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Ohio University > Fine Arts > Dance > What's Happening > 2018 Summer Dance Intensive Featuring David Dorfman Dance

2018 Summer Dance Intensive Featuring David Dorfman Dance

2018 Summer Dance Intensive Featuring David Dorfman Dance

Fine Arts Staff | Jul 6, 2018

Participants repeat and expand upon movements demonstrated by visiting artist David Dorfman during the June 2017 Summer Dance Intensive. Photo by Daniel King.

 

What happens when a temporary community is formed around ideas of movement and dance? The Dance Division ran a trial test in June of 2017, when it hosted the first Summer Dance Intensive program, featuring world renowned dancers from the David Dorfman Dance. Novice and professional dancers hailing from Athens and surrounding regions flooded the Shirley Whimmer Dance Theater floor in Putnam Hall for two weeks. A community began to coalesce, visitors joined faculty, students and the guest artists for workshops in technique, composition, and improvisation, as well as lectures, discussions, films screenings, and performances.

“We had 30 full time participants and about a dozen drop-in participants, the first summer. We estimate that about 150 people came to the DDD showing of Aroundtown. It was a blast to watch students from our Dance Division, from our Athens community, and from around the country work together under the company’s guidance.” said Program Coordinator Ani Javian, lecturer of dance at OHIO.

Featured artist, and artistic director, David Dorfman has been professor of dance at Connecticut College since 2004. He received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2005 to continue his research and choreography in the topics of power and powerlessness, including activism, dissidence, and underground movements, culminating in DDD’s, Underground, which toured for four years, engaging community dance casts in each venue.

 

David Dorfman Speaks to Audience in Putnam Hall, 2018

During the Community Art-Making Workshop, held in the Shirley Whimmer Dance Studio, Putnam Hall, the afternoon of January 26, with visiting guest artists from David Dorfman Dance. Photo by Daniel King.

 

While in Athens, Dorfman took a few minutes to discuss his work, and his unique aim with these workshops, with the NPR affiliate, WOUB Digital.

Common among workshop participants feedback was the notion that the entire environment felt really right, inclusive, and beneficial to everyone's individual growth for their own goals, vision, and background. Multiple students reflected on how the learning happened between individual participants, as well as with workshop leaders, and guest artists.  This notion of decentralized learning, and supportive movement is at the core of the David Dorfman Dance workshop.

“We try to make ours a bit unusual. It is very team taught and collaborative, much like our company work. We focus on how to maintain a group, how to work within a team. We want to model a way of working that spreads a communal spirit in dance. How can each person support the growth of every other person, with extreme rigor.” said Dorfman.

Becca McNay, a participant in the summer intensive said, “It was absolutely amazing! Everyone was there to help you learn and grow. It was a very caring and creative environment with incredibly generous artists to guide you through this two-week journey.”

According to Dorfman, his company members act as facilitators of growth, in the workshops setting. “Some of our company members are younger, just recently out of college— so they grow by teaching. Thinking of a circle, the idea is that knowledge spreads like a spiral inside the circle, rather than picturing knowledge as an individual staring into a mirror.”

“David and the company members are gifted at bringing people from different backgrounds together, and it was evidenced by the strong bonds that the students formed over the two weeks. It was so full and so fun, that I can’t believe it all really happened! We are so looking forward to doing it all over again this summer!” said Javian.

In January 2018, the Dance Division hosted an afternoon Community Art-Making Workshop, attended by students and community members alike, and attracting both seasoned movement practitioners, and individuals new to the dance floor.

 

David Dorfman daances with workshop participants, 2018

Movement session during the spring 2018 Community Art-Making Workshop, visiting guest artists from the David Dorfman Dance. Photo by Daniel King.

 

During the workshop, Dorfman and visiting company dancers Jasmine Hearn and Simon Thomas-Train, presented a lecture about creative movement and dance, showed video documentation of the progression of the DDD approach to participatory movement, and talked about the reasons why creative movement is vital, even today.

Then, with the flip of a switch, the lights came up, the audience poured onto the dancefloor joining the Dorfman members, with David himself keeping rhythm on a variety of instruments for twenty minutes of controlled chaos and wide eyed smiles from wall to wall.

“If people are dancing more, they’d be hurting and killing less,” he's been known to say.

 

UPDATE: July 6, 2018

The Dance Division hosted, for the second year, the Summer Dance Institute in Athens, featuring a public work-in-progress showing by David Dorfman Dance members on Friday June 22 in Shirley Wimmer Dance Theater, Putnam Hall, Ohio University. A few images from the performance can be seen below.

 

David Dorfman Dance performing in Shirley Wimmer Dance Theater, Putnam Hall, 2018David Dorfman Dance performing in Shirley Wimmer Dance Theater, Putnam Hall, 2018. Photo by Daniel King.

David Dorfman Dance performing in Shirley Wimmer Dance Theater, Putnam Hall, 2018. Photo by Daniel King.David Dorfman Dance company performance during the Summer Dance Institute, Putnam Hall, 2018. Photo by Daniel King.

David Dorfman Dance performing in Shirley Wimmer Dance Theater, Putnam Hall, 2018. Photo by Daniel King.David Dorfman Dance performing in Shirley Wimmer Dance Theater, Putnam Hall, 2018. Photo by Daniel King.

 

Read more stories from the Summer 2018 Dance, Film, and Theater Alumni Newsletter.

 
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