Professor of Dance Cynthia Williams with Distinguished Visiting Professor of Dance at The College at Brockport William Evans, recently organized and co-hosted The International Conference on Teaching Somatics-Based Dance Technique held from June 20 to 23 on the Brockport campus.
Featuring more than 25 presenters and performers from across the United States, Canada and Mexico, the three-day conference was held in association with the dance departments at Brockport and Hobart and William Smith Colleges. The conference drew 65 participants and included workshops, presentations and two dance concert performances from some of the most well-known figures in the fields of somatics, dance education, choreography and performance.
HWS dance faculty members who presented sessions at the conference and who were selected to perform in the adjudicated concerts included HWS John Milton Potter Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Dance Donna Davenport, Associate Professor of Dance Michelle Iklé and Associate Professor of Dance Cadence Whittier.
Davenport presented “The Paradox of Somatic Judgments in Choreography Class” and performed her solo Essere II in the June 23 Hartwell Theatre concert. Iklé presented “Mobilizing the Spine in Concert Jazz Technique” and performed Spin, a duet created and performed with Whittier in the June 22 Strasser Studio concert. Whittier presented “Developing a Sense of Play in Ballet Technique” and performed Spin with Iklé and her solo Down for the June 23 Hartwell Theater concert. Williams stepped in to deliver one of the keynote addresses at the last minute.
Colleen Wahl Culley ’06 presented “Continuing the Momentum of Somatic Education: How Do We Keep the Energy Around Somatic Learning Practices?” and performed in choreographer Rose Beauchamp’s piece Continuous Surrender. William Smith graduate Bethany Fagan ’10 also attended the conference and worked as one of the technical crew members on both concerts.
The International Conference on Teaching Somatics-Based Dance Technique included presentations by noted practitioners of The Alexander Technique, Body-Mind Centering and Laban-Bartenieff Movement Analysis among others, and dance artists from throughout North America. Presenters and performers included faculty members from over 20 universities and colleges.