borders / belonging a contemporary dance and composition workshop for dancers and non-dancers
BORDERS/BELONGING: A Contemporary Dance and Composition Workshop focuses on using dance and movement as a means of self-expression. Students are not required to have any prior dance experience, just an open-mind and a desire to discover the artist within.
BORDERS/BELONGING examines the idea of "HOME". Through group discussions and dance and theater exercises students explore the questions ‘What is home?’, ‘Where do we belong?’, 'How and Why do we inhabit specific spaces and places?'. Through this process they craft original movement materials which are collaboratively woven together to produce a culminating performance piece.
about the curriculum The curriculum for BORDERS/BELONGING can be structured as a 3-4 day workshop or a semster-long course of study. There are three major components: dance history and technique, choreography, and Listening Strategies.
Students learn dance history and technique in various disciplines including Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Modern dance with emphasis on understanding basic movement vocabulary. In the semester-long format, guest artist Mila Thigpen teaches Salsa and guest artist Wendy Jehlen teaches Bharata Natyam, the oldest of all classical dance forms in India.
The second focus is on learning the craft of choreography. Participants are provided with a mapping exercise requiring them to draw pictures of two particular places or spaces they hold dear. The actual lines of the images created in these drawings served as a spatial map, organizing a framework for the staging of the choreography. All of the movement is created by the students. Through group discussions, improvisation, and partner exercises they learned how to research their own creative impetus, generate original movement and make personal choreographic choices.
Lastly, the final component of the class is the study of Deep Listening®, a philosophy and practice developed by composer Pauline Oliveros who is considered an important pioneer in American music. Deep Listening® distinguishes the difference between the involuntary nature of hearing and the voluntary selective nature of listening. Legendary American choreographer Paula Josa-Jones, through her collaborative efforts with Oliveros, applied this practice to the process of creating and performing dance. Oliveros’ “listening strategies” in movement exist as a method of pure concentration, an attempt to cultivate complete consciousness, utilizing the entire body and all of its senses. The practice of Deep Listening® expands the potential for connection and interaction between performer and environment. By practicing “listening” performers achieve a heightened awareness of their surroundings, enabling them to relate and interact with their physical performance space, performance technology (lighting, music, video, etc…), and fellow dancers in an unpredictable and exciting way. Deep Listening® creates a quality of tension and charge between performers because the connection is so focused and specific.The culminating project for the BORDERS workshop incorporates the real time practice of these strategies in live performance.
To inquire about upcoming workshops, receive more information on curriculum, or book a workshop please email firstname.lastname@example.org.