GRAHAM-BASED MODERN – Tracy Vogt, Chairperson
This introductory class in Graham-based Modern technique educates the dancers on the basic vocabulary rooted in the contraction and release for advanced beginners. Modern technique is divided into into 3 equal segments: floor-work, standing work in the center and combinations that travel across the floor.
Expectations of the students increase as the floor work becomes more complex with lengthier exercises. Standing work in the center develops the ability to shift the weight and work off center. Dancers are expected to complete complicated traveling combinations that incorporate the contraction and release, spiral, jumps and moving fully with weight, power, and dynamic changes.
In this level, dancers continue to build strength with an awareness of the torso as the center and initiator of all movement. Standing work in the center develops more stamina, balance, control, flexibility and expanded sense of movement through extended combinations with contraction and release, leg extensions, plié series and shifts of weight. Elevation in jumps is emphasized.
Technical skills are honed at this advanced professional level. Breathing, a gathering and releasing of tension is heightened, increasing versatility in the work. Phrases of movement are emphasized throughout the floor-work. More complicated, longer combinations in the center build control and balance while working on and off center. Leg extensions are higher and the full integration of the legs, arms and head with the torso as the center and the catalyst of all movement is achieved. The body now moves as a whole, not as individual parts. There is no longer a separation of the floor, standing and traveling work, but all are combined in lengthy combinations as an expressive, dramatic, and technically advanced vocabulary. Performance skills are coached, particularly the dramatic expression of the individual.
Modern Partnering (int.) The modern partnering class begins with a thorough and nontraditional warm-up that focuses on alignment, timing, energy flow, and complex coordinative skills. The class also emphasizes musicality, dynamic range, and focus in terms of working with a partner and develops in each student the sensitivity of give and take with that partner. Numerous movement themes are explored during the class to culminate each session with a final partnering phrase. Minimum level requirements: Modern II, III, IV or Horton II, III, IV