This semester (2006-2007), pre-service arts specialists & dancers at two New Jersey universities are learning to use interactive technology as a tool in coaching the performing arts. Their goal is to find new & innovative ways to convey the spirit and the emotional intensity of the movement voacabulary of two great American dancers, Gus Solomons jr & Gloria McLean.
As you work to become an interactive coach –– someone adept at using technology to coach over great distances, a good place to start is to look at 2-dimensional images of dancers. How would you describe the motion? In words? Kinesthetically? Visually? In space? On the image itself?
In the image to the left, Samantha Farrow, a Solomons student, demonstrates floor work. Define the greatest extention her body makes in the frame. As Sam moves in
2-dimensional space (the actual movement is in a clip on the previous web page), what paths do her extremities describe? Trace them with your finger. Imagine you are guidng Sam's movement at a distance. Do this same exercise with Barbara Morgan's wonderful photographs of Martha Graham, dancing.
In our experiment, Rider University students will first take a Master Class with Gus; then work from the WWW to refine the skills they have learned. As the semester progresses, Rider students will have at least two more Interactive Exchanges with Gus (from the studios of NYU's Steinhardt School of Education). Pre-service arts specialists at Rowan University will be coached by Gus in a single Interactive Exchange. They will also use the TPL website to learn more about coaching dance interactively & about the Solomons Approach. Rider students will create an Interactive Exchange in order to teach Rowan arts educators about interactive techniques they think are particularly effective.
Ultimately, as Semester I draws to a close, pre-service arts specialists at both schools will teach & coach elements of Solomons movement vocabulary to pre-professional dancers at New Jersey arts academies.