Announcements, Arts, Events

Dance & Aerial Festival in Homer

Dance & Aerial Festival

It’s summer, it’s Homer, who wouldn’t want to be here? And more importantly, who wouldn’t want to be here dancing or watching dance? This is a question I asked myself during my inaugural journey to this beautiful place three short years ago. This month, that vision will become a reality: enter HCOA Dance & Aerial Festival! From August 14th through the 19th HCOA is offering a full week of workshop options, for all ages of dancers and non-dancers alike. A performance at the Mariner Theatre, Saturday the 19th at 7:30, will showcase the teachers and their choreography. Choose an evening class or two in Tahitian dance, drumming, or contact improvisation through A La Carte registration. Or gather every day of the week for a deeper experience in releasing, creative, technical, or low “dance” trapeze. Either way, your experience in the studio or at the Mariner will guide you to explore, invent, move, and be moved. Go to for registration and information.

Note: Class registration “Member Price” includes Pratt Museum Members!

One class series registration = General $150, Member $120
Two class series = General $285, Member $228
Three class series = General $405, Member $324
Four class series = General $510, Member $432
“A La Carte” classes: General $25/each, Member $20/each

Classes include:

Skinner Releasing with Nate Dryden, 9:00 – 10:30 am
Ages 12 and up; Both experienced dancers and people without formal training find that these classes change their lives
Skinner Releasing Technique (SRT) is a pioneering approach to dance, movement and creative process that has evolved from the simple principle that when we are releasing physical tension, we can move with greater freedom, power and articulation. Letting go of excess muscle tension and unnecessary habitual patterns assists us in finding our natural alignment while improving our strength, energy, and flexibility.

Brain Compatible Dance with Kara Clemens, 11:00 – 12:30 pm
Ages 10 and up
Using the principles of Brain Compatible Dance Education, Kara Clemens introduces students of all ages to a joyful positive form of expressive creative dance while exploring movement concepts, developing dance skills, strengthening the body and brain, and interacting with others.

Dance Trapeze with Nate Dryden, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Ages 10 and up
Aerial Dance – These classes approach the practice of exploring movement and dance on the single point low-flying trapeze from the perspective of Skinner Releasing Technique. Participants experience apparent weightlessness as the whole self glides through space, dancing on and above the floor. Accommodating all ranges of strength and skill, students learn to partner with the trapezes in order to float, fly, and soar, dancing above the earth. These low-flying trapezes are easily accessible, hanging anywhere from forehead to knee level, and our focus will be on the kinesthetic experiences they can offer us, as opposed to learning circus oriented techniques.

NEW Rep with Breezy Berryman, 3:30-5:00 pm
Intermediate / Advanced students
Ages 12 (with teacher approval) and up


Half of the class will be technique, and half will be movement improvisation and repertory, which will be presented at the final performance on Saturday at the Mariner Saturday the 19th at 7:30.
The first half of the class will be traditional modern dance technique focused on alignment, fall and recovery, centering, movement qualities, level, change, dynamics, gesture, joint articulation and risk taking. These principles will be developed through warm-up exercises, center floor work and locomotive combinations.
During the repertory section of the class, Breezy will encourage participants to explore the process of movement abstraction and develop performance skills as they continue to listen and learn from their individual movement journey.


Tahitian Drumming, Monday 5:30 – 7:00 pm
Te ‘arama Dance Group
Ages 10 and up, Open to Men & Women
Toere (wooden drum) provided
In this workshop you will learn the technique used to make these beautiful toere (drums) sing the vibrant tones used to create the music for the ote’a, the choreographed ori Tahiti!

Ori Tahiti (Tahitian Dance), Monday, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Te ‘arama Dance Group
Ages 10 and up, Men & Women
For the ladies, please wear flexible form fitting clothing and a Pareu (sarong/wrap/scarf) for your hips if you have one.
For the gentlemen, please wear soccer style shorts that fit for easy movement and reveal your knees. (Basketball shorts can be rolled up if needed.) If they are too tight or too baggy, you will have a difficult time dancing this style.
For this workshop, attendees will be be learning the basic steps and motions of ori Tahiti.
You will learn the basic moves of ori Tahiti, traditional style, as well as a short choreography piece to take away!

Contact Improvisation, Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday, 5:30-7:30 pm
with Nate Dryden
Contact Improvisation is an evolving system of movement initiated in 1972 by American choreographer Steve Paxton: “The improvised dance form is based on the communication between two moving bodies that are in physical contact and their combined relationship to the physical laws that govern their motion—gravity, momentum, inertia. The body, in order to open to these sensations, learns to release excess muscular tension and abandon a certain quality of willfulness to experience the natural flow of movement. Practice includes rolling, falling, being upside down, following a physical point of contact, supporting and giving weight to a partner.”
This class invites participants to investigate the architecture of the body and the physics of movement through partnering and improvisation. After a thorough warm-up, sourcing from basic physical movement patterns and exploring the physics of gravity, weight, and flow, we will move into practicing CI skills and awarenesses (i.e. rolling, falling, partnering/touch, somatics, breath, or image-driven improvisations). Classes may culminate in open improvisations (jams) with other students and the instructor.
How to build your own Low-Flying Trapeze – Discussion
Wednesday, 5:30-7:30 pm
Nate Dryden
Trapeze Building Workshop – This workshop offers participants the opportunity to witness the construction of a low-flying trapeze and provided instructions on how to make a trapeze of their own. Safety and personal responsibility will be discussed as well as other options for purchasing pre-made trapezes from various on-line sources.


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