Studio Notes

May 31, 2012

Class Highlights

Always wanted to dance at Jacob’s Pillow? Well, you can. Each Sunday morning, the company performing that week at the festival’s Doris Duke Theater offers a master class open to the public. Some upcoming highlights include the acrobatic wizards of Circa (June 24), the intensely innovative Crystal Pite (July 1), and the Gaga-influenced LeeSaar The Company (July 8), all artists in the Pillow’s 80th-anniversary season, which kicks off this month (see “Quick Q&A”). After dipping into a particular style, you can see how it translates onto the stage at a Sunday matinee—and possibly spot some phrases that you just picked up in class. See


Camille A. Brown leads a master class at Jacob’s Pillow. Photo by Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Jacob’s Pillow.


While some techniques—like Graham, Horton, and Cunningham—are based on a codified series of exercises, others, like the method developed by Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis, are more about exploration. As the choreographer Sara Pearson once said in these pages, “You went to class with Nik and Murray to get in touch with the creative artist in you. You did not go to learn a style, like you would with Graham” (see “Teach–Learn Connection,” Jan. 2010). The Art of Motion in Ridgewood, NJ, gives students a chance to sample this approach at the Nikolais/Louis Summer Dance Intensive, June 25–29 and July 9–13. See

Dance for Good

In 2008, six Juilliard students traveled to the Philippines to teach and perform, bringing their passion for dance to young people with limited access to arts education. This month, they return with Project Philippines 2012, a similar program with an expanded scope. The team now includes three dancers, two musicians, and a visual artist. They plan to visit, among other places, Philippine High School for the Arts, where team member Kendra Samson was once a student. See


Sarah Lawrence College
has announced the launch of a new graduate degree in dance/movement therapy. Directed by SLC alum Cathy Appel, the program is accepting applications for the fall 2012 semester through July 15. Appel is seeking candidates with a dance background who are interested in making a positive impact in the lives of others. See