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© Andréa de Keijzer

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Repertory

This course provides an opportunity for dancers to work with a variety of gifted choreographers, both learning existing repertoire and having new work created for them.  The work can be a transformative experience, allowing dancers to experience tremendous artistic challenges and growth.

It encourages a sense of responsibility to others: dancers learn how to work in an ensemble, and how to take direction as well as how to lead.  They become familiar with rehearsal and performance practices, they learn how to recognize a choreographer’s intent, and they acquire performance and interpretive skills.  They are encouraged to bring themselves fully to the work, and to become powerful and stimulating instruments for the choreographer.

Repertory is an exciting, challenging, and tangible way for dancers to prepare for the profession.  Classes build towards performances at the end of the fall and spring terms; third-year classes include additional spring performances of small ensemble repertory.

The School has given me the opportunity to work with artists who are icons of dance.  Every year we have the chance to work with five or six different choreographers, and to experience a huge range of ways of moving.  Our bodies have been enriched. – Natalia Lisina, graduate, from Kazan, Russia

Bouffon

Bouffon is a physical theatre style that was born out of the work of Jacques Lecoq and is taught at the School by master Bouffon teacher Massimo Agostinelli.

Bouffon explores elements of burlesque, commedia dell’arte, farce, and satire, and at its heart is mockery pushed to the point of parody.  The bouffon embodies ironic awareness.

This work is developed through the exploration of four families: the dwarves, the big bums and bellies, the hunchbacks, and the heretic priest.  The physical approach to bouffon is known to force students to break through boundaries of self-consciousness and to empower them with a sense of boldness in performance presence.

Exciting, scary, and often hilarious, bouffon classes provoke and stimulate the imagination and bring classmates together in a thrilling theatrical adventure.

Music

This course is designed to help dancers acquire and/or sharpen basic musicianship skills in order to develop a fuller appreciation of music and how it relates to dance.  The main areas of focus are listening for the elements of music and discussion of the evolution of art music up to 20th Century/contemporary work.  Rhythm and voice work are also examined.

Listening assignments concentrate on the manner in which music functions dramatically, to encourage students to think creatively regarding the ways in which music can inspire or reflect movement.  In addition to listening work, first year students learn to recognize, read, and respond to simple, compound, and mixed metres.

Second year students learn exercises related to singing and to proper vocal production.  The course is a practical study of the use of the singing voice.  Students learn about breathing and how to improve the efficiency of the breathing apparatus as well as basic physiology of the human body.  They learn how to warm up the voice properly and use simple one, two, and three part songs to learn about vocal blend and ear training.

Elements of Production

Taught by a stage manager with many years’ experience in dance, this course provides an overview of the fundamental elements of theatrical production for the stage, including an introduction to technical definitions and theatrical terminology.

Students become familiar with stage management, sound production, and production management; they also participate in a workshop on lighting techniques.  General theatrical safety principles are addressed, and students become familiar with job descriptions for a variety of positions in theatre.

Students are assigned to actual productions in various capacities.