Jenna Riegel

Jenna Riegel, a native of Fairfield, Iowa, has been a New York-based dancer, performer and teacher since 2007. Currently a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Jenna has also had the honor of performing with Daara Dance (choreographer Michel Kouakou), Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Tania Isaac Dance, and Bill Young/Colleen Thomas & Company. Jenna currently tours nationally and internationally as a company member of David Dorfman Dance, Alexandra/Beller Dances and johannes weiland. She has performed in New York City venues such as Danspace at St. Marks Church, Dance Theater Workshop, Aaron Davis Hall, Joyce SoHo, Dance New Amsterdam, Movement Research, Henry Street Settlement/Abrons Arts Center, John Ryan Theater, Symphony Space and The Duo Theater. Jenna has taught Master Classes in Modern Technique in New York at Dance New Amsterdam, The Joffrey Ballet School and 100 Grand Dance. In addition, she has taught classes at Connecticut College, University of Maryland and the University of Iowa and at festivals around the world such as the New York University’s Tisch Summer Dance Festival, the Open Look Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Annual Dance Conference and Performance Festival in Bytom, Poland and the Dance Isadora Festival in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. Jenna is also a certified Stott Pilates instructor and has been teaching Pilates for more than seven years. Jenna holds an M.F.A. in Dance Performance from the University of Iowa and a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Maharishi University of Management.

Class Description: As class begins, a soft internal focus is emphasized as students warm, align and prepare their bodies through simple Limon-inspired floor work and Pilates-based core work. Students are encouraged to tune into their instruments and evaluate their current bodily state. As class progresses to standing center work and traveling phrases, attention is shifted outward to learning movement material from an external source and interacting and being inspired by the fellow artists in the classroom. Musical phrasing, details of body part initiations, tonal quality and dynamics are expected to be replicated as precisely as possible as a way of practicing seeing and experiencing the teacher’s body habits, rhythms and choices. The class is divided into groups so that students can witness and learn from each other’s habits and choices. Then, in a culminating center phrase, individual expression and freedom is cultivated through repetition of material and guided exercises in shifting attention and awareness to different aspects of dancing… i.e. musicality, the use of space, focus and dancing together with others. Movement material is derived from and explores the dichotomies of being centered vs. off-centered, still vs. momentum driven, upright vs. inverted, released vs. explosive and shape vs. sensory-oriented.

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