Dancing into Spring 2017
Spring is in the air in Arezzo and our group of 15 vivacious dancers are filling Villa Godiola each day with spirited energy. In addition to their training in Ballet and Contemporary Technique and Performance, this semester has been a whirlwind of different intensives and workshops, such as Dance Theatre, Butoh, and Contact Improvisation. Read on to see more of what our dancers have been up to since they arrived in January!
Guest Intensives: Working with Mitsuru Sasaki and Claudio de Maglio
From March 20-24, dancers worked intensively with internationally acclaimed guest artist Claudio de Maglio on Dance Theatre, culminating in a working demonstration for peers, faculty and staff. When asked about her experience studying with Claudio, dance student Olivia Parente (University of the Arts, PA) said:
Working with Claudio was an exceptionally rewarding experience and pushed me to work outside my comfort zone in using movement as a means to portray emotion and plot.
Right before spring break, the dancers spent a week collaborating with the physical theatre students and guest teacher Mitsuru Sasaki on the art of Butoh. The week with Mitsuru is always a semester highlight, and it culminated in a brief informal showing to start spring break off on the right foot.
Faculty Spotlight: Massimo Gerardi
This semester we are fortunate to have interim Dance Program Director Massimo Gerardi onboard. Massimo offered a guest workshop last spring in contemporary technique and partnering. This year, he teaches contemporary technique full-time and is filling the role of mentor and director for the dance students. We sat down with Massimo to get the scoop on his experience so far:
What new responsibilities do you have in the role of interim director compared to a guest faculty person? What past training and experience has helped you most in this new position?
Working continuously with a group of students in a class brings about more responsibilities in the way I relate to its members. My engagement lies in keeping a balance between a continuity and the proposition of new material and new ideas each time I teach. Moreover, I start to convey better the corrections in relation to my longer and deeper knowledge of the possibilities and character of each student. I certainly draw from my teaching experience at Palucca Hochschule für Tanz in Dresden and at University of Music and Dance in Köln.
In what ways do you think the intensives with guests Claudio de Maglio and Mitsuru Sasaki supplement and strengthen the dance program?
Both are artists and experienced mentors who work with the intensity of the gesture, the spoken word and the effect of both on stage. Despite working in a classroom setting, we should not forget that this training is a preparation for the stage. Even if some of the students may pursue careers in professional dance, they will surely take advantage of this experience and project it into their work in the case they opt instead for a teaching career.
Why study Dance at the ADA?
We love our program, but don’t take our word for it. Take it from the students who are currently living through the Dance Program experience:
Olivia Parente: This program exposes dancers to many new things. While working in technique under great instructors we are also challenged in pursuing new improvisational and choreographic skills.
Maddie Vouros: Dance students should participate in this program because it is a great opportunity for growth in various ways. Through this program, with a very accepting community, students have room for self exploration and pushing their abilities to the limit in order to be the best dancer they can be.
Megan Hopkins: My time at ADA thus far has exposed me to so many different forms of dance and performance that I would not otherwise have had access to. The dance program is about more than shaping dancers as technicians. It has pushed me down a path of self discovery of who I am and who I want to become as an artist.
Diverse Learning Experiences: Ljubljana and Cabaret
In February, the dancers traveled to Ljubljana, Slovenia to participate in two day-long intensives with the contemporary dance company EnKnapGroup and Iztok Kovac. This unique collaboration will soon be continued on-site in Arezzo when dancers from EnKnapGroup arrive next week. Check out our Facebook page for photos!
Dancer Maddie Vouros (Dickinson College, PA) reflected on the Ljubljana study tour, saying:
This opportunity of taking workshops with EnKnapGroup was something I never would have experienced if I didn’t attend ADA. It was an insight into the professional life of dancing. It was amazing to see what modern companies are doing today and how all choreographers work differently.
In addition to their work inside the classroom, dancer students and physical theatre students are offered the opportunity to devise and perform their own original work for two cabarets during the semester. The first cabaret was held at the Villa at the end of February, and the second cabaret was held in central Arezzo at the Teatro Virginian last Wednesday. Be sure to check the ADA facebook page for photos!