A Day of Dance was started earlier in the week when Executive Director Peter Pucci volunteered to teach a Pilobolus style partnering class to Renee Gerardo’s composition students. Renee is the Director of the Dance Program at Washington College. She wanted to give her students a new experience with modern dance partnering and explore partnering opportunities through contact improvisation.
On March 25, over 55 local dancers took classes on stage at the Decker Theatre in the Gibson Center for the Arts Center on the campus of Washington College in Chestertown for a Day of Dance sponsored by the Carole Cascio Fund for Mind Movement Dance Connections.
Ballet was taught by Val Goncharov, a former principal dancer with the Russian Ballet Theater of Delaware. Renee Gerardo taught a contemporary Modern Dance class. Hip Hop was taught by Adrienne Kraus Latanishen, a professional choreographer and dancer from Baltimore, and Peter Pucci taught a partnering/choreography workshop.
Dancers came from many different schools in the area. Washington College dancers were represented, as well as the Mid Shore Dance Academy in Centerville, To The Pointe Studio in Ridgely, New Motions Dance Center in Cambridge, Ballet Theatre of Maryland in Annapolis, Eastern Shore Dance Academy also in Cambridge, Queen Anne’s County High School, Kent County High School, and Centerville Middle School.
Val Goncharov taught a Russian technique ballet class. It was something completely new for most of the dancers. It was a challenging class and an approach to a classical ballet class that at times was completely new and still very familiar.
Renee Gerardo’s contemporary modern class was energetic and fast moving with a variety of floor work and a number of off-balance movement phrases. Renee was enthusiastic and encouraged the dancers to have fun moving to upbeat contemporary music.
Adrienne Kraus Latanishen was equally energetically and encouraging as she taught the dancers a new hip-hop routine she recently choreographed to hip-hop music. A lot of the dancers had the opportunity to work with Adrienne last fall at Chesapeake College and they were happy to be back in class with her.
Peter shared his partnering expertise with the dancers as they explored counter balances and weight transfer exercises. The dancers explored elements of choreography and in groups of four and started creating short dance studies where each participant was a choreographer and a dancer, then learned each other’s movement phrase. The groups combined the phrases into their own unique movement study. Music was randomly assigned to their dance study. Then an impressive variety of surprises were created with this spontaneous approach to creating new choreography.
It was a very busy and action-packed day for all of the
participants who joined lively sessions with the guest artist instructors.
All of the guest artists then participated in a Q&A with the dancers while they enjoyed a snack break provided by the Carole Cascio Fund.
It was another spectacular Day of Dance thanks to everyone who participated and watched!