Downtown Contemporary

This class is informed by current movement practices and aesthetics emerging in New York's downtown modern dance scene. It takes dance and places it in a specific time/place context, understanding it as a continually shifting field that is influenced by tradition, technology, research, vernacular culture, location, and international perspectives, to name a few.  We will explore improvisational techniques to identify our movement tendencies and discover new ways of moving.  Students will be given unique challenges to develop awareness of their bodies moving in space, clear choice making, mapping new movement, nuance, and texture.  

Improvisation

Structured improvisational exercises will allow participants to unearth new movement possibilities hidden in the body’s kinetic system. We will acknowledge our movement affinities and challenge ourselves to resist them with the intent to surprise our selves. As a creative and performance practice we will look at clarity, texture, spontaneity, and choice. Building on our improvisation technique we will compose the space with various movement-based scores.

Movement and Self Awareness

Through guided movement explorations, we will discover the anatomical structure (skeleton) that supports the content (muscles and organs) of our bodies moving through space.  The explorations will combine visualization meditations with partner body-work to gain greater awareness of the body’s architecture.  This class presupposes the notion that an aware body is a clearer and more articulate body. 

House Dance

House dance is an improvisational social dance form with roots in African American vernacular jazz tap.  This dance style combines short footwork phrases (often resembling swing dance or the hustle) with large, athletically challenging movements emphasizing grace and control.  We will break down standard movements found in house and explore their multiple variations. Class covers footwork, floorwork, turning, floor sweeps and lofting. 

Fundamentals of Partnering

This is a skill-building class that explores the fundamental concepts of weight sharing, shifting, lifting and tossing between two bodies. Class will begin with a partnered body scan to observe our diverse anatomical architectures.  This will facilitate awareness of the physical landscape, understanding how each surface offers unique and different opportunities for contact.   With this foundation, we will explore concepts of tone, pelvic tracking, pelvic stacking, deceleration, propulsion, and other dynamic movement possibilities found in partnering. This class is about the complex relationship between physical sensing, risk taking, choice making and play.