BALLET CONTEMPORARY DANCERS
by DOUGLAS BECKER
Level BC or D
Week 1 & 2
I propose ballet class as a collaborative setting where new information, and knowledge, about the moving body in relationship to form and history happens in the moment. Barre and center are constructed to rigorously support the study of technique as studio practice accentuating somatic awareness and attention to the multiple perspectives on dynamics alongside varied spatial concerns. We will work on developing an agile relationship between the head, shoulders, arms, and legs while also considering ballet as a system, and as "changeable architecture". Attention is given to interior mechanics driven by counterpoint. Throughout the class, attentiveness to the musicality of the form gives insight into the various understandings of tempi and interacting rhythms. Combinations and phrase work change depending on both age and desire within the group. We will move, together, to know.
Douglas Becker, based in Brussels Belgium is a freelance choreographer and educator working in many idioms. A former dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, The Dallas Ballet and The Frankfurt Ballet, under the direction of William Forsythe of which he has reconstructed numerous works by the choreographer for professional companies, festivals, and institutions across the globe. In ballet he was taught by Nathalia Krassovska, Stanley Hall, Marjorie Mussman, Maggie Black, David Howard, and Melissa Hayden; thus, carrying a broad resume teaching Ballet, improvisation, composition, and repertory. His own choreography has been featured on the stages of Belgium’s Royal Flemish Theatre, Switzerland’s Grand Theatre de Genève, and the Choreographic Centers of Grenoble and Nancy in France, and has been visiting faculty for P.A.R.T.S. Brussels (since 1997), New York University, The University of California Irvine, and the national conservatories of Paris and Lyon among many others. Mr. Becker's collaborative process of choreographic development improvises upon and utilizes dancers' individual talents and characteristics. Between 2007 and 2011 Douglas Becker founded the Hollins University Masters of Fine Arts international extended study abroad program, under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield; introducing students to new ways of imagining their research, advancing their abilities to realize their work in a larger context, and supporting their participation in dialogues that move across geographies as well as disciplines. A 2012/13 visiting artist-in-residence at University North Carolina School of the Arts, Douglas Becker holds the post of visiting master lecturer at The University of the Arts Philadelphia from 2010-present, where he is also responsible for the school of dance international touring program.