The Dance Complex. Cambridge, MA.
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(617) 547-9363
536 Mass Ave.
Cambridge, MA
  Classes with Danielle, Simona, Sharon, and Papa Sy  

The Essence of Movement or Why Am I Doing This?

with Danielle Davidson

August 16 & 18, 2017 | 10:00am-12:00pm

Event occurs over two days, but it is not necessary to register for both, although, we wish you would.

Class Description: This two-hour master class will focus on exploring and seeking the raisons d'être of our authentic or not-so-authentic movement vocabularies. We will begin with a guided group meditation followed by a mildly structured and somewhat guided movement/meditation/improvisation. This movement/meditation/improv will focus on the practice and search for the essence behind the movement. We will pursue feelings, thoughts, and patterns in our movement language and seek greater expansiveness and enrichment. This is a laboratory that fosters a judgment-free space, allowing for courage, compassion, creativity and authenticity to blossom (or not, really that's up to us!). But we will attempt to join with other moving bodies in a space, and we will contemplate how time and space can perhaps get us what we need and want, through movement. If we are feeling it, we may play with distinguishing between 'composition' and 'choreography'. We may explore our ideas about our favorite choreographic and/or compositional tools, tactics, and score building practices. We may even engage in these practices and make something, but then again, maybe we will just move our bodies together in space.

Bio: Danielle Davidson is a performing artist, choreographer and educator currently based in New England. She is the co-artistic director/performer of Doppelgänger Dance Collective (DDC), a duets-performance project which commissions new works each season by nationally renowned choreographers, engages live musicians, and performs internationally.

In addition to her work with DDC, she is in her fourth season with Prometheus Dance, and is an Assistant Professor of Dance at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

She obtained her D.E.C. in dance performance from L’Ecole Supérieure de Ballet du Québec in Montréal and later trained in theater at George Brown College in Toronto. She deepened her research in physical theater, improvisation, composition and contemporary dance forms, in Montréal, London, Lausanne, and Dusseldorf. Davidson has performed, taught and been commissioned to create new works throughout Europe and North America.

She has danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Productions Fila 13, Opera Ontario and The Banff Festival, among others, and has performed as a soloist or generated lead roles in works by Thierry Malandain, George Balanchine, and Roland Petit, to name a few.

As a choreographer, Davidson is regularly commissioned to create new works for dance companies, as well as college and university dance programs. Her dances have been produced by the fFIDA in Toronto, Le Festival International de la Danse at La Place des Arts in Montreal, The Gibney Dance Center in NYC, at Festival Ballet Providence, WaterFire Providence, Providence College, Endicott College, The Dance Complex, and at Brown University, among others. She is the recipient of Le 1er Prix du Jury from Le Festival International de Danse Encore.

Davidson continues to perform regularly with project-based companies in New England, and beyond, such as with Lorraine Chapman the Company. She attends many intensives to continue growing her arts practice, she is always up for a new collaborations and cross disciplinary experiences.

Simona Minns & Lauren Andrea-Lucia Höbler"Body Verses" - poetry + dance

lead by Simona Minns & Lauren Andrea-Lucia Höbler

Friday, August 18 | 6:00-8:00pm

Class Description: Body Verses is a workshop for anyone who is interested in creative writing, narrative, and exploring different ways of embodying a story. Participants can be practicing dancers who are looking to find a deeper connection with their body, or practicing writers, who are willing to experience their text or created narrative through body motion and space. The goal of the workshop is to open a dialogue between text and an embodied response to it. Participants will be encouraged to look for a deeper meaning and understanding of their artistic craft as it comes into contact with dance and story. The workshop will be curated by writer Lauren Andrea-Lucia Hobler and performance artist Simona Minns. The process of the workshop contains four segments: 1) creative writing exercises based on given topics, themes and emotions; 2) written samples of text will be read and discussed in the group; 3) musical interpretation of text using live instruments and voice; 4) written samples of text interpreted by body movement, contact improvisation, authentic movement, and dance. All levels are welcome, but participants must be 18 or older. Comfortable dance clothing required. No shoe policy in the studios.

Bio: Lauren Andrea-Lucia Höbler is a versatile and multi-disciplinary writer, performer, and thinker. She tiptoes delicately between the worlds of poetry and philosophy, engaging with the gravity of words in unique performative ways. Trained as a classical cellist, she currently leads an independent music project in which composes lyrically and musically, and sings. Her latest poetic project is a book of Sonnets entitled "Volta" which also includes the musical interpretations of her written poems. This innovative project was intended to re-invent the art of sonneteering by bursting forth the musical and vital forces that lie within the poem’s fourteen lines.

Her eclectic background in the arts and humanities has led her into a panorama of projects including film, modelling, photography, music, and poetry. She enjoys combining all her artistic interests in immersive, performative environments. Notable collaborations have been with photographer, John Mottern, in a performance art series of photographic stills. She has also acted in R.A.W. Production’s short film, Midst, directed by Darren Cole and depicting the inner lives of two female lovers and the dissonance of society’s gaze upon self-identity.

Apart from the performing arts, Lauren has graduated from Brandeis University in philosophy and European cultural studies, having focused in Kantian ethics and German idealism. She also holds a Masters degree in theological studies from Boston University. Her academic endeavours have only served to enrich the depth of her creative works through the art of deconstruction.

More about Lauren:

Simona Minns"Discover Your Inner Voice" - vocal and dance workshop

lead by Simona Minns

Saturday, August 19 | 4:00-6:00pm

Class Description: Join this vocal workshop for performance artists of all levels and people who are trying to explore their vocal abilities. Learn more about daily voice practice, techniques of proper warm up, applications of vocal improvisation, vocal exploration through body movement, dance, and ways of overcoming performance anxiety. This workshop is a perfect recourse to tap deeper into your emotions and personal experiences. This workshop is led by the founder of the contemporary performance company “Syntheater” – Simona Minns. Simona is teaching at the Berklee Faculty outreach program, regularly performing with her jazz quartet, giving jazz workshops in Europe and continuously exploring new vocal and body techniques.

Participants are encouraged to bring dance/movement clothes. Anything comfortable, to move freely in will suffice. No shoes in the studio allowed.

Bio: Simona Minns is a jazz singer, composer, arranger and artistic director originally from Lithuania, currently living and working in Boston MA. Simona has degrees in jazz vocal performance from The Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater and a contemporary composition degree from Berklee College of Music of Boston MA.
In 2015 Simona was awarded the Berklee Outstanding Jazz Vocalist Award and on May 20th 2017 released her debut album "A Hunger Artist", which can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora and major streaming platforms, as well as physical CD's can be purchased here.

As a performer she embraces a wide range of styles and genres, such as jazz standards, her own jazz arrangements, contemporary music, original compositions and traditional Lithuanian music.

Simona's compositions are influenced by jazz, classic rock and folk music traditions. Her compositions have been written for drama plays, string quartets, orchestras, jazz combo, big bands, non traditional instrumental settings.
Simona has founded a contemporary performance company "Syntheater" which produces dance theater performances, artistic workshops, and networking events in the Greater Boston Area. Simona's latest project "A Hunger Artist" recently received The Boston Foundation Live Arts Boston grant award.

More information about Simona:

Kung Fu/Hip-Hop

with Sharon Montella

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 | 2:00-4:00pm

Friday, August 11, 2017 | 2:00-4:00pm

Class Description: Hip Hop/Kung Fu Workshop, a dynamic and exciting movement experience, will teach the students kung fu moves and work them into the context of hip hop routines to inspiring beats and tunes. While the majority of class time will be spent on practical execution of the moves, there will also be discussion about the history, theory and practice of both styles. Martial arts from a variety of genres formed an important piece of the fabric of hip-hop from its inception, and kung fu is one of the most dance-like of these. Exercises, drills and routines will draw parallels between the two styles in such a way as to be easily absorbed, thereby strengthening the technique of any hip hop dancer and deepening the awareness of rhythm and movement dynamics of any martial arts practitioner. You do not need to have experience in either dance or martial arts to participate. Class will be structured in such a way as to be engaging for the novice as well as the experienced mover. A great physical workout will be had by all!

Bio: Sharon Montella holds an M.F.A. from the Boston Conservatory, where she wrote her thesis in Hip Hop, and is a 5th degree black belt in White Dragon Fist Pai Lum Kung Fu. She has won several trophies and medals in kung fu and karate tournaments, most recently taking silver and bronze medals for advanced forms at the International Chinese Martial Arts Tournament in Orlando July 1, 2017. Her dance credits include choreographing for members of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and performing nationwide, including at City Center, Joyce Soho and Cunningham Studio Theater in New York. Her Hip Hop choreography has been seen nationally and internationally and she directs her own Hip Hop Company, Dangerous Brood. She has taught Kung Fu and Tai Chi at National Students of Color Conference, Amigos Cambridgeport Community Afterschool, Milton Academy Afterschool, Junior League of Boston and Pine Manor College where she currently teaches a course entitled Self-Defense and the Moving Art of Kung Fu. She teaches Hip Hop at UMass Boston, Pine Manor College and the Dance Complex and has trained with Beverly Brown, Luam and Ephrat Asherie in NY and at Millenium Dance Complex in L.A.. Her website is

Contemporary African

with Papa Sy

Saturday, August 12 | 12:00-2:00pm

Sunday, August 13 | 12:00-2:00pm

Class Description: Papa Sy teaches Métisse-dance (hybrid-dance), a style of Contemporary West African dance which melds traditional Senegalese dance techniques with contemporary styles. Through original choreography set to music from Youssou N’Dour and other contemporary Senegalese musicians, the class will focus on ripple, contraction, weight, trajectory, pace, and breath. As a founding graduate of Germaine Acogny’s famed École des Sables school in Senegal and company member of Jant-Bi, Papa Sy has gone on to choreograph in collaboration with others such as Susanne Linke, renowned German dancer and choreographer of Tanztheater. This class welcomes both recreational and professional dancers.

Bio: Papa Sy is a dancer, choreographer, and dance teacher from Senegal, and the principal member of Mussukeba Sane West African Ballet. After professional dance training in Senegal’s national dance academies, Papa Sy joined Germain Acogny’s Écoles des Sables and Jant-Bi dance company. Working there opened Papa Sy’s artistic spirit, and he founded the Pasytef Ballet Teatre de Dalifort dance company in Dakar and the Pasy Dance School from a passion for sharing his knowledge with young dancers and contributing to their artistic education.

To register, please complete the below form for each class you would like to attend and then submit payment through the PayPal Button. We look forward to dancing with you soon!



2 hour Workshop - General
2 hour Workshops: Davidson/Minns/Montella/Sy


2 hour Workshop - BDA
2 hour Workshops BDA: Davidson/Minns/Montella/Sy | 617.547.9363 | 536 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139-4029

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Revised: Wednesday, August 2, 2017

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