Summer Dance Workshop

Doug Varone and Dancers

June 5 – 25, 2016

Summer Dance Workshop
Photo by Milton Adams

Daily Class Schedule

(Subject to change)

8:00 – 8:50 am Pilates Warm-up class (optional)
9:00 – 10:45 am Contemporary Technique
11:00 am – Noon Phrasework
Noon – 2:15 pm Lunch / Open Company Rehearsals
2:15 – 3:45 pm Ballet and Improvisation
Classes will switch between Ballet and Improvisation every other day
4:00 – 5:45 pm Electives (Choice)
  • Choreographic Devices
  • Repertory I: Large Work
  • Repertory II: Exploring Excerpts
  • Performance Techniques
  • New Work
  • Dance Film

Course Descriptions

Pilates (optional)
This class is designed to help prepare the body for each day, while providing knowledge that can be implemented in future self-care and injury prevention.  Exercises are based on traditional Pilates mat choreography, with an emphasis on contemporary understanding of functional anatomy.  

Contemporary Technique
This highly technical, movement-based class investigates the line of human movement and how it can affect the broader strokes of our dancing. Through the expansive use of the back and limbs, Varone’s style will be explored through an emphasis on breath, strength, dynamic lyricism and musicality. Technique classes will be taught on a rotating basis by Company members.

This class investigates individual phrases created on the spot as well as phrases from Company repertory. Students will focus on quick assimilation and exploration of movement in terms of quality and musicality. All classes will be taught on a rotating basis by Doug Varone and Company members.

This class aims to explore ballet as a contemporary movement practice, bridging the space between tradition and potential. Approached through an anatomical lens, students will be encouraged to discover their individual perspectives on effectiveness in the ballet classroom. First and foremost, this is a dance class full of abundant dancing. Through ballet's structure and freedom, its stimulating technical challenges, and its shared community, this class will offer space for relevant and positive discourse around a potentially powerful form.

This class focuses primarily on the instinctual and immediate reaction to stimuli in order to develop an deeper awareness of inherent patterns and habits. Through practice and discussion, dancers will identify and harness the potency of impulse and response to develop more dynamic artistry and performance


Choreographic Devices taught by Doug Varone
Varone will emphasize compositional structure and explore new devices for expanding and inventing material. A large body of material will be created, varied and manipulated both in and out of the studio, pushing towards the development of a new work utilizing the material built in class. For students seriously interested in choreography. Students wishing to enroll should submit a resume describing their choreographic experience.

Repertory I: Large Work
One of Varone's larger works will be staged for informal performance at the end of the workshop. The class will focus on movement dynamics and spatial awareness within group choreography.

Repertory II: Exploring Excerpts
This class will spend intense spans of time exploring excerpts from a variety of pieces, offering an overview of Varone's work.  The class will experience the wide range of movement dynamics, emotional nuance and spatial architecture inherent in Varone's choreography.

Performance Techniques
This class will investigate dance as a performing experience by examining how to communicate most clearly and honestly.

New Work
Participants will be involved in the creative process, and will have the opportunity to explore the personal and performance aspects in work choreographed by a Company member.

Dance Film
In this hands-on class, students will view and critically assess dance through the camera's lens.  Students will screen both Varone's and other’s film works to gain a perspective on the Dance Film genre.  After learning basic skills in cinematography and editing, students will create their own films, honing their creative eye in a new way.  We will utilize Varone’s repertory in different projects, exploring the cinematic texture of his work, and experiencing the limitless possibilities that choreography for the camera can offer. No prior experience with video editing is necessary -- space is limited.  All equipment is supplied

Supplemental Activities

Additional activities include a performance of Doug Varone and Dancers at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on June 17, lecture demonstrations, repertory showings and social events. Rehearsal space is available in the evenings and on weekends, and students will perform in an informal repertory showing at the conclusion of the residency.

The Setting

Workshop classes are held in the College's Dance Center. Dancers who choose to live on Skidmore's campus will be housed in one of the College’s new apartment buildings in Sussman Village. Participants under age 18 will be supervised by the program's resident staff. Dormitory rooms are spacious and feature free internet access and cable television (students must bring their own televisions, computers, etc). Dancers staying on campus must purchase the College's board (meal) plan for the duration of their stay. Meal plans offering 21, 14, or 10 meals per week are available. It is important to note the apartment kitchens are equipped with a microwave, refrigerator, sink, stove/oven, dishwasher and fire extinguisher, but they do NOT come equipped with dishes, utensils, a coffee maker, etc.  Participants who chose to cook some of their meals in the apartments must plan accordingly and bring these items to campus for the workshop or register for the full meal plan. Workshop participants may request specific roommates.

Our dining hall has an award-winning culinary staff that offers a broad array of freshly made items, including ample vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and other special dietary options. Participants will also have access to the College's Scribner Library and recreational facilities, including swimming pool, weight and fitness rooms, lighted tennis courts, track, North Woods hiking trails, and the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery.

Skidmore College is a highly selective liberal arts college known for outstanding academics, a rich co-curricular life, and challenging and caring faculty mentors. It is a place where creative thought matters, as evidenced by its more than 60 majors; its arts-infused, interdisciplinary focus; and the fact that half of the College's 2,400 undergraduates carry two majors or at least one minor with a major.