WORKSHOPS

Morning Intensive A: MOVING, MAKING AND MOTIVATION | Xan Burley & Alex Springer

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This intensive will explore mass mentality and community building from improvisational, relational, and creative perspectives and to promote trust and well-being between participants. For this class, we will focus on the shared experience between fellow movers and impressions of togetherness within dance. In partner work, group improvisations and exercises, and creative games we will discover the effortless pleasure of communal dancing as we summon and develop a unified identity through collaboration. First we recognize each participant’s individuality through solo movement practices. We then celebrate partnership by emphasizing ideas of supportive physicality embedded in weight-sharing, cooperative dancing, and our current studies of the duet form. Finally we assemble as one unit comprised of unique bodies and compose a score that nurtures our voice as a group. We hope to provide a meaningful experience for those involved that fosters comfort, safety and joy within the language of movement. THE MEDIAN MOVEMENT is the artistic intersection between Xan Burley + Alex Springer serving as a vessel for their collaborative choreography, teaching, and community engagement. Burley and Springer have shown work at 92Y’s Sundays at Three, DanceNOW[NYC]’s Joe’s Pub Festival (2011 Encore Challenge winners), the TANK, Triskelion Arts, Movement Research at Judson Church, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange (2011 Space Grant Artists), among others and are 2014 Artists-in-Residence at University Settlement. They have been commissioned artists at Oakland University (MI), Ohio University, The Collective (MD), Ball State University (IN), James Madison University (VA), and Goucher College (MD), among others. Their choreography appeared in Frances Ha and their dance film daylighting won the silver award in DFA’s 48-Hour Challenge. Burley has performed with artists Nancy Bannon, Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance, Shannon Gillen & Guests, and Tami Stronach Dance and has been a member of Doug Varone and Dancers since 2012. She is on modern faculty at 92Y and produces WAXworks, a program of Williamsburg Art neXus. Springer has worked with Alexandra Beller, Amy Chavasse, and Donnell Oakley, among others. He has been a member of Doug Varone and Dancers since 2008 and acts as the company’s media manager and video designer/archivist.

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Morning Intensive B: Wild Mind in Motion | Sondra Loring

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This workshop intensive brings together yoga, dance improvisation, writing and choreographic composition. We’ll begin with guided yoga practices and somatic exercises, geared toward strength, flexibility and deepening the connection of body, mind and heart. We’ll continue by exploring the nature of creativity using improvisational scores, authentic movement, writing and looking at each other’s movement ideas in a non-judgmental, supportive manner. The workshop will be playful, fun, and challenging! Please bring a yoga mat, pen and paper.

Sondra Loring co-founded the ImprovisationFestival/NY and was a NYC dancer and choreographer for almost two decades before relocating to the Hudson Valley. She organizes performances, classes, improvisations, and choreographs in unusual locations, including factories, historical sites and lighthouses. Sondra received a Bessie (New York Dance/Performance Award) for her work as a performer, improviser and writer.

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Morning Intensive C: TRACES | Iris van Peppen

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TRACES is a project Iris van Peppen has been working on over the last months. With a group of dancers of different configurations she explored different sites through improvisation on how we mark our traces in dialogue with our surroundings. 

It started with a performance for 20 bankers looking from the third floor over the urban buzz of Amsterdam: busses, bikes, tourists, boats passed by while the performers navigated through the city as a flock of birds. The second project transformed while a bigger group worked on a piece of wasteland surrounded by fences; a wild landscape within the city. While the third project developed further with a smaller group during a nightwalk; navigating as a group and within smaller configurations in an area that is under development.

Especially for CULTIVATE we will use the morning intensive to take the TRACES project on site in Bethlehem. We will explore our own marks and traces in dialogue with our natural surroundings: creating an improvised performance structure that will be shown on Saturday evening. Everybody with some experience in instant composition is welcome to join!

Iris van Peppen is a Dutch instant composer and choreographer and has created over 25 performances on different sites (beach, church, museums, shoe shop to name a few). “Every site calls for a specific physical movement quality. Through our dance, spectators are able to experience the environment with renewed sight”. Iris has worked with Michael Schumacher, Katie Duck (MAGPIE), Tim O’Donnell.

PHOTO CREDIT: Alessandro Spinuso

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Afternoon Intensive A: Compositional Improvisation | The Architects

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This intensive balances in-depth individual exploration with rigorous practice in spontaneous ensemble dance-making. Fresh perceptions and new choices are set in motion daily through provoking, open-ended questions. Each kinesthetic- conceptual proposition acts as an entrance point for the mover and composer, a window into authenticity, connection, depth, and range. The Architects were born out of collaborations between Katherine Ferrier, Lisa Gonzales, Jennifer Kayle, and Pamela Vail, dating back to the late 1980s at Middlebury College. For 20 years, the quartet has been engaged in celebrating composition through their commitment to collaborative movement research.

The Architects have presented their work in such venues as the Zuzi Theatre, Tucson, Az.; Texas Dance Improvisation Festival, San Antonio; Chicago Dance Improvisation Fest; Improvisation Festival/N.Y.; Epiphany Dance Experiment, Chicago; Jazz Fest, Burlington, Vt. (in collaboration with Ensemble V, directed by Arthur Brooks); Improvised and Otherwise Festival of Sound and Movement, N.Y.; Big Range Dance Festival, Houston, Tex.; The Fringe Festival, Minneapolis, Minn.; The Flynn Theatre in Burlington, Vt.; Movement Arts Thorne’s in Northampton, Mass.; the University of Iowa; and Franklin & Marshall, Middlebury, Muhlenberg, and Keene State Colleges. They were the company in residence at Work in the Performance of Improvisation from 2001-2005 at Bennington College; in 2007 they toured to Helsinki, Finland and St. Petersburg, Russia to teach and perform. They have offered a winter MICI workshop (“wiMICI”) in Tucson, Az. for the last three years. In their professional and life-long devotion to choreography, improvisation, and teaching, The Architects bring a holistic and ferocious intelligence to the dialogue of dance-making and teaching, process and product, individual voice and ensemble composition, crafting, and opening to the unknown.

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Afternoon Intensive B: Technique | Alexandra Beller

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This intensive explores the qualities of released and off-balance dancing while daring to find disparate qualities of stillness and explosion. You will be encouraged to develop an individual style driven by your internal life and the specificity of your bodies. By researching movement tasks as opposed to recreating shapes, we will begin to solve kinesthetic problems in profound and personal ways.

Together we will focus on becoming compelling and magnetic performers, and working within a broad range of movements, from vigorous and athletic, to gestural and theatrical. The movement is approached from many systems: muscular, skeletal and nervous system, inviting dancers to work with versatility, intuition, strength, flow, stamina and ease. Multi-cultural inspirations draw from a broad range of musical styles and rhythmic complexities.

Alexandra Beller is the Artistic Director of Alexandra Beller/Dances, which celebrated its twelfth anniversary last year. Her choreography has been presented at and commissioned by Dance Theater Workshop, 92nd St. Y, Aaron Davis Hall, Danspace Project at St. Mark’s, Abron’s Art Center, Joyce SoHo, P.S. 122, WAX, HERE, The Connelly Theater, SUNY Purchase College, Dance New Amsterdam, Symphony Space, and Jacob’s Pillow and has been commissioned by companies in Arizona, Michigan, Texas, Korea, Hong Kong, Oslo, Cyprus, Maine, New York City, Florida, Boston, Rhode Island, New Jersey and elsewhere. She also choreographs for music videos, plays, films, and other contemporary dance companies.

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Ballet with Maria Simpson

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This class approaches ballet technique through a contemporary lens, sensitive to the musculoskeletal anatomy of the body. The structure of the class follows a classical trajectory—barrework followed by longer phrases in the center. Maria Simpson is the Director of the Dance Program at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Maria has also taught at Mount Holyoke College, Middlebury College, the University of Washington, the Bates Summer Dance Festival, the 1997 Seattle Summer Dance Festival, the Vassar College Summer Workshop, and the Gibney Dance Center in New York City. Maria has performed with many dance companies and independent artists in both Seattle and New York, and has been working with Sondra Loring since 2012. Maria received a B.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts and an M.F.A. from the University of Washington.

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The Box with Alexandra Beller

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In this class, we will work with a practice called “the Box,” where a cycle of improvising, catching improvisations, and reteaching the material, lends itself to a performance structure that is daring, exciting and high stakes. The practice demands a high level of engagement, embodiment, and presence, and leaves the community deeply connected through an intensely shared event. Alexandra Beller is the Artistic Director of Alexandra Beller/Dances, which celebrated its twelfth anniversary last year. Her choreography has been presented at and commissioned by Dance Theater Workshop, 92nd St. Y, Aaron Davis Hall, Danspace Project at St. Mark’s, Abron’s Art Center, Joyce SoHo, P.S. 122, WAX, HERE, The Connelly Theater, SUNY Purchase College, Dance New Amsterdam, Symphony Space, and Jacob’s Pillow and has been commissioned by companies in Arizona, Michigan, Texas, Korea, Hong Kong, Oslo, Cyprus, Maine, New York City, Florida, Boston, Rhode Island, New Jersey and elsewhere. She also choreographs for music videos, plays, films, and other contemporary dance companies.

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Time in Our Spine || Iris Van Peppen

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Time in Our Spine

Head & Tail movement research class

Lately I am quite interested in shifting between head and tail while we improvise and how we perceive time in our spine. In this class we will warm up moving from our tail and head: discovering the different movement qualities, and detail. We allow ourselves to surrender our head and explore how we perceive time and space while initiating from the tail or head. While we practice some scores in instant composition in different configurations we open up and use our sensory perception.

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Technique with Alex and Xan

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Through both improvisation and given material, technique focuses on essential body centers through evocative imagery, intuitive choice-making and personal movement needs and longings. Xan and Alex will lead class collaboratively, beginning with a warm-up practice calling upon post-modern fundamentals, release technique, and classical ideas of form will generate warmth from the core outward. Across the floor phrase-work will be boundless, big and hungry, allowing found awareness and control to erupt. Vigorous, detailed, and demanding phrasework will deal with ideas of space, the unpredictable nature of movement, and pleasure in dancing. This class is meant to be a time for play, exploration, and sharing each other’s many wisdoms. Jam-packed with highly dynamic movement class will be exciting, challenging and downright fun. THE MEDIAN MOVEMENT is the artistic intersection between Xan Burley + Alex Springer serving as a vessel for their collaborative choreography, teaching, and community engagement. Their work has been presented at 92Y, DanceNOW Joe’s Pub, the TANK, Triskelion Arts, Movement Research, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, among others. They are Fall 2014 Artists-in-Residence at University Settlement. They have been commissioned artists at various universities and companies throughout the U.S. Their choreography appeared in Frances Ha and their dance film daylighting won the silver award in DFA’s 48-Hour Challenge. Both have performed extensively with NYC artists and are current members of Doug Varone and Dancers.

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Dance as Superpower with Anneke Hansen

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This class investigates ideas of technique, anatomical function, and creative decision making, and aims to create the conditions for each of us to dance more fully, with a greater awareness of our structure and its unique possibilities, and to give students the tools to make informed, thoughtful decisions both technically and performatively. It will provide an opportunity for the dancer to venture toward her known limits and consider her expansive capacity. How much can you ask of yourself as an artist and performer?

We will begin with a thorough warm-up, mobilizing and stabilizing the joints, focusing on coordination and integration of limbs and trunk with an emphasis on moving through space. We’ll sweat, play seriously, be messy, laugh hard, get excited.

Class will include practices designed to challenge both intellect and physicality. We will use these practices to focus on cultivating precise strength/flexibility/agility of our whole selves as a means of developing physical power, performative nuance, and honing problem solving skills. We will seek to create a broad understanding of the concept of power and to get intimate with the dance material at hand, digging deeply into a piece of movement in order to transform both the material and yourself.

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Feldenkrais with Belinda He

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In these structured movement lessons, the teacher uses a combination of pleasant, purposeful movement and guided attention to lead you through particular pattern of movement and action. Unlike traditional exercise, where the objective is to burn calories, stretch or train willpower for its own sake, Awareness Through Movement lessons teach you how to reduce unnecessary muscular effort and improve your awareness of the whole self in action. This emphasis on sensory learning results in movement that is more flexible, pleasurable and free from aches and pains. The lessons are easy to do, of benefit to everyone, and the results can be extraordinary. The compositional structure of the lessons creates a conversation of sensing, feeling, resting and moving that engages your whole system in a process where old habits can be replaced by new awareness and skill.

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