sugar space

upcoming workshop…
March 28, 2010, 12:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Now Practices

Summer Workshop and Performance June 21-26, 2010
a dance improvisation experience

facilitated by
Brandin Steffensen (NYC) and Graham Brown (SLC)
including Nancy Stark Smith’s group improvisation form Underscore

presented by Sugar Space….

Now Practices

Mon thru Fri, June 21-25, 12:15-5:15 pm

The peak experience for an improviser is when the judging mind quiets and the moment takes over.  In this state we embrace new and unfamiliar territory.  Our intuition guides us through the shared dance space, interacting seamlessly with our fellow improvisers. This workshop will focus on finding this state-of-being within solo, duet, and group structures. Specific focuses will include:

  • unlocking potential within improvisation
  • moving in and out of the floor, flying and falling
  • Contact Improvisation concepts
  • solo and group improvisation performance practices
  • an introduction to Underscore

Now The Show

Friday, June 25, 8:00 pm

Now The Show will include a work created with workshop participants, as well as performances by Brandin, Graham, and other invited guest artists.

Saturday, June 26, 6:00-10:00 pm

Brandin and Graham will introduce workshop participants to Nancy Stark Smith’s group improvisational form known throughout the world as the Underscore.  It is a distillation of decades of research into  practices that improvisers from all different backgrounds can readily experience.

“The Underscore is a framework for practicing and researching dance improvisation… It is a score that guides dancers through… ‘changing states’… (which) can be seen as a vehicle for incorporating Contact Improvisation into a broader arena of improvisational practice; for developing greater ease dancing in spherical space – alone and with others; and for integrating kinesthetic and compositional concerns while improvising. The Underscore is also being used in the CI community worldwide as a way to focus and concentrate Contact jams.”

– Nancy Stark Smith, Caught Falling

Early Registration, deadline May 1st $200

Registration after May 1st is $250

Registration includes:

  • classes Monday thru Friday,12:15-5:15 pm, June 21-25
  • Now The Show on Friday, June 25.
  • participation in the Underscore, Saturday, June 26th

Photo: Chris Woltmann

Brandin Steffensen (NYC) is an independent dance artist based in Brooklyn, NY.  Practicing the Underscore in New York led him to an apprenticeship with Nancy Stark Smith at Bates Dance Festival, 2009.  Since then he has been facilitating Underscores in New York City.  Brandin is eager to share the form with the Salt Lake City dance community. He has toured his solo adaptation of Deborah Hay’s NEWS extensively around the United States.  His work with Ms. Hay has tremendously influenced the way he approaches performance and improvisation.  Brandin holds a BFA from the University of Utah.  He danced with Ririe Woodbury Dance Company for four years and took part in the reconstruction and performance of many of Alwin Nikolais’ masterworks. He danced in the repertory of Charlotte Boye-Christensen, Doug Varone, Sean Curran, Steven Koester, and many others. Since his move to New York he has had the pleasure of dancing with choreographers including Brian Brooks, Tiffany Mills, Cherylyn Lavignino, Christopher Williams, Lawrence Goldhuber, and Yoshiko Chuma, among others.  He choreographed for Jonathan Caouette’s film, Mountain Park, and his Pentamodal Duet has been presented at Dance Theater Workshop, AIR, and the Harkness Y.  He presently dances with the lovely Keely Garfield.

Graham Brown (SLC) has had a rich and broad freelance career, including performing, directing, teaching, creating work, researching, and writing. Graham is the founder and co-director of Movement Forum (MoFo), a Salt Lake City based dance improvisation performance company.  His most recent of three full length improvisational shows with MoFo received City Weekly’s 2009 Staff Choice Arty’s award for “best un-choreography.”  Graham has performed with choreographers and companies including Stephen Koester, PearsonWidrig DanceTheatre, Juan Carlos Claudio, Erin Lehua Brown, RawMoves, and The John/Allen Project.  He has performed in the Seattle Festival of Alternative Dance and Improvisation (SFADI), New York International Fringe Festival, Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston, Maine, and the Open Look Festival in St Petersburg, Russia.   Graham holds a BFA from the University of Utah and is currently adjunct faculty at Utah Valley University.  He teaches modern dance technique, improvisation, and dance theory.   He has been featured as a guest improviser and contact improvisation teacher at the Open Look Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company summer workshop, the Utah Dance Educators Organization conference, the American College Dance Festival, as well as many Universities and Colleges throughout the country.  His writings on improvisation have been published in, the Utah Dance Educators Organization, and Contact Quarterly.

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