COURSES

DESCRIPTIONS

ADVANCED TECHNIQUE THROUGH REPERTOIRE

An advanced contemporary dance course designed to incite students to reevaluate their approach to movement through stretch and placement practice, sensation-based improvisation, and the performance of dance repertoires. This movement laboratory will encourage and assist students in developing an interest and means of reflecting on their unique bodies and the knowledge and preconceptions they possess of their moving selves. We will inspect the ways in which we view, learn, and perform dance phrases, expanding our skills by challenging our primary modes of operation and embracing new ways of seeing and experiencing movement. We will dispel the notions of “right” and “wrong”, embracing clear choice making in their place. Students will be asked to engage in keen body awareness as they undertake phrases in a variety of styles. In order to gain this awareness we will focus on strengthening and reexamining the foundations of movement: strength, flexibility, alignment, and coordination. Students will choose when to access and ignore conventions of “technique” in order to complete phrasing accurately, efficiently, and dynamically.

 

The course will include a basic introduction to stretch, placement, and alignment practices, which are based on my studies with somaticians Barbara Mahler, Diane Madden and the staff at Trisha Brown Dance Company, and Sondra Loring. Improvisation will allow us greater access to our facilities and the sensations of our moving bodies by increasing our intuitive knowledge resevoirs. Repertoire by Johan Inger, Ole Martin Meland, Jerome Delbey, and myself will allow students to put the information gained in class to use in a variety of movement languages.

BEGINNING COMPOSITION

This course provides structured learning and experience with group improvisation and dance composition to student participants. Fundamental concepts of dance composition and choreography are explored.

 

In Dance Composition, students will unpack and explore the fundamental tools of improvisation and composition- including Body, Space, Time, and Energy. Information will be imparted through lecture, large and small group discussions, physical investigations, demonstration and analysis of compositions, assigned readings and writing, and the viewing of live dance performance. This course is designed as a laboratory in which the participants will engage in the act of exploring and composing both set and improvised movement. The group will establish a specific vocabulary and common language surrounding dance making that will be used to discuss their experiences as viewers and movers. A particular focus will be placed upon analyzing short choreographies and improvisations through in-class discussion and reflective journaling. Students will work alone as well as in small groups to complete assignments that will be presented on a weekly basis.

 

 

At the end of this course, students will be able to…

 

Create and execute choreographic studies and improvisational scores.

Compose movement studies with a deliberate focus on the fundamental tools of dance making.

Create spontaneous ensemble movement scores while maintaining a keen awareness of fellow dancers and the images being presented to the viewers while improvising.

Recite and explain vocabulary/terminology associated with the compositional tools- Body, Space, Time, and Energy.

Reflect upon, discuss, and analyze dance compositions using terminology revolving around the fundamental tools of dance making.

Define and critically analyze basic principles and choreographic themes of dance composition.  

ANATOMY & KINESIOLOGY for STUDENTS OF DANCE

 This course is designed to offer students a better understanding of the human body in motion, specifically within the art from of dance. Students are introduced to selected features of the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems and the ways in which they collaboratively function in order to provide action, stability, alignment, etc. By cultivating anatomical knowledge surrounding the bones and muscles, students begin to develop the ability to logically decipher the body’s potential for generating and/or inhibiting movement. Additionally, by acknowledging that each body/person is unique and complex, the course work encourages participants to identify their own movement/alignment predilections, strengths, and weaknesses. As a result, students are urged to apply the information they have obtained to their technique courses, as well as daily life activities, by designed their own individualized conditioning routine. Collectively, the course material will give students the opportunity to understand and speak about their bodies with more clarity, practice a more informed and efficient way of moving, reduce injury, and extend their movement careers.

DANCE APPRECIATION : Unveiling Dance

A course offering the exposure, tools, and vernacular necessary to interact with dance.

 

This course provides students with a glimpse into the process of making dance by sharing what happens before the curtain opens.  It offers a substantial look at a variety of dance works and forms, the ideas they investigate, and the ways in which they relate to contemporary life.

 

Often, the best way to learn about something is to interweave theory and practice, which is why this course includes viewing dance live and on video, movement experiences, and creative production. Students explore dance theory through both the examination and practice of the artistic process as well as the reflection on the final product.

 

The primary goal of the course is to offer students the opportunity to develop their individual viewpoint and support their personal opinions when viewing, discussing, and writing about dance performance. Ultimately, we endeavor to demystify dance through a combination of readings, viewings, discussions, and practices. Together, these ways of learning provide an integrated understanding of artistic process, concepts, structures, theories, and forms of dance.

 

The course contents illustrates that dance is a way to encourage curiosity about, interaction with, and reflection on the world we live in.

VOYAGING NORTH : A Physical and Theoretical Investigation of Nordic Contemporary Dance

A course designed to introduce graduate and undergraduate, advanced, and pre-professional dance scholars to European dance artists and their works through the examination of Scandinavian dance companies and their current and past repertory. In a pursuit to either reveal or deny the existence of a Nordic Aesthetic, students will learn and practice a diverse series of Nordic choreographies, while simultaneously investigating the artistic origins and the creative methods used to generate the compositions.

 

Is there a chain that links dance in the Scandinavia, or even Europe? Are the agendas or aesthetics of Nordic artists unique? In which directions do currents of inspiration flow?

 

In the process of answering these questions, the course will follow the dissemination of the Nordic aesthetic throughout Europe by reviewing the works of prominent Scandinavian choreographers in central Europe such as Mats Ek, Johann Inger, Jo Stromgen, Erna Omarsdottir, Alexander Ekman, Alan Oyen, Ole Martin Meland, and others. Along the journey, a variety of European and Middle Eastern dance companies, choreographers, and works will be introduced as possible influencers of [r]evolution in Scandinavia.

 

Europe can often feel unattainable and mysterious to dancers who solely train in America. In addition to exposing students to European dance, this course will provide the means to bridge the perceived professional divide between the two continents and address the challenges of transitioning from working in the United States to Europe. Students will learn strategies for earning an invitation to interview, partaking in the audition process, and tactics for becoming a valuable member of a creative team. Voyaging North... will provide students with a basic understanding of the histories and artistic identities of major, state-funded dance companies abroad. This course will illustrate that the ability to move east is not only possible but it will grant students with concrete tools for initiating a relationship with companies and choreographers currently working in Europe.

MOVEMENT FUNDAMENTALS : Introduction to Laban Movement Analysis

Most humans are physiologically mandated to satisfy certain developmental bodily tasks in order to be fully functional and expressive. When these patterns are not realized, compensatory patterns develop that may not support the following stage(s) of development, which may lead to physical and psychological complications. 

This course introduces fundamental movement principles and practices developed by Irmgard Bartenieff (The Basic Six), Peggy Hackney (The Patterns of Total Body Connectivity), and Rudolf Laban (Movement Analysis) in order to investigate and develop the functional and expressive aspects of human movement. These practices are an approach to basic body training that deal with patterning the body according to concepts of efficient movement functioning within a context of personal expression. Students are asked to sense, feel, and attempt to understand what is fundamental in their own organism and what is fundamental to how they move and relate in the world.

Students are active agents of their own empowered research as they develop embodied knowledge through experiential learning that is self, peer, and instructor-directed. By studying the four categories of movement, as described by Laban, student begin to develop an expanded capacity for the critical analysis and proficient physical execution of movement.  By cultivating physical, intellectual, and imaginal understanding of these movement categories, students refine their ability to observe and discuss the movement they see and experience. 

 

"LMA provides a rich overview of the scope of movement possibilities. These basic elements can be used for generating movement or for describing movement. They provide an inroad to understanding movement and for developing movement efficiency and expressiveness. Each human being combines these movement factors in his/her own unique way and organizes them to create phrases and relationships which reveal personal, artistic, or cultural style."  (Peggy Hackney, Making Connections) 

 
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