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2014 Professional Training Program Classes


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Modern III  (Hauser)

This technique class focuses on integrating physical and creative articulation. Building coordination, strength and articulation allows us to dance to the fullest that we imagine without hesitation. As we call on our training to embody our ideas we find the cycle continues as the movement itself inspires our creative imagination. Each part of this class is in response to the individual dancer’s desire to integrate their abilities with their imagination. The class consists of an eclectic mix of energy work, somatic information, post-modern dance technique, improvisation and quirky phrase work. Hauser’s material reflects the influences of her extensive training in ballet, contact improvisation and post- modern choreography

Modern IV (Lavista)

In this class, dancers will experience some of the training research that Delfos Danza Contemporánea has develop as part of their artistic and pedagogical vision. We will explore exciting body dynamics and the flow/control of energy via the use of different principles such as accumulation and expansion, multi-dimensional and multi-directional use of the space, the floor work as tool/collaborator, breath as impulse for movement, body language articulation, circularity, sense of community, and the use of imagination as both a neuromuscular and emotional force. The main focus will be on the development of an organic, free-flowing style of movement. Delfos’s movement approach fosters a deeper understanding of the individual body, thereby facilitating the use of instinct, sensory perception, emotions and the imagination in dance.

Modern IV (Nugent)

Using improvisational and set warm-ups, we will focus on the volume and weight inside the body and its relationship to the floor. Exercises that bring awareness to the feet, spine, and pelvic floor encourage the feeling of release in the limbs, allowing us to fall and suspend off-center, simultaneously finding a grounded flexible base of support. Using these physical tools, we will explore sensation, instinct, and the inherent musicality inside the body and its phrasing. All the while dancing, we will work toward a more grounded and direct approach to movement.

Modern IV: Moving with Momentum (Dorfman)

Class material will range in styles from release-based work connecting with the floor to an eclectic standing and highly technical modern approach.  Concepts such as a weighted and grounded approach to movement, harnessing the body's momentum and force, varying approaches to contact and partnering, emphasis on intent and focus, and compositional choices through improvisation may be included. BEWARE: We will have fun!

Modern V (Carrum)

This class is about pursuing the knowledge of our relationship with the floor, based on the training technique developed by the Colombian artist, Vladimir Rodriguez and  his company "Cortocinesis". We will explore the infinite possibilities of movement throughout the floor and understand many principles like inertia, centrifugal and centripetal energy, expansion, suspension, strength, resistance and circularity, all of which will sustain and generate new skills and abilities for moving, sliding, turning, jumping and falling in the floor in almost any direction and using almost any part of our body. We will aim for a continuity and a sustained muscular and skeletal consciousness in order to learn how we can transfer, gather and spread our weight anywhere in our body, how the mechanics of each muscle and bone work, and how all our body parts can cooperate to move more efficiently, safely and smoothly.

Modern V (Race)

The class will emphasize skills intended to develop a strong body that can be comfortable with any orientation in space, be it upside down or right side up, as well as in more traditional technical realms. Experiencing movement as a practice that can incorporate our most natural physicality and allowing the body to find freedom within set dance vocabulary will be explored.  Dance phrases will highlight the thrill of momentum and gravity as a means to develop full-bodied, risky dancing, regularly challenging the body to defy preconceived notions of what a body can achieve in dance.

Modern V (Nugent)

Using improvisational and set warm-ups, we will focus on the volume and weight inside the body and its relationship to the floor. Exercises that bring awareness to the feet, spine, and pelvic floor encourage the feeling of release in the limbs, allowing us to fall and suspend off-center, simultaneously finding a grounded flexible base of support. Using these physical tools, we will explore sensation, instinct, and the inherent musicality inside the body and its phrasing. All the while dancing, we will work toward a more grounded and direct approach to movement.

Ballet III (List)

The focus in this class is on correct alignment, ease of movement and dancing fully with musicality. Rhythm, momentum and spatial clarity are emphasized. Explanations of exercises and theory help students to use the ballet vocabulary in a simple, practical way, practicing skills that may be applied to other dance techniques. Exercises at the barre prepare for more complicated rhythms and combinations in the center. Areas of unnecessary tension are identified so that dancers may let go of excess effort and increase technical skills as well as expressivity.

Ballet Lab IV (Mirk-Robles)

The body is the most complex of all artists’ instruments.  In this class we will explore the intricacies of our instrument.  An anatomical approach to ballet teaches the dancer not only how to understand the body’s motor functions, but also how to recognize one's limits, respect them and learn how and when to push these limits.  This class deepens the dancer's understanding of body placement, the use of the skeleton, the influence of gravity through the body, and the use of energy from the floor throughout the body.  This knowledge provides the dancer with a healthier base, a stronger technique and a possibility of a longer dance career.

Ballet V (List)

This advanced class is designed for dancers who have a thorough understanding of ballet technique. We move fairly quickly through barre exercises (focusing on placement, ease of movement and rhythm) in order to spend more time honing skills in the center. Musicality, momentum and use of the upper body are emphasized and refined. Advanced work such as jumps with beats and consecutive turns are explored and practiced. By developing core strength and releasing excess tension, we are able to make technically challenging work appear more fluid and effortless.

Jazz IV  (Young)

This class celebrates jazz dance as a dynamic, expressive, complex and continuously evolving form. Because jazz dance is inspired by vernacular dance and music, the class explores movement that has its roots in African-American dances such as the Cakewalk, the Charleston, the Lindy Hop and Hip Hop as well as the Mambo and salsa of Latin America. These social dances provide the source for movement that is passionate and physically challenging. We will approach the complexity of jazz dance from a somatically sophisticated base, integrating elements from current and classical movement techniques with a deep understanding of the body. The goal of this training is to move with clarity and ease, to be musical, expressive and to embrace risk. The warm-up is organic and “body-friendly”, yet physically rigorous. The movement explores a wide range of jazz styles with a focus on elements such as isolation, swing, pulse and rhythmic variations.

Afro-Fusion (Mantsoe)

The basic elements of this class are the traditional movements from South and West African dance forms with some western contemporary technique incorporated. The focus will be on developing control of energy and breath inside the physical movement while allowing the mind to be free and fluid in the process.  Emphasis is on the articulation of arms, legs, chest, back, and hips as the dynamic components of the style. A key focus of the class is based on KOBA (bend), which enables the control of speed and direction along with what Mantsoe calls African Tai-Chi or the control of the center of gravity with the breath as the energy of movement.

Contact Improvisation (Aiken)

This class explores the principles and practice of contact improvisation. The class is a rigorous mix of physical skill work, perceptual tuning and practice time for focused dancing.  You will develop your capacity to create a dynamic center of gravity, to perceive skillfully, to adapt safely and creatively to disorientation, to become a powerful under-dancer and a skilled over-dancer.  Emphasis will also be placed upon the creating emotional presence, personal and group safety, and the ability to engage imaginatively with others.  All are welcome.

Spiraldynamik (Mirk-Robles)

Spiraldynamik® is a combination of the art and science of anatomically correct movement. Like a “user’s manual” for the body, it enhances our understanding of body function by explaining the physics of human movement, given the laws of nature (gravity) and the human anatomical structure. The integration of Spiraldynamik® into the daily lives of dancers helps prevent injury, improve technique and lengthen one’s dance career. In this class, we will study in depth the principles of Spiraldynamik® and how we apply them to our bodies. We will analyze our movement patterns to identify meaningful change and improvement. We will study the anatomy of movement and develop an understanding of the muscular chain reactions that occur throughout the body.

Taiji Quan: New Taii For Life (Yin Mei/Shen)

New Taiji for Life will provide an introduction to the ancient Chinese philosophy and practice of Taiji and Daoyin – a system of living in harmony with nature/self.  According to this system, the way of nature is the way of harmonious balance.  Yin and Yang, heaven and earth, matter and energy are all considered to be manifestations of a single integrated whole, eternally complimentary and ever changing.  Both the specific physical choreography and the philosophical precepts underlying Taiji and Daoyin aim at giving practitioners a means of restoring fundamental balance and rhythm between mind and body, man and universe.

Pilates (Cook)

This class is designed for students with varying levels of experience with Pilates.  We will start slowly with movement drawn from the work of Irene Dowd and progress into the Pilates repertory, exploring core stability, range of motion in all of the joints and bilateral symmetry to prepare the body for a day of moving.

Yoga (Cook) 

The focus of this class will be on the restorative aspects of Yoga practice, which help calm the nervous system using pranayama, asana and meditation to renew the body after a long day of dancing, in order to return the next day feeling refreshed.  Alignment and correct sequencing will be addressed and some poses may be held longer to unwind the hips, back, ankles and shoulders as well as the mind.


Modern Repertory (Dorfman)

The class will mine challenging, technical and soulful dancing with text and possibly singing as Dorfman embarks on a new project. Phrase work will initially come from Dorfman, but will soon be varied and morphed by the class as it works, collectively, toward the creation of a new dance, which will include strong doses of humanity, love and kinesthetic/theatrical excitement.  The work will be performed in the Festival Finale.  All participants must be enrolled in Dorfman’s level V modern technique.

Modern Repertory (Carrum & Lavista)

We will create a new work based on the dancers own experiences and personalities to find the dramaturgy and structure of the new piece. We will push our own boundaries with specific improvisation and spontaneous composition processes to develop movement material that explores metaphor, poetry, theatricality, different emotional states of the body and a broad range of individual, duet and group situations and inventions. The work will be performed in the Festival Finale. All participants must be enrolled in the Lavista’s Modern IV or Carrum´s Modern V class.

Modern Repertory (Race)

Starting From Scratch: The class will work together to make a dance. We will begin with the creation of new movement phrases, as well as utilizing phrases from Race Dance repertoire.  Improvising with these phrases will be an integral part of the choreographic process.  Through this discovery process, themes will emerge, which will in turn guide the eventual intention of the dance.  The work will be performed in the Festival Finale. All participants must be enrolled in the Race’s Modern V class. 

ACTIVATE: A Collaborative Repertory (Dendy)

This class explores ways to address political, social and environmental issues through choreographic invention. We will process and experiment on each other with metaphor, task and text and gesture as well as using Dendy's choreographic tools. We will also experiment with music/sound choices, and surreal juxtapositions. We will utilize the principles of ritual: repetition, rhythm, deep unison and topographical forms. We will discuss and analyze famous successful dance works. And most of all we will take risks, break rules and make extreme choices to co-create a new work. The work will be performed in the Festival Finale. All participants must be enrolled in a level IV or V modern technique class.

Afro-Fusion Repertory  (Mantsoe)

This class will delve into Mantsoe’s approach to the creative process that he calls ’the way’ which explores various traditional/cultural identities and political forms.  We will pursue an organic exploration of our different thoughts and emotions as well as spiritual and personal interpretations of movement as the essence and core material for building a new work.  The resulting work will be performed in the Festival Finale. All participants must be enrolled in Mantsoe’s technique class.

Creative Process: The Art of the Oracle (Yin Mei/Shen)

This class is for choreographers to investigate strategies and decision-making in their creative research, or TSTSIS: Tricky Situations That Seem Impossible to Solve. As dance making is a form of research, we’ll look at questions raised in movement as well as the context you’re creating: What are you investigating? What are the boundaries of your comfort zone? How much further can your habits take you? What’s your tone of action/ directing/ attention? We will work on solo and group process, and participants will work as directors, makers and dancers.


Advanced Improvisation: Performance Ensemble (Aiken & Hauser)

This class is for those who wish to explore the art of dance improvisation both as a performing art and as a vehicle to develop new avenues for sensing, feeling, imagining and choreographing dance. We will take an interdisciplinary approach to composition in order to re-examine our perception of place and time, the body, human relationships, and aesthetic design. Ultimately, our goal will be to access our most powerful dancing bodies while drawing upon our personal experience and our capacity to engage deeply with others. The class is about the integration of technique, performance and the poetic imagination.  Documented prior improvisation study and practice is required.

Choreo Lab I (Young)

In this class, we will undertake an intensive exploration of the choreographic process. We will learn methodologies for accessing and building a personal movement vocabulary, investigate both classical and post-modern choreographic “rules” and “values,” experiment with choreographic form including elemen dts of space, time, and design; and examine how content or meaning emerges within choreography.  Classes will consist of group discussions, movement studies, sharing choreographic assignments, and peer feedback, to support each student in a personal investigation of creative process.

Choreo Lab II  (Dendy)

In this class Mark Dendy shares tools for creating original idiosyncratic work that is not based in codified movement vocabulary but focuses on movement invention. The class explores specific anatomical initiation through improvisation and the overall visual design of the work making use of topography, levels, time, shape, space, text and gesture, external visual stimuli, architecture of the playing space and the principles of ritual. Class time is focused on developing and sharing assignments offering each other feedback. Documented prior composition study required.

Dance Film Laboratory  (Koplowitz)

Participants in this laboratory will take part in the creation of a series of site/location based dance films that will be shot throughout the Lewiston and Auburn area and inspired by the history of the area. This experience is designed for people interested in the process of making a dance film and participating in its creation as both collaborator and performer. The films created in this lab will be seen as part of a large performance/media installation to premiere at a later date. Members of this lab will create and perform under the direction of director/choreographer Stephan Koplowitz and director of photography, Ellen Maynard. Prior experience in the making of dance film is recommended.

Teacher's Toolkit (Koplowitz)

This class is designed as a place to acquire new resources, develop and hone previous skills and concepts and gain perspective on the design and implementation of one’s dance curriculum. We will look at teaching from several perspectives: The macro, how does our curriculum fit into the large culture of our schools/institutions and does it match our own personal mission of dance education? To the micro: how do I keep my curriculum design fresh and pertinent to the population entering my program? All aspects of the educational culture, life of a dance educator are fair game for investigation and discussion and will reflect the experience and abilities of the participants. This course will allow for everyone to create and experience different movement modalities and how they can translate into classroom experiences for varying ages and levels. A look at the teaching of dance composition and supporting the young choreographic mind will be covered. Communal sharing will be an important part of the experience as well as the introduction and exposure to guest artists and educators. The class is primarily designed for experienced secondary school dance and college level educators.

Dance Across Borders: Nation/Appropriation/Fusion (Cash)

From the "ethnic" dances in Nutcracker to hip hop crews in Indonesia, culturally specific dance forms carry messages about gender, the body, community, and ideals about the nature of beauty and virtuosity. Do dance styles and techniques still have borders? Who gets to perform them? And how has multiculturalism shaped contemporary concert dance? By watching videos and discussing our own experiences as global dance citizens, we will explore questions about the relationship between community and cultural expression. 

Incorporating Business into your of Daily Dance Life  (Konikow)

The practical aspects of the dance profession are examined in this seminar. This includes career options, creating an ‘image’ in print and online, growing dance audiences, financial administration and raising funds creatively, among many other topics. Guests from the Festival faculty will join us with informative presentations based on personal experience. A resume (yours) will be created or reviewed and you will participate in the creation of a hands-on plan to assist in your own future dance project. By the end of the course, participants will be better prepared to perform the business tasks expected of dance professionals and have a more holistic understanding of the field and personal dance community. 

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