Studio Notes

January 30, 2012

Mind Games

Where is the mind located? Most scientists would point to the brain. But ask a dancer or choreographer, and they might tell you that thought is a whole-body process. The unpredictable and ever-probing Miguel Gutierrez, who is in residence this month at University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign, has been asking such questions about the nature of the “body/mind,” and his research is the jumping-off point for a symposium on Feb. 11. (For more on UIUC’s artist-in-residence programs, see “Centerwork”). Of course, no event with Gutierrez is complete without some dancing. At night, he raises the collective endorphin level with one of his wild and widely adored DEEP Aerobics classes. If you want to know what this entails, no one explains it better than Gutierrez himself: See

Devoted to Dowd

For some dancers, Irene Dowd’s “spirals” are practically a religion—or at least a daily ritual (see “Technique My Way,” April). This series of conditioning choreographies—some straightforward, some deceptively convoluted—helps to align and awaken the musculo-skeletal system, preparing the body for attentive, expansive dancing. For her next round of classes at Movement Research, Feb. 7–28, Dowd brings time-tested exercises as well as new material. See


Changes at Joffrey NY

New York’s Joffrey Ballet School has announced a new summer program to be held in Los Angeles in July. With a stronger jazz and contemporary focus than its east-coast counterpart, the program features faculty member Mia Michaels, of So You Think You Can Dance fame, in addition to Anna-Marie Holmes, Alice Alyse, and Denise Biggi. With a new artistic director, Robert Ray, at the helm, JBS is partnering with DanceMedia (Dance Magazine’s parent company) to offer 25 scholarships to its summer programs around the country. The school is also establishing an online teacher training program. See

Master Classes, Coast to Coast

Susan Jaffe graces Goucher College with a series of master classes, while in residence setting a work on students Feb. 3–10. On the final day of her visit, the public can talk with the renowned ballerina and view the in-progress dance at a “Meet the Artist” event. See


On Feb. 7, The Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago hosts a class with Margaret Jenkins, who draws from Cunningham and Limón techniques to help dancers move with clarity and abandon. See


While in Berkeley, CA, performing Story/Time at CalPerformances, Bill T. Jones and his company offer community classes at Alonzo King LINES Dance Center on Feb. 24 and Shawl-Anderson Dance Center  on Feb. 25. See