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RDT goes Gaga – AGAIN, part 2

RDT goes Gaga – AGAIN, part 2

By The Snake_4

RDT dancers reflect on the Gaga Experience:

Tyler Orcutt: Gaga helped me to connect to my “inner groove.” The way that class is structured in particular creates a sense of enlightenment in the way one can move and work differently than what one is used to.  You never stop moving for the entire duration of class. Instead of leaving an idea behind, as one would start to focus on a new idea, all ideas continue to stack up on one another. Because of this, gaga creates a space that fosters creativity through one’s own exploration of body and mind.

Jaclyn Brown: The concepts I have discovered in Gaga have greatly changed the way I embody movement. When I first began studying gaga, I realized what a great imitator I had been in my dancing. I could make movement look the way it was “supposed to” on the outside of my body in terms of shape and energy; the problem was that I did not actually taste the sensations of my movement inside of my body. Now I have a renewed excitement about discovering my dancing from the inside out, and it makes me feel like a kid again!

Lauren Curley: Opening myself up to the amazingly structured improvisation element of the gaga movement language has been delicious to wrap my mind and body around. Being given permission to live in the extremes releases an almost carnal feeling for me that is wholly satisfying and terrifying to experience. There is a sensuality to drawing inspiration from the textural qualities within your own body that has lent itself beautifully to my approach to rehearsing, be it with classical or contemporary works. It feels indulgent to have the privilege to derive such pleasure from movement, yet so fulfilling artistically.

Dan Higgins: The language of gaga has brought a freshness and deeper understanding to my movement. I feel more alive as I move, and I am able to access the deeper, and richer qualities of multiple movement styles through the ideals that the gaga language provides.

Lacie Scott: Researching sensations while moving/dancing brings a new awareness to the body and continually increases the vocabulary of movement possibilities. A growing vocabulary provides choices of endless different textures to improve performance of any choreographic style.

Justin Bass: When I think about how gaga movement has affected my style of dance and life, I think about my own personal journey and where I started. Since every moment is a new one in this movement, I am constantly retracing steps that have gotten me to where I am mentally and physically as an artist. It’s like being asked to explain the way I breathe; it’s constant but ever-changing in what is called “in the moment.”

By The Snake_1

RDT: A Company Set Apart

RDT: A Company Set Apart

RDT-5Recently, one of our interns sat down and chatted with quite a few of the company members. She noticed that one thing kept coming up throughout all of their conversations — how Repertory Dance Theatre is truly set apart from all the other companies in the world, and especially those here in the U.S.

RDT is a very unique company. It’s the oldest repertory dance company in the country and thus has a rich history. It’s a company that challenges its dancers in new ways with every rehearsal and develops extremely capable movers because of the breadth of repertory that is performed.  The dancers in this company are an extremely accomplished group.  They have to be.

Jaclyn Brown, company member since 2014, notes the amount of historical work RDT does. She talked about how RDT’s “mission is focused on preserving history in dance.” The works, whether classical, modern, or recent contemporary pieces highlight “where we have been, where we come from, and where are we going.”

As Justin Bass, who joined the Company in 2013, says, “We can wear many hats in one show.” RDT is made up of a diverse body of dancers that “can speak all different languages” whether Jose Limon, Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, or the latest, gaga-inspired work based on the contemporary work of Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. Ursula Perry, who joined the Company in 2013, states it this way: “We really do cover everything. Within the 300-something dances in our repertory, we are not only making history, we are preserving it. You have to wear all the hats, shoes, pants, and dresses.  You have to be this different era of a dancer sometimes within ten minutes. You are constantly challenged. It’s always very different.”

How many other companies can stake a similar claim? Many factors come together to produce a company that is one-of-a-kind.  RDT not only preserves dance history, but also perpetuates the continued creation and support of the art of modern dance in a way that few others have.

Kylee Smith was one of our outstanding 2016 summer interns here. She is currently starting her senior year at Ohio State University with a major in fine arts and a minor in creative writing. It was her major efforts that relaunched this blog. We hope to hear more from her in the future.