The Dance Theatre of Kurt Jooss

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But what makes the school even more unique is that certified athletic trainer Amanda Donahue isn't just available to the students for appointments and backstage coverage—she's in the studio with them and collaborating with dance faculty to prevent injuries and build stronger dancers. For one thing, we're not sharing an athletic trainer with the football players, who require a totally different skillset.

Walking into Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles at am on any given Tuesday or Thursday, you're likely to find a large group of dancers flocking to take Nick Lanzisera's class. Millennium's staff says his contemporary class is so popular, he often fills their rooms with up to 80 students. Though he didn't expect to become an educator until later in his career, Lanzisera enjoyed the experience so much that he began to sub in regularly. The Shawl-Anderson Youth Ensemble, a key component of Shawl-Anderson Dance Center's youth program in Berkeley, California, strives to develop the whole person, not just improve dance technique.

As a pre-professional, audition-based, modern performance group for ages 14 to 18, SAYE has its dancers co-create at least six pieces with professional choreographers each year. These dances explore relevant topics for teens, like bullying, coming-of-age and claiming identity. In an adult ballet class, Kimberly Chandler Vaccaro noticed a woman working so hard that her shoulders were near her ears. Instead, she told the dancer to remember that breathing muscles are low, below her sternum.

She started this lovely sequential movement, and it eventually solved the problem. Drawing attention to symptoms, such as tense shoulders, might create more issues for a dancer if the cause of the problem remains unaddressed. Simply saying "shoulders down" might compromise alignment as the dancer tries to show a longer neck or forgets to breathe, jeopardizing movement quality.

The Dance Theatre of Kurt Jooss

Teachers can be strategic and communicate information in a way that doesn't aggravate the situation. More than once, when I'm sporting my faded, well-loved ballet hoodie, some slight variation of this conversation ensues:. Any teacher who works with little ones knows that props can make class time run much more smoothly. That said, it's often difficult to find the right mix of tools that will both capture a child's attention and are manageable enough to carry around from one location to another—or pack up and store easily. Anything too big or too heavy is out, and some of the props you love to use with little ones may not be the most practical choice if you're a freelance teacher traveling to multiple studios throughout the week.

We asked two experienced teachers to share a couple of their favorite tips for easy-travel props for those who teach young ones. Here are five solid suggestions you can choose from, to incorporate into your overall teaching plans. It's the last class of the spring semester, and Paige Cunningham Caldarella isn't letting any of her advanced contemporary students off the hook.

After leading them through a familiar Merce Cunningham—style warm-up, full of bounces, twists and curves, she's thrown a tricky five-count across-the-floor phrase and a surprisingly floor-heavy adagio at the dancers. Now, near the end of class, she is reviewing a lengthy center combination set to a Nelly Furtado song.

The phrase has all the hallmarks of Cunningham—torso twists atop extended legs, unexpected timing, direction changes—which means it's a challenge to execute well. After watching the dancers go through the phrase a couple of times, Caldarella takes a moment to troubleshoot a few sticky spots and give a quick pep talk before having them do it again. And you're hanging in there!

But stick with the task of articulating everything—try to hyper-explore that. Q: What tips do you have for creating end-of-year performances that teachers, students, parents and administrators will all be happy with? September 13—15, you can see the group of young dancers Glover handpicked from throughout the New Jersey and New York areas, as they bring the story to life in a new and modern way. Here, Glover shares a bit about creating movement inspired by the show's original Tony Award—winning choreography by Danny Daniels, as well as what it's like to revisit the show that changed his life.

Powered by RebelMouse. Kurt Jooss: Dance theater with a social conscience. Jooss teaching at the Folkwang Schule in Essen, Germany. Photo courtesy of Dance Magazine archives. She thus cast the Bochum guest performance with just four dancers, five actors and a singer. With this cast she was unable to deploy choreographic steps and so began by asking her performers associative questions around the themes of the play. Yet in making this unusual move, Pina Bausch had finally found the form her work would take, its dream-like, poetic imagery and bodily language justifying the worldwide success she soon achieved.


In taking people's essential emotions as its starting point - their fears and needs, wishes and desires - the Tanztheater Wuppertal was not only able to be understood throughout the world, it sparked an international choreographic revolution. The secret of this success may lie in the fact that Pina Bausch's dance theatre risks taking an unflinching look at reality, yet at the same time invites us to dream.

It takes the spectators' everyday lives seriously yet at the same time buoys up their hopes that everything can change for the better.

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For their part, they are required to take responsibility themselves. All the men and women in Pina Bausch's pieces can do is test out, with the utmost precision and honesty, what brings each and every one closer to happiness, and what pushes them further from it; they cannot offer a panacea. They always, however, leave their public in the certainty that - despite all its ups and downs - they will survive life.


In the early days his stage sets and costumes had largely shaped the appearance of dance theatre. Following his death his work was continued by Peter Pabst sets and Marion Cito costume. The spaces created are poetic, with the outside often brought in, the stage expanded into a landscape. And the spaces are physical, affecting the dancers' movements. Water and rain allow the body to be seen through the clothes; earth makes every movement a feat of strength; the dancers' steps are traced in a layer of fallen leaves.

The spaces' variety ranges from nineteenth century interiors to bare wooden boards of Japanese minimalism.

The costumes too, can be as elegant as they are absurd, from the refinement of evening dress to the childish delight in dressing up. Like the pieces themselves, stages sets and costume reflect everyday life yet continually exceed it, ascending into dream-like beauty and weightlessness. The humour and the beauty, often overlooked in the beginning, even when they lay in the apparently ugly, were gradually understood over the years.

Kurt Jooss

Slowly it became clear what dance theatre was about; not provocation, but, in Pina Bausch's own words, 'a space where we can encounter each other'. The work, once controversial, eventually developed into a world theatre, which can incorporate all cultural colourations and treats every person with the same respect.

Later, too, the part was usually given to large men, notably Christian Holder, in the beloved Joffrey Ballet production of The role not only glorified the dancers; it liberated them, via the mask-like makeup. As actors know, masks free you. In , when A.

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The company gave him the role of Death, and he became a giant—terrifying, fabulous. On Oct. Gomes is a large man but not a natural for Death, because he has such beautiful manners. He has spent a lot of time as the Prince.