo, duet and ensemble dancing. This class will bring forth skills, tools and practical experience of improvising to become more tuned to center and subtleties of touch, direction and intention, and will explore musicality and phrasing, the learning of specific rolls and lifts as well as how we craft time and space in spontaneous choreographies of solo, duet and ensembles.
Body-Mind Centering (BMC ™) is an eclectic and dynamic approach to somatic training and re-education developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen. Skills and applications of BMC will include differentiating body systems, experiencing developmental and evolutionary patterns, and play with fluid states through practice and embodiment.
Contact Improvisation is a dance of improvising and partnering based on the physics of touch, weight, balance, momentum, stillness, flow and resistance, and perceptual play. Begun by dancer Steve Paxton in 1972, Contact Improvisation is a vital practice in contemporary dance and arts, combining aspects of martial arts, yoga, modern dance, gymnastics and social dancing.
This class is rooted in many different forms of improvisation and will offer students a foundation in diverse techniques of instinctive, intuitive, non-set dances. The class builds upon the principles of Contact and Releasing to give students a strong, personal movement foundation. It teaches students to use senses other than sight when improvising and asks that they allow their dances be guided by touch and sound as well as by narrative and emotion. Another component of the class is the use of both spoken and written text and the use of personal material. Students are asked to use language in an automatic and improvisational way. Then they are instructed to use the resultant text as a prompt to movement. This may lead to short solo or group pieces.
Abby Zbikowski Repertory
In this repertory course students will discover their limits and extremes. This class will be a mix of learning set material from “Double Nickels on the Dime” and destroying it to find new relevance in the present. Dancers will be facilitated to interrogate what they know about the spaces they inhabit (places/bodies/cultures/minds) in order to re-imagine and reprogram the world around them through vigorously physical dancing.
Panel: Making a Living Making Dance That Matters
Moderator: Leah Cox
Panelists: Amanda Loulaki, Johnnie Cruise Mercer, and Emily Wexler
What does it mean to be a dance artist in NYC 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 Amanda Loulaki, Johnnie Cruise Mercer, and Emily Wexler in a dialogue drawing on their experiences as dance artists in NYC.
Students attending the New York City Winter Intensive have the opportunity to attend the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on Friday, December 30 at 8pm. Click here to view the program for that evening’s performance.
- There is a limited quantity of performance tickets. Tickets are reserved on a first come first serve basis through the online application. Tickets are not guaranteed.
- Performance tickets will not be reserved until the student is paid in full. Payment deadline is December 1.
- Tickets are included in the tuition. No portion of the tuition will be refunded for performances not attended.
- ADF will only provide one ticket per student. Additional tickets may be purchased directly through the theater box office, subject to availability.