Discussion on dance teaching

These are some selected quotes from a discussion on "contemporary heritage" and teaching the "contemporary tradition". The discussion was held at The Place on November 28th 2006 as part of their "Deep end" sessions. The participants were Robert Cohan, Ross Kim, Prof. Christopher Bannermann, and Kenneth Barr (chair).

Quotes are taken from my recording of the event. I've been asked not to publish the recording or a full transcript because The Place wants to sell a video from the event.

Any transcription mistakes are naturally entirely my fault.


On dancing

Martha Graham solved questions on being oneself in activity. (...) Most Graham technique comes from her choreography, discoveries made while choreographing. Thus technique had emotional quality and significance! Robert Cohan on studying with Martha
A lot of what you find satisfying is not conscious. It is when stuff is right at that moment. (...) Unconsciously satisfying, even profound. Not conscious of it except once in Southampton - happy and conscious of it at the same time. Ross Kim

On contexts

The environment had an understanding of psychological motivations of human beings. Christopher Bannerman on the early days of The Place
Sad thing about dance is extremes tend to polarise without discourse Christopher Bannerman making a general observation about the state of the Dance World
Dance is the one of the liberal arts that best prepares you for life Robert Cohan

On teaching

Waking the instinct in you, using images. Using poetry to make you go into your body and come out again. Robert Cohan describes Martha teaching
Get a student to feel something special inside them makes them a special dancer. The fire inside them is partly again unconscious. Ross Kim
Three rules for teachers: teach only what you know, teach all that you know, and teach with love Robert Cohan
Today's teachers, many are ex-Graham-based that have changed to more experiental practice and teaching. We don't get that physicality from them. Not the physicality they started from. student from the audience
Reacting to previous training is evolving from individual's perspective. teacher from the audience
You should not be teaching your personal evolution or revolution but what the students need. Robert Cohan
I like this Feldenkrais quote: "process of progressive approximation" audience member


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