Thursday, March 22, 2012

Residencies Galore!

For many of the dancers it's been a long and busy week. Last Friday we had Vernon Scott and Martin Lofsnes of 360 Dance Company come to set a contemporary piece called 6-1. The dancers had 4-6 hours of rehearsal each day for five days. In those five days they learned the five minute piece and worked a lot on cleaning up specific movements and details. The success of the piece relies on the dancers ability to feel each other and to dance as a single unit. Martin Lofsnes, the choreographer of the piece spent thirteen years with the Martha Graham Company. His choreography of 6-1 is completely his style and while it is contemporary movement the principles of Graham technique are apparent throughout. In addition to working in rehearsals, Martin taught the Modern II and IV classes and gave a strict Graham technique class.

Cameron Basden is also doing her residency this week. She is setting Viva Vivaldi , which is a work by Gerald Arpino. A few of the dancers have been extra busy because they are in both Viva Vivaldi and 6-1. Despite the long days, having guests come to the department and set world class pieces such as these, is an amazing opportunity and helps the dancers expand their network. We have about six more weeks to continue rehearsing these pieces until the performance in May. Can't wait to see how everything turns out!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Master class with Trevor Sones!

It's always great when our alumni come back to visit after they graduate. Yesterday Trevor Sones came back to teach a jazz master class! Trevor graduated in 2010 and went on to perform in the national tour of CATS and most recently just got back from dancing on the Royal Caribbean cruise line. He has learned a lot from his experience in the professional dance world and gave the dancers excellent advice on how to get noticed in an audition.

There is no missing his high energy and enthusiasm when he is in the dance space. He brings this energy to his class and really knows how to make us sweat! A passerby walking past the studio would here him yelling "Be fierce!!" or "Live it!!" just a few of his mottos. In the first five minutes of class he had us all sweating with his high cardio warm up. In the next forty-five minutes we did strength exercises for our legs and core and lots and LOTS of stretching. It's not a surprise that a few of us are sore today! Once we were all warmed up Trevor taught a fun high energy combination with elements of precision, technique, strength, musicality and Trevor flair. We couldn't have asked for a better class and for the seniors it was a great preparation for auditions.

Trevor and some of the seniors

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hello March!

We're back at it again! This is the first week of spring term, it's hard to believe how fast this year is going! There are many exciting things to look forward to this term. We are starting rehearsals for our spring show and we are having quite a few guest artists to come in and set works. In february we had Christopher Ruud from Ballet West set Mobile. In the next few weeks Cameron Basden from the Joffrey Ballet will be setting Gerald Arpino's Viva Vivaldi. Ms. Basden was Ballet Master and Co-Associate Director of Joffrey Ballet from 1993 until 2008. She is now the Director of Dance at Interlochen Center for the Arts. We also have the 360 Dance Company based out of New York City coming to set a modern/contemporary work. The dance department is excited to have such great opportunities and to work with so many different dancers and teachers.

On a side note happy International Women's Day!