WITH CHARLES SLENDER-WHITE
Slender-White's next series of Countertechnique classes will be held within the context of the FACT/SF Summer Dance Lab, July 31 - August 5, 2017.
Countertechnique, developed by Dutch choreographer Anouk van Dijk, is a 21st century contemporary dance technique that trains dancers' bodies and brains for today's diverse and demanding field. Countertechnique coordinates, stretches, and strengthens the body, making the dancer sweat, build stamina, and really move. Class starts with a recurring set of exercises allowing the dancers to investigate the principles of Countertechnique in detail. The second half of class consists of changing components that work towards luscious movement combinations. By continuously and sequentially directing and counter directing parts of the body through space, Countertechnique allows the moving dancer to work with an ever-changing dynamic balance, which reduces the pressure on the overall body structure. The consistent use of the counter direction in all movements is key to the technique; both the awareness and application of this principle is trained throughout the class. In the end, dancers use less energy, lose their fear of taking risks, and gain speed in changing direction. Class will be geared towards Intermediate to Advanced dancers.
ABOUT CHARLES SLENDER-WHITE
Born in the US, Charles is based in San Francisco (USA). He has been teaching Countertechnique since 2012, after studying it since 2005.
Charles Slender-White graduated with honors from the University of California, Berkeley with degrees in Dance & Performance Studies and English Literature. From 2006-2008, he worked extensively throughout Russia and Europe, performing with Tatiana Baganova’s Provincial Dances Theatre, teaching, and creating choreography. In 2008, he returned to his native California to create FACT/SF, a contemporary dance company based in San Francisco. Charles has taught at the American Dance Festival, Kannon Dance (St Petersburg), The Fringe Club (Hong Kong), and others, and currently teaches Countertechnique throughout the San Francisco Bay Area at ODC, the SF Conservatory of Dance, and Shawl-Anderson Dance Center.
CHARLES SLENDER-WHITE on countertechnique
“I find dancing to be one of the most thrilling and invigorating physical activities. It can be simple or complex, carefree or intentional, emotional or aesthetic. Dance is universal, but filled with endless nuance. Dance is so cool! I enjoy teaching dance because it gives me an opportunity to share my enthusiasm with others. In class, we can have fun, work, and explore without worrying about being perfect or right. I think of dancing as an opportunity, not an obligation, and I have found that perspective to be quite liberating.
For me, Countertechnique has provided a safe, supportive, fun, and sustainable approach to dancing. Countertechnique offers an alternative to chronic pain and grinding joints, and allows for students to gain a better awareness of their moving bodies. It requires dancers to think and to train their brain while they train their muscles – this is invaluable. I am not aware of other dance techniques that combine work, play, and intentionality so seamlessly. It prepares the mind and body for rehearsal, but also for the day…becoming practiced in reducing unnecessary tension, seeing what’s around you, and making informed choices.”
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