MDF 2017 Class Descriptions

Daily Class Technique Intensive with Gerald Casel

An experiential laboratory for movement, this modern technique class explores strategies for thinking bodies to expand their range and ease of motion, revealing their truest movement potential. Class will address anatomical principles that are essential to any movement practice (i.e. embodied imagery, awakening of all body systems, dynamic alignment, balance, connectivity and spatial clarity).

We will begin with a thorough warm-up consisting of gentle floor-work, both learned and improvised (incorporating ideas from Irene Dowd, Bartenieff Fundamentals, and PNF patterns). Class progresses to standing exercises and movement phrases that travel across, in and out of the floor to investigate flow and energy while paying attention to the dancer’s awareness of time, energy, focus, breath, and relationship to gravity. Class culminates with a dance phrase that integrates mind and body, harmoniously moving with greater articulation, expressivity, and intent.

We will awaken the subtle body, question virtuosity, breathe with intention, feel a deep belonging to space, befriend gravity, sing a little, learn complex phrases, and unlearn patterns that no longer serve our dancing.


Site-specific dance making with Amy Ragsdale and Nicole Bradley Browning

An opportunity to practice choreographing work tailored to a site, taking into account its physical and symbolic characteristics and challenges. The workshop will result in an informal performance. 


Dance for Camera: Portrait of a Dancer with Joy French

Over the 3-day Mini-Intensive, participants will turn the camera on themselves as the subject of the work. They will learn to capture their own unique personality and choreography on the two-dimensional video screen through specific cinematic strategies and tasks. The end product will be the creation of individual "portrait of a dancer" videos showcasing the unique identity of each mover.


Pilates for Dancers with Christina Briggs

Pilates will be taught with an emphasis on developing movement strategies that enhance body alignment, body mechanics, movement efficiency and clarity. The goal is to use somatic and anatomical knowledge to strengthen, increase flexibility and refine coordination for all movers.  There are countless different movement phrases, which are performed on the mat seated, standing, on all fours, or lying on your back, side, or front.


Yoga for Dancers with Arletta Anderson

will utilize the framework of a classical Yoga practice in order to prepare the dancer for a full-range of movement possibilities. Class will include breath-awareness techniques, alignment-based flow, energetic imagery and anatomical cuing as a means to cultivate the dancer's mind-body awareness.


Music and Dance

Choreographers and composers have a complicated and nuanced relationship. Tim and Gerald will share their experiences and strategies as longtime creative collaborators. They will address issues such as interdependence, autonomy, and control within their working processes and offer participants a space to investigate their personal relationship to sound, whether improvised or meticulously composed.


Contemporary Partnering

In this class, we will explore various ways that physical partnerships convey relationships. We will address issues of power, consent, equilibrium, and support that offer insights into how bodies receive and dictate control. From the most subtle of nudges to the most audacious lift, we will review the range of possibilities for dancing and negotiating with (a) partner(s).


Quick Composition with Ashley Grifith

In this class we will use phrase work as a jumping off point to create small group compositions using writing, photos, music and each other as inspiration for movement.  


GYROKINESIS® method with Kate Jordan

In GYROKINESIS® class, we immerse ourselves in a series of gentle, continuous movements created to open energy pathways, increase movement range, stimulate the nervous system, and build strength. The movement method was created by former dancer, Juliu Horvath. The work coordinates movement, breath and mental focus. Many dancers and professional athletes take gyrokinesis classes to stay injury free, and reach their fullest potential in their fields.

*GYROKINESIS® is a registered trademark of Gyrotonic Sales Corp and is used with their permission.

Video introducing GYROKINESIS® practice: