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Summer Recap

By: Camey VanSant

By Sadie

Greetings, everyone! This past summer proved to be a multifaceted adventure, marked by my travels, engagement in dance, and a multitude of inaugural experiences. During the month of June, I spent a week in Paris for the Share Intensive at the Conservatoire de Paris. Each day of this immersive week was dedicated to learning repertoire from various contemporary choreographers, thereby fostering substantial growth in my creative capacities. This diverse exposure to different dance styles facilitated not only an expansion of my artistic skill set but also a deeper understanding of my own artistic identity. I was particularly inspired learning Sharon Eyal’s repertoire. She plays with the idea of femininity through challenging conventional notions and embracing a sense of empowerment through her dancers’ performances. Her choreography beautifully captures the essence of femininity as a source of strength, grace, and self-expression.

Link to preview one of my favorite of Sharon Eyal’s pieces, Sabba : (I actually had the incredible opportunity of learning and performing this 30 minute piece with around 60 other dance students in August at the Arts Umbrella intensive in Vancouver)

Another notable day during my artistic exploration involved the immersive study of Marco Goecke’s choreography. His choreography brilliantly showcases unconventional movement vocabulary and challenges traditional dance forms and creates a raw, intense, and deeply emotional connection with audiences. I love both Sharon Eyal and Marco Goecke’s choreography because they both push the boundaries of dance, with Eyal’s fluid and empowering style complementing Goecke’s raw and emotionally charged movements. My experience in Paris, immersed in the world of dance and surrounded by the city’s rich artistry, was truly life-changing, as the choreography and art I encountered there opened my eyes to new levels of creativity and self-expression.

In July, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Royal Danish Ballet’s summer program in Copenhagen. It was a transformative two weeks filled with intensive training and immersion in the world of ballet. One of the program’s unique aspects was the emphasis on the Bournonville technique, a style synonymous with the Royal Danish Ballet. Learning and performing excerpts from Bournonville’s repertoire on the main stage was a true highlight, as it required intricate footwork and pantomime through dance. It was an enriching experience that broadened my perspective on ballet. Another highlight for me was having company dancers take class with us. Their grace and precision were truly inspiring. My time in Copenhagen was a blend of cultural exploration and artistic immersion. It left me with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for the Danish way of life, making it an experience I will always treasure.

Finally, I invested three weeks of August attending the Arts Umbrella Int. Summer Dance Intensive in Vancouver. For me, this program was particularly exciting because of the caliber of its faculty members, each of whom holds significant prominence within the dance industry. These instructors impart a comprehensive dance education encompassing various styles, including classical ballet and contemporary dance, fostering technical proficiency alongside a platform for artistic exploration. In particular, learning Crystal Pite’s repertoire was a remarkable journey of artistic exploration during which I delved into the intricacies of her choreographic style. Each movement and gesture in her pieces became a canvas for self-discovery, allowing me to tap into a deeper level of expression and interpretation. Through this process, I not only honed my technical skills but also unearthed a newfound sense of creativity and artistic identity.

Link to excerpt of one of Crystal Pite’s works, Seasons’ Cannon:

In conclusion, this summer marked a transformative period of personal growth for me
through enriched cultural awareness, the cultivation of meaningful friendships, and enhanced
resilience. Firstly, through exposure to different cities, people, and artistic influences, I broadened
my perspectives and deepened my appreciation for the global tapestry of human experiences.
Secondly, the friendships and connections I forged during this summer were deeply meaningful.
Interacting with peers who shared similar interests and teachers who mentored me provided a
platform encouraging my personal growth and self discovery. Furthermore, my resilience and
determination were tested and strengthened as I faced the physical and mental challenges of
intensive dance training. The incredibly demanding schedule pushed me to persevere through
fatigue and setbacks, ultimately reinforcing my commitment to my passion for movement and
my ability to overcome obstacles. Ultimately, these experiences have left an indelible mark on
my character and have equipped me with valuable life skills that will continue to influence my
journey and year ahead.

Categories: Sadie