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Dance Alum Spring Festival

CANCELLED

When

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 – Sunday, April 5, 2020

Where

Eisner Center for the Performing Arts
Denison University

We will open our doors on Wednesday, April 1, but come when you can--even if it is only part of that time! Please try to be here for the Friday night dinner--where we’ll have a slide-show of Denison’s Dance history and a special announcement for the Alums.

Sign up

MARK YOUR CALENDARS; CALL YOUR CLASSMATES; MAKE YOUR FLIGHT PLANS!
April 1-5, 2020

Welcome back to the Hill, all Dance majors, minors, groupies! Join us for mutual exchange: Curricular Offerings, Guest offerings, Long Table discussions, a Performance that crosses generations, and a few meals together. Share what you are doing now! See what we are up to! Network with your Denison Dance Family.

Schedule

1:00 pm - 2:50 pm

CURRICULAR OFFERING – Choreographic Investigations: Solo Dance Creation (Thorsen/Eisner)

(Dr. Molly Shanahan '90)

This four-credit Dance course is intended for current or potential Dance Majors, Minors, and all students invested in delving into the art of live choreography as a practice of artistic self-development and a practice of generous performance for observers. The focus of spring semester 2020 is solo movement exploration and solo choreographic development. The culminating assignment for the course will be a 5-8 minute solo that will be performed in an informal public showing at the end of the semester. The first ½ of the semester will be geared to specific, focused, and assigned movement “studies” to advance and hone students’ relationship to gravity, suspension, strength, and locomotion. Later, the movement material developed in these studies will be shaped by each student, with abundant instructor feedback, guidance, and coaching, into a solo. Students will be expected to complete several hours of independent work on a weekly basis toward the development and rehearsal of movement studies, to be shown in class at regular intervals for peer observation and instructor feedback. All levels of movement experience are welcome, however students must have some movement experience (Dance, Theatre/Musical Theatre, or Athletics) that prepares them for significant self-directed work, including the ability to create, recall, and self-rehearse movement studies, and maturity that allows students to receive and apply productive feedback from regular informal showing and performance of work (feedback will be given individually and in the studio environment).
1:30 pm - 2:50 pm

CURRICULAR OFFERING – Black Dance & Popular Culture (Knapp Perf Lab)

(Dr. Ojeya Cruz Banks)

The Mash Potato, Moonwalk, Twerking to the Neh Neh are all examples of iconic black dance moves that have gained popular worldwide attention. This class explores dance icons such as James Brown, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson and Beyoncé, who have popularized Black dance around the globe. The case studies will provide prompts for the physical study of dance, and conversational starters for examining the intersections of music and dance industries, racism, gender, cultural (mis)appropriation, hybridity, and social media and Black moves. International viewpoints of Black dance as global export in locations such as Gabon, New Zealand and India is considered. Teaching and learning approaches include lectures, class discussion, video viewing, and practical dance exercises, lyric analysis, and singing. (DANC 274 - Black Dance and Popular Culture)
1:30 pm - 2:50 pm

CURRICULAR OFFERING – Modern/Postmodern I (Doane Dance)

(Dr. Michael J. Morris)

Modern/Postmodern Dance I is designed for students with no dance experience. Offering an introduction to basic movement ideas, classes are structured with initial floor warmup sequences, followed by standing exercises and phrase work. Students will be challenged with self-awareness while moving and to develop a basic understanding of and sensitivity to dynamics, phrasing, gravity and weight, and to become attentive to their own movement potential. Exercises emphasizing placement, flexibility and strength are taught. Attention to the body, breath, momentum and the use of gravity for efficiency is emphasized and improvisation is introduced. In addition to movement work, class time may include video viewings of moments in modern dance history, short readings, creative movement projects and quizzes. Concert attendance, short written critical responses, and short composition assignments are examples of outside work that is required. (DANC 132 - Modern/Postmodern Dance I)
3:00 pm - 4:20 pm

CURRICULAR OFFERING – Freestyle/House Dance (Knapp Perf Lab)

(Dr. Ojeya Cruz Banks)

This class will develop Freestyle and House dance skills. Students will develop abilities to participate in dance cipher- circles that activates individual courage, mental acuity, and affirms community vibes. This course will fine-tune understandings and practices in musicality, and movement flow/intuition, kinesthetic intelligence, composition, and improvisation fundamental to Black/African philosophies of music and dance. Socio-political and the historical context of house dance in the United States and worldwide will be explored. We will map the national and global roots and routes of House dance from house parties, abandoned warehouses in New York and Chicago to international dance competitions and acclaimed music videos. Aptitudes in individual dance innovation and group choreography will be primary learning objectives.
3:00 pm - 4:20 pm

CURRICULAR OFFERING – Modern/Postmodern II (Thorsen/Eisner)

(Prof. Sandra Mathern)

Modern/Postmodern Dance II is designed for students with a sound background in dance training and a general understanding of placement and basic dance movements. Classes are structured with initial floor warm-up sequences, followed by standing exercises and phrase work. Students will be challenged with self-awareness while moving and to develop a basic understanding of and sensitivity to focus, dynamics, phrasing, gravity and weight, and distinct movement qualities, and to become attentive to their own movement potential. A focus on flow, spherical space and the ability to move in and out of the floor will be integral to this class, as will clarity and efficiency of movement. Limited work outside the classroom is required. Examples include concert attendance, focused historic/cultural research inquiries, weekly journal writing, and video essays. Level II is only open to students with previous dance experience in any genre. (DANC 232 Modern/Postmodern Dance II)
4:30 pm - 6:20 pm

CURRICULAR OFFERING – Dance Technique for Performance (Thorsen/Eisner)

(Dr. Molly Shanahan '90)

This four-credit advanced-level studio course in Dance is a hybrid course that is both technique class and rigorous ensemble laboratory for the development of an original piece of choreography by Molly Shanahan, created with collaborative input by dancers. The course is designed for students who want a) to deepen their understanding and embodiment of intermediate-advanced and advanced contemporary movement technique, and b) to apply that learning and evolving physical, expressive, and artistic expertise to participating in the creation and performance of a new dance work by Dr. Shanahan. This new work will be performed publicly at the end of spring semester. Shanahan’s creative approach emphasizes whole-self engagement—body, mind, and spirit—through a movement vocabulary characterized by spirals, flow, and articulate gesture. In the four-day per week format, dancers will have the opportunity to delve into a focused dance practice that blends active movement practice, ensemble building, and body care for dancers. Given that the course meets four times per week, outside work will be minimal to moderate. However, all students who register for the course will be expected to carve out time for 1-3 special weekend rehearsals with Shanahan and any designers (costume, lighting, etc.) plus technical and dress rehearsals, and Department of Dance Spring Concert showtimes.
8:30 am - 9:30 am

GUEST OFFERING Morning Pilates (Thorsen/Eisner)

(Diane McKallip '77)

Diane McKallip '77 comes back to teach "Core and More" Pilates.
10:00 am - 11:20 am

CURRICULAR OFFERING – Improvisation, Practice and Theory (Doane Dance)

(Prof. Sandra Mathern)

"Dance as an Art Form" is open to students interested in dance as a performing art, a physical practice, and a field of embodied inquiry. It serves to introduce students to many of the disciplines, methodologies, and theoretical approaches within the field of dance. Students will engage with methods for viewing, analyzing, and discussing dance as a performing art—in both its formal and socio-cultural dimensions; will gain experience with dance as a movement practice; and will have the opportunity to generate their own choreography as a mode of aesthetic production and compositional thinking. No previous dance experience is necessary. This course fulfills a Fine Arts general education requirement. Each time the course is taught, the faculty member who is teaching it personalizes it completely.  This semester, as taught by Prof. Sandy Mathern, the course is subtitled "Improvisation, practice and theory."
10:00 am - 11:20 am

CURRICULAR OFFERING – Somatics-Body as a Site for Research (Thorsen/Eisner)

(Dr. Gill Wright Miller '74)

Guest Teacher: Lenore Kelley Hervey '75

Through various experiential approaches to learning, this course aims to deepen students’ awareness of their own bodies as a site for knowledge, research, and mode of expression. Course materials approach the body primarily from a first-person stance through different kinds of movement activities resonating with reflexes/responses/reactions, basic neuro-cellular developmental material, and expressive postural/gestural choices. Students can expect to process this information in the body in weekly self-guided studio explorations, respond to those explorations in weekly journal entries, and gather and write in small study groups in and out of class to craft a series of longer, more formal essays that illustrate their agency of body histories, systems and approaches to movement exploration, and the application of one or more of these approaches to a desired developing outcome for expression. Equal attention will be placed on physical exploration for self-discovery and the cognitive translation of that work into written documents. (DANC 374 - Somatics I:  The Body as a Site for Research) For this offering: Guest Teacher Lenore Kelley Hervey says: "I have spent my career as an educator of dance/movement therapists endeavoring to communicate that research can be conducted by those who are primarily kinesthetic or somatic knowers, who are most familiar with a creative rather than scientific process, and who are guided by their aesthetic sensibilities. This research methodology was introduced in Artistic Inquiry: Creative Research Alternatives (2000) and developed further in “Embodied Artistic Inquiry” (2019). For this class I propose to share an embodied model of the creative process that interfaces with research processes. Lecture, discussion and experience will demonstrate to participants how inquiry development, data collection, data analysis and presentation of findings can be conducted from an embodied, creative, aesthetically guided place. Methods: Actively engaging lecture (with power point if appropriate), discussion, movement experience."  
1:30 pm - 2:50 pm

CURRICULAR OFFERING – African/Diasporan Dance I (Doane Dance)

(Dr. Ojeya Cruz Banks)

The course focuses on West African (Guinea) dance movement and the socio-cultural significance of the practice on the continent and across the diaspora. Students will develop skills in relationship to musicality, group chant, and be introduced to relevant historical- contemporary contexts of each dance. Significant cultural ambassadors such as Baba Chuck Davis, Chief Bey, Moustapha Bangoura, Youssouf Koumbassa are acknowledged. Other fundamental topics include music synchronicity, the djembefola (lead drummer) roles, dance circles and oral histories will be integrated throughout the practical lessons. We will also map the global growth of the dance lineage, for instance, how the dance forms travel from West African villages to dance education in the U.S to Beyoncé music videos to Broadway shows and the American Grammy Awards. This course is taught primarily through practical dance workshops with live music, and includes chanting, vocal percussion, and percussive exercises. (DANC 122 - African/Diasporan Dance I)
4:30 pm - 6:20 pm

CURRICULAR OFFERING – Dance Technique for Performance (Thorsen/Eisner)

(Dr. Molly Shanahan '90)

This four-credit advanced-level studio course in Dance is a hybrid course that is both technique class and rigorous ensemble laboratory for the development of an original piece of choreography by Molly Shanahan, created with collaborative input by dancers. The course is designed for students who want a) to deepen their understanding and embodiment of intermediate-advanced and advanced contemporary movement technique, and b) to apply that learning and evolving physical, expressive, and artistic expertise to participating in the creation and performance of a new dance work by Dr. Shanahan. This new work will be performed publicly at the end of spring semester. Shanahan’s creative approach emphasizes whole-self engagement—body, mind, and spirit—through a movement vocabulary characterized by spirals, flow, and articulate gesture. In the four-day per week format, dancers will have the opportunity to delve into a focused dance practice that blends active movement practice, ensemble building, and body care for dancers. Given that the course meets four times per week, outside work will be minimal to moderate. However, all students who register for the course will be expected to carve out time for 1-3 special weekend rehearsals with Shanahan and any designers (costume, lighting, etc.) plus technical and dress rehearsals, and Department of Dance Spring Concert showtimes.
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

LONG TABLE – An Articulation of Curricular Choices (Library/Eisner)

Alex Rose (Cook) '11

What gets taught in the Denison Dance Department? What in the world is modern dance? Well, then, what is postmodern dance? Where does the word “contemporary” fit in? How diverse are the various movement practices? What kinds of dance studies courses need to be offered? Should we blend these entirely? Partially? Occasionally?   Join Mary-Christine O-Connor-Thompsen '75 and Alex Rose Cook '11 for this discussion.
6:30 pm - 10:00 pm

REHEARSAL – Tech for Performers (Doane Dance)

6:30 pm - 10:00 pm

SOCIAL – Dinner at Gill’s (411 Welsh Hills Road)

Casual dinner and gathering at Gill's house: 411 Welsh Hills Road Doors open at 6:30pm--come when you can.
8:30 am - 9:30 am

GUEST OFFERING Morning Pilates (Thorsen/Eisner)

(Diane McKallip '77)

Join Diane McKallip '77 for a "Core and More" Pilates class.
1:00 pm - 2:50 pm

CURRICULAR OFFERING – Choreographic Investigations: Solo Dance Creation (Thorsen/Eisner)

(Dr. Molly Shanahan '90)

This four-credit Dance course is intended for current or potential Dance Majors, Minors, and all students invested in delving into the art of live choreography as a practice of artistic self-development and a practice of generous performance for observers. The focus of spring semester 2020 is solo movement exploration and solo choreographic development. The culminating assignment for the course will be a 5-8 minute solo that will be performed in an informal public showing at the end of the semester. The first ½ of the semester will be geared to specific, focused, and assigned movement “studies” to advance and hone students’ relationship to gravity, suspension, strength, and locomotion. Later, the movement material developed in these studies will be shaped by each student, with abundant instructor feedback, guidance, and coaching, into a solo. Students will be expected to complete several hours of independent work on a weekly basis toward the development and rehearsal of movement studies, to be shown in class at regular intervals for peer observation and instructor feedback. All levels of movement experience are welcome, however students must have some movement experience (Dance, Theatre/Musical Theatre, or Athletics) that prepares them for significant self-directed work, including the ability to create, recall, and self-rehearse movement studies, and maturity that allows students to receive and apply productive feedback from regular informal showing and performance of work (feedback will be given individually and in the studio environment).
3:00 pm - 4:20 pm

CURRICULAR OFFERING – Foundations of Movement (Doane Dance)

(Dr. Molly Shanahan '90)

This introductory-level Dance course is for students interested in dance but who have never danced in a formal/studio setting, or experienced dancer who would like to deepen their engagement into foundations of movement to enhance enjoyment, ease, and efficiency. Emphasis will be placed on learning and enhancing developmental patterns and core bodily connections, such as the head-tail connection, heel-sitting bone connection, and inner-out connectivity allowing for an expressive spine and expressive gesture of the limbs. This is an active and physical studio course with a rigorous pace in engaging whole-body movement, yet the course cultivates a non-judgmental atmosphere for learning, an environment to which students are expected to contribute through openness, willingness to risk delving into unknown areas for growth, and peer encouragement and support. Students will be invited into the paradoxical artistic space where a relaxed approach (ease, play, and comfort) and keen awareness (focus, work, and clear intention) meet. Students will be evaluated on 1) their full participation (including attendance as a base-line plus full participation in movement exercises and verbal feedback/discussion in class); 2) their improvement/progress in the embodiment of movement “basics”; and 3) their increasing capacity to a) self-assess strengths and areas of challenge, and b) work independently and with instructor guidance toward addressing those areas of self-assessment. This is an excellent class for students who have never danced or those students who have significant experience in a particular, codified style but who would like to expand their understanding of bodily connection for enhanced well-being and/or further study of Dance at Denison or elsewhere.
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

LONG TABLE – The Value of Embodiment in the Liberal Arts (Library/Eisner)

Shannon Lengerich (Suffoletto) '99

We seek a discussion about the contributions the vast discipline of DANCE can offer a liberal arts school. This is a broad conversation about What are the current efforts in the field?  What are dance’s relationship to and opportunities in DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) and Trauma/Healing? Please let us know if either of these topics, or another one of your choosing, is a particular strength of yours. Join Lenore Kelley Hervey '75, Mary-Christine O'Connor-Thompsen '75, Laura Spencer Allen '02 and Alison Waldman '10 for this discussion.  
6:30 pm - 10:00 pm

SOCIAL – Formal Dinner, Slide Show, Announcement (Large Reh Rm/Eisner)

This is our BIG dinner. Table-clothed and catered, it's important to RSVP for this meal because we need a definite headcount. There will be tables set up to gather those from neighboring classes, a slide show on Dance at Denison through the years, and a special and important announcement. You won't want to miss this dinner!!!!
8:30 am - 9:30 am

GUEST OFFERING Morning Yoga (Thorsen/Eisner)

Alison Waldman '10

10:00 am - 12:00 pm

GUEST OFFERING – Intermediate Ballet

Brittany Jackson (Beaulieu) '09

BALLET: Brittany Jackson offers an intermediate ballet class.
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

SOCIAL – Lunch for Sandy

This is a lunch set up to honor Sandy Mathern-Smith who is retiring at the end of the semester after 30+ years.  If you were here when she was teaching, please do come to this lunch and participate in wishing her well!
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

GUEST OFFERING – Creative Movement/Dance Class

Jen Guglielmi (Cleary) '06

CREATIVE MODERN DANCE CLASS My teaching follows a lot of the principles of Anne Green Gilbert’s work and the Creative Modern Class (or we could call it Creative Dance) would follow this style format: -BrainDance warmup (takes students through the developmental movement patterns) - introduction and exploration of dance concept (each class I teach focuses on a dance concept. I might choose Relationships as it’s one of my favorites to teach, but Level, Energy, Weight, or Direction could also be fun.). This part of class includes guided improvisational activities. - floorwork (informed by the concept of the class) - developing skills (technique informed by the concept) - choreography (class is split into groups and given a choreographic assignment and short time limit (5-20 minutes, depending on available class time) to complete. ). Pieces are then performed for the class and there is time for creative reflection (such as “what would you name this piece?” Or “draw a picture that represents this piece”) Cool Down - a short activity that gathers the class again. *class activities may include the use of props (such as scarves, beanbags, etc - that I will provide) I’ll need to be able to play music off of my phone. I hope that paints the picture for you. If this sounds good maybe we could squeeze it in the 10am or 2:30pm Saturday slot?
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

LONG TABLE – A Dance Degree: The Doorway to a Myriad of Careers (Library/Eisner)

Lenore Kelley (Hervey) '75 & Valorie Luther '85

A Dance Degree: The Doorway to a Myriad of Careers -- We seek a discussion about a post-Denison career journey. How did you use your Denison background? How did you get to where you are now? What advice might you offer younger dance-minded students? Please let us know if this is a strength of yours! Join Lenore Kelley Hervey '75, Mary-Christine O-Connor-Thompsen '75, Valorie Luther '85, Lauren Bracey Scheidt '00, Laura Spencer Allen '02, and Alison Waldman '10 for this discussion.
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

PERFORMANCE – Alum-Choreographed!

Ilke Alcasoy Emma Draves Diane McKallip
8:30 am - 9:30 am

GUEST OFFERING – Morning Yoga (Thorsen/Eisner)

(Alison Waldman '10)

9:00 am - 1:00 pm

SOCIAL – Sunday Breakfast Bar (Eisner Hallway)

This is a light buffet of coffee, tea, fruit, granola, and yogurt -- a buffet that will stay out for several hours to accommodate early and late arrivals!
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

GUEST OFFERING – Authentic Movement Closing Ritual

Susan Cahill '85

none

Susan Cahill, ADTA, will offer an Authentic Movement class!
Still being shaped, but we're thinking along these lines:
10:00am-12:00noon
Susan is suggesting
- explaining the practice and how it can be used in psychotherapy or in groups for creative process or personal growth;
- a brief warmup,
- then take people into ritual of eye contact, witnessing the empty space in a circle , then exploring movement and stillness.
- After moving for 20-30 minutes, Susan will guide processing in a way that anyone who wants to share can.
"This is intended to be a time of reflection from the weekend to say hello to parts of us that arrived in seeing each other, sharing over the weekend, parts that felt belonging and parts that felt shy or left out. Parts that celebrate or feel exhausted etc.  And finding a way to honor the journey of the weekend and say good bye."
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

LONG TABLE – Nuts & Bolts: Approaches to Recruiting (Library/Eisner)

Gill Wright (Miller) '74

We seek a discussion about the journey from high school to a liberal arts dance program. This conversation is meant to help us strengthen our ties to high school students and to current students who have dance backgrounds but are not already  “in the department.” Please help us by contributing to this discussion.  

Who's in?

FREE!

Dance Alumni–of every description!

Fill up your dance card April 1-5, 2020.

Did you dance with us?

Then you’re invited!

 

Lodging

near the Eisner Center for the Performing Arts

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Eisner Center, 240 West Broadway Granville, OH 43023

Nearby Accomodation

Granville Inn

Phone: 740.587.3333
Rooms cost about $150/night for 2 adults

314 East Broadway, Granville, Ohio 43023

Book Online
Additional details

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