To understand partnering demystifies the practice to better mystify the audience
Good technique increases the fun and the expressive possibilities
Working with a method decreases the risk of injuries
Teaching Partnering :
My Unique Approach
Partnering work occupies an important place in today's dance.
As soon as one dancer shares the stage with another, more often
than not she or he will be supported, carried or lifted by her or his partner.
Because of lifts, a dancer's physical possibilities are multiplied and the vertical
space opens up. The desire to defy gravity, so dear to dancers, finds here the
means to create spectacular and surreal effects.
Partnering in dance is surounded by an aura of mystery. We don't really understand how
two individuals can give the impression of moving as one. In fact, despite its great
popularity, we know little on the subject. Even amongst experts, the reasons given to
explain the successes or failures of lifts are often based on unfounded beliefs. To solve
their problems, dancers typically proceed by trial and error, a method that produces results
but that is also time consuming and brings fatigue, frustration and risk of injuries.
Also, even when dancers are satisfied with their execution, they are hard pressed to describe
what they did. Their know-how is lost for future generations who must in turn, by trial
and error, reinvente the wheel.
For many years as a dancer, teacher and researcher, I have been investigating partnering
in dance. My goal is to demystify the practice to better mystify the audience. My approach
to teaching partnering is original in the way I use two important elements : the knowledge
of mechanical principles and the use of a specific terminology.
During the classes, participants are guided through a series of exercises that
illustrate how forces affect the body and how the use of certain biomechanical principles
greatly improves the execution of lifts. Furthermore, the use of a specific terminology
allows a detailed description of movements and a clear communication between partners.
Emphasis is also put on the transitions between lifts, the reading of body signals and
the coordination of actions in order to link movements into a choreographic whole.
With this information and practice, even difficult lifts become surprisingly easy to do.
My method has proven successful for the young and not so young, men and women, experts and
novices. The objective is not to learn specific lifts but to learn how to lift, making
dancers more able to tackle the numerous partnering situations that await them, no matter
their level or what style of dancing they practice.