Take class with artists at Dance Massive

Choreographer and teacher Tom Pritchard coming to Dance Massive 2015Managed by Ausdance Victoria, the Dance Massive Masterclass Series offers aspiring or current professional dancers a fantastic set of advanced classes in Melbourne. Led by some of Australia’s leading and most respected choreographers and artists – including Dr. Elizabeth Cameron Dalman OAM, Andy Howitt, Daniel Jaber, Larissa McGowan, Tom Pritchard and Bernadette Walong-Sene – these classes are wonderful opportunities for dancers to push boundaries and develop unique dance vocabularies.


The first class is “Discovering the Moment” with Tom Pritchard on Thursday, March 12 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Working in both movement and voice, this Laban graduate and multidisciplinary practitioner will guide participants through playful, energetic explorations of their body in motion, concentrating on the skeleton as a source of structure and the eyes as a source of intrigue. Ideal for all levels, this workshop will open up ways to approach our own creativity as an artful, necessary part of life.


On Friday, March 13 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., choreographer Larissa McGowan will lead a contemporary dance workshop that incorporates techniques of working in and out of floor based on her years of experience with Australian Dance Theatre. She will also teach repertoire from her recent works Skeleton and Fanatic.


The next day at the same time Scottish-born Andy Howitt, the current director and CEO of Ausdance Victoria, will lead a class entitled “HowittMoves Technique.” The class will focus on how the body can move with fluidity, energy and a connection with the space and other dancers based on Laban principles of movement, which use a multidisciplinary approach incorporating contributions from anatomy, kinesiology and psychology.


Starting back on Tuesday, March 17, dancers can take a “Dramatic Intention of Movement” class with Dr. Elizabeth Cameron Dalman OAM from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. This class will look at the dramatic intention of movement and techniques that give depth and colour to performance. A structured warm-up with concentration on pelvic and torso awareness will lead into some movement tasks where attention will be given to the use of breath in movement phrases.


The next day at the same time, Daniel Jaber, the new artistic director of Leigh Warren & Dancers (LWD), will teach his contemporary technique, which is informed by his mixed love of classical ballet and contemporary dance. The workshop will progress through a series of technical exercises and end with a contemporary routine.


Finally, the last masterclass/choreographic lab presents Bernadette Walong-Sene on Thursday, March 19 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Walong-Sene has created works on The Australian Ballet, Australian Dance Theatre, DanceNorth, Snuff Puppets Co and the Flying Fruit Fly Circus. Plus, she is a founding choreographer and former assistant director of the acclaimed Bangarra Dance Theatre. For her masterclass, Walong-Sene’s will give insight into her choreographic process, which involves physical training, improvisation and experimental vocal work.


All classes will be at Dancehouse and cost $20 full price ($15 for Ausdance VIC, Dancehouse and Dance Massive artists.) Dancers should wear comfortable clothing and bring a water bottle and snacks. For more information or to reserve your place, head to dancemassive.com.au.


Photo: Tom Pritchard, a choreographer teaching as part of the 2015 Dance Massive Masterclass Series, performing Falling Man by Thomas Small/smallpetitklein Dance Company in May 2011 at WestFest. Photo by Christopher Duggan.