OCTOBER 11-12, 2019
Shenandoah University, Winchester, Virginia
The Dance Division at Shenandoah University is excited to present the 1st Virginia Dance and Improvisation Festival (VIF) this October 11th– 12th, 2019 on the campus of Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. This dance improvisation festival will bring together a diverse community of dancers, teachers, and movers to share, inspire, build and strengthen the improvisation and movement scene in the Northern Shenandoah Valley and the state of Virginia.
Created by Shenandoah University Dance Division Chair and Associate Professor of Dance, Maurice Fraga, VDIF will be open to anyone with an interest in dance, improvisation or movement, including students, professors, and professional dance artists from across Virginia and other regional areas. This festival will feature a compelling lineup of improvisation teachers offering workshops and classes on contact improvisation, choreography, movement games, meditation, and other topics.
Relying on a coordinating committee of university faculty and professional dance artists to produce the weekend festival, VDIF will seek to create a lean organizational structure that leverages Shenandoah University resources for the benefit of the wider academic and improvisational dance communities. VDIF emphasizes financial accessibility, with participant registration fee for the day-and-a-half festival minimized to $10.
Hosting this festival at Shenandoah University will enable the Dance Division to present itself on a larger scale to the regional and national dance communities. It will also provide an occasion for participants to experience the beauty of the Northern Shenandoah Valley, immersing themselves in the welcoming communities of Winchester, the Dance Division, and Shenandoah University.
Want to participate at the festival?
The 1st edition of the Virginia Dance & Improvisation Festival will include: an opening improv jam the evening of the 11th, followed by full day of classes on Saturday. The festival will conclude with a closing improv jam on Saturday evening. Registration for the festival is now available. In order to register for the festival, you must complete (3) forms and pay the registration fee: 1) Fill out and submit the registration form, 2) complete and submit the waiver form, and 3) complete and submit the photo release form. Forms 2 and 3 should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org Payment of $10 should be sent via Venmo to “Maurice-Fraga”.
VDIF Guest Teachers
Drawing on compositional improvisation techniques, we will spontaneously compose short dances together, investigating strategies for togetherness that acknowledge and honor our differences. We will explore how to make decisions as an ensemble while attending to the whole self and it’s multiplicities, complexities, and contradictions. Through improvisational writing, moving, and dialogue, we will consider how our histories and lived experiences inform our choice making. How can our movement explorations create a space to practice different modes of social engagement?
We will use our time together to prepare our bodies for motion, response and spontaneity. We will explore the sense of touch and responsiveness to touch with a partner. How do we suggest…how do we respond…how do we create and explore together? Some basic contact principles will be explored as well, to give everyone a good foundation for moving into the improv jam!
Class will be focused on exploring a sensitive and personal approach to dancing while maintaining technical proficiency. We will examine the act of being present with an emphasis on responsiveness to self and environment. Using set movement phrases which move progressively from simple to more complex movement patterns, we will examine various stimuli of space and sensation to encourage responsiveness and spontaneous choice-making in the moment of performance.
My approach to contact improvisation is about listening to the body in order to break down barriers we set up for ourselves. Working through improvisational scores and partnering exercises, the participants will be able to unlock habits of movements that limit exploration and expression, finding a stronger sense of self-awareness and discovery that will aid them in how they relate to others in the dance studio and out in the world. The workshop encourages investigation of a stronger physical and artistic foundation to allow deeper exploration to the edges of their own dancing.
This class will focus on methods of structuring tap dance improvisation through the interplay of melody and rhythm. We will attune our bodies to the intimate act of physio-musical conversation through a deep exploration of the ancient African musical structure of Call-and-Repsonse. Tap shoes required.
The movement research of Riding Resilience invites daring athleticism and gusto, as well as delicate attention to small details. We will propel through the space in guided improvisations exploring an area of research Radella calls “wild calm.” This concept probes how we can cultivate calm in the center of wild and transformative, high-octane motion. Full-throttle motion and three-dimensional roller-coaster dancing will be matched by the ability to calmly pause. Movers will experience empowerment by moving on the edge of control with resilience, while being able to adapt, change, and bounce back.
Using movement, imagery, touch, and partner work, Experiential Anatomy combines an in-depth study of human anatomy with the creative investigation of personal movement. Exploring the body as an interdependent, dynamic system, we will expand our individual and collaborative movement possibilities through a range of functional and playful improvisation exercises that also develop greater self-awareness, balance, coordination, and self-regulation. Experiential Anatomy is ideal for dancers, bodyworkers, and movement practitioners or anyone with a desire to deepen their embodied awareness.
- Dates – October 11th – 12th, 2019
- Location – Winchester, Virginia
- Cost $10
- All participants are responsible for their own travel, housing, and food.
- Each participant will need to fill out a registration form.
- Open to all people interested in improvisation and movement.
- Must be 18 years or older.