Summer Break at ProDanceLeeds

We are now taking a well earned rest at ProDanceLeeds, and we hope you will too! There will be no class between Monday the 15th of August and Monday the 29th of August. Enjoy two weeks of break and see you all again on Tuesday the 30th of August for ballet with Nathalie Leger! Happy summer!

Take this opportunity to practice your first position at a sea near you...

Take this opportunity to practice your first position at a sea near you...

Teaching this week: Elise Nuding and Isabel Slingerland

NB. This week we have the luxury of two yoga classes, specifically aimed at dancers. This is a one off treat for you guys, as ProDanceLeeds doesn't normally provide yoga. Don't forget that you can get daily discounted classes at Yoga Hero with your ProDanceLeeds Friends Card.

When? Mon-Wed 09.15 -10.45am with Elise Nuding. Thur-Fri 09.15-10.45am - Yoga with Isabel Slingerland

Where? Yorkshire Dance

Elise’s class works towards stimulating and awakening the senses, drawing on release-based techniques to access greater clarity and freedom of movement. Combining individual and partner dancing, and set material and improvisation, we encourage a greater awareness both of our own bodies and their environments, and of the shifting connections between them.

Isabel’s yoga classes are specifically designed for professional dancers. The classes will focus on the areas where dancers often get injuries or tightness, which are often hips and backs. The classes will focus on building strength and flexibility into those areas, as well as working the overall body, to stay healthy in between dance contracts. We will also explore different inversions and arm balances and play with moving in and out of these balances. This way we can learn and explore different kind of skills that we can add to our dance practise. Alongside a strong physical practice there will also be a strong internal focus, using breath techniques and meditation - this has proven to make a big difference in the training and performance of athletes and professional dancers, seeing a big improvement in focus and concentration.

Teaching this week: Tess Letham

When? Monday-Friday 09.15-10.45am

Where? Yorkshire Dance

Tess Letham is teaching Flying Low. Flying Low focuses mainly on the dancers relationship with the floor, utilising simple and specific movement patterns, which explore cohesion and expansion. Involving breath, speed and the release of energy throughout the body, we explore moving in and out of the ground more efficiently, by maintaining a centred state. We work together throughout the class in order to learn from one another and to create a group dynamic where everything and everyone is included. This helps improve the dancers physical perception and alertness.

Teaching this week: Matt Lackford and Pat Durham

Who? Matt: Tues, Pat: Wed-Fri

When? All classes run 9.15-10.45am

Where? Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Matt’s approach to floor work investigates the mechanical processes within the body, with the aim of finding smooth transitions to and from the floor. These engaging sessions will also focus on developing individuals various approach to moving and performing confidently. All phrases and exercises delivered have a variety of alternate moves for different levels and individuals movement styles.

Welcome to a traditional classical ballet class. Pat offers the discipline and challenge of a professional level ballet class. Inspiring and challenging, you will move through a typical classical class from barre work to grande allegro. With an energetic and positive approach, this detailed class will help you develop your classical technique, strengthen your core, gain stamina and enhance your artistry. With the mix of dynamics, as a contemporary trained dancer you will be challenged but will not find it out of your reach.

Teaching this week: Azzurra Ardovini

NB. Change to class this Friday (and also Monday next week):

Those lovely people at Northern School of Contemporary Dance are auditioning for a new Artistic Director for Verve. For the audition the candidates have to teach a class, then rep, and NSCD need people to join in. We have combined forces with NSCD so that you can take part in these classes as a participant FOR FREE. It's a little bit like a mini intensive, with some amazing artists. The timetable is the same for both Friday and Monday:

Session 1 (at NSCD)
9-10 am Class
10.15-11.30am Rep

Session 2 (at NSCD)
1.30-2.30pm Class
2.45-4pm Rep

You don't have to commit to a whole day if you are unable to, but NSCD have asked if you could please come to one session (class and rep).

Thursday's class will run as per usual, with Azzurra teaching.

When? Monday - Thursday 9.00-10.30am

Where? Yorkshire Dance

NB: This week’s classes have been integrated into the GRIT dance intensive, held at Yorkshire dance, which is a two week program of artist development workshops, networking and scratch performances centred around the principles of fulfilment coaching and growth mindsets. The GRIT dance intensive is now full, but morning classes are as per usual open on a drop in basis for anyone who wants to come along.

Azzurra teaches a high energy class, imprinted on both Release technique and Limon principles. It focuses on nuances of dynamics in movements and on a clear understanding of initiations within the body in order to achieve a fuller and clearer embodiment of the material given. The class plays with speed, shifting in space and going in and out of the floor whilst maintaining a strong, yet relaxed, use of the body.

Teaching this week: Phil Sanger

When? Mon, Thur-Fri: 9.00-10.30, Tues-Wed: 11.00-12.30

Where? Monday-Thursday at Yorkshire Dance. On Friday, the classes will be held at the Dance Studio Leeds, where the class will be divided over two studios to accommodate for numbers. One class will be led by Phil Sanger, and the other by Azzurra Ardovini.

NB: This week’s classes have been integrated into the GRIT dance intensive, held at Yorkshire dance, which is a two week program of artist development workshops, networking and scratch performances centred around the principles of fulfilment coaching and growth mindsets. The GRIT dance intensive is now full, but morning classes are as per usual open on a drop in basis for anyone who wants to come along.

Phil’s morning classes will be of interdisciplinary practice drawing on yoga, contemporary techniques and co-active coaching. An initial focus on posture and core connections provides a grounding to explore twists, spirals and powerful energies that cross the body and create our movements in and through space.

Photography: Brian Slater

Photography: Brian Slater

Teaching this week: Stuart Waters

When? Monday - Friday 9.15-10.45

Where? RJC Dance, The Mandela Centre

Stuart’s class has emerged through his practice in contact improvisation. This influence in its characteristics brings a constant negotiation between up and down and the journey within that space with a playful approach to physical challenges and orientation. The class contains both structured improvisation and set exercises in order to cater for the range of learners within the class, giving an opportunity to move freely within one’s own body and be pushed by the expectations of a set exercise.

Teaching this week: Joss Arnott & Taylor Benjamin

Who? Mon-Thur - Joss Arnott, Friday - Taylor Benjamin

Where? RJC Dance, The Mandela Centre

When? All classes run 9.15-10.45am

Joss’ fast paced classes are fuelled by dynamic centre exercises, followed by athletic movement combinations and repertoire. The classes include structured improvisations exploring different stylistic qualities and articulate multi-dimensional possibilities. With a strong emphasis on strength, stamina and overall technique, Joss’ energetic classes push all participants to explore maximum body connectivity and awareness through speed, musicality and performance.

Taylor teaches a high energy, physical, contemporary fusion class. The class is technical but with sporadic improvisation moments, ending with a dynamic, full bodied, spacious routine.

Teaching this week: Caroline Smalley

When? Monday - Friday 9.15-10.45am

Where? Yorkshire Dance

This week, Rees Dance are in residency at Yorkshire Dance and will open up their morning class in collaboration with ProDanceLeeds.  Class will be taught primarily by Rees Dance Company dancer Caroline Smalley and occasionally by Gavin Rees. Classes will be Cunningham and/or Graham based to prepare the company dancers for the day ahead and will reflect the style of work produced by Rees Dance Company.

Photography: Andy Brumby

Photography: Andy Brumby

Teaching this week: Gerrard Martin

When? Monday-Friday 09.15-10.45am

Where? Yorkshire Dance

Gerrard's class offers a safe space for dancers to unburden insecurities and physical blockages. Classes use a combination of released floor work, technical centre practice, dynamic travelling and phrase work and yoga exercises to gain a better insight into the connection between body and mind. Special attention will be paid to developing the use of the breath, to help achieve better focus and centeredness. Classes ensure a positive impact on the participant, leading to a productive day both artistically and spiritually.

Teaching this week: Natalia Iwaniec and Vanessa Grasse

Who? Mon-Wed: Natalia Iwaniec. Thur-Fri: Vanessa Grasse

When? Mon-Wed: 9.15-10.30am Thur-Fri: 9.15-10.45am

Where? Mon: Northern Ballet Tue-Fri: RJC Dance, The Mandela Centre

Natalia Iwaniec teaches Gaga: These classes are taught by dancers who have worked closely with Ohad Naharin in Batsheva Dance Company. The layering of familiar movements with Gaga tasks presents dancers with fresh challenges, and throughout the class, teachers prompt the dancers to visit more unfamiliar places and ways of moving as well. Gaga deepens dancers' awareness of physical sensations, expands their palette of available movement options, enhances their ability to modulate their energy and engage their explosive power, and enriches their movement quality with a wide range of textures. Gaga classes are open to students ages 16+. We are moving without any stop, all together, to ride on an ongoing movement that is moving inside our bodies constantly.

In Vanessa’s class we will move through a series of guided improvisational explorations on our own, with a partner and as a group. We will play with the dynamic relationship between self, environment and others, exploring: how the role of the eyes and seeing affects our moving; pouring and reaching through the floor and a partner, engaging spirals pathways and different dynamics of falling and rising. We will be playful with our appetite of 'guiding' and 'letting go' in our attention, our movement and our dialogue with others. How do we maintain a question whilst moving, involving the different senses and focusing on attentional dynamics? We will ground practice in sensing our movement as an ‘invitation’ from the moving environment and awakening a desire, a necessity and playfulness to move. Remaining curios about how the body transforms as a result of imagination and active shifts in our perception whilst maintaining a clear relational engagement with the environment.

Photography: Jakub Wittchen

Photography: Jakub Wittchen

Teaching this week: Jo Fong

NB. No class on Bank Holiday Monday

When? Tuesday-Friday 9.15-10.45am

Where? Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Jo’s class is influenced by her eclectic experiences and dance performance styles. Working from the inside of the body to the outside she incorporates aspects of release, yoga, manipulation and contact techniques. The focus is on creating receptive, active and interactive qualities within movement for the dancer.

Photography: Janire Najera

Photography: Janire Najera

Teaching this week: Federica Esposito

When? Monday-Friday 9.15-10.45

Where? Yorkshire Dance

Oppositions, gravity, skeletal connections and spirals will flow through the body during this Release/Floorwork based class. Federica’s class combines articulate and fluent sequences with moments of led improvisation and partnering work. The concepts of clarity, ease, power as well as the search for the inner momentum will be explored in a playful atmosphere, sharing positive vibes and connecting physical energies.

Photography: Valentina di Mauro

Photography: Valentina di Mauro

Teaching this week: Pat Durham & Marivi da Silva

Where? Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday -  RJC Dance, The Mandela Centre. Wednesday - The Dance Studio Leeds.

When? All classes run 9.15-10.45

Monday- Tuesday: Pat Durham will be teaching ballet.

Wednesday-Friday: Marivi’s class will offer the possibility to explore the mechanics and potential of your body through a fusion of different techniques. Throughout a strong, physical session, dancers will explore dynamics, qualities of movement and different spatial levels through combining standing and floor work and weight shifting, with the incorporation of acrobatic elements. The class will build from a short warm up and will include body conditioning and stretching, finalising the session with an extended choreographic sequence which will combine the elements explored in class.

Photography: Krzysztof Jokiel

Photography: Krzysztof Jokiel

Teaching this week: Elisabeth Schilling

When? Monday-Friday 9.15.10,45am

Where? RJC Dance, The Mandela Centre

Elisabeth's class aims at preparing an articulate, attentive and curious body to move with individual instinct through precise alignment, flow of weight, use of time and dynamic playfulness. By introducing exploratory tasks as well as set material, the positive and energetic environment will encourage you to discover your body's full potential through facility, strength, efficiency and a creative mind. The class will furthermore invite you to enhance your perception of yourself and others in order to open the space for a powerful visceral experience.

Photography: Stefio Ceccon

Photography: Stefio Ceccon

Teaching this week: Sadé and Kristina Alleyne

NB. No class on Bank Holiday Monday

When? Tuesday-Friday 9.15-10.45am

Where? RJC Dance, The Mandela Centre

This is a physical contemporary class, which will involve strong, complex and technical sequences in and out of the floor, focusing on performance/stamina and commitment throughout the session. Improvisation will also be explored as part of self-development. The significant factors for the workshop are to develop the dancers' creative mind, drive from passion, determination, strength, musicality and most importantly an intention/ honesty in whatever choice they make throughout the session. Our style has been inspired and developed from working with the likes of Akram Khan (fusion of Kathak and Contemporary Dance), Retina

Teaching this week. Toby Fitzgibbons

When? Monday-Friday 9.15-10.45am

Where? Yorkshire Dance

Toby’s class has a dynamic released based feel with moments of improvisation and reflection. The body and mind will be warmed up using simple exercises and phrases, systematically working on the whole body. The class will start with work on the fundamentals like breath, the core and finding ourselves in space. The class will incorporate floor work, dynamic traveling, building to jumps and phrases. A sense of flow, connection with ourselves and others and tuning will be the key themes of the week. I hope we can share good feelings, a sense of fun and hard work. 

Photo credit: Scottish Dance Theatre

Photo credit: Scottish Dance Theatre

Teaching this week: Keira Martin and Vanessa Grasse

NB. Classes this week will start at 9.30am

Who? Monday-Thursday: Keira Martin. Friday: Vanessa Grasse.

When? All classes run 09.30-11.00am

Where? Yorkshire Dance

Keira’s class is influenced by her wide experience in different dance genres, including traditional Irish Dance, rhythm, Graham, release and improvisation techniques. The class is physically demanding with a focus on core strength, stamina and floor work, building towards a long phrase of movement at the end of each class.

Vanessa will lead a dynamic class moving in and out of the floor through specific sequences and movement pathways on your own and with a partner. We will roll, slide and fly, awakening spirals and cross lateral connectivity, looking at how too remain relaxed in speed and strength, recycling and redirecting energy and trajectories. A clear awareness and a specific work on our breathing will support an easiness of flow, clear intention, sustaining and generating energy rather than just consuming it.

 

Spring with ProDanceLeeds

ProDanceLeeds attenders! I hope you all had a nice rest over Easter. I certainly did, eating lots of pick n mix that my sister brought over from Sweden.  Easter is now long gone though, and all is back to normal with five classes a week again!

We have been laying a little bit low on the ProDance side of things for a bit, due to working with Application Muy Grande over at Gracefool HQ, (some of us moonlight as Gracefool Collective – we know it’s confusing. If it helps, you might want to think of us like the holy trinity: we are at the same time the father, the son and the holy spirit, and they are all different – but also really just the same.) We are now back to launch some pretty exciting ProDanceLeeds ideas, and we’ll be updating you more in the coming month, so watch this space as they say.

As you may know, we have organised two workshops this spring – one took place this week with Ian Garside and it was pretty great! There is also another workshop coming up in May with Tomislav English, but it is now fully booked. We still have some budget to organise another workshop (or two) throughout the year, so if you have suggestions about who you think we should get in, do let us know!

I will also treat you with a video from last week’s classes with Katie Lusby. Katie has danced with, amongst others, Richard Alston; Punchdrunk, Gecko. Say whaat!? We do like to spoil you! How are you feeling about the classes in general? Enjoying them? Wishing there was more improv? Less improv? More floor work? Less floor work? More ballet? Less ballet? Ok, I know we haven’t had ANY ballet so far, is this something you think we should change? Again, do get in touch and let us know. We are constantly reviewing the work we’re doing and we want to hear from you! We are currently booking in teachers for July-September, so if you have feedback and ideas for us – now is the time to speak.

Have a lovely week ducklings!

Rebecca

Teaching this week: Ian Garside

Photography: Ermira Goro

Photography: Ermira Goro

N.B. This class starts later than usual: 10.00. There are also 2 workshops running on Thursday and Friday afternoon. To book a space, visit our workshop page.

When? Monday-Friday 10.00-11.30am

Where? Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Workshops: Thursday-Friday 12.30-16.30

Ian’s class is a physiological training from a dance perspective, aiming to harness and refine an all-round availability for a multitude of movement potentials: Very physical, [i.e. sweat dripping from the walls, sore thighs the following days..!] ’technique’ class dealing with co-ordination, musicality, stamina and other physiological aspects of strength, balance, power, flexibility; all approached with an attention to dynamism, finesse, and enjoyment (he plays quite loud bouncy music in these classes!)