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Skidmore College
Summer Dance Workshop

Doug Varone and Dancers
May 31 – June 20, 2020

Doug Varone and Dancers

Sample Daily Schedule 
(in development and subject to change)

Morning Classes:

Morning Warm-Up 
Modern Technique


Afternoon Classes:        

Ballet and Improvisation
Electives (choose between Choreographic Devices, Repertory-Large Work, Repertory-Exploring Excerpts, New Work or Partnering)


Course Descriptions

Morning Warm-Up (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.

Modern 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 encourages the individual dancer to be their whole self within the material, and to nurture and expand the form’s technical and expressive parameters from barre work to flight while exploring the ever shifting balance between rigor and ease. Each student will take ballet in the afternoon for half of the three weeks. Ballet will be taught by Natalie Desch.

Improvisation will provide an opportunity for students to hone in on their individuality, creativity, and ability to make choices in the moment. Each student will take improvisation in the afternoon for half of the three weeks. Improvisation will be taught by former company member, Keith Johnson.



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 - Large Work
Company members will stage a section of one of Varone’s larger group works on participants for an informal performance at the end of the workshop. The class will focus on movement dynamics and spatial awareness within group choreography, as duets and solos gather seamlessly into group explosions of choreographed chaos.

Repertory - Exploring Excerpts
This class will spend short intense spans of time exploring excerpts (i.e. duets, trios, etc.) from a variety of pieces, offering an overview of Varone's work. Through this investigation, the class will experience the wide range of movement dynamics, emotional nuance and spatial architecture inherent in Varone's choreography.

New Work
This class will focus on the creation of a new work by a company member. Participants will be involved in the creative process and will have the opportunity to explore the personal and performance aspects of the dance throughout the three weeks.

In this class, we will play with a range of partnering skills, working with a dialogue that is at the heart of Varone’s work. Through engaging in daily activities, we will practice ways to move weight through space with other bodies that emphasize coordination and awareness. From theatrical and subtle to physical and momentum driven, excerpts of Varone repertory will be learned and dissected from the entry point of negotiation and collaboration.


SupplEmental activities  

Daily classes will be supplemented by additional activities including films, lecture demonstrations, talks with Doug Varone and Dancers, and social events. There will be an informal sharing of students’ work at the conclusion of the residency.  Doug Varone and Dancers will also perform June 12, 2020 at The Egg—Center for Performing Arts in Albany.  Enrolled students receive free tickets and transportation. Additional tickets for the June 12th performance may be purchased here.


The SEtting     

Workshop classes are held in the College's Dance Center and rehearsal space in our studios is available to students in the evenings and on the weekends. Dancers who choose to live on Skidmore's campus will be housed in one of the College’s apartment buildings. Participants under age 18 will be supervised by the program's resident staff. The apartments feature free internet access and cable television (students must bring their own televisions, computers, etc). Dancers living on campus must purchase the College's board (meal) plan but may choose between 21 or 14 meals per week for the duration of the program. 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 21 meals per week. 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.

Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Special Programs with questions or concerns related to services available to students with disabilities. Skidmore College is a smoke-free campus and the Smoking Policy applies to all members of the Skidmore community and to all guests and visitors to campus.