In 2010, Principia offered a one-week Antony Tudor dance workshop. Watch the video above to learn more about Antony Tudor and what this workshop achieved.
In December of 2011, 10 dancers from the College, two from the Upper School, and five from Webster University in St. Louis participated in another Antony Tudor workshop and were given the chance to study under three world-class dancers and choreographers.
Professional dancer and choreographer John Gardner (of American Ballet Theatre and Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project), ABT prima ballerina and Tudor Trust Répétiteur Amanda McKerrow, and choreographer Margaret Eginton, former principal dancer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, traveled to the College to lead this special, intensive workshop. Mornings were devoted to technique classes with McKerrow and Gardner; afternoons were dedicated to the creation of two exciting, original pieces choreographed by Gardner and Eginton. An informal showing on the final day provided dancers, choreographers, and audience members the opportunity to revel in all that had been accomplished in this short but amazingly productive week of dance. Both pieces will be performed this spring as highlights of the College Dance Production.
“This was so amazing!” said Hilary Harper-Wilcoxen, chair of the Theatre and Dance Department. “To have dancers and choreographers of this caliber create two pieces around Principia’s dancers, and offer them as world-premiere performances this spring, is extraordinary!”
The professional dancers found the experience beneficial as well. Gardner explained what he enjoys most about working with Principia dancers: “They’re so hungry to learn. They’re present and focused, ask questions, and work hard. I can really be creative here.”
It was clear the students were enjoying the creative interplay—and working hard. During a short break one dancer shared, “It’s been really tough and I’ve had to push myself—much of this is new to me—I’ve learned so much!” But some of the work was play, too. From imagining a scarf to be a matador’s cape to whirling to Middle Eastern drumming, there was no shortage of joyful spontaneity.
Meg Eginton, whose modern dance piece features two young sisters playing at the seaside, summed up the experience frankly during rehearsal. “I love coming to Principia,” she said. “It’s a highlight of my year. It’s like coming to a well of good water.” Then, turning back to the dancers and the work at hand, she said, “Okay everyone, let’s take it from the Frankenstein walk!”