Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mason SummerDance

Watching the performance of George Mason's first summer dance intensive I was struck by how vital this program is for teenaged dancers. They not only gain access to the aesthetics and approaches of a college dance program, but also -- and what really blew me away Sunday -- discover in two weeks what will be expected of them as students as well as performers. Talking to the summer intensive's co-director Karen Reedy revealed some of the priorities - and unexpected outcomes - of this new initiative.

Kate: Why did you decide to create the summer intensive?

Karen Reedy: The George Mason University School of Dance had been considering beginning a summer program for a while.  Heritage Professor Christopher d'Amboise developed the initial vision for this program.  He wanted to expose students to the techniques and approaches taught in the School of Dance, while placing emphasis on the development  of each student's artistry and individuality.  Mason SummerDance students trained daily in ballet and modern technique classes, taught by members of the School of Dance faculty.  During the afternoons and evenings, students rehearsed with choreographers for solo work and group dances.