Ayo Janeen Jackson
Ayo Janeen Jackson received her BFA at North Carolina School of the Arts. She is a former member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Ballet Preljocaj, and original cast of Spider Man on Broadway. Ayo has performed her choreography in New York venues such as at PS 122, Aaron Davis Hall, Dance Theater Workshop. She has been a guest teacher at Hollins University and University of California, Irvine. Ms. Jackson has received both a Chris Helleman Award and a Special Project Grant from the Princess Grace Foundation. She was a dancer for the French star, Mylene Farmer. Ms. Jackson has worked on several projects with Julie Taymor; the movie "Across the Universe" and “Grendel” an opera directed by Ms.Taymor, choreographed by Angelin Preljocaj and music by Eliot Goldenthal. Ayo also danced for the Greek singer Anna Vissi (choreographed by Mia Michaels), and in the Latin Grammys with Thalia at Madison Square Garden. She has also danced in a silent film "The Great Observer", choreography by Hinton Battle. Ayo is the assistant choreographer for Superfly, the Musical, directed by Bill T. Jones. Currently she is working on the film Black Nativity, directed by Kasi Lemmons.
Intermediate and Advanced Modern Technique
Akin to Bill T. Jones’ practice of constant questioning, this class poses a variety of questions to the dance artist. How does one discover movement? Where does it come from? How can momentum propel us into fresh territory? To move our questions forward, we will focus on creating a strong technical base (rooted in the ballet tradition) while nurturing our individual creativity. Jones’ movement pulls from a wide range of styles, and we will ultimately explore that range, including, but not limited to, contemporary, ballet, release technique, and a pinch of music video. By exploring the vast trajectory between the traditional, the experimental, and the popular, this class prepares the mind, heart and body to realize different ways of being.
In the class, we will learn the fundamentals of Bill T. Jones' movement style by learning material from two of his works, D-Man in the Waters and Spent Days Out Yonder. We will explore Jones’ elegant, weighted movement vocabulary, learn the history of these works, and gain insight into how the Company works. This class will challenge dancers to move with ease, efficiency and physical honesty.
Rosalynde LeBlanc Loo
Rosalynde LeBlanc Loo holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA from Hollins University. She began her professional career with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (1993-1999), then continued on with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project (1999-2002). For the next four years she danced with the Liz Gerring Dance Comany while working as a freelance dancer with various choreographers. Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs, John Jasperse, Yvonne Rainer, David Gordon, Richard Move, Larry Keigwin, Noemi LaFrance and Charles Moulton are among the choreographers whose work Ms. LeBlanc has performed. In addition, she danced in several productions with The Metropolitan Opera Ballet and was invited to perform at the 2006 Salzburg Opera Festival, Austria, in Joachim Schloemer’s Irrfahrten. She has also worked with film directors, Burt Barr, John Turturro, GretchenBender and Matthew Rolston, and can be seen in the short film, Roz; the Janet Jackson music video, Every Time; the PBS Specials, Still/Here, Free to Dance, Dancing in the Light, A Good Man; and in the feature film, Romance and Cigarettes. Ms. LeBlanc has written articles about her dance career for Dance Magazine and Europe’s Ballettanz. She taught dance at Long Island University for seven years while returning to work with Bill T. Jones in the re-staging of his pieces at colleges around the country. She is now on faculty at Loyola Marymount University - Los Angeles.
Intermediate and Advanced Modern Technique
This technique class is geared toward the intermediate to advanced dancer who already has a solid grasp of basic technical dance skills and is ready to tackle more advanced work. We will learn to access complicated articulations of the extremities while finding the nuanced connections through the core of the body – a distinctive feature of the Bill T. Jones style of moving. Learning choreography from a few Jones dances in particular, and movement of the post-modern idiom in general, we will investigate how dance interacts with space (the studio) and sound (the music) in the hopes of becoming more sentient bodies, more communicative bodies, and more theatrical bodies (i.e. bodies that can feel, speak, and elicit response through dance).
In this composition class we will learn some of the choreographic devices that Bill T. Jones uses to generate original material and manipulate existing material into new versions. The devices include: generating movement from referential gesture, duet-making, ghosting, inversion, accumulation, and creating tasks. Throughout the course of the two weeks we will make dances that are built using these devices. We will also dissect a few sections of Jones’ choreography by learning how the devices were used to generate the final product.
Hip Hop and Improvisation
Casey Avaunt was born in Maine and grew up dancing locally at the Bates Dance Festival. She graduated from The Colorado College in December 2005 with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Drama/Dance as well as distinction in the department and as a recipient of the Broadway Theater League Award for two consecutive years. She continues to dance, teach and choreograph professionally in both the United States and in Taiwan with specific interests in psychology, gender and cultural communications as they relate to performance art. In 2004, Casey received funding from the Chin-Lin Foundation of Taiwan to research Taiwanese culture, modern dance and Taoism. She returned to Taiwan in 2007 as a resident of the Taipei Artist Village and again in 2008 in order to collaborate with 8213 Physical Dance Theater. She joined the company as they performed in Paris, Avignon, America, Bangkok and throughout Taiwan. In 2009 Casey received first place out of 180 in the Taiwan Creative Dance Competition for her choreography. Casey received a full scholarship from The Ministry of Education in Taiwan to study a master's degree in Performance/Choreography at Taipei National University of the Arts.