Name of teacher / supervisor
John Taylor

Period, duration
Year 2, Block 1

Study load
6 hours/week (4 classes)

1, 3, 4

Fall and recovery dynamics stemming from the work of Jose Limon and Doris Humphrey, yielding and pushing along a curved pathway, and the anatomical transmission of movement through the body in response to gravity are the startpoints the class. Following elements drawn from release techniques and yoga into the contemporary, the breath is used to soften the body and mobilise the spine. From Steve Paxton and others we examine the use of spiral in the body and successional initiation of movements to follow the anatomical chains that allow movement to pass through the mobilised body and into the space around us.

As a teacher, I have been interested in both the physical anatomical elements of dance and how they are affected by the social space. Engaging with all the senses, we examine movement with three focuses:

  • an internal focus: experiential
  • a social focus: between people, sharing giving and receiving
  • an external focus: that affects and is affected by the world around us

Content and design of the class
We will follow daily classes using the support of the floor and the skeleton to explore elements of the yielding body. We will alternate between yoga and improvisation in the beginning phase of the class. We will use the natural musicality of breath and the actions fall and recovery, yielding and pushing to create a personal connection to the musicality of others and the connection to external sources of music. We will explore dancing together and how physically connecting to other bodies changes the way we use our anatomy. We will explore the relationship between functional yoga and dance. The group is a learning community where the teacher introduces movement based on the principles of the class. Students are encouraged to explore the personal understanding of the teacher, themselves and their peers. Through this examination we construct a group understanding of the principles which we share.

Learning goals

  • The student learns to activate movement without blocking chains of motion in the body through unnecessary tension
  • The student can explore movement and how it changes in response to the three focusses
  • The student finds their own personal understanding of movement principles through the use of an internal focus.
  • The student learns to share and negotiate a group understanding of movement principles in the social space.
  • The student is inspired by and makes movement principles visible through their connection to the world and the use of an external focus.
  • The student learns to connect the curved pathways in the body to those in the space around them.
  • The student learns to communicate clearly through the use of words and body in order to facilitate the development of their own goals, the goals of others and those of the group.

Working method(s) used
Group classes. Students are expected to maintain a journal and submit process documents. Designing own research goals within the focus of the class. Forming research groups in which the students share their research, follow the research of their peers, and feedback to each other based upon personal goals. Students create own phrases based on the principles of the class and their own goals in order to practice sharing and teaching each other with a special consideration to musicality. In the end, together, we create a class in which we can demonstrate our process to others and share our research. Students evaluate their own research process and receive continuous feedback/feedforward on their process from the teacher and their peers. Each student creates a personal process document.

Assessment criteria:
Students are assessed in regards to the class learning goals and their personal development trajectory. The course is a shared learning experience and so attendance and participation are fundamental to the process.

Method of assessment
Self-assessment through a process document.
Continuous feedback and feedforward from the teacher.

Learning goals in the class contribute to the overall development of the competency indicators:
1.1 1.2 1.3 1.5 1.8 3.1 3.2 3.3 4.1 4.2 4.4

The development of the student in regards to the overall competency indicators will be assessed at integral assessment meetings through combined self-assessment and assessment by teachers, coaches and mentors.

This course forms a continuous line with the (NAME) course(s) in ex. year 1, semester 2.