Today marks the end of TanzSprint2012 and the end of my first semester as a Masters student at the University for Music and Performing Arts (the HfMDK) in Frankfurt, Germany.

I have learned that the next wave in dance research will probably have to do with Post-colonialism and its impact on the evolution and transmission of dance performance.

What is the relevance of theory to dance and dance to the lives of people living in this society?  Such are my thoughts as I finish this first chapter of higher education and look around myself for a clue as to where my place may be and what I might possibly be able to offer.

TanzSprint2012 is a week long “Festival”, consisting of about 20 diverse workshops offered by current and former masters students of the MAztp, a program for contemporary dance pedagogy.  I offered a 4 day, 3hrs/day, workshop called “Walk the Line”.  Inspired more by the blurry border that separates dance from theater and less by the song from Johnny Cash.  My target group was dancers with experience or professionals in the field.  Who in reality took part was a group of 20 hungry participants covering the spectrum from beginner, non-dancer to experienced artist and everything in between.  I was happy to have such an open group and a big enough group where the participants were able to enjoy a certain freedom to explore without the pressure of too much attention placed on them.

We were exploring a recurring theme in my research which is movement quality.  This time I tried to define quality as the meeting point between sensation and the origin of movement.  The result or perhaps better referred to as my subjective experience was that without regard to how advanced the body or relationship to one’s body was, everyone could challenge themselves with the material presented to their own specific capability.  I was not teaching a technique, but more so offering images, ideas, perspectives for viewing movement quality or stylized tools for making choices about movement.

I would start the session with introduction tasks or different games to generate the beginnings of a sense of community within the group.  Then I offered the first steps into improvised movement, usually using simple thoughts about breathing and touching.  As the week progressed the images/ concepts I proposed would be more complex or require more imagination from the participants.  I challenged myself to provide a variety of images, as I learned that what one person might connect with another might not.  What I enjoyed the most were the improvised scenes that would be the culmination of each days’ work.  I would give some tasks to guide each group, but I would try to allow some space for the participants to make their own decisions in how they would generate material and cooperate as a group.  Often this created really interesting, funny, and unexpected things to transpire.

TanzSprint is over, but the journey continues.

Thank you to all who took part.  May we meet again and share some moves…Walk the Line3walk the line2Walk the Line