MASTER CLASS with Kathleen Hermesdorf

Flyer for Kathleen Hermesdorf's Master Class

Helping us kick off the month of November is something that I’ve been looking forward to for a few months now: a Master Class with Kathleen Hermesdorf! I met Kathleen this past summer at Bates Dance Festival while taking her class, working closely with her in Bebe Miller’s Rep piece, and hanging out with her on porches for 3 weeks. As the end of the festival approached, we began talking about how and when we might see each other again; and then she mentioned that she would be in the DC area in the fall. BAM. We both made the connection that there could potentially be an opportunity to partner on hosting a master class. Kathleen is regularly based in San Francisco, with some time in the summer months spent in Germany, and we’re both so excited to offer this opportunity to the DC community. I feel that Kathleen’s is one of the most challenging, invigorating, and stimulating classes that I have taken in some time. She’s not here often, so don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity. Her Master Class will be held at Dance Exchange on Saturday, November 2 from 1 to 3 pm. To pay for and RSVP a spot, email me at For more information about Kathleen and her work, visit her at $20, 18+.

Kathleen Hermesdorf

Kathleen Hermesdorf. Photo by Yvonne Portra.

Kathleen Hermesdorf is a San Francisco-based dance artist and the Director of ALTERNATIVA and Alternative Conservatory. She has been a member of Bebe Miller Company, Contraband/Sara Shelton Mann and Margaret Jenkins Company, and co-directed Hermesdorf & Wells Dance Company with Scott Wells. She has won some awards and her work has been supported by the Zellerbach Family Foundation, CASH, CHIME, San Francisco Arts Commission and The Suitcase Fund. Hermesdorf holds a BFA and MFA in Dance Performance/Pedagogy. She co-directs PORCH in Germany with Stephanie Maher, and teaches, creates and performs around the world.

ALTERNATIVA is an apparatus for deeply integrated contemporary dance and music via creation, improvisation, performance, education and curation. Based in San Francisco, dancer Kathleen Hermesdorf and music/video artist Albert Mathias collaborate on performance work that delves into the ineffability of the human condition. The organization supports the creative work and acts as an umbrella for Alternative Conservatory and AM Audio/Media. ALTERNATIVA has produced 7 Home Seasons, as well as numerous dance and music festivals and events since 1998. It is currently in residence at KUNST-STOFF arts and a founding member of [ABC] Arts Building Consortium.

Class Description: GUT Motives

A general unified theory of the act of motion from internal impulse to external expression, utilizing a hybrid of forms to encourage deep awareness and understanding of the body. Motivated from the gut (center & viscera), requiring guts (courage & instinct) and translating to ‘good’ & ‘possession’, the practice is a progression of energy cultivation, hands-on investigation, somatic improvisation, technical experiments and methods of falling, flying & inversion, culminating in dynamic, 3-dimensional phrase work. The class is an intimate and animated arena for physical and artistic exploration, cultivating sensate virtuosity, kinetic efficiency and inter-active intelligence.

About Matthew Cumbie

Matthew Cumbie (Associate Artistic Director) is a dance artist and collaborator who currently lives in Washington, DC.