This summer, Dancewave offered a unique opportunity to advanced dancers (ages 18-24) to participate in an intensive held on beautiful Governors Island in New York. The Arts Center at Governors Island has hosted many artist residencies and showcases in the past, but this was the first time it has hosted a dance training program. Dancewave is extremely honored and grateful to the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council to have provided us with this opportunity. The intensive took place on August 3-14 and featured renowned choreographers – Sara Procopio from Shen Wei Dance Arts and Stefanie Batten Bland.

During Week 1, students learned and developed an understanding of Shen Wei’s Natural Body Development Technique, which serves as the basis of Shen Wei Dance’s repertory. Together, they explored breath, internal energy, center-shifting, momentum, spirals, rotations and flow through both technical and creation-based exercises. The week culminated in a performance showcase where students presented excerpts from three of Shen Wei’s Repertory work – Re I, Re II and Map.

(Photo Credit: Wenting Sun)

Week 2 with Stefanie Batten Bland gave students the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and explore the idea of dancing outdoors in a public space. “Governors Island is unique in its architecture and oasis feel and was instrumental in creating a dialogue outside of the traditional studio box — where in which we spend most of our education and career”, says Stefanie. She adds – “The key element was working with an unknown and or unforeseen reaction from the public – how to handle situations that may arise while performing and how to adapt to spaces if they are occupied.  Public art should enhance a space not disrupt nor bully it, so I based my week with them on these principles of being people and performers.”


Dancewave extends a huge thanks to – Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Shen Wei Dance Arts, Sara Procopio, Stefanie Batten Bland, the staff and interns at Dancewave, Wenting Sun, the students who enrolled in this wonderful program, and all those who attended the Friday Showcases. We look forward to seeing you next summer!


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(Photo Credit: Wenting Sun)