Effort Lab (DAN4345.01)

Londs Reuter, MFA Teaching Fellow

Dancers have been tuning their relationship to effort since the beginning. We know when we can do an estimation of the movement, just to tell if the steps will line up with the meter of a song. We also know when we need to practice with full momentum, otherwise our partner won’t be able to feel our weight shift. Effort Lab is a practice of naming and knowing what it takes to do what you’re doing. No one else might know the effort required, but we always do.

Whether it is high or low effort, calibrating these effort levels is one way we survive capitalist systems while retaining agency and, ideally, cultivating enjoyment. Effort Lab uplifts effort as a compositional tool and design technique, thereby empowering each dancer to exercise their authorship, agency, and invention.

Class will include an embodied check-in and a gentle warm-up. Through improvisatory dancing and writing, we will map out our relationships to effort through demonstrations, dialogue, charts, and maps. We will travel outside the studio to witness how effort shifts environmentally, sometimes voluntarily and sometimes involuntarily.

Effort Lab will have moments of high and low effort in order to ask: What feelings arise when our effort doesn’t match our circumstances? How can we calibrate our effort so that we’re giving an amount that feels right?


Learning Outcomes:
-Personal awareness of self in relationship to the culture of a space, a room, an environment
-Listening and speaking to create in a collaborative environment
-A broader and more complex understanding of effort through various cultural lenses and an embodied perspective
-Demonstrated capacity to improvise using effort as a compositional tool



Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Intermediate/Advanced level work in Dance/Theater and Permission of Instructor. Please contact via e-mail (edemyanenko@bennington.edu) prior to registration.
Corequisites: Dance or Drama Lab Assignment if students are registered for 4 or more credits in designated dance courses.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 2
M/Th 1:40PM - 3:30PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Dance , Fully In-Person , Two Credit
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