Dance Exchange Artistic Director Cassie Meador will be teaching both our Dancers Over 50 Class on Mondays, and our FRIDAY CLASS for the month of January. We jokingly call the way Cassie moves “Meador Technique”, and although I’m not in favor of creating another codified technique, I can say that my dancing changed drastically when I began working with her. On first glance, her movement seems to be about sequencing through the body, quick rhythmic changes, and finding weight in the pelvis. The way these qualities manifest into movement is interesting, but in Cassie’s phrasework, its the relationship between these three things that is most exciting, and most challenging. The physical exploration into the “what” and “how” and “why” of particular movements builds a a complexity that is so satisfying: executing the movement is fulfilling, as is the knowledge that you might not ever get to its depth.
Cassie’s class description and bio are below. She’ll teach in our Monday Dancers Over 50 class from 9-10:30am on January 23 and 30, and in our FRIDAY CLASS on January 13, 20 and 27 from 9:30-11:15am. Class is $12. See our calendar for a complete schedule.
Class description: This class offers a space for dancers to explore both an individual and ensemble -oriented approach to movement. We will examine ways to harness our experiences in and out of the dance studio to push our physical and expressive range. We will look for ways to call on our training and histories, as well as ways to release them fearlessly to expand our potential as movers. The class is structured to investigate space and sensation through improvisation and set material. We will warm up and tune our bodies to be ready to move with our full range and power. We will challenge our minds and bodies as we nurture the joy we have for moving. The class builds towards phrase and performance work that pulls from Meador’s current project, How to Lose a Mountain. Material is taught by breaking down in detail initiations, the pelvic relationship to the ground, and moments of re-directing spatially. We will work collaboratively in class to offer direct feedback for one another. Over the course of the month, the class will be shaped in response to the strengths and curiosities of the group as we challenge and cultivate our approaches to moving.
Cassie Meador is a choreographer, performer, educator and Artistic Director of the Dance Exchange. Her work is imbued with a passion for her surroundings, a belief in the human capacity for change, and a conviction that art can be a potent form of research and communication. In recent years, Cassie’s choreographic investigations have tackled numerous social and environmental issues through the synthesis of movement, sound, and striking visual images. Drift, her 2008 work commissioned by the Kennedy Center and recognized with a Metro DC Dance Award, explores the human relationship to land over time. Her current choreographic project, How To Lose a Mountain, will incorporate a 500-mile walk from Washington, D.C. to West Virginia to trace the sources of the energy that fuel her home. Her Moving Field Guides, an interactive experience led by artists, naturalists and regional experts in ecology, is being implemented in partnership with the USDA Forest Service. Other recent and current projects give testament to Cassie’s expanding leadership role in the arts, education, and the environment. Reaching over 400 girls, she worked with Girl Scouts of Hawaii to enhance environmental curriculums through movement, art, and community engagement, with the goal of empowering girls to become leaders in their communities. Through three years of work with the faculty at Wesleyan University’s College of the Environment she is influencing educators and students to embrace a cross-disciplinary approach to conservation and environmental education. She was recently selected as the sole artist representative to a research initiative of the International Human Dimensions Program on Global Environmental Change. Cassie is an Associate Artist of the Center for Creative Research. Her writing has been commissioned by Dance Magazine and the National Association for Interpretation. Cassie has taught and created dances in communities throughout the U.S. and internationally in Japan, Canada, London, Ireland, and Guyana. Her work has also been presented at the Bealtaine Festival in Ireland, the Asian Contemporary Art Museum in Japan, Round House Theatre, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Center for the Arts at Wesleyan, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Dance Place, and the Kohler Arts Center. Born in Charleston, SC, and raised Augusta, GA, Cassie received her B.F.A. in dance from The Ohio State University. She joined the performing company of the Dance Exchange in 2002 and assumed the role of Artistic Director in 2011.