Contemporary Dance revolutionised Ballet, changing its upright nature by using the spine to create beautiful turns and releases. Fusing elements of Lyrical Jazz, Ballet and Modern Dance, Contemporary Dance focuses on using unrestricted lines and space. The Contemporary Dance Foundation Course will take you deeper into the revolutionary Graham, Cunningham and Release dance techniques; you’ll really be pushing your body to the limit, moving in a creative, freeing and graceful way, while also transforming your posture and balance and improving your fitness.
Students will develop and refine their contemporary and classical technique; learning and building a contemporary dance repertoire whilst experimenting with contact improvisation and learning challenging, innovative choreography which builds confident dancers. Students will also learn that dynamics of Contemporary Dance is all about expressing emotion through organic movements and unrestricted lines. Incorporating elements of lyrical Jazz Ballet and Modern dance, Contemporary is an exciting fusion which allows students to work through powerful and emotional routines.
Born in West Glamorgan, Nigerian/Welsh choreographer Henri Oguike studied at the London Contemporary Dance School and in 1994 became a founder member of the Richard Alston Dance Company, performing with them until 1998. Later the same year, a snapped Achilles tendon almost saw him bring his career to an end. However, in late 1999, he founded Henri Oguike Dance Company (HODC) which he led as Artistic Director until 2011.
The company quickly made an impact in the UK and internationally, picking up the Time Out Live Award for the ‘Most Outstanding New Company’ in 2001 and the ‘Outstanding Repertoire (Modern)’ from the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. He was also the Director of Youth Dance Wales from 2004-2007.
As a choreographer Oguike has been commissioned to make pieces for Phoenix Dance Theatre, Holland Dance Festival, Southbank Centre, Ballet Black, Wired Aerial Theatre, Companhia Nacional de Bailado (Portugal), Rambert Dance Company, Scottish Dance Theatre, Aterballetto (Italy), Arte Channel, Channel 4 and Let’s Dance International Frontiers.
Oguike has been dubbed one of the most musical choreographers of his generation. He has been drawn to a wide range of composers from Scarlatti to Shostakovich, Steve Martland and Ali Farka Toure. His adventurous spirit and passion for live music has seen him collaborate with internationally renowned musicians and music ensembles including Philip Herbert, Pedro Carneiro, Iain Ballamy, Taiko Meantime, Pavou, The Britten Sinfonia orchestra, and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Oguike has also forged a partnership with Serendipity, having contributed to the programme of Let’s Dance International Frontiers, an annual programme of dance in Leicester in 2013 and 2014. Oguike is currently working with Serendipity on a year round education and development programme of creative learning.
The drama element of the course provides students with emotional expression and projection work, group and individual work. It concentrates on the performance side of dancers’ needs, to give an emotional edge to their work.
The singing classes for this course will focus on group singing to help dancers build confidence in their singing. There is always the possibility that dancers may need to sing, even in contemporary dance companies, this class will help them find their voice.