Spring Semester Dance Program
Each spring semester Accademia dell’Arte offers a unique dance program designed in partnership with Goucher College (Baltimore, Maryland) and Prof. Karen Dearborn at Muhlenberg College (Allentown, Pennsylvania)
Spring Semester 2014
January 27 - May 2
Spring Semester Application Deadline:
for this program.
Please visit the Tuition & Fees
page for complete details on all program costs.
A note from the Dance Program Director:
Located on a hill within the magnificent landscape of Tuscany, overlooking the medieval town of Arezzo, we are offering a very special dance program. If you wish to refine your technical skills, and, at the same time, are eager to explore, research and develop your creative resources and artistic personality, then our program is the right place for you.
Finding its roots in the European tradition of modern dance, German Ausdruckstanz and German dance theatre, the program combines post-modern performance techniques as well as somatic approaches with specific cultural movement traditions such as Butoh or the traditional Italian Tarantismo. The faculty at the Accademia aim to create an atmosphere that encourages authentic and individual expression thereby preparing the way for artistic development and personal growth. We wish to make your stay interesting, informative, pleasant, exciting and purely unique.
We are looking forward to seeing you at the Accademia dell’Arte,
Director of the Dance Program
Contemporary in its aesthetic orientation, the Accademia curricula features intensive and in-depth study of several dance genres including ballet, modern, Butoh, somatic practices, choreography and popular Mediterranean dance forms linked to Tarantismo.
Working intimately with a variety of Italian and European artists, students will have the opportunity to expand their artistic range and experience new approaches to dance training, performance and choreography. Through the creation of solo and small group pieces, students will be encouraged to incorporate a range of disciplines including song and text into their work, and will be exposed to an array of musical and thematic material that will challenge and develop their choreographic skills.
Students will be guest artists-in-residence during a working excursion to Naples or Venice, where they will participate in a professional workshop with Accademia faculty. Students will have the opportunity to see professional performances, as well as present their own work generated during the semester both in-house and locally, as assessed by the faculty.
Throughout the semester students will reflect on the nature of their class work through a philosophical lens in the academic seminar the Philosophy of Art and Performance.
Students of the dance program will have the opportunity to cross-train with other tracks at the Accademia dell’Arte, in both the undergraduate theatre and the graduate physical theatre programs. Throughout the semester, dancers will be invited to join actors in a variety of movement and voice classes, and will study Italian together multiple times every week. A philosophy class will also provide both dancers and actors with readings and discussion topics, challenging the students to re-evaluate the relationship they have with their art, and opening conversations between artists from diverse backgrounds. The resources that these three tracks provide for each other in both studio and academic classes is what makes the Accademia dell’Arte truly nothing short of an artistic utopia.
Application procedure requires submission of supplemental materials by July 1. For further information on the spring dance program student application process, contact email@example.com.
Semester Courses (3 credits each)
Contemporary Technique & Ballet
Cultural Dance Studies: Butoh & Tarantismo and Popular Dance of the Mediterranean
Extended Performance Topics: Dance: Dance Performance & Laban-Bartenieff Studies
The Philosophy of Art and Performance
Italian Language I and II
DANC I25 Contemporary Technique & Ballet
INSTRUCTORS: RITA PETRONE & CAROLINA BASAGNI
Contact Hours: 80
Credit Hours: 3
This course is based primarily on the pedagogical technique of Alwin Nikolais and theories of Rudolf Laban. The long-term goal is to make students fully and constantly aware of their bodies and, through the study of dance, give them the ability to answer four questions:
• Where is the body and in what direction is it going? (Space)
• When did the movement begin and how long did it take place? (Time)
• In what position is the body? (Form)
• What type of energy is being used? (Motion)
These four elements (space, time, form and motion) are investigated separately during semester by developing each detail independently:
Space: Work on directions, levels, volumes, physical tracks and projections.
Time: Work on different levels of speed, from very fast to slow motion, and investigate the dancer’s perception of time.
Form: Work on the four basic postures (standing, kneeling, sitting, lying down), the architecture of the body (angular forms, curved forms, projections into space, intimate forms, interwoven forms).
Motion: Work on qualified movement and the quality of motion, dynamics, such as swinging, bouncing, exploring the dancer’s relationship with gravity, weight, suspension, and tension.
Twice a week students will also have technical Ballet classes in a local dance school with Carolina Basagni. Classes will address fundamental elements of dance training, such as endurance, flexibility and accuracy in execution of combinations.
see Rita's bio under core faculty
DANC I30 Cultural Dance Studies
Comprised of Tarantismo and Popular Dance of the Mediterranean & Butoh
Contact Hours: 80
Credit Hours: 3
TARANTISMO AND POPULAR DANCE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN
The Tarantella, in the southern Italian tradition, can be subdivided into several dancing-musical forms: love dances, war dances, honour and expiation dances and ritual dances. Their very ancient origins date back to Dionysus’s cult; this tradition is an always-rising cultural heritage of great human and artistic value.
The assonances and the same expressive roots of the Mediterranean cultures, inspired the creation of a teaching method that, other than the development of specific techniques, will allow the participants to increase their physical, mental and emotional talent through body exercises, expressive movement, an intense dance training and the use of voice and theatre. Through improvisation, transposition and interpretation on proposed thematic contexts (Tarantismo, Dionysian mysteries, Myth, Greek Tragedy), the course is based on the study of expressive-technical practices common to the ritual dances and tribal culture, revised for the contemporary scene.
The course has three components:
THE SYMBOLISM IN TARANTELLA, EXPRESSIVE MOVEMENT AND VOICE
Instructor: Gianni Bruschi
This is an interdisciplinary course of the Italian traditions of dance, voice and theatre. The course seeks to offer an opportunity to discover an expressive form that comes from the Pizzica (the traditional Tarantella dance of Salento) and the Tarantismo in Italy in relation to the ancient mysteries of Dionysus in the Roman and Greek world. Through the understanding and use of different dance languages, over time the Tarantella adapted itself to the stage. The body is our musical instrument, the sounding board through which our voice manifests itself. Tuning it up in harmony with the internal imagination and emotions requires concentration, breathing and increased somatic awareness that will open the dancer body.
AFRO-CONTEMPORARY DANCE, TARANTA, TAMMURRIATA,
Instructor: Ashai Lombardo Arop
This course is based on the study of technical and expressive practices, common to the rituals of tribal dances from different Asian, African and Southern European cultures, revised for the contemporary scene. Using floor work and release techniques, the student dancer returns to the earth, primal instincts and the organic act of dancing; reconnecting in a natural way to the dances of origin. In the end, primitive and contemporary dance meet, in their best expressive qualities.
The didactic part of this course will aim to equip the student with a wide variety of technical and expressive tools, which will give the student the ability to self-manage their composed work. This training will use the key elements of dance that are both physical and expressive: power, dynamics, aerobics, rhythm, speed and intense muscular work, especially in the legs with African-derived dances; strength, sensuality, grace, ability to improvise and listen to others, responsiveness and coordination with the southern Italian dances, technique and strength within the Sama dance, hand gestures and facial expression through an approach to dance from the Eastern and Middle-Eastern traditions, muscular work for the arms and upper body, expressive intensity, rhythm and body percussion with the Andalusian dances.
THEATRE, ACTING THROUGH DANCE AND IMPROVISATION
Instructor: Francesco Botti
The course explores the difference between human relationships, as they exist on the stage, encouraging corporal and emotional awareness through both through individual and group expression. This aims to enable and enhance incentives, to make every lesson a representation in a research project that combines execution and interpretation. The course will include time dedicated to acting, understood as a rediscovery, reassessment and the deepening of social and expressive representation that revolves around the themes of the Mediterranean dances and the rituals associated with them.
see Gianni's bio under core faculty
see Ashai's bio under guest faculty
INSTRUCTORS: MITSURU SASAKI & MARK WILSON
Butoh was born in Japan in the sixties and derived from traditional Japanese dance and performance forms. Butoh encourages the occidental dancer to look beyond traditional assumptions about time and space in order to reach out to new ground in terms of performance.
Tanztheater is a form of dance that developed in Germany. Its foremost exponent is the choreographer Pina Bausch. Difficult issues, such as personal identity, narrative, character and authenticity, come under serious scrutiny in Tanztheater, which freely crosses the boundary between pure dance, theatre and mime.
This course is sectioned into the following parts:
Contemporary dance technique followed by butoh fundamentals 1st level initial voyage: dismantle the present
Contemporary dance technique followed by butoh fundamentals 2nd level second voyage: reconstruct the past
Contemporary dance technique followed by butoh fundamentals 3rd level third voyage: experience the future
Contemporary dance technique followed by review of butoh fundamentals
Remember, repeat, and re-experience: Juxtaposition of present, past and future composition. Creating a flow from the various experiences and giving them alternate meanings or effects by adding sound or music, or by deflecting their centre of focus.
Rehearsal and presentation of the composed work
Technique imparts precision and discipline, which are fundamental to any craft and plays a significant role in butoh performance. Therefore, each morning begins with a class in contemporary dance technique and is immediately followed by exercises in the physical and metaphysical concepts from which butoh was born. Sections 1,3,5,7
1. Butoh fundamentals 1 looks at the recent history of the art of butoh.
2. Butoh fundamentals 2 looks at the art forms and culture that preceded butoh and that gave rise to it.
3. Butoh fundamentals 3 looks at the present butoh and ideas of where I may go in the future.
Initial Voyage: By altering our relationship with the universe, and that of the universe with us; by emptying ourselves of matter; time becomes malleable and the present disintegrates. With simple, practical exercises (including walking, standing, rolling) the student is guided toward a practical awareness of themselves and their surroundings. Section 2
Second Voyage. Gravity is a principle force in our existence. Building upon the work done in the previous units, the student is encouraged to consider their centre of gravity as a freely movable point, which changes its position in their body. Section 4
Third Voyage: by combining the experiences of the first and second voyages, we can imagine what future experiences could befall us. Section 6
DANC I35 Extended Performance Topics: Dance
Comprised of Dance Performance & Laban-Bartenieff Studies
Contact Hours: 80
Credit Hours: 3
This course is designed to expand students’ boundaries, both in terms of dance performance and personal exploration of space and time. This is achieved through the two sections that compose the course: improvisation/composition and somatic practice.
INSTRUCTOR: GIORGIO ROSSI
Students’ have the opportunity to explore the two halves of the dancer: the rhythmic clockmaker and the imaginative gardener. The architectural design of the clockmaker is strict, virtuous and aims to achieve precise results. Another tendency, that of the gardener who creates the conditions, prepares the ground and plants seeds that often blossom in unpredictable directions. Giorgio Rossi teaches the art of poetic movement and believes in this relationship within the dancing body, drawing inspiration from the gardener, while at the same time not forgetting the clockmaker’s rationality and planning. Thus, infusing the dancer, as a musician, to combine the imaginative with the mathematical.
“Dance is all about the man, including the voice,” said the choreographer and theorist Rudolf von Laban. Giorgio Rossi starts from this idea. He seeks to encourage sensory memory from his students, including tactile, auditory, visual and scent. He makes them ask questions, rather than offer answers, and he invites them to listen. He believes that the most important thing to teach is the ability to improvise while listening deeply to what is inside and around you. Students will confront their sensory memories and reproduce the energy and rhythm they perceived.
Feeling and leading are the two fundamental principles of Rossi’s work:
Feeling: Feel the weight from which the energy flows in every moment and how it creates the suspensions, the falls, the ascents, and the glides, combined with the breath. Every movement or action begins with the rhythm of the heartbeat and listening to your inner self without thinking, which leads to an organic presence. From this point you can begin to play while respecting the rules, allowing the intuition and the unconscious to create.
Leading: Once you have acquired a score of movements inside a specific context (space, music, place, circumstance, relationship, etc.) we begin to deepen the work, going through different variations and possibilities. We surprise ourselves, we investigate, we distort and we allow the invisible to emerge.
The class will be divided into different parts:
• Learning movement sequences
• Work in couples or groups on various energies and quality of movements in the space
• Composing alone or in groups
The various sections will be accompanied by time for reflection and consideration of the work.
see Giorgio's bio under core faculty
INSTRUCTOR: SABINE FICHTER
The course has two components:
LABAN PRINCIPLES AS COMPOSITIONAL TOOLS
In this course students will be introduced to Rudolf Laban’s ideas, particularly his theories of Choreutics (use of space) and Eukinetics (use of dynamics). Within the framework of the Laban principles guided exploration and improvisation will deepen the understanding of movement concepts and will enable students to generate genuine movement material. Compositional exercises will enhance their ability to reflect on choreographic processes and they will investigate the use of compositional strategies. The course provides students with an opportunity to develop more refined insight into the relationship between choreographic form and theatrical content.
BARTENIEFF FUNDAMENTALS (BF)
The classes in this part of the course are somatic based movement classes. The Bartenieff work is a method that utilizes basic developmental movement patterns that reinforce the neuromuscular building blocks of movement. We will work on dynamic alignment, spatial intent, weight shifting, core support, rotary factor, breath support and initiation/sequencing of movements. The system enhances strength, function and mobility and thereby helping to improve overall coordination, efficiency and expression. Students will be guided in the use of anatomical information as well as imagery as a base for technical competence.
PHIL I20 Philosophy of Art and Performance
INSTRUCTOR: EMILIJA DIMITRIJEVIC
Contact Hours: 40
Credit Hours: 3
In this course, students will probe the nature of art and its relation to the human experience In particular, students will study writings by philosophers, artists and critics as a gateway to thinking critically about how art is defined, experienced, commodified and valued.
The class will address central questions such as the following: What is art? What is the nature of the aesthetic experience? What are the differences between art and entertainment? What does art do for us and why is it important?
To facilitate this study, the course brings together the writings of philosophers and the work of artists from a variety of domains. Students will consider famous writings on art by thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Schiller, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Breton, Artaud, Eisenstein, Debord, Baudrillard and Foucault, among others, in relation to important works of literature, theatre, painting, music, architecture and film.
Through close reading, deep thinking and extended class discussion, students will examine the meanings of art for modern life. The class will particularly investigate the extent to which contemporary capitalist culture has altered the relationship between the artist, the work of art, and its reception.
see Emilija's bio under core faculty
ITAL I10 or I11 Italian Language
INSTRUCTOR: ACCADEMIA BRITANNICA
Contact Hours: 50
Credit Hours: 3
In the first semester course introduce students to basic grammatical structures of the Italian language. Students acquire a basic vocabulary and speaking practice.
In the second semester course, students begin moving toward fluency in Italian by focusing on communication and the exposure to a not stereotypical, more complex and up-to-date picture of modern Italy and Italians.
The readings in the text will provide a point of departure for conversation, which will be an essential component of both classes. These courses will cover aspects of Italian culture and society, as well.