Workshop avec Stephanie Amurao (2021). © Martin Argyroglo
The Cndc School teaches the very practices used by the choreographers and performers molding today’s contemporary scene. These artists are invited to the Cndc to present their works, rehearse their future creations and transmit their approach within the school. They share with the students their current choreographic practice and thus allow them to confront the most contemporary issues.
While contemporary dance has long relied on elements belonging to Western traditions, the field of references has considerably expanded in the last decades. It is therefore crucial that this development is reflected in the school’s curriculum. The challenge lies in the diversity of the choreographic traditions used today by choreographers from around the world. The time needed to master each of them makes the goal of an in-depth study of every tradition within a single curriculum impossible to reach. The emergence of schools that specialize primarily in specifics styles speaks to the impossibility of this approach.
To represent the diversity of contemporary dance, the Cndc School invites artists who draw on different choreographic traditions. Rather than offering an introduction to the specific technique in which their work is anchored, the School engages them to share their research process with the students. The transmission of knowledge becomes a creative act: It involves identifying the choreographic principles anchored in a technique without being limited to these principles, which allows dancers who have not mastered these traditions to also engage with them. The identification of these principles and the development of a common vocabulary are both the students’ and the artists’ responsibility, making the school fertile ground for new choreographic languages.
Beyond experimenting with contemporary artists, the Cndc School teaches repertoires and techniques dating from the 1960s to today. It gives students the possibility to experience, in the deepest and most rigorous way possible, approaches of movement from this period that continue to influence many modern choreographers. The transmission of these approaches to movement — be they from contemporary or historic works — happens through workshops, technical courses, learning specific pieces, as well as practicing non-choreographic disciplines that have played a part in their development.
Each piece of repertory and each approach to the body and to performance are taught by the artists and performers who shaped them, allowing students to fully undergo the bodily and aesthetic experiences they generate. This immersion in a variety of approaches avoids treating them in a dogmatic manner. These teachings do not aim to mold the dancer into one choreographic ideal, but rather to offer a multitude of tools that enrich their understanding of current choreographic issues and allow each student to delineate their own path. The Cndc School thus proposes to experience from within a multiplicity of approaches to movement and the body, while developing a critical and personal perspective on each of them.