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cunningham technique

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#1 Guest_begum_*

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Posted 09 December 2001 - 12:58 PM

Hi everybody,
I get a bit confused about Cunningham Technique classes. It is the kind of class in which first some warm up sets are done and then the classical ballet barre part is done at the center, just some with parallel feet, am I right? And the hands and arms are hold straight, not like in ballet, true?

ahh... it's nice to post here again
so, thanks

#2 Nanatchka


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Posted 15 December 2001 - 10:55 AM

If you really want to see some Cunningham technique classes, there are some video tapes available from the Cunningham Dance Foundation.


I don't know if you would have the right format on a video tape player to view them, but you can inquire.

Cunningham's technique classes are different from ballet classes in many ways, including a different use of the upper body, particularly the spine. I have seen them taught but I have never taken one--the shape of the class would be familiar to a ballet dancer, but the content and emphasis would seem new.

#3 Paul Parish

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Posted 19 March 2002 - 07:36 PM

Dear Begum,

There was recently a Turkish star in the cunningham company (maybe Turkish-American?): her name is Banu Ogan (Oban?), wonderful dancer with a very dry wit, she could do ANYTHING...

I hope you have a chance to take a Cunningham class -- it is a wonderful technique, very satisfying to do, for it makes you feel so clean-- the geometry of it is like ballet class, though you work from first rather tahn from fifth, so hte turn-out feels more open, less crossed...

They spend a LOT of time on high half toe; indeed, Cunningham dancers have THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FEET

There are a lot of kinds of penchee, tilts of all sorts, and many twists of the torso that require even more pulling-up-out-of-the hips than a bellet dancer is already used to, and ways of orienting, and re-orienting yourself in the space that are based in Cecchetti's "8 directions of the body' but extend it much further (for example, a simple exercise in hte center might end having changed the "front" by 90 degrees, so you'd repeat (or reverse) facing the side; this is very simple, but it's still quite strange if you're always used to facing hte mirror,; I find it wonderfully refreshing.

You may also be asked to chasse in second while tilting hte torso 45 degrees to the front, side or back, and then to reverse that the next go-round... so these tilts don't just happen at the "Barre", they happen while you're doing pas de basque or jetes or sissonnes or swivels in coupe.... and they're really fun....

#4 Guest_begum_*

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Posted 20 March 2002 - 03:20 PM

Thanks both for your replies, I have ordered a class video a week ago and the description of the cunningham class by Paul was great. I'm now curious about this Turkish dancer, will try to find out more. And Alexandra, thank you for the reminders and I promise not to post anything except ballet any more;). So kisses to all

#5 Alexandra


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Posted 20 March 2002 - 03:28 PM

There you are! I'm so glad you found us again smile.gif

I hope you realize it's not that we have anything against dance-that-isn't-ballet, it's just that we wanted to have a site especially for those who are interested in ballet -- ballet as ballet, not ballet as a synonym for dance.

Your participation is most welcome.

Thank you, Paul, for finding the post and answering it smile.gif

[ March 20, 2002, 04:24 PM: Message edited by: alexandra ]

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