Heidi Weiss Contemporary Training for Dancers
Bio: Heidi Weiss earned her B.F.A. in modern dance from The University of the Arts, Philadelphia in 1992. Upon graduation she performed, choreographed and toured with Group Motion Company from 1992-95. As a Philadelphia young artist, Heidi received grants for her work in addition to freelancing with local artists such as Rennie Harris, Karen Bamonte and SCRAP performance group. In 1997 Heidi relocated to Germany. In 1998, she founded Zen in the Basement Company with Jennifer Mann and Sebastian Gäbel. The company has been creating and performing works for the last 10 years in Berlin, Potsdam and Dresden, as well as touring internationally. Heidi has been teaching throughout Europe for many years in schools, companies and Universities. For the past two and half years she was Professor for Contemporary Dance at Palucca Schule Dresden. Most recently Heidi was a guest artist at Virginia Commonwealth University in Virginia/USA and a guest teacher at SEAD in Salzburg, Austria.
Class Description: Heidi Weiss teaches a Contemporary Modern technique class, which combines strenghening elements with release based exercises. Her training begins with basic yoga poses, focusing on breath and clarity. The warm-up continues with a series of moving exercises which focus on creating length and volume in the body, through the use of clear direction and choices. Musicality plays an important role, as the dancers work with intricate phrasing that challenges their ability to change timing and movement quality quickly. These quality and dynamic changes combined with the dancers use of weight, remains the central aim of her style. Through this fusion of fluidity and groundedness, the dancers are encouraged to take risks, testing physical and spacial boundaries. Rhythmical combinations are explored as are more lyrical adage-like phrases. Floorwork is also a central element in the class.
The movement themes are expanded upon as the class progresses into moving sequences. Emphazied is the ability to travel in the space and let go of conventional modern forms while still applying technique. Students are encouraged to concentrate on their unique qualities in order to develop their own personal style of moving. The skill to pick up material quickly is also a class objective, as is practicing performing the choreography in the studio.