I cannot begin to describe how excited I am about this month and all that is happening in our studios. And this is just the beginning! Helping us start the month of April is our first Inside|Outside class of the season- and for this, we welcome back 2 of my favorites from the West Coast. Kathleen Hermesdorf and Albert Mathias will be with us on April 2 to lead us through some incredible dancing and grounding practices, and then at the end of the month Mark H Rooney and Keira Hart-Mendoza invite us into a first-time-ever exploration of their collaborative process! April is already promising to be a month filled with discovery, and I hope you’ll join us in welcoming these two dynamic duos!
Inside|Outside w/ Kathleen Hermesdorf and Albert Mathias
April 2, 11:30am to 1pm
GUT Motives is an alternative contemporary dance class and ongoing research by ALTERNATIVA investigating corpo-reality and the act of motion from internal impulse to external expression. The work utilizes a hybrid of forms to encourage deep awareness and understanding of the body and the body in motion, motivated by multiple interpretations of GUT, including viscera, center of gravity, courage, instinct, intuition, revelation and vulnerability. The practice is a progression of energy cultivation, hands-on investigation, somatic improvisation, technical experiments and methods of falling, flying and inversion, culminating in dynamic, 3-dimensional phrase work. The class is an intimate, animated arena for physical and artistic exploration, deeply informed by live, original music, and cultivating sensate virtuosity, kinetic efficiency, physical perception, interactive intelligence and performance-level dancing.
About the Artists
ALTERNATIVA, directed by dancer Kathleen Hermesdorf with musician Albert Mathias, is an apparatus for deeply integrated contemporary dance and music via creation, improvisation, performance, production, curation and education. In action in San Francisco since 1998, ALTERNATIVA supports the creative work of the directors, known for performance pieces that explore corporeality, human conditions and other ineffabilities. It offers interactive and performative experiences in collaboration with artists in many fields, and engages an extensive and extended population of participants and audience via residencies at universities, festivals and studios around the world. Programming includes an annual FRESH Festival and ongoing classes at ODC School in San Francisco. ALTERNATIVA has received support from the Zellerbach Family, Kenneth Rainin and William + Flora Hewlett Foundations, CA$H/Theatre Bay Area, CHIME/MJDC, the San Francisco Arts Commission and The Suitcase Fund. www.la-alternativa.us
Inside|Outside w/ Taiko for Movers
April 23, 10am to 1pm
Which comes first: the rhythm or the movement?
In exploring this question (and others), Taiko drummer Mark H Rooney and choreographer Keira Hart-Mendoza will explore how Taiko drumming and dance intersect and collide, sharing their discoveries from many collaborations. “Taiko” is a dynamic form of drumming based on Japanese tradition and often described as “full-body drumming.” In this workshop we will include: an introduction to taiko, the basic form and technique, and an exploration of the middle ground between taiko and dance – how one can directly influence the other – through structured improvisational exercises.
About the Artists
Mark H Rooney has been studying, performing and teaching the dynamic art of taiko (Japanese drumming) for the past 16 years in Japan, Europe and the U.S. Since moving to the DC area in 2011, he has performed at the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Japanese Ambassador’s Residence and Nationals Stadium, among many other venues. His many collaborations with UpRooted Dance have been shown throughout DC, like at Dance Place and on the Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center. Keira Hart-Mendoza received her MFA from Arizona State University and graduated summa cum laude in 2006. She also received BA’s in Dance and Media Arts & Design from James Madison University. Keira has worked as a professional educator and choreographer and, in 2007, established UpRooted Dance, a project based dance theater company. Keira has presented her work at many locations in DC-MD-VA including The John F. Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Dance Place, Dance Exchange, Montgomery College, and The Harman Center.
About the Inside|Outside series
A movement series that provides opportunities for the DC dancing community to intersect with research and practices from the larger dance field through single classes facilitated by visiting artists. Drawing upon the Dance Exchange belief that every body can and should dance, it programs a wide variety of perspectives and practices. Details surrounding time and content and price vary. 18+