Daniel Staaf of Gallim Dance Company was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He graduated from the Royal Swedish Ballet Schools contemporary department in 2009. After his graduation he joined the project Kamuyot a C/O production between Batsheva Dance Company and Riksteatern and toured throughout Sweden. During this period he got in contact with the Swedish based choreographer Örjan Andersson and started working with his company Anderssondance. In the fall of 2011 he joined Bern:Ballett under Cathy Marston’s direction and had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as, Noa Zuk, Jyrki Karttunen, Andrea Miller, Johan Inger, Tabea Martin, Alexander Ekman and Medhi Walerski. In April 2013 he joined Andrea Miller’s Gallim Dance in New York, Brooklyn.
Class Description: The class builds a heightened physical awareness of the body and space as well as a chance to develop one’s own expressive movement and musicality. The class begins with a warm up of directed body explorations through improvisation as well as exercises, emphasizing floor work, the articulation of the torso in relationship to the plumb line, and use of gravity and momentum. The improvisation takes the dancers through a series of physical states that act as a source for movement, such as balls moving inside the body massaging the organs and skin from the inside, or shaking off the skin form our bones, or letting water pass through the entire body as if we were hollow. As we experience these physical states we add plie or tendu, find arches and curves in our spine, go to and out of the floor, a whole new world of information and physicality can be created- breaking old habits, activating new mind-body connections. These explorations give the students time to become knowledgeable about their body’s composition and the range of movement available to them. It is a highly physical warm up that involves the entire body and the mind. After the improvisation we move across the floor with a few exercises and improvisations that focus on modes of traveling, entering space, playing with momentum, risking, balancing, falling and recovering. The class ends with a final combination. This combination moves in and out of the floor, covering the entire space of the studio. By the end of class the students learn to find softness with the floor, to risk, finding their own expressiveness and most importantly to enjoy moving. The combinations are never set to counts or the frame of the music, encouraging students to find their own phrasing and interpretation of the movement. Music ranges from classical music to Hip Hop.
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