The New Jersey SummerDance 2009 program is more than just a workshop—it’s a dance education revival for teachers and students seeking inspiration. Begun in the early 1990s, the weeklong interactive event, hosted by the Union, NJ–based Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, provides master classes in modern and cultural dance technique, repertory and composition, while exploring other dance-related topics, like film and dance criticism. Its challenging class setting draws from the CDDC repertory, with an emphasis on center-driven movement, weight transfer, breath phrasing, musicality and strong technique. This year featured guest artists will teach master classes/workshops, including “Choreography for the Camera I and II” (Susannah Newman), “Folk Dance of the Philippines” (Mica Bernas) and “The Dancing Life” (Carolyn Dorfman and Company).
The program culminates in a community-wide company and participant performance—a marriage of the learning and integration that is a trademark of Dorfman’s teaching aesthetic. “The artist training focuses on three levels: the instrument; the thinking, feeling, creative human being; and the ensemble—dancing as part of a community,” she says. SummerDance alumna Michelle Perosi, of the Union County Vocational Technical School Academy for Performing Arts, calls the workshop “challenging, inspirational, intimate and resourceful,” and credits Dorfman with “opening my heart, mind and body to absorb whatever more you have to provide!” DT

Program Statistics: 

Prospective participants: Intergenerational program open to students and teachers seeking dance immersion and professional development


Date/time: August 17–21, 2009; Monday–Friday, 9:30 am–4:30 pm


Location: Kean University, (D’Angola Building), 1000 Morris Avenue, Union, New Jersey 07083


Registration: $325, includes all classes, materials and a CDDC T-shirt. (Lunch is not provided.) CDDC will award a limited number of scholarships to participants, based on financial need, to cover tuition and transportation.


Director/founder: Artistic Director Carolyn Dorfman founded her company, CDCC, in 1982. She holds a BFA in dance from the University of Michigan, with certification to teach K–12, and an MFA degree from New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts, respectively. She leads residencies on professional development and master classes at major universities nationwide. Dorfman has received five choreography fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and won the Jewish Women in the Arts Award for Dance in 2004.


Fun fact: SummerDance participants with a love of the camera, sewing machine or director’s chair can explore their behind-the-scenes dreams through “The Making of Art”—a workshop where experienced composers, costume and lighting designers and stage managers will discuss the art of creation.


Contact: Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, 2780 Morris Ave, #1-A, Union, NJ 07083; 908-687-8855; info.cddc@verizon.net; www.cddc.info

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