Modern III – Race
This class will emphasize movement intended to develop a strong body that can be comfortable with any orientation in space, nurture growth in more traditional technical realms and deepen bodily knowledge with an emphasis on grounding, sequencing and alignment. Experiencing movement as a practice that can incorporate our most natural physicality to allow 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 IV & V – Watts
What is a physical thought? This workshop will be about using movement as an approach to thinking. Based on methodologies developed by William Forsythe and The Forsythe Company, we will look into the assumptions we make through felt sensation and perception, how physical action can uncover both novel and habitual thought patterns, and how to find focus through the entire body. Classes will include warmup, learned choreography, improvisation, and discussion.
Modern IV: Continuum – Carrum
Based on continuous mechanics and kinematic principles, CONTINUUM is a training system that aims for the continuity of the kinetic chains of movement, its path, and a very specific and uncommon way to use momentum, impulse, space, motion script and physical principles. The class pursue the knowledge of our relationship with the floor and gravity and uses the body as a whole continuous mass instead of segmented parts where movement takes place from the study of weight placement, speed control, space density, planes, continuous movement and circular trajectories. The use of hands, feet, elbows and head will be strengthened as substantial points for pivot, leverage, support and anchorage. We will aim for 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. Dancers will develop a new understanding of their bodies by exploring the principles of physics: inertia, centrifugal and centripetal energy, expansion, suspension, strength and resistance, all of which will sustain and generate new skills and abilities for moving, sliding, turning, jumping and falling.
Modern V – Lavista
In this class, dancers will experience some of the training research that Lavista has developed as part of her artistic and pedagogical vision. We will explore body dynamics and the flow/control of energy via the use of different principles such as: accumulation and expansion, the use of trajectories, 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 a natural and integrated body configuration and a free-flowing style of movement. Lavista’s dance approach fosters a deeper understanding of the individual body, thereby facilitating the use of instinct, sensory perception, connection and emotions in dance.
Modern V – Portier
In this class we will stretch our movement capacities through guided improvisation, visceral imagery, and dynamic vocabulary. We will mobilize in and out of the floor, explore our qualitative, durational and rhythmic range, and challenge physical and creative endurance. The movement tends towards an athletic use of weight that is fueled by personal experience and a courageous generosity for self and others. We will dance via poetic physics with and without other bodies, and relish the effort to cultivate our artistry.
Modern Repertory – Dorfman & Portier
The concept of collaboration and group process will be explored in a deep way as Dorfman and Portier work together with the class in the creation of a new dance, simultaneously including strong doses of humanity and theatrical and kinesthetic excitement. The dance will follow the path begun by David Dorfman Dance’s newly premiered, Aroundtown, a tale of belonging and joy in perilous times, and will incorporate a visceral range of challenging technical movement, while mining the performers’ voices, literally and figuratively. We will have fun! This work will be performed in the Festival Finale. All participants must be enrolled in the Portier’s Modern V class.
Modern Repertory – Lavista & Carrum
We will draw on the dancers own experiences and personalities to explore dramaturgy and structure in the creation of a new piece. We will push 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 Lavista’s or Carrum´s Modern IV and V.
Repertory Site Project – Koplowitz
This repertory workshop, will be an intense and exciting creative process that will allow all participants the chance to perform and collaborate with director/choreographer Stephan Koplowitz in Mill Town, a large-scale event that will culminate the Festival. This is a site-based, multi-media performance event taking place downtown in the Bates Mill Complex. Mill Town, a full evening work, takes its inspiration from the history of twin cities of Lewiston and Auburn (L/A), the Androscoggin River that divides the two cities, and the specific site of the historic mill. It will include an original score by acclaimed composer/instrumentalist, Todd Reynolds, digital media, historical artifacts, and a cast comprised of dance professionals, Bates students, musicians and members of the greater L/A community. This workshop is for dancers interested in collaboration, exploring nuanced, embodied responses to site and media, engaging in a multi-disciplinary production process, and bringing to life a unique performance experience. Note: this is a two-period class spanning the afternoon with additional evening rehearsals during the final week.
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 – 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.
Classic Jazz Dance IV – Buraczeski
An historically-based class rooted in a deep embodiment of jazz music. Exploring jazz dancing as an energy-based form whose rhythms, melodies, textures and feeling inform the development of the 21st Century jazz dancer.
Jazz Rep – Buraczeski
Drawing upon some thirty years of dance making and repertory that includes works created to swing, be-bop, gospel, blues and Afro-Cuban jazz, Buraczeski will re-imagine and redesign a section of one of his signature works for this class. This work will be performed in the Festival Finale. All participants must be enrolled in the Buraczeski’s Jazz IV class.
Hip Hop – Shakia Johnson
In this class we will learn the old and new school vocabulary of hip hop styles including locking, popping and house, as well as new school choreography. This is an energetic class that will build your stamina, improve your flexibility and strength, and expand your hip hop vocabulary. The focus is on isolation, complicated rhythms, across the floor progressions and drills designed to help you master these various styles. Students will learn multiple combinations, be encouraged to explore creative expression through this genre, and work collaboratively with their classmates.
Hip Hop Rep – Shakia Johnson
This repertory piece is about expressing one’s self through movement. We will employ the styles of Locking, Popping, Breakin, 90’s, House Dance and New School social dances supported by spoken word and hip-hop music. We will build a piece together that reflects on the pain, struggle and happiness of the African-American experience from the 1960’s to today and draws on our experiences of the current climate in our country. This work will be performed in the Festival Finale. All participants must be enrolled in the Johnson’s Hip Hop technique class.
Caribbean Dance Hall Raga: A contemporary reggae hybrid – Isaac
Dance Hall Raga takes trends in the reggae club scene and explores them as a baseline for a fluid, personally expressive performance language. We look at where in our bodies and in history these dances originate; we dip off-center, slide, ripple, dig into and fracture our movement -shaping it in, around, off and on the beat.
Caribbean Dance Hall Rep – Isaac
This class will draw on a palette of favorite things, places, images, text and actions. Using excerpts of Isaac’s company repertory and material we generate in class, we will create a homage to dancehall fusion that centers on moving with abandon. The resulting work will be performed in the Festival Finale. All participants must be enrolled in the Isaac’s Caribbean Dance Hall technique class.
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.
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.
Intro to Contact Improvisation – Smith
Contact Improvisation is an improvised dance form initiated in 1972 by choreographer Steve Paxton, now practiced around the world. The dance is a physical conversation based on the communication between two moving bodies that are in contact and their combined relationship to the physical laws governing their motion—gravity, momentum, inertia, and friction. To open to these sensations, the body learns to release excess muscular tension and abandon a certain quality of willfulness to experience the natural flow of movement. Practice includes rolling, falling, being upside down, following a physical point of contact, and supporting and giving weight to a partner. Alertness is developed to work in an energetic state of physical disorientation and to trust one’s basic survival instincts. Contact improvisations are spontaneous physical dialogues that range from stillness to highly energetic exchanges. This class is designed as an introduction and is open to all levels.
Contact and the Underscore: Embodiment & Collaboration – Smith & Vargas
A class for experienced contact improvisers designed to refresh, deepen, and refine their dancing in Contact while expanding compositional awareness and integrating CI into a broader field of improvised dance and music. Our practice will focus on physical training in CI, detailed listening practice, discussion, and various improvisation structures—all in relation to Nancy’s “Underscore,” a long score for composition/contact/jamming. We will study physical and energetic changes of state, natural (and deliberate) composition, presence, and relationship. We will do this in groups, solo, in contact, with and without live music. Nancy’s longtime collaborator, composer/improviser Mike Vargas, will contribute his music and his current research. Documented prior study in intermediate to advanced level Contact Improvisation required—e.g., fluency with falling, rolling, weight taking and giving, being upside down, dancing with disorientation, following a point of contact, working with subtlety (and exertion), and improvising in physical contact.
Performing Citizenship – Dorfman
The course is a movement-thought lab aimed at deriving how our bodies “represent” ourselves, and how the notion of representation, presence, and agency in regard to societal behaviors in general, and those attached to citizenship in particular, govern our actions. The course will be collaborative and improvisational, exploring the complex relationships between thought, emotions, politics, principles, power, social inequality, and movement/dance. In studying choreography as social and personal commentary, students will work in class on both solo and group projects, investigating the delicate balance between meaningful form and meaningful content while incorporating movement ranging from highly technical to pedestrian. By breaking down boundaries of disciplinary classification, a merging of movement, text, visuals, and sound will be stressed. To facilitate growth within a group, a system of humane, honest, and critical dialog will be developed and practiced. Movements from David Dorfman Dance’s repertory works may be taught as an aid in broadening individual performance range.
Choreo Lab I
Week I – Parker
This class features an integrated approach to teaching dance composition, utilizing the whole brain in assignments that loop back and forth between the exacting and the whimsical, the formal and the intuitive, and the concrete and the ethereal. The procedures and structures given are always lucid and can be fairly applied to any kind of dance. Aesthetic diversity is embraced and welcomed. Class members work individually, in pairs, and in group discussion, to locate the essential truths in each student’s work. We allow movement to speak for itself and in so doing, find evolving structures to support the various relationships that arise. Through deep investigation of both form and content each student is encouraged to make the most arresting, distinctive, relevant and daring decisions he or she can. The ability to provide frank, useful and plainspoken feedback is prioritized and refined throughout the course. Each student will have a finished work at the completion of the week.
Week II – Bebe Miller
The focus of this class is finding context in our physical choreography along with its reverse: choreographing to locate ourselves in our current times. We will use improvisational and compositional structures to build articulate, dynamic movement and context. The accumulated material will be shaped into choreographed works for performance. Previous experience in composition and choreography is suggested.
Week III – Pearson
Do you like to create but have difficulty getting started? Have you started countless pieces but have trouble finishing them? In our daily practice, often beginning from highly structured improvisations, this class will explore how to begin, how to continue, how the mind helps, how the mind hinders, how to feel/know the “yes” when body, mind and heart are alive and in agreement, how to keep working when the “yes” doesn’t come, how the where affects what you do, how what you hear affects what you see, how to let go and how to hold on. Daily assignments may include site specific-choreography, dance for the camera, spoken word and object theater as we investigate ways of discovering and structuring what needs to be born.
Choreo Lab II
Week I -Shaw
This class will be an advanced choreographic exploration focusing on choreographic scoring processes. We will examine how rigorously defined scores inform depth of content, generate movement material and transform into dynamic choreography. Participants will emerge with a strong 1st draft and development methods towards creating a piece of choreography.
Week II – Foley
The duet is a powerful choreographic structure that has within it an inherent relational narrative. This class will help students tease out certain choreographic elements in order to deepen the compositional and narrative elements that make up one of dance’s most elemental choreographic forms. The class will also help students to develop their critical thinking and the ability to give critical feedback in a substantive manner.
Week III – Keigwin
In this class we will explore the compositional toolbox. Beyond movement invention, we will explore the concepts of compositional development, including theme and variation, repetition, focus, intention, staging, grouping, and motifs. This investigation will provide an overview of how to create a dance while maintaining an authentic style.
Creative Process I
Week I -Shaw
We will explore the untapped possibilities for integrating sensing and thinking in a class that progresses from internal investigations to the external, from solo to duet and into full group explorations.
Week II – Foley
This class will focus on building an ensemble work. Students will be guided through exercises to manipulate thematic movement material with(in) a group of dancers, thus gaining a broader understanding of the intricacies and subtleties beyond traditional choreographic ideas.
Week III – Keigwin
Larry Keigwin will share his creative process with you through the creation of a new work. Learn to quickly excavate movement ideas with simple considerations of space, design and narrative within a collaborative format. This class offers a playful environment that has you alternating between dancer and choreographer to discover and deepen your unique interests, your process and your dancing.
Creative Process II
Week I: Strategies for Dancemaking – Parker
This class features a variety of sophisticated, accessible strategies for generating movement, developing movement, building artful structures and coordinating ideas and images with precision and objectivity. We will explore a wide variety of dance making strategies all of which can be applied to any dance genre. We will get ourselves into a particularly open mode of childlike playfulness through rigorous, energetic tasks which allow us to overcome our fear of making mistakes and override the rush to judgment. This is a class about the essentials of movement invention, investigation and development. In it, students will find their own choreographic voice and create original, memorable movement sequences and the structures worthy of containing them. No choreographic experience is necessary.
Week II – Miller
This class will focus on choreographic strategies that explore the syntax of our movement language—how we create and transmit embodied meaning in our dances, through the juxtaposed dynamics of action and context, in time and space. Working with creative strategies that parallel Bebe Miller Company’s current project, The Making Room, we will work with source materials from literature, film and other inspirations, devising structures, scores and dances for performance.
Week III – Pearson
In this class you will explore the act of original creation from multiple vantage points. Discovering and nurturing one’s own creative voice through boldly committing oneself to experimentation, students are freed from the constraints of producing fully choreographed dance works. Rooted in improvisational dancing, various movement, text, and site specific environments will be explored together in solo, duet, and group forms. In addition to creating seeds for future compositions, we will investigate various artists to connect our work in class to what is happening in the dance and art world at large.
Teacher’s Training Workshop – Carbonara
This 7-day intensive, embedded in the Festival’s Professional Training Program, offers practicing dance educators a chance to refresh and renew their passion for teaching. The workshop is designed for those currently teaching grades 6-12, college students or adults, and/or enrolled in an M.Ed. or MFA program and intending to teach. Attendees take the afternoon lab each day from 2-5:30pm and may enroll in or observe morning elective classes. This workshop is open to 7-day attendees only. See Teacher Training Workshop for details.
Business of Dance: Become your own Entrepreneur – Kim Konikow
The practical aspects of the dance profession are examined in this invaluable seminar. This includes career options, marketing your work, growing your dance audience, budgeting basics and creative fundraising, 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 develop a personal dance project. By the end of the course, you will be better prepared to perform the business tasks expected of dance professionals alongside your creative process, and have a more holistic understanding of the field and personal dance community.