Movement Practice: The Principles of Allongé (DAN2279.01)

Maura Gahan

This dance class examines the principles of allongé in the dancing body. Allongé is the French adjective used to describe a “position” that is stretched or made longer. Otherwise known as ‘qi’, extension or pointing, allongé allows energy to move from the center of mass (in the pelvis) out through the spine, tail and limbs, extending into the distance (with the imagination) and then back to the center point at the base. Tapping into this energy allows for support within the body and in space, stimulates sensation and awareness, and ignites patterns and surprises that can be applied to any movement practice.

Students will explore the principles of allongé through exercises, puzzles, and forms- sourced primarily from Steve Paxton’s Material for the Spine and integrate these sensations into partnering, improvisation and choreography. Phrase work, discussions, journaling, and music will be included. All bodies and abilities are welcome—no previous dance training is necessary, however, this class requires students to spend concentrated amounts of time learning anatomy and applying this research to self-motivated and self-directed movement at an advanced level.

“… I am interested in alloying a technical approach to the processes of improvisation…to bring consciousness to the dark side of the body, that is, the ‘other’ side, or the inside, those sides not much self-seen, and to submit sensations from them to the mind for consideration.” – Steve Paxton


Learning Outcomes:
—effectively applying principles and techniques to support one’s full expression to dance with ease
—unifying felt sensation in the body with the mind’s understanding of anatomy
—combining forms, puzzles and sensations with gravity and momentum
—learning to “self-teach” the principles of allongé through felt experience and curiosity



Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Corequisites: Dance or Drama Lab Assignment if students are registered for 4 or more credits in Dance.
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 2
M/Th 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Dance , Updates , Fully In-Person
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