Although CLASSCLASSCLASS (CCC) a network of inexpensive dance classes and workshops taught by budding teachers and performers, sprung into the New York City arts
Dworman and Atwell have encouraged this year’s teachers
to move in new directions with their classes and to cultivate in their work a response to the question,
“'If you could do anything what would it be?
scene in 2009, this innovative program still maintains a certain amount of anonymity and an underground appeal. CCC is composed of a community of dancers, choreographers, performance artists, writers, and administrators who all face a similar and familiar challenge - balancing a fulfilling artistic practice while living within their financial means. Laurel Atwell,co-coordinator of CCC, refers to the students and teachers of CCC as the “young contemporary broke Brooklyn community.”
GET SOME CLASSCLASSCLASS
The fact is dancers in today’s economy must sacrifice a great deal to attend expensive classes in New York City, with the average class being around 7.00 (based on the current rates for major NYC studios.) Luckily CCC comes around every Spring to ease this frustrating and expensive burden, and it does so in a very grass-roots, do-it-yourself community friendly manner. Each class is .00 and every workshop is 2.00; but your dollars go far. These classes are not overcrowded, impersonal sessions. They are individualized and open with each class at least two hours in length.
“There is no reason to hold onto one understanding of what a class should be ,” Atwell notes,
“and I hope the students will be excited and give themselves the permission to enjoy the alternative.”
Sarah AO Rosner - soon to teach at CLASSCLASSCLASS
CCC hones its communal spirit by engaging in a fluid structure; the coordinators change annually and the classes and workshops switch out every month over a period of four months. This year’s coordinators, Laurel Atwell and Tess Dworman, both come to CCC from a previous affiliation with the program. Atwell, along with fellow dancer Jeremy Pheiffer, taught an Authentic Movement workshop last year when a few open class slots opened up. “Teaching for CLASSCLASSCLASS was such an awesome experience,” Atwell states, “because we had the opportunity to take a movement practice we were really into and reach out to people who we might never get to come to our modest Authentic Movement group.”
2012 CLASSCLASSCLASS TEACHERS
SARAH A.O. ROSNER AND A.O. PRO(+DUCTIONS)
Tatyana Tenebaum- soon to teach at CLASS CLASS CLASS
Dworman first heard about CCC on the Internet when she was a student in Illinois. Upon making the move to New York, she knew she had to check the program out. Says Dworman, “I was interested in participating because I was (and still am) a fan of many of the artists who were teaching. I wanted to learn more about their work in a class context.”
When presented with the chance to be this year’s coordinators, both of them were excited to be responsible for a program they had so much respect for. They see this opportunity as a chance to create and implement an ideal roster of teachers based on their own experiences as dancers and choreographers. Dworman noted that they have made the choice to hire fewer teachers this season so there is room for each artist to teach more . Atwell echoes that sentiment, pointing out .“We thought that if we really push the creative edge of teachers (the class) could feel more like a tour of a creative mind rather than a festival of technique.”
Larissa Velez -soon to teach Class Class Class
Dworman and Atwell have encouraged this year’s teachers to move in new directions with their classes and to cultivate in their work a response to the question, “'If you could do anything what would it be?” Both coordinators emphasize, however, that class is not only about the teacher. The frameworkof CCC is highly reliant on the student’s point of view: students take class on their own terms and mold their experience for what they need it to be at that moment. The teacher is not meant to dictate the guidelines of the class; every participant shapes the work in his or her own way.
The teachers and the students equally thrive in this adventurous atmosphere. Lessening the focus on physically virtuosic technique and avoiding the more conventionally recognized structures of a dance class (i.e. a series of warm up exercises, repetitive phrases, and a longer combination involving codified steps) makes CLASSCLASSCLASS a completely different experience.
“There is no reason to hold onto one understanding of what a class should be ,” Atwell notes, “and I hope the students will be excited and give themselves the permission to enjoy the alternative.”
CLASSCLASSCLASS continues through June with an exciting, ever-changing roster of classes and teachers. Visit classclassclass.org for more information.
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