Space Travel for Dancers: an adventure in technique, improvisation, and somatics

WHEN: Saturday, April 20th   10am - 5pm

WHERE: Dovetail Studios in Chicago


COST: Early Bird Rate $65 (through April 5th)  Regular Registration $75

Madeleine Reber and Emily Stein team up to offer a day-long workshop exploring the inner and outer spaces of the dancing body. We will investigate spatial support for dynamic, fully embodied movement through multiple forms and practices including Laban Movement Analysis, the Feldenkrais Method©, modern and ballet techniques, and improvisation. Our journey will explore the territory of sensation for clarity of form, and spontaneity for creative experimentation.

Class Descriptions for Ongoing Classes with Madeleine Reber

Modern/Release Technique

My technique class is based in release technique and is informed by modern traditions such as Humphrey-Limon, as well as the non-vertically oriented work of contact improvisation. I emphasize attention to sensation, specificity of movement initiation and supporting lines of energy. Class often begins with floor work that warms from the center and builds connectivity to the periphery, preparing the dancer for vigorous, full-bodied movement and intricate phrase-work. We develop a connected support from which to move off center and into and out of the floor, exploring a range of momentum and control. 


My approach to teaching choreography develops in students an understanding of craft and its connection to meaning making and communication. I integrate the study of choreographic tools with work that encourages individual creative voice, believing that the "why" of choreography is as important as the "how." I speak to the subjective nature of viewing choreography as well as the rigorous craft and evaluation necessary for clear communication of choreographic intent. My courses consider a range of perspectives relevant to current dialogues in the field. This includes making room for a diversity of aesthetic ideas and content while asking students to interrogate their own processes and bravely experiment with their work.



Improvisation is an integral part of contemporary dance training that broadens the dancer’s vocabulary of movement, hones internal and external awareness, and creates new avenues for expression. Improvisation trains the body to move, problem solve and create, based on sensation and internal impulse, as well as compositional choices. I approach improvisation as a tool in the creative process, as well as a performance practice. I value the artistry of this form and emphasize the specificity and intention that underlie the spontaneity. I draw on concepts from compositional improvisation, Contact Improvisation, Authentic Movement, Laban Movement Analysis and Action Theater.