features

© PhotograPh by Jordan Matter

DANCE FEATURES

The Therapeutic Powers of Dance
We take a look at two uplifting ways in which dance can help the body heal physically – as well as inspire the spirit

Dance for Parkinson’s Disease: a class with a difference Teresa Hall shares her experience in New York The beginning of an adventure that has no boundaries and where dance helps transformation occur at every class. Brooklyn (New York) 26th and 27th June 2012. A workshop divided into eight modules, going from ‘what to expect’, ‘teaching techniques’, ‘differentiation’ and ‘class structure’ to practicum with the class of dancers that regularly attend the class at Brooklyn Parkinson Group, held at the Mark Morris Dance Group studios in Brooklyn. Here the emphasis is taken away from posture and technique to expand on the quality of movement,
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socialisation, artistry, and musicality. David Leventhal (Dance for PD® founding teacher) says, “The fundamentals of dancing and dance training—things like balance, movement sequencing, rhythm, spatial and aesthetic awareness and dynamic coordination—seem to address many of the things people with Parkinson’s want to work on to maintain a sense of confidence and grace in their movements. Although participants from all over the world tell us they find elements of the class therapeutic, the primary goal of our program is for people to enjoy dance for dancing’s sake in a group setting—and to explore the range of physical, artistic and creative possibilities that are still very much open to them.”

DANCE FEATURES

With his expert guidance we were accompanied through the ups and downs of the illness and how to look beyond it to apply what we have to offer as dance teachers to our special students…and special they are. To see people in all stages of the disease (from barely perceivable to almost completely doubled over by it) enter the room with their partners/care workers with various degrees of difficulty, including wheelchairs, and then watch them develop through the class from centre work to barre work and then steps across the floor was, to say the least, incredible. The most humbling, inspiring and deeply moving experience of my life – and as a dance teacher it opened a whole new horizon. The class is an aesthetic experience that uses the elements of narrative, imagery, live music and community to develop artistry and grace while addressing such PD-specific concerns as balance, flexibility, coordination, isolation and depression. A post-class discussion with some of the participants that were willing to give us feedback brought forth comments like, “I forget about the Parkinson’s during the class” and, “Here it’s not about what we can’t do, but what we can do.” Now, having brought home to Italy this unique experience, along with my colleague, Andrea Ingram, we hope to create awareness and promote classes of our own where the saying ‘Dance is Life’ will be first and foremost in our minds. Teresa Hall About Dance for PD® Dance for PD® offers dance classes for people with Parkinson’s disease in Brooklyn, New York and, through a network of partners and associates, in more than 75 other communities around the world. An ongoing non-profit collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn

“The class is an aesthetic experience that uses the elements of narrative, imagery, live music and community to develop artistry and grace”
Parkinson Group, the Dance for PD® program also provides teacher training and nurtures relationships among other organizations so that classes based on their model are widely available. Visit http://danceforparkinsons.org for more information. Una lezione un po’ diversa L’inizio di un’avventura senza confini dove la danza crea trasformazioni ad ogni lezione. Brooklyn (New York) 26 e 27 Giugno 2012. Un corso diviso in 8 moduli che vanno da ‘cosa aspettarti’, ‘tecniche d’insegnamento’, ‘differenziazione’ e ‘struttura della lezione’ a pratica con una classe di ‘danzatori’ che frequentano regolarmente la lezione del Brooklyn Parkinsons Group tenuto negli studi della Mark Morris Dance Group a Brooklyn. Qui l’enfasi è spostato dalla postura e la tecnica per concentrarsi sulla qualità del movimento, la socializzazione, l’artisticità e la musicalità.
Below: Dance for PD teacher, Misty Owens leads a class at the Mark Morris Dance Center

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difficoltà compreso le sedie a rotelle, e guardarli mentre si sviluppa la lezione dal centro alla sbarra e poi da un lato della sala all’altra era a dir poco – incredibile. L’esperienza più motivante, toccante e commovente della mia vita – e come insegnante di danza ha aperto nuovi orizzonti.

“La lezione è un’esperienza artistica che usa gli elementi della narrativa, immagini figurative, musica dal vivo e lavoro di gruppo per sviluppare il lato artistico e la grazia”
La lezione è un’esperienza artistica che usa gli elementi della narrativa, immagini figurative, musica dal vivo e lavoro
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di gruppo per sviluppare il lato artistico e la grazia mentre si affrontano problemi specifici del Morbo di Parkinson come l’equilibrio, la flessibilità, la coordinazione, l’isolamento e la depressione. Nella discussione dopo la classe con alcuni studenti che hanno offerto di darci feedback sono usciti commenti come David Leventhal (Insegnante fondatore di Dance for PD®) “Durante la lezione mi dimentico del Parkinsons” e “Qui l’enfasi è su quello che riusciamo a fare, non su quello che NON riusciamo a fare.” Adesso che ho portato a casa in Italia questa nuova esperienza, insieme alla mia collega Andrea Ingram speriamo di diffondere la conoscenza e promuovere lezioni dove spicca il detto “Danza è vita.” Dance for PD®: cos’è? Dance for PD ® offre corsi di danza per persone affette dal morbo di Parkinson a Brooklyn, New York e attraverso una rete di partners e collaboratori, in più di 75 comunità di tutto il mondo. Nato dalla collaborazione non-profit tra il Mark Morris Dance Group e il Brooklyn Parkinson Group, il programma Dance for PD ® si occupa anche della formazione degli insegnanti e di stabilire rapporti con altre organizzazioni di modo che classi sullo stesso modello siano sempre più ampiamente disponibili. Per saperne di più: http://danceforparkinsons.org.

dice “I fondamenti della danza e lo studio di esse – cose come l’equilibrio, sequenze di movimenti, ritmo, la propriocezione, il senso estetico e la coordinazione dinamica – sembra che siano le cose sulle quali vogliono lavorare le persone con il Parkinsons per mantenere un senso di sicurezza e grazia nei movimenti. Anche se partecipanti di tutto il mondo ci dicono che trovano alcuni elementi della classe terapeutici, lo scopo principale del nostro programma è che le persone apprezzino la danza per quello che è in una situazione di gruppo – ed esplorare una vasta gamma di possibilità fisiche, artistiche e creative che gli si presentano.” Con la sua guida esperta ci ha illustrato la malattia e cosa comporta, e come fare per guardare oltre per applicare quello che abbiamo da offrire come insegnanti di danza a questi “studenti speciali.” E sono davvero speciali. Vedere persone in varie fasi della malattia (da appena percepibile a quasi completamente piegato in due), entrare in sala con i loro compagni/aiutanti con vari livelli di
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A Story of Renewal Through Dance Pam Eddleson meets an inspiring young dancer in Canada It never ceases to intrigue me how diverse is the use of our lovely Modern Theatre Dance syllabus. On a recent examination tour to a small town in the beautiful Kawartha Lakes district in Ontario, Canada, I came across this story of hope and spirit of Steve Buckingham, a young man who had lost his right arm in a road accident. Exercise is essential to rehabilitation, but to be able to dance with expression, music and style gives so much more. It heals the soul as well as the body. I asked his dance teacher, Lindsay Storms, if she and Steve would pen a few lines to share with our members globally. Here is their story.

both a personal and professional level. Approximately one year ago, I was first approached by his occupational therapist, Anne Kennedy, who was looking for a fun and exciting form of therapy for a young man who had had an arm amputated due to a car accident. I agreed immediately to take him on. I was very excited to open the door to the wonderful world of dance for someone new and I was also very nervous; would I be able to provide for him what he needed, both physically and psychologically? Since Steve lost his right and dominant arm, in the beginning months our focus was to strengthen and retrain his left side to become his dominant side, using exercises that would incorporate rolling and falling to the left. In class we spent a lot of time on core work, borrowing from syllabus exercises to improve balance and stability. Some exercises Steve had begun at the barre and
Steve executing the Boys’ Knee Drop exercise

“Over the past several years I have struggled with co-ordination and above all with balance. Before starting to dance, it was fairly hard for me to walk upstairs without having to maintain a tight grip on the railing, for fear of falling. I decided that something needed to be done and so I joined a dance class. I immediately began to see improvements in my balance, mood and health. Lindsay has given me the key components of my life back through the art of dance. Now, after five or six months, my physical, mental and emotional life has finally returned to where it was prior to my car accident. By having dance in my life, I now find something to look forward to in my week! If it were not for dance and for the motivation and encouragement of Lindsay, I may still be faced with past challenges.” Steve Buckingham “Working with Steve has been a wonderful and rewarding experience for me on

he has since gained the confidence and the strength to let go and perform in the centre.

“Exercise is essential to rehabilitation, but to be able to dance with expression, music and style gives so much more”
Steve has really come a long way in a short time with regards to control, stability and co-ordination and this is largely due to his determination and to his positive “can-do” attitude. We are now able to shift our focus to more complex movement and to patterning. He has certainly taught this dance teacher about the resilience of the human spirit, and is an inspiration to those around him.” Lindsay Storms

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DANCE FEATURES

The Fluidity of Dance
Photographer Robin Conway discusses how he captures dancers underwater to create his stunning images

robin Conway

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lowered his housed plate camera to the seabed in Weymouth Bay to take the first known underwater pictures. With a range of specialist equipment now available, the subject matter tends to consist mainly of the natural world, sea life and underwater landscapes, although some photographers take a more artistic approach. Underwater photographer Robin Conway has undertaken a number of shoots with dancers. He was inspired to pursue this artistic direction after meeting Ksenia Ovsyanick and seeing her perform with the English National Ballet. Following his initial collaboration with Ksenia, he has also worked with other dancers from the ENB, including Ruth Brill, Barry Drummond, Anton Lukovkin and Laurretta Summerscales. Robin discusses the art of underwater photography and why dancers make such great subjects In my work the subject is submerged in an environment, which is ever changing and in a constant state of flux. The subject is consumed by the underwater environment, which means they cannot stay submerged for great amounts of time. All the senses of the photographer and the subject are numbed and, through this, the subject experiences a feeling of timelessness within the short amount of time they are submerged as well as a connection with the environment itself. Historically, the body has always fascinated artists. Equally, artists have always been influenced by the elements, water being one of the most influential. While the underwater environment has or as a backdrop within the context of commercial development, few artists, except within their imagination, have been used for the purposes of documentary

T

he art of underwater photography has certainly evolved since 1856 when Englishman William Thompson

literally ventured under water. While there are practicing photographers working underwater in the commercial sector, there are few artists working within this particular genre. By looking at the way the body responds to the challenge of being taken out of context of its natural environment, my intention is to define the genre within the context of art practice. My interest in observing body movement in water began 10 years ago through an interest in scuba diving. Consequently I spent many hours watching the human form engage with water as an environment while undertaking photo shoots. “I found the experience of the underwater shoot amazing! It was very hard to get across the position I wanted to make as the water is so strong. It made me understand my body more and to really use my muscles to get what I want. Then on

“I found the experience of the underwater shoot amazing! It was very hard to get across the position I wanted to make as the water is so strong”
Below: Ksenia Ovsyanick Opposite: Laurretta Summerscales

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vulnerability and resilience of the human body whilst celebrating the art form of dance. “It was great and a very interesting experience. It took me a certain time to be comfortable under water, but I really enjoyed exploring. The body feels very different in the water. It is much lighter and very hard to control (which being a Ballet dancer I am not used to at all). From trying to hold a certain position, I had to keep moving, even start almost dancing, trying to make every shape suitable for a photograph,” said Ksenia Ovsyanick.
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The dancers also gain a unique professional development experience, enriching their technical skills and building their physical capabilities. The dancers that I have collaborated with to date have observed how the experience of adapting and performing Ballet under water is providing them with a
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top of that you have to look calm and make sure your hair isn’t in your face! It was very challenging but I enjoyed it so much,” said Laurretta Summerscales. In developing my art practice, I have connected with my lifelong interest in dance by particularly seeking out dancers as a subject because they are defined through their rigorous and relentless training in perfecting their art form. Dancers have a heightened spatial awareness which is challenged by this particular unique environment culminating in achieving perfection within the final image. By photographing dancers who have the grace and freedom of expression in movement and placing them in an environment that enhances yet hinders their art practice, the final result culminates in a unique collaboration with breathtaking results. The lens captures the individuality of each subject as they overcome and conquer the power of the environment in which they perform. I hope that my art work will inspire the viewer by celebrating the grace,
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new approach to technical training and body conditioning, helping to build their physical precision and stamina. For me, dance is by far the truest artistic form of expression and one where the dancer is the embodiment of the art form. I also believe that the nature of the underwater environment and the grace of Ballet dancers go hand-in-hand to create and evolve into something truly magical. Robin Conway

“The body feels very different in the water. It is much lighter and very hard to control (which being a ballet dancer I am not used to at all)”

robin Conway is an independent photographer, with specialist experience and interest in underwater photography and moving image work. having completed a ba Photography and Ma in Fine arts at Camberwell College, University of the arts, he has been developing his practice for over eight years, exploring the artistic potential of capturing bodies in the underwater environment, through the use of the latest technology in underwater photography, in collaboration with dancers. robin is keen to work with all genres within dance and choreographers to create a new body of work using stills and moving image. Visit www.robinconway.co.uk for more images and information about his work.

DANCE FEATURES

Dancers Among Us
How photographer Jordan Matter creates a celebration of joy in the everyday

H

ave you ever wondered how everyday situations could be transformed by a little bit of dance

creativity? Photographer Jordan Matter has taken the ordinary and made it extraordinary, with Dancers Among Us, a project that documents dancers leaping, spinning, lifting and kicking – in the midst of daily life, whether on the beach, at a construction site, in a library, at a restaurant, or in a park. Amazingly, no trampolines or wires were used in the taking of the photographs and the dancers’ poses have not been digitally enhanced or altered. A portrait photographer, Jordan started his Dancers Among Us project by asking a member of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, based in New York, to pose for him in a place where dance is unexpected. So, dressed in a commuter’s suit and tie, the dancer flew across a Times Square subway platform. And in that image Jordan found what he’d been searching for: a way to express the feeling of being fully alive in the moment, unselfconscious, present.
© Photographs by Jordan Matter. Extracted from Dancers Among Us: A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday by Jordan Matter (Workman, £12.99).

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Organised around themes of dreaming, loving, playing, exploring, grieving, working and living Dancers Among Us celebrates life in a way that’s fresh, surprising, original and universal. They might inspire you to dance in unusual places, try a new style, or just put a smile on your face, but the photos in Dancers Among Us will certainly make you think of your surroundings in a new way. Visit www.dancersamongus.com to see more of Jordan’s images and see page 9 for details on how to win a copy of Dancers Among Us! Sarah Clarke

“The photos in Dancers Among Us will certainly make you think of your surroundings in a new way”

DANCE FEATURES

Making the Right Moves – Choreography and Copyright
Media Lawyer Irving David, a partner at DWFM Beckman Solicitors, explains about copyright and choreography
exercise one or more of these rights he or she may permit others to do so in return for either a royalty or a one-off (‘buy-out’) payment. Who is the author of a work and, therefore, the first owner is not always straightforward. If one person alone creates a work then he or she is clearly the sole author. But where people collaborate they may be co-authors. So choreographers who work with dancers to develop a dance
PierlUigi abbondanza

routine or Ballet should come to a clear understanding in advance as to who owns the copyright.

identified as the author of the work and to be compensated for his or her creativity. So it is with choreography, which can be defined as ‘the composition and arrangement of dance movements intended to be accompanied by music’. Dance and mime are protected as dramatic works; those that have movement, a storyline or action. Choreography has been protected by UK copyright law since 1911 (although, surprisingly, protection in the USA only began in 1976). This meant that the composers, Rogers and Hammerstein, received substantial payment for their 1943 musical and literary copyrights in Oklahoma! but that Agnes de Mille received no ongoing royalty payments for her choreography. The UK Copyright Act, 1988 gives the owner of the copyright in a work certain rights in relation to it, including the right to make copies of the work and to broadcast and adapt it. If the copyright owner does not wish to directly

A

nyone who creates something original – whether it be a painting, a literary work, a piece of music or a choreographic work – quite naturally expects to be

“For a choreographic work to be entitled to copyright protection, it needs to be ‘fixed’ or recorded in some permanent form”
There is no such thing as ‘copyright in an idea’. So if a number of photographers each take a similar photograph or if different individuals independently produce recordings which are similar, then a separate copyright will subsist in each of those photographs or recordings. They have not ‘copied’ each other. This principle is also important in dance; anyone seeking copyright law protection will have to show that his or her choreography is more than just an ‘idea’. For a choreographic work to be entitled to copyright protection, it needs to be ‘fixed’ or recorded in some permanent form. It will not be protected if it is merely publicly performed. To fix a set of lyrics or a piece of music is relatively straightforward; they can be written down or recorded and thereby fixed. Not so with a series of performance movements. Historically, the difficulty in fixing dance in a permanent
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form has led to choreography being marginalised in copyright law. The lack, until recently, of an accessible and reliable system of dance notation has made it difficult for some choreographers to protect their copyrights. Fortunately, the law now permits dance to be recorded in ‘writing or otherwise’. Video cameras have made it a lot easier for choreographers to fix their works and other methods of fixation now include notation, pictorial or narrative description, film or videotape and even computer animation. These can all be used by a choreographer to protect or enforce his or her copyright. Provided that choreography is original, is capable of physical performance, and can be fixed, it will be protected as a dramatic work from the date of fixation until 70 years after the death of the choreographer; or if there are co-authors, then until 70 years after the death of the last survivor. In the case of a stage musical, the choreography will usually only be one of many copyrights involved; there will be musical copyrights, a dramatic copyright in any ‘book’ or script, and artistic copyrights in the sets and costumes.

There will also be a separate copyright in any film, audiovisual recording or broadcast made of a dance or Ballet so a filmmaker or TV producer will need permission from all the copyright owners, including the owner of the choreography, before he or she can exploit the film or recording. Irving David Please note that ISTD teachers may use ISTD syllabus exercises as part of their ISTD teaching, although the work remains copyright of the ISTD.

dwFM beckman offers expert legal advice for all involved in dance. irving david has advised Scottish ballet and the british ballet organization; is a board member of the internationally-acclaimed orchestra of the Swan; a full voting member of baFta, the british academy of Film and television arts; gives frequent Master Classes for the Music Managers Forum and the Music Publishers association; and contributes regularly to various trade publications such as dance Uk news on legal and commercial issues relevant to music and dance. For more information on this topic, please contact irving david, Partner at dwFM beckman on 020 7872 0023 or email irving.david@dwfmbeckman.com

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