Friday, January 23, 2009

Week 4 Announcements: January 26-February 1

Featured photo: Studio session for Annie Kloppenberg and Ashley Thorndike's upcoming MFA concert. Pictured (L-R) are Ashley Thorndike, Leigh Lotocki and Laurie Atkins. Photo by Kate Enright.

Awesome Weekend Workshop:
Spontaneous Combustion; Crafting Performance in the Moment: “Implode, Explode, & Blow It Up, then Perform" by LIKE YOU MEAN IT (Noelle Chun, Adriana Durant and Annie Kloppenberg) hosted by cm2 (Columbus Movement Movement) Saturday, February 21 and Sunday, February 22 at The Ohio State University, Pomerene Hall (Building 067). To see more details and RSVP, follow this link. Space is limited to 25 participants so register NOW!

Collaborative Opportunity with the OSU Department of Music
We are embarking on an exciting endeavor here at OSU. We have the opportunity to promote unity and further strengthen the connection between OSU and our community. We are part of a bigger community not just academia. We are planning a full-production concert featuring people from our community and OSU. This concert’s focus is the spirit of music and dance as one. This event will take place on May 12th, 2009 and we are in need of your expertise as dancers and choreographers to make this project a success. This concert will be a tour quality show with lighting, smoke machines, a full band, dancers, intros, outros, segues, video pieces, acting scenes and etc. This event will be videotaped and used to promote further inter-disciplinary efforts regionally and at OSU. If you are interested in participating in this ambitious collaboration, as either a choreographer or a dancer, please email Shawn Wallace, Professor of Music at or call 614-439-4245.

Note to all Graduate Students
Please meet me for the Second Annual Town Hall Meeting for Graduate Students with the Chair. This is a chance for some face-to-face time to ask questions about anything, keep me in the loop about life in Sullivant Hall as a graduate student, and for you all to see each other out of classes and rehearsals. It will be just us.

Friday, February 6, 2009
from 4:30pm-6:00pm in the “White Box” (light refreshments included).

Batsheva Dance Company
Batsheva, Israeli dance company presented by the Wexner Center will conduct a “Gaga workshop” at 10:30am on Monday February 9th. Make sure to sign up.
Click here to view flier.

Visiting Scholar: Tresa Randall, Ph.D.
Ohio University Professor will be here Tuesday, January 27th to present "German Dance, Community, and Hanya Holm’s Search for the American Spirit" during Candance Feck's Dance 659 class in the Studio 5 Whitebox from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. From
2:00–2:45pm, she will also be available for coffee and conversation in the Conference Room.

Tresa Randall is a dancer, educator, and scholar specializing in German and American historical modern dance. She has published articles and book reviews in Dance Research Journal, Theatre Journal, and the Annals of Dance Research in Germany. Currently she is working on a book about Hanya Holm's early American career, and regularly presents her research at national and international conferences. Dr. Randall is on the Editorial Board of the Congress on Research in Dance, and serves as the Proceedings Editor. She holds a PhD from Temple University in Philadelphia, and is an Assistant Professor in the School of Dance at Ohio University, Athens. Click here to view flier.

Visiting Artist: Nik Haffner

Nik Haffner arrives on Monday, February 15 and will teach for four weeks, working with the 25 students who signed up for the Forsythe Workshop last quarter. Additionally, he is bringing two dancers with him from Berlin University – Friederike Plafki and Louise Wagner. Please make them feel welcome as they study and dance with you. We welcome our growing international connections. Nik writes: “After studying dance at the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne, I was a dancer with William Forsythe/Ballet Frankfurt from 1994 until 2000 and am now a freelance dancer, choreographer and teacher. Following a special interest in combining dance with new media I am making work for stage, film and exhibition. Since working on the development of the Forsythe CD-ROM Improvisation Technologies, I have been regularly collaborating with the ZKM, Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe. As of November 2008, I am visiting professor at the HUTZ Center/Dance Department of Berlin University.”

USG Academic Enrichment Grants

The Undergraduate Student Government is proud to offer the Academic Enrichment Grant and the application is now available online. Grants are available to undergraduates of all majors for the amount of $500. Some examples of possible uses of the grant are research, creative work, professional development activities, and conferences. Applications are due January 30, 2009. The application can be found at here. Questions can be directed to Alex Swain at

Be sure to check out our more extensive listing of seasonal dance intensives on the OSUdance website! You can also find them under current student resources > travel and research opportunities.

Tuscan Summer Dance Intensive – July 1-28, 2009
Experience life in a small Tuscan town on the beautiful Mediterranean coast of Italy. See legendary Rome, Florence and Pisa. Take part in Italy's most happening Jazz fests. Work with acclaimed artists and live music. Create a final show and perform abroad. For more info, click here or email Limited enrollment; apply early. Deadline April 30, 2009.

Doug Varone and Dancers 10th Annual Summer Workshop – June 7-27, 2009
Dance with Doug Varone, Artistic Director, Company Members and guest teachers Jaclynn Villamil and Peggy Baker. Classes in Modern Technique, Phrasework, Ballet, Irene Dowd Training Sequences®, Choreographic Devices, Repertory, Performance Techniques, New Works and more. Register by March 2nd and we will waive the $75 registration fee!

New York City Season at the Joyce Theater
Doug Varone and Dancers will perform at the Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street, NYC, February 24-March 1. Tickets are on sale now, starting at $19. To purchase tickets, go here or call Joyce Charge at 212-242-0800.
Doug Varone and Dancers/Dova, Inc.
260 West Broadway, Suite 4
New York, NY 10013

The 2009 Ad Deum Spring Break Dance Intensive
Spring Break Out Dance & Mime Intensive
March 16-20, 2009 Houston, Texas
With guest professional mime Dan Cossette.
Register Now!

Check out WTTE's feature on ACCAD's Murmur project, starring Norah Zuniga-Shaw. For more information on this project, visit the project profile on the ACCAD website.

“...What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national.
Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.
In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp—praise song for walking forward in that light.”
Elizabeth Alexander, Inaugural Poem (excerpt), January 20, 2009

Dear Department of Dance,
In the last departmental meeting, I asked that students and instructors consciously contribute to a dialogue about how to anticipate, prevent, manage, embrace, learn from, and progress through, stress, injury, and sickness. Faculty and students have been talking about a perceived trend of injuries and illness, and I am concerned. Illness and injuries should not be considered a “detour” from core work but rather a source of information, and a way to access deeper work.

I urge you to: (1) take advantage of our ever close relationship with Sports Medicine and get expert preventative and therapeutic care (contact Mike Bruce for info); (2) take class daily.... Rehearsals alone create stress on your bodyself; (3) embrace the vagaries of physical symptoms as part of the art of dance... In other words there is not a perfect neutral state that allows for dance... Instead, everyday, we learn to “read” ourselves, and work through and with the numerous signals of un-, or dis-ease; (4) learn to truly rest and re-invest in your self through cycles of work and rest to whatever degree is possible; (5) discern the difference between chronic on-and-off body “issues” that can be treated through conscious self-educating, and pro-active treatments while still participating in classes, and trauma injuries that require more radical treatment.

Please feel free to comment on this post on these issues of injury, stress, illness, and self-care in the context of a dance profession.

Susan Van Pelt Petry

1 comment:

Mara said...

In th technique statement I wrote for Meghan Durham's class this quarter, I expressed frustration that I usually get injured a few months into the training period. Here's my theory on why that is and what I'm going to do about it now. It's a complex of fear. I dance, something hurts; then I start to fear the pain, and projecting into the future, fear the ending of dance for me. This results in a cycle of tension that makes the dancing more blundering, therefore the pain worse, and then the fear is worse, and so on. It's insanity. A lack of mindfulness and too much thinking at the same time.

The circuit can be interrupted. When I bring my attention to my body and away from what I'm afraid will happen to it, or what it has felt like in the past, there is a shift. My experience of pain decreases.

When I bring this awareness to movement, there's intelligence to which I gain access. I'm not sure what to call this intelligence, or even whether or not to call it my own. The joints understand the directions in which they're made to bend. The muscles organize themselves better around the bones they leverage. Some of my big, tired, oafish muscle groups relax, while the still, small voice of my postural muscles and deep muscles starts to whisper. It's so pleasurable I forget to fear the future, or worry about how I look.

I'm reminding myself of all this today as I sit at the computer with an ice pack on my knee. While moving quickly up and down from the floor and into and out of inversions a couple of days ago I made my right knee quite sore again. I'm grateful for this old friend, this complaining knee, and everything it has taught me since it first became a problem. Without the kind of information I'm getting from my knee right now, first of all, I would have no cartilage left, and probably less bones, and my knee probably wouldn't bend. The dialogue with this knee and the rest of me has been the catalyst; it has drawn me to learn about the type of awareness I wrote about above, as well as life lessons about pain, fear, and living in the present.
This message from Susan really encouraged me to take this idea to the next level I'm going to have to start walking my talk in the physical practice - more moderately, and more consistently. I realize that my knee wouldn't be as strident today if I hadn't thrown myself around (trying to look good?) in dance class the other day, without listening to my body in the moment. I'm not trying to judge myself here, but just to ask why it hurts and patiently give myself a chance to try again.

My plan is to stay in class, stay in the movement, but to bring this awareness more and more to the movement, no matter what. Even if I have to go slow, or modify the movement, or make it small and internal at first. This would be a contrast to the practice of ignoring the pain until I find myself unable to move, and then resting, because I'm forced to, until I can move again, and then repeating the cycle. As part of embracing this knee, and integrating its voice, I'm going to modify my daily practice, yet keep it going. In doing so, I am going to get to practice vulnerability, honesty, and living in the present on a daily basis. It's a nice life. Thanks so much for this message, Susan.