Contemporary dance class (weiss-mann technique*)
Heidi Weiss teaches a structured contemporary technique class (weiss-mann*) with strong roots in modern dance. The class combines strengthening elements with release-based exercises that emphasise breath and flow. The training begins with a focus on the center through basic yoga poses and continues with moving technical exercises (plies, foot work, floor work, curves, swings) which allow the body to open, creating length and volume. Directional changes, use of weight, fusion of fluidity and groundedness are all key elements, as well as rhythm and musicality. The class progresses from center to across the floor, followed by a longer combination and jumps. The concepts explored in the warm up are called upon again, challenging dancers to test their edge in the end phase of class. Aside from developing an understanding of the weiss-mann style and building upon one's technical skills, the main goal of the class is to discover the intention behind the movement. In addition, dancers are encouraged to move with authenticity, curiosity and passion!
Collective Dance Making in the Moment
A Creative Practice
The Group Motion Workshop is a two hour long, nonstop guided process of dance/movement improvisation with live music. Based on structures and scores created and developed by Brigitta Herrmann and Manfred Fischbeck, the Workshop combines highly refined structures of improvisation, movement meditations, and contact dance. It is an outgrowth of their work with the Group Motion Dance Company originated in 1971. It is being conducted regularly every Friday night in Philadelphia for over forty years and has toured to festivals, dance centers, colleges and schools in the US and other countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Argentina, Germany, France, Poland, Lithuania, Cyprus, Bermuda and Barbados.
This tradition is now being implemented and carried on by Group Motion WS trainees, Berlin based teachers Jennifer Mann and Heidi Weiss, and performing artist and leading Group Motion Workshop facilitator/teacher (since 2010) Laina Fischbeck from Rennes, France. An ensemble of musicians supports this interactive space with live improvised acoustic and electronic music.
No previous dance experience is required. The Group Motion Workshop offers a space for interactivity and communication which is spontaneous, deep and direct, allowing for new channels of creative potential to open. It serves as a resource for creative and authentic expression through movement and sound, and can be utilized as a creative practice for all levels and all ages.
The overlap of participants from various backgrounds and a variety of ages, adds a powerful dimension of mutual learning and exchange of movement information and encourages the integration of body, mind and spirit.
These structures are practiced in ways of playing, discovering and experiencing individually and collectively. Compositions and choreographic patterns can be spontaneously created and experienced. The Group Motion practice creates a ritual space for building community.