The Contemporary classes develop the technical, improvisational and choreographic skills of the dancer and are accompanied by live percussion. All company company dancers are required to take this class. Dancers are placed in levels based on age. In some cases a dancer may be placed in a class lower or higher depending on level of experience. For classes for the 3-5 year old, please visit Creative Dance.
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Rooted in classical ballet vocabulary with a strong emphasis on torso articulation and expression, the contemporary technique classes encourage alignment, form, coordination, musicality, strength, rhythm and kinetic intelligence. This work also acts as an essential warm-up and grounding in precision. Contemporary Technique classes have live percussion! The young contemporary dancer experiencing contemporary technique for the first time is gently introduced to both form and technical approaches to their dancing which include reaffirming optimum alignment and exploring mobility and stability in the body. As they expand on their growing awareness of form and technique, turn out in the legs is introduced as are concepts such as release, gravity, weighted movement and athletic capabilities. The teen dancer will then move on to focus on coordination, patterning and movement sequences, more complex musical patterns, precision and encouragement of big movement through space. As they progress the Limon technique of fall and rebound is explored as is the encouragement of detailed awareness of technique and musicality. Diverse quality of movement is encouraged as is greater release while maintaining stability in the body. The Limon based contemporary class is playful and risk taking! As dancers continue to develop their Limon technique, Graham technique is introduced. The Graham technique is rooted in the concept of contract/release as well as the torso spiral. A Graham class embodies intensity, accuracy and lines in space.
Improvisation and Composition
All contemporary technique classes are immediately followed by an improvisation or composition class that develops the whole dancer, training them to express themselves and fully embody technique, cultivating a more well-rounded and expressive dancer. The Fall term is experimental and process-oriented and will encourage students to take physical and creative risks through improvisation. In the winter term, students will have the opportunity to create dance pieces and be dancers in pieces that will be created with them. As they progress from the young to adult dancer, elements of time, space, qualities of movement and relationships with other dancers as well as with props and costumes are introduced. Dancers explore a variety of composition tools such as developing scores, site-specific work and structured improvisations in order to find personal ways of developing new work and working with other members of the class.