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Postmodern Moves 3

Jenna Riegel

Informed by the lineages of postmodern dance icons such as Trisha Brown and Merce Cunningham, and as a former company member and student of choreographers David Dorfman and Bill T. Jones who inherited and transformed these postmodern ideologies into their own work, this class draws on and references a rich movement heritage spanning many forms including classical modern, jazz, hip hop, ballet, improvisational practices and everyday, pedestrian movement. 

Class begins with Bartenieff inspired floor work, yoga, pilates and improvisation to ease us into motion, find agility, increase warmth and help us arrive more fully present in our bodies. Introductions to one another are made through a name circle or interactive warm-up exercises to cultivate trust and build community together. Center standing work combines release technique and contemporary ballet to align us, find our balance and increase awareness of energetic and tonal efficiency. Head/tail exploration and spinal articulation are integrated into foot and leg exercises. Across the floor phrase-work oscillates between imagery and task-based improvisational scores and rigorous locomotion, athletic inversions and ambitious lofting. A culminating phrase challenges the polarities of movement and investigates both off-balance and centered, bound and released, sustained and staccato, momentum driven and spatially controlled, on the floor and in the air, and sensation-based and shape-based movement. An uplifting and non-judgmental class culture is attended to by steering clear of the binary of right and wrong and instead directing attention to how our choices affect our dancing. Personal findings are encouraged to be shared to expedite learning within our community. Individualism is honored and upheld even as profound body awareness and ability to replicate outside material is practiced. Enjoyment and fun are inevitable and a key to our learning!