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Koresh Dance Company Workshops at ArtSpace

Koresh Dance Company Workshops at ArtSpace

SWANNANOA, NC- ArtSpace 5th, 7th and 8th graders took part in dance workshops with Philadelphia based Koresh Dance Company last week. School closings due to inclement weather kept these students from enjoying a performance the previous week by the renowned dance company but this didn’t prevent them from being inspired to do great work with the company when they were on campus.


7th and 8th grade dance elective students learning a combination from Koresh dancers

7th and 8th grade dance elective students experienced a jazz/ballet/modern fusion technique class  much like those the Koresh Dancers experience when they are preparing for a new performance.  Students warmed up and learned a short combination that emphasized line, dynamics and phrasing.  The Koresh dancers were impressed by the elective students’ focus and drive during the lesson.

According to ArtSpace dance teacher Mary LaBianca one of the qualities Koresh Dance Company is known for is their use of non-traditional music or the spoken word as their instrumentation.  When working with the company 5th graders choreographed a dance to the words of a Tupac Shakur poem (seen below). In small groups, students created a routine, rehearsed and then recreated it for their audience. Each group of students,

5th graders performing their Tupac piece to music.

5th graders performing their Tupac piece to music.

working with the dancers, created dynamic movement pieces that followed a rhythm while telling a story. Collaboratively, students offered movement to illustrate each part of the poem.  After an evaluation period, the groups then adapted their work based on the feedback.  All of this work was done without musical accompaniment. After the the groups had performed using the lyrics of the poem they circled up and performed their routine to an instrumental piece of music. In that moment students realized that although they had not choreographed to music the poem had it’s own inherent rhythm.

ArtSpace is very thankful to Rae Geoffrey Associate Director of Diana Wortham Theater who facilitated this exciting opportunity for these students

The Rose That Grew From Concrete

Did you hear about the rose that grew

from a crack in the concrete?

Proving nature’s law is wrong it

learned to walk with out having feet.

Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,

it learned to breathe fresh air.

Long live the rose that grew from concrete

when no one else ever cared.

Tupac Shakur – From the book The Rose that Grew from Concrete