Thursday 6-8PM, Studio 1
536 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Danny McCusker will be teaching a Cunningham based class on
July 21st, July 28th and August 4th.
Incorporating elements of Cunningham technique and its iterations coming down from Viola Farber and Dan Wagoner (both of whom led their own companies and who danced with Cunningham), and Gwyneth Jones, a long-time dancer with Dan Wagoner, the class focuses on self awareness, alignment, ease, self-care; movement through the body and across the floor; musicality, and individual interpretation. The class shows other influences: pedestrian movement, post-modern dance, ballet, Humphrey-Weidman, yoga, and release technique. We start standing center, and generally end with a cool down on the floor.
Andy Taylor-Blenis will be teaching a Modern Jazz class on
August 11th and August 18th.
My class takes forms and exercises from Humphrey, Horton, Limone Modern and Jazz technique and style from Luigi Jazz.
A teacher, mentor, dance-maker, and dance curator, Daniel McCusker is an Emeritus Senior Lecturer, Department of Theatre, Drama, and Performance Studies, Tufts University, and current Associate Professor, teaching Creative Process, Boston Conservatory at Berklee. In 2019 he performed in the Merce Cunningham Centennial Project, Night of 100 Solos, in Los Angeles. During the Cunningham Centennial year, he also performed the solos at the Akron Museum of Art, the Spiegeltent at Bard, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Projects of the last few years include publication of Start Here in the January 2020 edition of PAJ, a part of artist visual artist Katarina Weslien's project, Walks of Compassion; participation in a Dancing Lab, focused on dance and technology, at the National Center for Choreography, Akron, 2019; a duet for performances by the Christopher Watkins Dance Company, in Minneapolis, April 2018; rehearsal directing the Boston Conservatory performances of Merce Cunningham's How to Pass, Kick, Fall and Run, 2017; movement work for a production of Sarah Ruhl's Orlando, directed by Natalya Balydga, for Opera House Arts in Stonington ME; and performances of his dance Hey! at the ICA/Boston, 2016. In 2015/16, he served as the project manager and rehearsal director for the Boston Conservatory's Cunningham Project, at the ICA/Boston, in conjunction with the Black Mountain College exhibit, Leap Before You Look. McCusker has taught internationally in Canada, Singapore and France as well as at several American dance festivals and he has been a guest artist in many university dance and art programs. In addition to making his own work, he performed in the work of his contemporaries, in New York in the 70s and 80s, and in Portland ME in the 90s. He danced with the Lucinda Childs Dance Company, 1977-1983, 1990-91, on tour in the US and Western Europe. For seven years he directed Ram Island Dance, a community dance organization, in Portland ME, with a company that toured throughout New England, classes for children and adults, and a small presenting program. He served as the co-director of the Young Dancers Program for Summer Stages Dance and served as a mentor to several Summer Stages Choreography Fellows. He moved to Boston in the mid-90s and, for fifteen years, taught open modern classes to adults and teens, at the Dance Complex, and regularly presented his own work locally and in New England. A native New Yorker, Daniel McCusker trained at Alfredo Corvino's studio, studied modern technique at the Cunningham Studio, and improvisation with Judy Padow. In Boston, he studied improvisation, with Olivier Besson and Debra Bluth. In Portland, he studied modern technique with Gwyneth Jones.
I was born into a dancing, musical family. My parents taught international folk dance together and ran a non-profit in the dining room, while my mother also taught creative movement for children. Our community was intergenerational and inclusive. At folk dance camps, I learned that dance was an intrinsic part of society. I learned about the way that the dance and music of a country served as a tie that brought people from different villages to a common place, even when refugee situations threatened to break a culture apart. I came to know dance as the glue that can help a community stay healthy and together. From my international folk dance roots, I moved to creative dance and then gymnastics. I landed at UMass Amherst to receive my BFA in dance. My college career was interrupted due to a severe back injury, which took me out of dance for a year and a half. During that time, I moved to Hawaii. There, I was immersed in language and dance and culture. I learned how the resurgence of a people's dance can bring great strength to a people and give them amazing strength to move forward. Returning to UMass I taught Scottish Country Dance in town and Folk Dance for the PE majors. After graduation I moved to the Boston area to dance right away. Peggy Brightman took me in immediately and soon after Danny Sloane invited me to join his company. I spent 2 years with each and then landed a contract with Concert Dance Company. I had the opportunity to dance for Merce Cunningham, Mark Morris, Bill Evans and Kei Takei. Meanwhile, I was teaching at Joy of Movement, Harvard's Mainly Jazz Dance Co. and Jeanette Neill Dance Studio. I then relocated to Evanston, Illinois, where I taught at Northwestern University and danced with the Evanston Folk Dancers. My stay there was brief, however, as I was destined to return to Massachusetts. Back in Boston, I began teaching at the Dance Complex (formerly Joy of Movement), Jeanette Neill, and with master classes at UMass, Boston University, Emerson and smaller studios around New England. I taught for 15 years at Boston Conservatory. I was fortunate to be invited to dance for and with Dance Collective, Miguel Lopez, Local artists such as Rozann Kraus, Micki Taylor-Pinney, Ann Brown Allan and Erica Drew Schwartz. I was honored to dance for Diane Arvernites-Noya and Tommy Neblett in Prometheus Dance for 20 seasons.
Horton Based Modern classes resume on 9/8/22
Class is a Horton based modern taught at a pace designed for the students in the room. Class begins with sequential and consistent warm-up, continues with center phrases that are designed to promote competence and growth of proper technique. Students are encouraged through proper corrections focused on alignment and detailed explanations of the initiation of movements. This is important in reducing injury to both new and seasoned dancers. Across the floor phrases that are poly-rhythmic in progression promoting a sharp mind and allowing the skill of acquiring information quickly and accurately to develop. A person does not need to have the goal of becoming a professional modern dancer
Int/Adv. Information: This class will continue to expand the vocabulary built in Level I continuing to learn the fortifications, preludes and studies of the technique. It is designed for an Intermediate/Advanced level mover. This assumes that you have had some experience with dance training in Modern, Ballet, Jazz or something similar and you have an ambition to push beyond your experiences or limitations to engage with a fast paced technical approach to embodied learning. The quicker pace pushes dancers to apply polyrhythmic concepts and phrases together using musicality and body articulation.
For inquiries, complete the form below.
Although we've done a good job with maintaining a covid-free environment I want to remind us that positive cases are at an all time high. Please be mindful of the interactions that you've had. It's not mandatory but strongly encouraged to get tested and know your status. Here's the COVID-19 response rate for Massachusetts. In thinking about access and risk, if you've been exposed, let me know and contact tracing will be put into effect. This keeps our studios and classes safer for all of us. I appreciate your patience, enthusiasm and commitment to your own goals.
Here are some things to know ahead of class:
Masks are optional in the building but must be worn in the studio during class.