Why do we dance? Explore the history of dance…
Explore different genre of dance and how it relates to culture…
Does music effect dance, or does dance influence music: let’s try choreography!
Monday – We began the week with a discussion of different types of dancing. Through videos, we were able to learn about dances from different parts of the world and its place in different cultures. In some African countries, there are ritual dances for weddings, and in some Asian countries there are ritualistic dances based on religious stories or on everyday life. We watched That’s Dancing!, which gave us an overview of dance in American entertainment. Later in the day we took dance class at Urzua Dance in the neighborhood and learned some salsa and hip hop.
Tuesday we learned contemporary choreography from Manuela, who graduated from Renaissance last year. The piece reflected working in a community and started with a shared warm-up. Check out the video: Dance Choreography by Manuela
That evening we attended a performance of a contemporary dance company Ballet Memphis at the Joyce Theater. They incorporated classical movement with more contemporary movement.
On Wednesday we had a lesson with a teacher from the Chinese Cultural Center. We learned traditional fan dancing, which represents workers shifting rice in the fields, and the ribbon dance. The ribbon is used to represent a river, a dragon and a waterfall.
On Thursday we took a class at City Center on W. 56t Street with Raja Feather Kelly, a member of the Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group. We learned how to construct a movement piece using direction, weight and timing.
We also spent a lot of time that week rehearsing the dance we learned from Manuela, as well as constructing some original choreography with the help of senior Makeda Hall. We presented it on Friday afternoon in the auditorium and we hope you enjoyed it.