Today was the first day of a five-day modern dance intensive hosted by the fabulous Jeanne Mamluft and the MamLuft&Company Dance. If you think I am busy, you should meet Jeanne. She is an amazing dancer, choreographer, administrator, designer, photographer (oh and an architect and some other stuff.) So while she is also running a show at CincyFringe, she put on this awesome dance intensive with master classes with impressive teachers.
So I showed up at 9 am for the first of three classes I would take today. There are maybe 30 of us which is a nice number to say twice since I am easily 30 years old than most everyone else. But no matter, I threw in.
We kicked it off with Ballet for Modern Dancers with Susan Honer, who is also a Pilates instructor so there was a good deal of her class that made perfect sense to me. When the running, turning and leaping business started, I opted to turn into a blogger/photographer rather than into a heap of the floor.
That was my strategy the rest of the day: when you are completely and utterly lost, take photos. Our next class was Jeanne's Modern class. There was tons of floor work and twisting around plus capoeira inspired, sort-of-cartwheel-but-not moves. Combinations? Um, more photos for me.
I finished my day with Demetrius Klein who taught a Merce Cunningham inspired class which I liked the most, mainly because I could do more of it than in some of the other classes. But as he pointed out, people study this technique for years without mastering it so my experience today was just a teeny tiny taste of Cunningham. I actually tried one across-the-floor combination before opting to take on my role as photographer.
If I can actually get out of bed tomorrow, I will be back at it for at least one Masterclass tomorrow and then more the rest of the week.
But so far, here is what has struck me:
1. TALENT. Holy smokes. There are some wildly talented young people in that room and some lovely teachers in the Greater Cincinnati area. Lucky all of us to be in their company.
2. WORK. As much of the world seems to be devolving into fast-track notions of fame and glory, these dancers are working hard on their craft and their technique. I don't think I knew what hard was until I started to work my body. It is a glorious thing to start to develop body competence and confidence, but it is no joke. (Note - no making me laugh this week because I will cry because my abs hurt that bad. Now I know why everyone cries on DWTS - they are in pain.)
3. GENEROSITY. I love to watch good teachers teach. I love to watch them be diligent and discerning and kind. Susan and Jeanne and Demetrius were exacting and inspiring. That is as it should be.
Thanks all! See you tomorrow. Video and photos to come. Internet is making me nuts right this second and I'm wiped out.
(p.s. thanks to Jacob for being my dance buddy today. You are awesome.)