Dance and the Alexander Technique: Exploring the Missing Link
by Rebecca Nettl-Fiol and Luc Vanier
University of Illinois Press, 2011
In a Nutshell: A comprehensive guide to the Alexander Technique, with movement explorations and an accompanying DVD.
Not just for modern dancers, Alexander Technique promotes an easy mobility in the joints and creates more holistic dancing, so it can greatly enhance your students' ballet, jazz and hip-hop training, as well. Written by two Alexander instructors and dance professors with very different backgrounds (Nettl-Fiol focuses on modern at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Vanier focuses on ballet at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Dance and the Alexander Technique bridges the gap between Alexander's theory and practice. It allows students to understand why practicing the technique is practical and valuable.
The text first lays a thorough foundation for the practice, introducing founder F. M. Alexander and defining the theories behind the technique and philosophies of leading practitioners. In the next 10 chapters, movement studies are laid out in lesson plan form (approximately six to 10 per chapter), citing the Alexander Technique concept the study explores, as well as how it correlates to common dance steps. An accompanying DVD shows dancers putting these studies into practice.
This book would best be used in class with an experienced Alexander instructor leading the way; however, it is also a great jumping-off point for new practitioners interested in boosting their coordination, mind-body awareness, joint mobility and flexibility in a healthy and holistic approach.
After having spent a lifetime looking at ourselves in the mirror, constantly appraising, who of us wouldn't want to take a dance class in the dark? Two Australian dance students, Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett, had the same thought in 2009 when they founded No Lights No Lycra, a global dance community that offers dancers and nondancers alike the chance to get their groove on in a dark space, where there's no light, no Lycra, no technique, no teacher and no steps to learn. It's just a place to lose yourself in the music and find your own dance mojo. The event became so popular that it spread past its Melbourne beginnings, first throughout Australia and now, globally.
Four incredible educators: Joanne Chapman, Claudio Muñoz, Pamela VanGilder and Kathleen Isaac foster their students' love of dance, whether instilling artistry, offering rigorous training or giving special needs students an outlet through movement.
When Jennie Somogyi retired from New York City Ballet, she found herself in high demand as a teacher. Parents called, texted and persisted. "I don't even know how some of them got my contact information," she says with a laugh. But Somogyi, who departed from NYCB in 2015 after a 22-year career, hadn't made any definitive plans for the next stage of her life. "I just like to see how things move me," she says. She discovered, though, that she enjoyed the process of giving private lessons and seeing the rapid progress students could make. Over time, she realized that teaching was something she wanted rather than needed.
Does your studio slow down when the weather warms up? If you don't offer a summer session, June through August can be a cash-flow challenge. One popular—and easy—strategy is to offer weeklong camps instead. We spoke to three professionals to learn how they make summer camp work.
This week Ballet Hispánico launched its first ChoreoLaB workshop, a summer intensive intended to better prepare aspiring professional dancers—with more than just excellent technique. Artistic director Eduardo Vilaro wanted to create a program that bridges the school and the company, to help dancers transitioning into the professional world and better hone their skills.