Technique Class Curriculum
The choreographic etudes of Isadora Duncan explore, through the action/rest continuum, the dynamic relationship between affiliation and solitude. Celebrating Nature’s unity and rhythm, these dances, remembering ancient rituals and archetypes, are simultaneously tribal and divine. The indomitable human spirit, ever hopeful, is present in this choreography, and in all true healing. Isadora Duncan’s goal for the “highest intelligence in the freest body” - that every living child might have available to them the birthright of beauty, strength and freedom. The Art & Technique of Isadora Duncan program offers to participating children, celebratory explorations of relationship: to classical music; to peers; to the ancestral community; and to the natural world. The “Mother of Modern Dance,” Duncan sought movements expressive of the human spirit; Her technique: 1) glorifies natural movement, 2) sources rhythmic and emotional links fundamental to all life forms, and 3) traces dance to its sacred roots using mythological archetypes and ritual.
Integration and Expression
In all Duncan classes, dancers move through and integrate gaze, form, and feeling to express their dance.
Learning Skills In Each Technique Class
Class: 4-7 year olds
Technical: Fine and gross motor coordination; bi laterality (moving from weight on one foot to another); coordinating gesture, gaze, and steps; waltzing, skipping, leaping, recline and rise.
Artistic/Metaphorical: changing dynamics of expression: gentle to strong, quick to slow and lyrical; expression of personal images or stories through body movements
Interpersonal Relationships (Social/Emotional): value placed upon diversity: Beauty inherent in all nature’s creatures; inclusion; honor; flock versus mob perception of group; experience of solitude and affiliation; biological need to be both individual and part of tribe experienced in embodiment.
Class: 8-10 year olds
Continuation of goals for ages 4-7
Technical: Patterning; Joining, retreating; Skip hops and turns; Victory leaps; waltzing varied tempos; serpentine path from Solar plexus; initiate movements from solar plexus (physical and emotional); distinguish varied runs and skips
Artistic/Metaphorical: maintaining connection with partner/gaze; expression of emotion, image; contemplative and expressive variations
Interpersonal Relationships (Social/Emotional): embodiment of shift between leadership and follower; self and group reverence and respect; access and expression of beauty; understanding of time and place for varied “roles”
Class: 11-14 year olds
Continuation of goals for ages 4-7 and 8-10
Technical: leaps, waltzing at varied tempos, patterning and sequences; tanagra study; serpentine path form Solar plexus; varying pathways; Dionysian step; initiate movements from solar plexus (physical and emotional); distinguish varied runs, walks, strides, and skips
Artistic/Metaphorical: maintaining connection with partner/gaze; advanced expression of emotion, image; contemplative and expressive variations
Interpersonal Relationships (Social/Emotional): aspects of self as embodied parts of divine feminine; self reflection as precursor to relational engagement
The Repertory Class
Our repertory class expands beyond the technique classes into deeper studies of Isadora's choreography, designed to engage the dancer in deeper experiences of sequential movement in choreography and in their personal expressive technique. As Duncan dancers pass down her choreography to new generations young and old, her lived experience in the choreography continues to enliven audiences and performers with a deeply personal emotional evocation. Each step, hand placement, and movement represents the technique of the dancer's expression and movement in the legacy of Isadora herself. Intended as a concurrent class with a technique class, the repertory class will focus on a few dances per session and will culminate in at least 1 performance per session.
What to Wear
On the first day of class:
Comfortable clothing in which a child can move and feel free
Suggestions: leggings, t-shirt, tank top, shorts
We dance in bare feet
Duncan dancers traditionally wear silk tunics in rehearsal, class, and performances, and our children’s classes continue this lineage
Tunics are worn over comfortable clothing, generally a tank top and leggings or shorts
Each child is encouraged to purchase a “tunic kit” from Word Dance Theater that includes the silk color and style for their class
Tunic kits are available through Ms. Becky
Butterfly tunics are worn by students age 10 and under
Work tunics are worn by students 11-14
Classic tunics are worn by students 15+
Tunics should be worn only in class, performance, and rehearsal; store on a hanger or kindly folded in a drawer; hand wash & iron