New form of dance introduced to local aspiring performers during “Stage di Danza” -

New form of dance introduced to local aspiring performers during “Stage di Danza”


New form of dance introduced to local aspiring performers during “Stage di Danza”

Lun, 05/11/2012 - 20:19

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by Anthony Savvides
Teatro Nuovo Giancarlo Menotti in Spoleto hosted the annual “Spoleto Stage” dance workshops, from November 1-4. The dance workshops cover a wide variety of dance, including classical, modern contemporary, and hip-hop. This year’s workshop introduced students to a new brand of dance, dubbed “Modern Urban Glued” (MUG), a mix of modern and classical dance.
This new brand of dance, the brainchild of Afshin Varjavandi and Silvio Oddi, combines classical dance with more modern choreography and a heavier beat. The MUG workshop appealed to 14 amateur dancers, ranging in age from 17 to 30, who participated in the course. On the second day of the MUG workshop, Varjavandi and Oddi walked the dancers through the routine, teaching the steps slowly and allowing the class to grasp the dance pattern before moving on to the next portion.
“The MUG dance style started with contemporary and classical [dance]. [Asfhin and I] are not trying to mix the two, but have a collage of movement delivered with one attitude,” said Oddi after the workshop.
Dancers were stretching and giggling in the grand September 17 ballroom before Oddi and Varjavandi emerged from a staging area. Class began with basic steps before the instructors split the group into seven couples.
“Partnering is a good way to tell a story with your body,” said Oddi. “Dance doesn’t have the words of music, so you need to use your bodies. We feel it’s important to pay attention to the other person, and that’s something we can achieve through lifting and giving yourself to the other person.”
Over the course of one and a half hours, the steps became more complex and a fully choreographed routine began to take shape, though it was clearly a work in progress. Dancers struggled to balance their partners, and many of the routines ended with one of two partners on the floor and laughing. But the students took the struggles in stride, and the dancers delivered a much smoother routine by the end of the day.
“It would be wonderful to work with the same group [of dancers] so that [we] can make some progress,” said Oddi after the day’s workshop came to an end. “But, you have to go with the flow.” Unfortunately, some of the dancers could not afford to enroll in the full four-day workshop, or had scheduling conflicts. But those who did attend the MUG workshop certainly enjoyed themselves while attempting to find balance and rhythm with each other.
Oddi and Varjavandi have known each other and worked together for about a year now, and decided it was time to partner up and introduce MUG to Italian dancers.
“The MUG project is something we imagine as something big, something new,” said Varjavandi of the dance fusion. “It’s not only the movement of the dance, but the way you dress, the way you look, and the way you think.”

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