Hey, ProDancers - guess who is in Leeds this week? Jo Fong, the one and only, is back for four days, after teaching for us in April last year.
Jo has a few years of dancing experience behind her, with some various people – DV8, Rosas, Rambert – need I say more? I enjoyed her classes immensely last year so I was pretty excited to have more Jo Fong in my life, when I joined class yesterday. What’s very special about her class is the humour, playfulness and warmth that she brings into the studio. She reminds me that dancing is about pleasure, which I funnily enough tend to forget when walking into the studio at 9am.
Last year, her classes started with led improvisation, which moved into set material towards the end. Warming up with your own way of moving, to move into exploring somebody else’s movement pattern, was a concept that I found very interesting and also helpful in some ways. The start up of improvisation games and pathways was like telling my body that: ‘chill out, we’re in the comfort zone’. When continuing into unknown territory (i.e. the set phrases) I found myself relaxing into a movement language that wasn’t mine, in a way that I scarcely do when jumping straight into exercises in a more conventional class setting. It was a sort of revelatory experience.
I ask Jo if she is planning on doing something similar this week? ‘Oh yes, we did that last year, didn’t we?’ she says and then continues: ‘I had never tried that before!’ Each Jo Fong class is apparently a unique experience, so I think you all should come along this week to try it!