DANCECleveland is no stranger to the Cleveland State University dance studios. On Saturday, March 11, 2023, the organization held a ballet masterclass led by Alonzo King Lines Ballet artist, Maya Harr.
This class pushed my creative boundaries as it blended the traditional structure of ballet with aspects of contemporary dance, incorporating opportunities for improvisation and artistic freedom.
Needless to say, it was not what I expected when I walked into the studio that morning…but in a good way. Class started off pretty standard with a ballet barre, but when it came to moving in centre we were asked to create our own movement phrases (something very out of my comfort zone for me!).
We were given three different prompts to center our movement quality and motif around. Firstly, we were asked to create around the concept of circles, moving and creating in ways that were circular. I found this to be the most naturally flowing of the three prompts. The second prompt was line. To me, being more linear also meant a sharper quality- I found this the harder of the three phrases to create. The final prompt we were given was spiders. This was intended to be the larger movement of the three phrases and incorporate more opportunities for travel.
After being given time to workshop each of these different concepts, we presented them to the class. We tried stringing each of our own three phrases together to create one longer phrase. Adding another layer, we played around with changing the dynamics and tempo of the phrase to see how we could add variation to the material.
I, for one, really enjoyed this blending of technical structure and artistic creativity, and it was great to see how everyone’s own backgrounds influenced their work!
DANCECleveland will hold its next masterclass at CSU again. This modern dance masterclass will be led by Limon Dance Company and will take place on April 22nd, 2023 from 10-11:30 am. The class is free, but registration is required. More information is available here.