The Professional Training Program is designed for emerging artists and is envisioned as a place to develop artists who will be diverse in their movements and/or musical aesthetics with special emphasis on Traditional and Contemporary aesthetics of Africa and the African Diaspora. The program is built on three essential elements: Technique, Exploration, and Application.
Various movement techniques and practices engage the students in the essential task of alignment and conditioning and are designed to promote endurance, suppleness, awareness, economy, and precision in moving. These exercises are also intended to reduce injuries; including excessive tension, awkward gestures, a casual carriage, and inexpressive mobility. Studies in anatomy further the student's self-awareness and provide practical knowledge for safe and effective use of the body.
Studies in space, time, energy, gesture, and emotion, in which students explore their inner nature and relationship to the world and other people in terms of movement. Through improvisations and guided experimentation in a variety of movement practices students will explore the interrelationship of mind, spirit, and body.
Students will be given the opportunity to apply their technical and explorative lessons through Ensemble classes. These “performance driven” classes expose dancers to the process of training and rehearsing for professional performances.
The Professional Training Program is the only dance training program that offers students unique techniques designed to strengthen overall performative ability for a diverse range of dance.
A-Feeree: The Physical Language
A-Feeree: The Physical Language is a training method developed by COBA’s Artistic Co-Founder, BaKari Eddison Lindsay. A-Feeree derives its name from the Manding word Feeree (translation: “training” or “method”) and draws from the physical aesthetics of Traditional West African dance culture of the Séné-Gambian region and Caribbean Indigenous Folk dances from Trinidad and Tobago. It identifies muscular development, body attitude, shape, rhythm and pulse as essential elements within these dance cultures, emphasizing their muscular usage in day-to- day activities and how these movements manifest themselves into what we understand or label as “African” of Afro-Caribbean dance language.
The Dunham technique was developed by internationally renowned dancer/choreographer Katherine Dunham as a result of her anthropological studies in Africa and the Caribbean. The technique is a codified modern dance technique that has its roots in African and Caribbean movements and rhythms, it draws from Classical Ballet as well as traditional African/Caribbean movement, forging a cultural link between Africa and North America. The dance vocabulary focuses on the isolation of individual body parts, in preparation for execution of a poly-movement structure that is reminiscent of African dance and music. Dancers are trained to control all body parts, becoming excellent dance masters; training that prepares them for a career in the professional world of dance.
Ballet Creole’s Artistic Director Patrick Parson is one of the few full-qualified exponents of the Dunham technique in Canada. The Dunham technique, which is rarely offered in Canada, is a cornerstone of the Nu-DanCe program.
The Nu-DanCe Professional Training Program includes instruction in:
- Ballet (non-syllabus)
- Modern (primarily Dunham Technique)
- Traditional West African (A-Feeree Technique)
- Caribbean Indigenous Folk
- Caribbean Movement Methodology
- Contemporary Afro-Cuban
- Dance History
- Drumming (Djembe, Doun-Doun, Cutter, Fuller)