Jeanne & Elizabeth Workshop

Green Street Studios 185 Green St , Cambridge
Doppelgänger Dance Collective
Who is this class for?

As a part of Doppelgänger Dance Collective’s residency at Green Street Studios, co-founders Shura Baryshnikov and Danielle Davidson will be teaching rotating workshops on technique, contact improvisation, and masterclass workshop/lab leading up to their performance of Jeanne & Elizabeth.

Monday, August 20 – Technique with Shura
Tuesday, August 21 – Contact Improv with Shura
Wednesday, August 22 – Technique with Danielle
Thursday, August 23 – Workshop/Lab with Danielle
Friday, August 24 – Technique with Shura

Monday, Aug 27 – Technique with Danielle
Tuesday, August 28 – Contact Improv with Shura
Wednesday, August 29 – Technique with Danielle
Thursday, Aug 30 – Workshop/Lab with Danielle
Friday, Aug 31 – Technique with Shura

In this contemporary class, we will draw upon the technical foundations of B.J. Sullivan’s Safety Release Technique work to build safe and efficient patterning from the floor to standing, challenging our habits and progressing together towards a number of exciting, hands-free pathways. Driving powerfully with the spine, we will play with the relationship between our heaviest parts and the efficiency of our distal points. This play will support increasing speeds, and surprising pathways, unleashing the kinesthetic joy which will bring us through moments of risk and disorientation in our dancing. If we accept that the body is always falling, we begin to understand that our task is only to guide it safely from up to down and then ride our momentum and structural organization from down to up again.

In a time when we are increasingly detached and technologically dependent, what type of communication humanizes us? What kind of communication establishes and reinforces bonds rather than isolates us? When we practice Contact Improvisation, our primal faculties are on display, which can remind us of the pure essence of human communication. Each dancer is relying on their own body, the most complex operating system we have access to, using the body as a human landscape and exploring movement in the relation to earth’s physical laws as well as a partner. We believe that CI challenges our overwhelming acceptance of media ecology, offering a respite from our dependence on virtual information. Contact Improvisation is analog versus digital. It is subversive in a time with so much digital dependence. The practice of Contact Improvisation provides an opportunity to zoom into the ecology of the body and then out to experience composition, community, and culture. We are simultaneously negotiating shared choice-making with another human, creating new languages and mode of communication with every dance. When examining the etymology of the word communication, we learn that it literally means “to make common.” With this non-verbal language, we build community through communication.

This contemporary/postmodern release technique class will aim at developing a balance between force and freedom, a directed impulse, a clarity of intention and the release of weight and tension in epically-large movement. We will approach challenging material and physicality using exercises based on gravity, momentum and spirals. Emphasis will be placed on a tactile connection with the floor, the relationship between the body’s axis and space, and the equilibrium between muscular engagement, efficiency, and effort. Participants will explore new pleasures as they play with the forces of gravity, levity, momentum and inertia. Class begins on the floor and will proceed to dynamic core strength building exercises on the floor and standing, geared towards full-body engagement, increasing articulation, flexibility and ease in the joints. We will be encouraged to take risks, devour space, and find joy.

This masterclass/workshop/lab (what is it?) will focus on exploring and seeking the raisons d’être of our authentic or not-so-authentic movement vocabularies. We will begin with a guided group meditation, followed by a mildly structured and somewhat guided movement- meditation-improvisation. This movement-meditation-improv will focus on the practice and search for the essence behind the movement; we will pursue feelings, thoughts, and patterns in our movement language and seek greater expansiveness and enrichment. This is laboratory that fosters a judgment-free space, allowing for courage, compassion, creativity and authenticity to blossom (or not, really that’s up to us!) But we will attempt to join with other moving bodies in a space, and we will contemplate how time and space can perhaps get us what we need and want.Through movement. If we are feeling it, we may play with distinguishing between ‘composition’ and ‘choreography’. We may explore our ideas about our favorite choreographic and/or compositional tools, tactics, and score building practices. We may even engage in these practices and make something, but then again, maybe we will just move our bodies together in space.