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Sat, 24 Jun



Professional Contemporary with Sam Vaherlehto

Each week Dance Base offer classes for the professional dance community on a pay-what-you-can basis with a suggested fee of £5 per class. Our classes are taught by a range of artists who are actively working in Scotland so that they can share their technique and approach with the professional sector

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Professional Contemporary with Sam Vaherlehto
Professional Contemporary with Sam Vaherlehto

Time & Location

24 Jun 2023, 13:15 – 14:45

Edinburgh, 14-16 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JU, UK

About the event

Gravity, release, and suspending are fundamental elements in movement and dance that offer me a rich and expressive vocabulary. These concepts play a crucial role in creating dynamic and captivating performances, allowing me to explore the full range of my physicality and artistic expression. Gravity is a constant force that grounds me in the physical world. In dance, it serves as a foundation upon which my movement is built. I am continuously engaged in a delicate negotiation with gravity, manipulating its pull and push to create a sense of weight, stability, and resistance. By acknowledging and working with gravity, I can generate a grounded presence and a heightened sense of connection to the earth.

Inspired by Gaga movement language, Release technique, and the Counter technique as a starting point, I want to embark on a creative exploration to develop my own unique methods of approaching gravity, release, and suspending in dance. These two influential movement approaches serve as a foundation from which I can build upon and expand my understanding and expression of these concepts. Incorporating the principles of Gaga, I can delve into a deep connection with my body and its relationship to pleasure. I can cultivate a heightened awareness of the forces at play, the sensations within my body, and the subtle shifts in weight distribution. Through Gaga's emphasis on listening to my body's impulses, I’d like to encourage myself to surrender to gravity and pleasure and explore the diverse range of sensations that arise.

I would start with individual improvisations where we try to connect with different states of awareness – of my joints, muscles, and how the upper and lower parts of my body operate in accord and in opposition to each other and the space between these. I would then move on to technique, using Cunningham exercises, yoga exercises, and balletic techniques to explore your body alignment. This will encourage you to strengthen your muscles to allow more suspension, pushing and pulling. From there, I would move on to cross-floor exercises where we explore falling and release inspired by the Counter technique and Release technique. The end of the class would be for putting together sequences where I can combine all of these elements, and I can find my own individual artistic style to express these concepts and find a renewed pleasure to move.

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