Anna Whaley


Sunday, September 28; 1-4pm

PERFORMANCE SKILLS workshop

WHAT AND WHY?
Sometimes I use class to get a work-out, sometimes to get grounded and connected. Sometimes class is about affirming whether or not I am a good enough dancer. Sometimes performance becomes about that too.
On a good day, class is work, which means inquiry, to me. Inquiry and work have an implicit contract about them which implies engagement and exploration. I would like to make a contract with those in the room to explore to the best of our abilities. I am not saying blockages won't come up. I'm saying that much like a performance, we agree to co-create an experience.

This CLASS is an attempt to fill in gaps I've observed and experienced in the new york dance world (admittedly I have not explored everything in NYC, so this is subjective).
This CLASS is a workshop. I have seen an avoidance, lack of choice, and assumption being made regarding presence and expression in performance over the years. I have the feeling that we just don't know what to do or how to be on stage. Either that, or we fall into a prescribed way of being, which blocks genuineness in performance and severly limits the potential of the audience-performer relationship (or, contract, much like the CLASS relationship described above). Can we find a balance of focusing on the WHAT without abandoning the HOW?
Working on performance skills will provide us with more tools and options when we find ourselves on stage the next time.

FORMAT and WHY:
After abhorring virtuosity and “talent” for many years, residing in the undefined space of creativity, I grew tired of having to be creative at the drop of a hat. I grew to appreciate the clarity and the skill-building aspect of circus arts, ballet and hip hop.
I intensified my yoga practice because that is how I was able to find meaning in my movements. I needed dance to be clear cut and needed meaning elsewhere.

This workshop attempts to provide a structure and skill practicing opportunity to facilitate genuine exploration. It introduces a way of integrating meaning or “affect” without overdoing emotional states that can sometimes produce a “put upon” performance quality.

This workshop is more of a coaching process than a teaching process. My offering is in response to the feeling of trying to figure out what the teacher or director wants all that time and doing what I think they want, rather than doing real work. My goal is to give the participants tools so that they can be more skillful in the things that they truly want to do. In this way it is a class geared towards people who are at a place in their training/practice/career where they have a certain degree of autonomy and interest outside of a traditional class relationship.

BIO:

Anna Whaley hails from Baltimore, MD. After studying anthropology and philosophy at Smith College, Anna transferred to Tisch/NYU and graduated with a degree in dance. She attended the research cycle at P.A.R.T.S. from 2008-2010 and now resides in NYC. She finds great pleasure in the creative collaboration of dance and theatrical works, as a performer and as a director. She is currently managing an energy medicine center in Midtown. She has loved working in productions of Kate McIntosh(NZ) and Daniel Linehan (US/BE). She has had the pleasure of being a rehearsal assistant and director for Christopher Williams and has mentored or acted as an outside eye to various choreographers in process in NYC and Brussels. Anna co-directed and founded the Brussels branch of Hollaback!, an international organization fighting street harassment and related issues around the world. She volunteers and attends programs at the Shambhala Meditation Center of NY and is a Yoga and Movement Coach in NYC. She is currently training in hip hop, acrobatics, circus arts and running and is very curious to see how she can integrate all of these disciplines into her movement and theatrical background. She feels there is much to learn, much to practice... a long way to go, but lots to enjoy right now.