After attending a Somatics Conference followed by the Bill Evans Teacher’s Intensive in Brockport, I was asked to write a brief synopsis for the Friends of Brockport blog. Here’s a copy of what I’ve written, but check out the rest of what’s going on in the Brockport dance department here.
Bill Evans Teachers’ Intensive
This past week I had the pleasure of attending the 37th Annual Bill Evans Summer Institute of Dance, hosted at The College of Brockport. Formatted as a Teacher’s Intensive, it brought together dance educators from all over. The intensive began with a bang – opening with the Bill Evans and Friends Summer Dance Concert II, featuring works from across the country, before heading into a full week.
Throughout the week there was such a breadth and depth of information presented through basic Bartenieff Fundamentals patterning, Laban-Based Modern Technique and Laban-Based Ballet. Participants were also offered the opportunity to dig deeper into Laban concepts with William Evans and MFA candidate Colleen Culley before heading to an evening Pedagogy Seminar with Don Halquist. Each of these classes folded into one another as the information presented by Evans and Culley supported and encouraged the movement experiences provided by Evans and the rest of the intensive’s teaching faculty (Cadence Whittier, Heather Acomb, and Vanessa Van Wormer).
While I know that my dancing and teaching will forever be influenced by the events of this week’s classes, it is the generosity and openness of all whom were present that I will carry with me everyday. Within hours of being together, we had created our own dancing community – a community that supported one another while being generous with knowledge, both given and received. It was a judgment-free intensive; we all were able to move and speak freely without fear.
This coupling of allowing openness and care, while also supporting internal reflecting and connectivity, is what made the intensive so powerful. Yes, the week began with a room full of adept dancers and educators with beautiful souls, but by the end of the week it was the souls that were shining through in movement – it was these souls who made the week-long experience so wonderful for each participant. It is no wonder that each summer dancers and educators keep coming back for this experience, an opportunity for growing relationships and integrating movement.