program descriptions

TAKE Dance has participated in numerous community outreach and university sponsored programs including the New York Downtown Dance Festival, Alabama’s Auburn University, and The Perry Mansfield Summer Dance Workshop in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The Company has taught repertory workshops and staged dances for Princeton University, Vassar College, The Alvin Ailey/Fordham University dance program, Marymount College, and the New School Dance Department. TAKE Dance has performed twice at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival’s Inside/Out Stage and this past summer at Skidmore College for the SaratogaArtsFest. These performances are free and open to the public.

Members of TAKE Dance have collectively taught in more than 50 cities Nationally and Internationally including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, St. Louis, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Burgos, Spain, in India at sites in Bangalore, Jamshedpur and Hyderbad, The Isle of White, U.K., Pella, Decorah and Iowa City and as part of the USIA Tour of Africa, cities in Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Mozambique, Botswana and Mauritius. Classes and Lecture Demonstrations have been presented at the Ronald McDonald House, the Pella Iowa Window Factory, New York Cares (Brooklyn), East Brunswick, NJ for 5th grade public school students, The Union Settlement House in Harlem (NYC) and Juneau, Alaska. Through the City Center Theater’s Outreach program in New York, our company members have also taught in the five boroughs of New York City.

Our dancers are experienced teachers who have taught all levels of modern, ballet, yoga, improvisation, repertory workshops, composition and movement for actors and non-dancers.

TAKE Dance offers the following programs suitable for any level of experience, dancers and non-dancers alike.

Master Classes
Lecture Demonstrations
Repertory Workshops
Movement for Non-Dancers and Actors
Dance on Film featuring A YEAR WITH TAKE DANCE

Master Class: explores the anatomical and kinesthetic awareness of the body. The student is introduced to concepts such as strength emanating from the center, skeletal alignment, use of breath, mobility in the torso, the power of gesture, connection to the floor (“grounded-ness”) gravity, dynamic quality, musicality and the relationship of the body to the proscenium space as well as the other performers.  The Technique class consists of exercises to warm up the body and develop muscle tone, agility and fluidity of movement.  As the class progresses, combinations become longer and more intricate culminating in a combination going across the floor that gives the student the chance to fully experience moving in the phrasing of the individual dance style.

The Lecture Demonstration: is a wonderful learning tool for all ages to see how a dancer prepares for their craft, culminating in performance of excerpts of TAKE Dance Repertory. We begin by showing a basic warm up for the dancer while simultaneously explaining the purpose of each exercise. Once the dancers have warmed up, excerpts of various dances are demonstrated. These excerpts are selected to illustrate the rich diversity of Takehiro Ueyama’s work; each dance has a specific meaning, tells a story, idea, or feeling by a change in music, costume and movement choices.  A question and answer (Q & A) segment follows the Lecture Demonstration.

The Repertory Workshop: offers the student a chance to experience physically the choreography of Takehiro Ueyama. Each student is cast in a specific role from the piece. By working with choreography, the individual learns skills in spacing, timing, partnering and collaboration with others. Through repertory, the dancers learn how to command the space with a sense of self while also committing to the larger artistic vision of the choreographer.

The Composition Workshop: is based on the teaching of Louis Horst, composer and consultant to Martha Graham. Composition is the responsibility to compose, much like a musical score or language. It is the difference between sentence structure: subject, verb, adjective, etc, vs. Improvisation: free flow. The vision of the choreographer becomes much richer, succinct and powerful when formed within a strong structural base. Just as movement technique is used to free the body to speak more clearly, composition technique is used to free the artistic vision and give the choreographer the tools for clarity. Assignments are given to the student to teach them the tools necessary to create dances such as: Binary/Terinary Form (A, B, A prime), Gesture: Direct Communication/Isolation/Compound/Development/Design, Understanding of placing the bodies in space, Theme and Variation, Theme and Manipulation, Counterpoint, Fugue, Minimalism etc. It is important that the student understand that they do not loose their voice in the structure but instead learn how to enhance that voice.

Improvisation: is the idea of free-flow, getting past the mind and just working with body and spirit.  Improvisation helps the individual find their sense of freedom and creativity.  After a brief warm up, focusing on breath, centering the body and warming up the muscles, the students engage in structured movement play including trust exercises, mirroring, follow-the-leader, and conversational movement duets.

Movement for Non-Dancers and Actors: after warming up the body, vthe actor explores his/her ability to speak without text (spoken words). Using different elements such as gesture, timing (fast/slow), dynamic range (staccato/flow), level changes, spatial awareness and breath, the actor is given different exercises to explore physical expression. These exercises allow the actor to make the connection that “living inside” and portraying a character begin from within the body not from the words alone. The exercises offered in these sessions include PropStudy, Emotional Study, Poem Study and Scene Study.

Dance on Film: is a program that includes a showing of the award winning documentary  A YEAR WITH TAKE DANCE. The film can be presented in its entirety with just a Q & A following the screening or programs can be constructed around the film to inspire discussions regarding perspective and how the camera chooses what the audience sees. One of our Dance on Film programs begins with a showing of an excerpt from a performance sequence in the film. The movement is taught the students who then perform it facing different directions and having the “audience” change their positions as well. This opens up a dialogue about perspective and movement and what we can achieve/convey on film vs. what we can achieve/convey in performance.