Calgary Core Contemporaries

Upcoming Performances




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Our Mission


image our mission

Calgary Core Contemporaries Dance Association aims to create work and produce performances that are accessible to the public by broadening our network in order to connect to a wider and more diverse audience. This work is done by producing site-specific works that break down the barrier between audience and performer. By bringing the stage to the community we are able to connect with an audience that ordinarily may not be introduced to dance.

Our work is highly collaborative and strives to build respectful and positive relationships with a diverse network of Calgary dance artists. We acknowledge the realities of racism, discrimination and appropriation throughout the entire evolution of ballet, modern dance and contemporary dance. It is of utmost importance to educate ourselves and our collaborators on these truths so that this knowledge can inform our contemporary performance art practices.

Our investigations into recreating classical "Story-Ballets" with a contemporary perspective strives for cultural accuracy in dance when cultural dance is represented; and continues to challenge the Canadian understanding of the "ideal" dancer body. We strive to continue to prove that dance is an art form that belongs to all people and that anybody is capable of expression through movement. Dance is a community engagement and we hope to continue to deliver dance to the people of our time in a way that tells the contemporary stories of our diverse communities.

Artistic Team


image Katharina Schier

Katharina Schier

Artistic Director

Born in Germany, Katharina grew up in Calgary training from a young age at The School of Alberta Ballet. Katharina’s love of dance was solidified by the opportunity to perform the role of Clara in two seasons of Alberta Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker”. Katharina Schier has since participated in prestigious training programs throughout Canada including The National Ballet of Canada, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, The Ailey School, and Harbour Dance Center Intensives. Upon obtaining her BFA in Dance from The Boston Conservatory (Boston, MA).

Upon acceptance into The Boston Conservatory’s BFA Dance Program (completed 2016 summa cum laude), Katharina performed in works by world-renowned choreographers such as Mark Morris, Danny Buraczeski, Uri Sands, Richard Colton and Andrea Miller. Katharina has danced professionally with Boston artists and dance companies including Emily-Jerant Hendrickson, Wiss.co Dance, Cathy Young, Luminarium Dance Company, Lorraine Chapman The Company, and Tony Williams Dance Company.

Since returning to Calgary, Katharina has been honored to work with Dancers’ Studio West in their 2018 production “Physic/Alchemy” - a Night of Dance by Artistic Director Davida Monk. Currently, Katharina is developing her newest choreographic work set to premiere at The IGNITE! 2018 Festival for Emerging Artists produced by SAGE Theatre in June 2018.



Artistic Team




Alexandra Contreras

Dance Artist


Picture of Alexandra Contreras

Alexandra Contreras is a Calgary-based dancer and mother of three. She has performed independently in Calgary and Toronto, namely with Ballet Creole, and at the Rhubarb Festival and the Feats Festival. She has trained under amazing teachers in Colombia, San Francisco and Canada. She has a B.A. in dance and a B.Ed. from the University of Calgary. Alexandra is highly regarded by the many students she has inspired and empowered to dance through her welcoming, creative approach to teaching. She currently teaches privately from her home studio.


Contact via Email: info@calgarycorecontemporaries.com



Cindy Ansah

Choreographer/Dance Artist


Picture of Cindy Ansah

Cindy Ansah is a dance artist and emerging choreographer based in Calgary, Alberta entering her final year of study in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance degree at the University of Calgary. Within her degree, Cindy passionately seeks opportunities to expand her choreographic and creative horizons through multidisciplinary collaboration. As a choreographer, Cindy first developed 4 choreographic excerpts in We Gon Be Alright Black History Month Cabaret in 2019. Her seminal dance work Everything, Nothing has been showcased in Triple Bill Weekends, the IGNITE! Festival for Emerging Artists: Dance Series in 2019 and the Physical Therapy Cabaret in Fluid Fest 2019. Her collaborative multidisciplinary dance film RE:New, featured in the 2020 IGNITE! Festival for Emerging Artists: Hyperspace Edition, has been her most ambitious creation to date. Branching into dance writing, Cindy's work has been featured on The Dance Current, Springboard Performance, and Alberta Dance Alliance platforms. As a mover, Cindy remains open to the idiosyncrasies that live in beings, places, and things to create curious connections and inspire creative investigation.


Contact via Email: info@calgarycorecontemporaries.com



Kathryn Lee

Dance Artist


Picture of Kathryn Lee

Kathryn Lee, a dance artist residing in Calgary, Alberta, Canada has performed and instructed dance throughout Canada and the USA in a diverse range of styles including ballet, contemporary, jazz, acrobatics, tap, and musical theatre. Since obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Belhaven University in Mississippi, Lee has enjoyed freelance work as a dancer and choreographer in the Calgary area, and has performed with various companies including Corps Bara Dance Theatre, Calgary Core Contemporaries, EnCorps Dance Collective, CIC Dance Theatre, Inlet Dance Theatre, and Cleveland Dance Project. Lee has a zest for life and aspires to share the gift of movement with everyone!


Contact via Email: info@calgarycorecontemporaries.com



Serenella Sol Argueta

Dance Artist


Picture of Serenella Sol Argueta

Serenella Sol started dancing ballet at the age three with Gisela Paz de la Rosa Ballet School in Maracaibo, Venezuela. At seventeen, she moved to Canada where she studied ballet and contemporary in Vancouver and Calgary. While attending university, Serenella took part in summer intensives at the Alicia Alonzo Institute (Spain), Alonzo King Lines Ballet (USA), The San Francisco Conservatory of Dance (USA), SIBA (Salzburg), The Dutch Summer Intensive (Holland) and Blueprint Summer intensive(USA). In 2013, she graduated from the University of Calgary with a B.A in Political Science and a Minor in Dance. She has danced for La Caravan Company (2011), Jeunesse Company (2012) and W&M Physical Theatre (2013-2019) in The Cube, Triangular Theories of Love, Waiting Rooms in Heaven, TIME, and WE SELL.PL. Serenella presented her choreographic work in the Alberta Dance Festival (Dancers’ Studio West), Fluid Festival, Montage and produced and choreographer her own show Coming of Age in 2016 (SeSol Projects)


Contact via Email: info@calgarycorecontemporaries.com



Stephanie Jurkova-Abaco

Dance Artist


Picture of Stephanie Jurkova-Abaco

Stephanie Jurkova-Abaco is a Calgary based artist in her final year of the dance Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, at the University of Calgary. Stephanie’s passion for movement began with Ballroom and Latin dancing, where she experienced success as two-time Canadian Latin Championship Finalist. Since then, Stephanie has diversified her training into contemporary, vernacular jazz, Soca and West African styles. Under the tutelage of the School of Creative and Performing Arts, she has performed in interdisciplinary productions, sparking her creative interests. As a choreographer, Stephanie finds intrigue in unconventional connections - seeking different ways of  partnering and negotiation of personal space.   


Contact via Email: info@calgarycorecontemporaries.com



Dance Artist Application



We accept applications for Calgary Core Contemporaries project-based work on an ongoing basis. Please fill out the form below to be considered for ongoing/upcoming projects.



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Board of Directors



Elisabeth Calderwood

Director of Finance

finance@calgarycorecontemporaries.com


Harry Glithero

Marketing Director

marketing@calgarycorecontemporaries.com


Rhianon Grech

Director of Communication

corporateaffairs@calgarycorecontemporaries.com


Katharina Schier

President/ Artistic Director

info@calgarycorecontemporaries.com


Projects



Currently there are no projects. Please visit us later.

Work


Still Here | Dance & Picnic in the Park!

Sun, September 19, 2021 | 4:30pm Riley Park Amphitheatre

This out-door concert included works by: Katharina Schier, Alexandra Contreras, Samantha Ketsa (composition by Bray Jamieson, dramaturge & assistant director support from Emily Sunderland and outside eyes Conrad Belau & Cayley Wreggitt), Cindy Ansah and Deanna Witwer.

Picture still here

Videographer Andrew Webber, Elisabeth Calderwood and editor Alyssa Maturino.

Safe Circles

A drive-in performances in response to the physical-distancing requirements of Covid-19. July 5, 2020 - The Maxbell Centre.

Music by Willhelm Gromes performed by renowned German cellist Raphaella Gromes; an original composition by Calgarian composer and harpist Scott Ross-Molyneux; choreographic work by Cindy Ansah and poetry/choreography by Katharina Schier

Full performance description -> download here!

Responding to the Wind

created in collaboration with Scott Ross-Molyneux February 14th 2019 - The Core Shopping Centre

Photo courtesy of Taha Benashur

Picture responding to the wind
Picture walts of the snowflakes

Waltz of the Snowflakes

site specific work presented by 8th Avenue Place December 21st 2019

Photo courtesy of Maddy Case

Gathering Angels

created for Ignite! Festival produced by SAGE Theatre June 2018

Photo courtesy of SAGE Theatre

Picture gathering Angels

Blog




Research Residency: "Movement Knowledge as a Kind of Cultural Knowledge" - D. Sklar


June 8th, 2019


Final Assembly:

After months working with each artist for a minimum of 12 hours we all came together to share our work with one another. Thank you everybody who made this incredible project come to life and for sharing your beautiful work with us. 

Thank you to the Austrian Canadian Club for hosting us. Thank you Alberta Foundation for the Arts for your generous support. 

Looking forward to the wonderful work we will create in the future!

https://youtu.be/OF3xAWwnCJI



Date: 2019/10/01 | Post-No: 10


Research Residency:


"Movement Knowledge as a Kind of Cultural Knowledge"

                                                                                                                                                  - D. Sklar

Working with Su-Lin Tseng:


by Katharina Schier


I began my research residency working with incredible Calgary based dance artist Su-Lin Tseng and am so grateful that she agreed to share her knowledge, expertise and personal expression of Chinese/Taiwanese Classical dance with me. My work with her began in October of 2018 as Tseng started rehearsals to remount her piece “Seeking the Love in Spring” for Dance Montage 2018. Su-Lin was gracious to invite me to perform in this remount. My plan for each residency was to learn from each artist primarily by observing the artist’s movement/choreography in their rehearsals and getting to learn some movements from the choreogarpher/artists. However, as soon as I mentioned this self-produced research residency to Tseng, she generously invited me not only to sit in rehearsal to observe, but also to dance in her piece. Being able to be more involved in the rehearsal process and learn so much movement was more than I could have asked for out of this personal learning endeavour. Needless to say, this was an incredible opportunity for me to learn some aspects of Chinese/Taiwanese Classical dance in more depth.


When speaking with, Su-Lin, she described her choreography as being a fusion between her Chinese/Taiwanese Classical Dance experience and her contemporary dance. This makes Su-Lin’s work very beautiful and unique.


The general posture of this work was not unlike that which I have experienced as a ballet dancer. Throughout the work we often moved with a tall/straight back with the head positioned above the shoulders, shoulders on top of hips and hips centered over feet. However, we were required to bend and articulate our upper back (thoracic spine) in curves and S-shapes in ways that were unique from any dance form I had experienced thus far.


(Dancers practicing moving from tall up-right posture to bending from the ribs and waist.)


(Here I practice standing tall and leading the movement with my focus. The expression and initiation of movement with the eyes is very important. In this picture I exhibit “butterfly fingers”, a very specific positioning of the fingers and thumb in Chinese classical dance.)


I found my former ballet and contemporary dance training equally helpful and hindering in this work. Although the posture was similar, I learned quickly that I had to forgo and retrain my heavily ingrained ballet transitions (how I moved from one shape/movement to the next). For example, Su-Lin stressed the walking/running steps in Chinese/Taiwanese Classical dance. She instructed us on the short steps (heel of one foot falls beside the arch of the other foot) and how each step must be taken with a heel strike with the toes lifted before moving to touch the ground. This is quite different from the traditional ballet walks where the stride is quite long and the toes always lead the step. As you can imagine, this was a very different transition for me and I had to be very mindful in executing this new way of moving. Su-Lin informed us that that this way of walking was likely linked to the Chinese tradition of foot-binding. This is a practice that became popularized in  China from the 10th through mid 17th centuries. Upon doing some further research I discovered: “According to the story, an emperor had a favorite concubine, a dancer who built a gilded stage in the shape of a lotus flower. When she bound her feet into a hoof-like shape and danced on the lotus, the practice became very fashionable; after all, she was the emperor's favorite concubine and the other concubines attempted to imitate her in order to gain the emperor's favor” ( Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China, W. Ping). As I read those words, I thought again of art as being culturally expressive and an important historical reference of the time in which it was created.


(In this picture a fellow dancer and I demonstrate the steps with flexed feet, and the use of breathe that supports the arm gestures that move from inwards to outwards.)


Altogether, the footwork we practiced required  engagement of the feet, thighs, butt and abdomen in a way that greatly contrasted the ease and fluid movement needed in the upper body (torso). The thighs and knees needed to be touching as we walked which, in order to be executed correctly, required an incredible lift in the pelvis and engagement of the abdomen.   In Su-Lin Tseng’s piece I came to understand a stylistic theme of moving the body with grace and a sense of ease. It also was imperative to actively connect choreographed breathe with each step. Within the piece breath was involved in such as way that it supported the musicality and expression of the movement. Su-Lin articulated this connection of breath to movement for a woman in Chinese classical dance most beautifully when she said: “Inhale from deep within and then exhale out to match the world”.


Perhaps the aforementioned thoughtful involvement of breath in the movement is what gave me an incredible sense of peace when dancing Su-Lin Tseng’s choreography. Although the movement was difficult and very physical, my experience of consciously connecting breath to every movement gave me a sense of ease and peace as well as a physical experience of being present in every moment. I knew I achieved the breath in the moments when  my mind was exactly where I was in each movement, not one step ahead or behind.


(Here dancers practice their movement together as Su-Lin clarifies the shape of the body including feet, arms, upper body, fingers and focus)


In addition to connecting each breath to movement, the movement was equally connected to each note in the music. In this way, the body, breath and music all connected as one voice. This idea of unity and one voice is an important element of Chinese classical dance. The unity among the entire cast of dancers was imperative. As Su-Lin emphasized to us: “The most perfectly together we are, the better.” After this experienced I appreciated that unity may have been valued in Chinese culture. In my experience of this dance form, there is an appreciation of many bodies dancing, breathing and expressing all together, as one.



(Dancers practice moving their body and fans in sync. It is important that we all move together in complete unity.)


In the end we shared our hard work with the audiences of Dance Montage 2018. Thank you Su-Lin Tseng for sharing your beautiful work with me!

_____________________________________________________________________________

Working with 12 Musas Flamenco Ensemble: (Anastassiia La Musa)



The next portion of my research residency began in March 2019 with the 12 Musas Flamenco Ensemble directed by Calgary based flamenco dance artist, Anastassiia La Musa. I am delighted to have observed and learned from Anastassia as she rehearsed for her latest performance, “Tierra de Luz”. This production was a collaboration between Anastassiia and soprano Linda Faye Miller and involved the work of a number of outstanding artists (guitarist/singer Ricardo Sanchez from Mexico city, pianist Magdalena von Eccher, and violinist and composer Jonathan Lewis).




The works of “Tierra de Luz” encompassed Spanish Classical music as well as Flamenco music and dance. Anastassiia expressed to me that this performance was contemporary in nature because it involved classical music and flamenco as well as the fusion of classical spanish music with flamenco dance. Anastassiia gave me a very simple hint to knowing when they were working with flamenco music and when they were working with spanish classical music that involved  listening to hear when the tone change happened in the music. Although I did not develop a great “musical” or “technical” understanding of the difference, I was able to hear and feel the difference in the style of music.


One of the first things I noticed and came to understand working with Anastassiia is the unique relationship there was between the musicians and the dancer. The dancer in fact, is actually a musician too. In flamenco the dancer is the percussionist. In this way, one must not think of a flamenco dancer being separate from the music. Contrary to other dance styles (where the music is played as accompaniment, or the dancers are responding to the music)  in flamenco, the dancer makes music with the other musicians. The dancer makes this music very literally with the percussive stamps and movements of the feet but also with the expressive movements of the other parts of the body. There were movments when Anastasiia used percussion of her hands together and hands against her body to make sound.


When watching a flamenco dancer you are not watching a dancer accompanied by music, you are watching a semi-circle of musicians, one of which is also a dancer! As a result of this, the focal point of the dancer is not always outwards/forwards to an audience necessarily. The dancer and other musicians make frequent eye contact with one another to communicate. This makes the performance very live as the performers can adjust very well to one another and make quick changes and improvisations. The entire ensemble follows one another taking turns on who leads the music. This creates a “call and response” quality to the music, especially between the dancer and singer or the dancer and the guitarist. The dancer or the singer will lead the music calling on the other to respond and in time “handing over the song” to the other.


As a result, Anastassiia expressed to me that one piece of choreography will never feel the same depending on who is singing or playing. Each artist puts their own unique energy into the music and for that reason it affects the entire product. The energy given to the dancer by the singer will affect the energy the dancer makes and gives back to the other musicians. No two performances will ever be the same.


Although the flamenco dance is always done as a solo (soloist can be a man or a woman), Anastassia expressed in her own words that she “never feels like or thinks of it as a solo, it is always dancing with musicians”.


The role of the dancer in flamenco is quite complex. Anastassiia outlined the tasks of the flamenco dancer:


  1. Technical aspect: how the body moves and transitions from movement to movement, the placement of the body and posture.

  2. Rhythmic aspect: how precisely the dancer executes the percussion that contributes to the music.

  3. Improvisation aspect: How the  dancer listens to the other musicians and plays with them.


I found the role of the dancer to be quite unique from the other musicians. Yes, the musicians require technical proficiency, rhythm and improvisation just like the dancer. However, the dancers instrument is in fact the body. This makes the expression behind the percussion and movement of the dancer very emotionally expressive. As opposed to the other musicians, Anastassiia can never escape her instrument. There is no distance between her and her means of musical expression. She cannot put her instrument down to take a break and grab a drink of water. She carries her instrument through every aspect of her life. This makes her performance very raw, and personal. She carries with her all the past experiences of every right step and every mistake.


Anastassiia expressed the emotional vulnerability that comes with being a Flamenco dancer. The fact that, to her, the art becomes so personal, because it cannot be separated from her person.


Flamenco dance is very complex and although I would have liked to experience more of the movement I am so grateful I was able to learn so much by experiencing the rehearsals. All the artists were very open to sharing their experience and knowledge of the art form with me. I was able to participate in a small way when I learned the technique of Palmos or hand clapping. This is a percussive action we made with the hands when performing tango flamenco. One hand does not move while the dominant hand in a “cupped” motion claps the other hand. The “cupped” position makes for an air pocket that allows for the ideal “round sound”. The clapping can be done cupped palm to palm or curved fingers to palm. Each hand is unique therefore, the positioning for each person has to be played with until the ideal “round sound” is produced. The foot is involved by stamping the foot on the floor on the 1st beat of the bar and clapping the next 3 beats. Of course, from my understanding there is some flexibility and improvisation that goes into that. However, the clapping always ends on the 7th bar of the phrase when the music comes to an end.


There are many different styles of Flamenco. Today’s flamenco artists practice traditional and/or contemporary styles. Anastassiia expressed that although traditional flamenco is “old” to some, at the time, 20th century flamenco was very innovated.  The style of dress, and hair can be understood as having been influenced by the style of 20’s flappers of the time. Today contemporary flamenco artists are interested in continuing to evolve and innovate the form. Anastassiia and her fellow artists created a spectacular and very contemporary production. I found the dancing to be incredibly expressive.  The movement was filled with tension and created an intense feeling of anticipation. However, it could also be incredibly soft and nuanced. I was delighted to see the final product of “Tierra de Luz” on March 30th. Anastassiia’s performance was full of passion and power and really drew me in. I could feel the energy of the performers lift the audience and draw them through the unique feelings of each piece. Personally, when I watch Anastassiia, I feel a sense of anticipation and am lifted to the edge of my seat.


_______________________________________________________________

Working with Schuhplattler Verein Enzian Calgary


I began my work with the Schuhplattlers (directly translates to “shoe slappers”) in February 2019. This dance form is a traditional folk dance of the state of Bavaria (Germany) and regions of Austria (Tyrolean Alps) as well as the German-speaking regions of northern Italy. I came to learn that the Schuhplattler dances were traditionally a mens dance and was done, in the words of one of the members: “to keep warm when out in the forest logging”. Later women were introduced to the dance form and their part is quite different then the men’s dance.





Many of the dances I learned with the Schuhplattlers involved the telling of a simple story through our movements. A few included the Mader (a courting dance where the men show off their strength and try to woo the women), Gamsl (dance about Mountain Goats), and Bandltanz/May Pole dance (Celebrating the first of May/coming of spring). The Schuhplattlers often represent the town or professions of the dancers involved. For example:  Mühlradl (miller's dance), the Holzhacker (wood cutter), and the Glockenplattler (bell dance) are all dances that represent a region or the activities of a specific group of men.


The dancing is often done in three quarter time and was performed traditional on the  guitar and later the accordion or concertina. When one thinks of the Schuhplattlers they often think of the men's dance as the action of slapping the shoes is only done by the men. The women’s steps are very specific with the focus on “framing the men”. A few rules/tricks I learned from the Schuhplattlers for the women’s part were:


  1. Always turn to the right;

  2. Hold your hand fast when holding your skirt in the turns (do not move it);

  3. Make a “T” shape with your feet in turns so as not to “bob” up and down;

  4. Foundation of every dance is the waltz step, if you can waltz you are more than half-way there;

  5. Do NOT spot your head on the turns, if you turn without a spot your skirt bells out smoother without lulls;


That last point left me quite dizzy...As a ballet dancer we are trained to spot the head in turns and it was very disorientating turning in this new way! A member named Katherine told me a secret to avoiding dizziness when turning. She explained that although she does not spot her head she uses her eyes to spot. By finding one focal point in front of her (preferably something bright in color) and as she turns she focuses her eyes on that one spot before continuing the turn. This did help as often the turning portions of the dances were quite long and were followed by our partners sweeping us up in a rigorous waltz around the circle. It helped then to focus on your partner with each rotation to know where he was and stay in close proximity to him to make the next transition smoother.


Although there are various dances from specific regions, the dance are carried down through oral tradition and there are variations in each dance from group to group and region to region. There is some fluidity in how the dances are done by each group depending on number of couples, age range and ability. It is a folk dance so although it does require some very specific skills and practice, there is a notion that you are free to jump in and learn as you go with the help of your guiding partner.


Perhaps the most lasting impression of my experience with the Schuhplattlers was the core sense of community. As group member Diane stated: “We are family”. The Schuhplattler Verein Enzian of Calgary truly are a family, some of the members having danced with the  group from childhood (as young as five if I remember correctly) and many of the married couples having met each other through the dance group. It was an honor to be welcomed into their dance family and perform with them for the Mother's Day brunch at the Austrian Canadian Club on May 12th. This group of dancers ranges in age and is incredibly kind. You do not have to have German or Austrian nationality, ethnicity or heritage to join, just an enthusiasm to dance and meet people who are committed to carrying the tradition of the Schuhplattlers into the future. The Schuhplattler Verein Enzian of Calgary meet every Thursday evening at the Austrian-Canadian Cultural Club of Calgary. You will find them at the restaurant eating good food and having a pint before they head over to the dance hall to practice...I highly suggest you find them there! Trust me, you will be most welcomed!








_____________________________________________________________________________

Working with Cindy Ansah


The final stage of my residency was with Cindy Ansah. Cindy welcomed me into her rehearsal space as she restaged and experimented with a solo she created earlier in the year for Black History month at Theatre Grand. Cindy described the piece as an exploration of crossroads in her life and culture. As a Canadian born to immigrant parents (from Ghana) she sought to understand her culture and heritage through traditional West African dance. Cindy was kind to throw me into her work as she developed this solo into a trio for the three of us (Cindy, Stephanie and myself).


The first movement vocabulary I learned involved a deep connection to the spine. Through this work I understood the importance of thinking of and moving the spine in its entirety (ie from where it connects to the skull all the way to the end of the tailbone). Cindy described the movement of the spine in African dance as circular. In this sense, the spine pulses and angulates without a beginning or an ending, it is ever flowing. There is a circular theme throughout West African dance demonstrated in the movements but also the idea of death and rebirth connected to West African dance. The movements honor the African understanding of the circle of life and the vitality of the living body. Cindy described the celebration of the living body in African dance when she said: “a stiff or still body in African dance and culture represents a corpse or death, therefore the fluid and free movement of the body and all its parts shows resilience and life force in the body”.


Other concepts Cindy helped me to understand and embody included: the “double bounce”, being deeply grounded in the hips, legs and feet  and the sequential movement quality of each body part in relation to the movement of the spine. This last idea of sequential movement was perhaps the most difficult for me to embody. When I saw Cindy moving her head in a specific way, I felt the need to copy and mimic this movement. However, she instructed me that the movement of the head is not a layer over the movement of the spine and other body parts, rather a response or reaction to what is already happening in the body. This was a difficult concept to produce and felt disorientating but also incredibly freeing. It took some time for me to allow my head, chest and arms to react to the core movements we worked on. I found myself in some moments trying to hold/control the rest of my body and then try to “add” details like arm and head movements.




Once I was able to allow my body to react more to the movement of the spine in Cindy’s choreography there was an incredible feeling of freedom and release. It felt out of control and disorienting at times but also very gratifying to feel the way in which each body part “reacts” to movement. For example: “If I angulate my spine in this way how do the hips, legs, chest, head and arms react?” It was fascinating to see that if we moved our spines in the same way/pattern/direction/timing the rest of our body responded in a similar way to one another. Although the fine details of placement and shape weren’t exactly the same from dancer to dancer, there was a similarity in how the rest of our body naturally reacted.


I was honored to be a part of Cindy’s rehearsal process and be able to perform her work at the Final Workshop on June 8th.



Date: 2019/06/17 | Post-No: 6


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