THE 2011 PROGRAM
This year’s program will follow a similar approach to last year’s conference, with one more added “official” conference day and a few more days of pre- and post-conference organized activities geared towards New York tourism, networking, and of course, shopping! (We were also craving a nice day of relaxation at the beach after the conference ends, and so we’ve scheduled that in too for Monday July 11th, at a gorgeous, calm ocean spot outside the city!)
We have planned four full days of workshops organized into “paths,” plus five evenings of performances presenting the strength and diversity of bellydance artists of all styles. The performances will include open stage shows featuring conference participants, as well as curated theater concerts showcasing our teachers and some of their companies, invited guest artists, and featured performers selected from a competitive application process (see our submissions page for how to apply). Open stage slots are available upon registration to all three and four-day conference participants on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be a lottery after June 15th for any remaining slots. Opportunities to perform with both live and recorded music will be available.
Paths of Study
Workshops are organized into teaching “paths,” with four 1½-hour workshops per daylong path, and the same group of participants taking the workshops together in the same room for the full day. Taught by a rotating group of four teachers who are in communication with each other about the day’s offerings, this format promotes collaboration and a learning experience that adds up to, in the words of one of our past attendees, “more than just the sum of its parts.”
We as facilitators are dedicated to creating an environment where you can really get to know your fellow dancers, building comfort and confidence in your own creative exploration. We aim to provide a safe space working with a variety of theatrical approaches – working from the inside-out and from the outside-in—that can bring greater emotional depth to your work and a sense of ease onstage.
After a welcome evening show and party on Wednesday July 6th, the conference workshops kick off Thursday July 7th with a special selection of topics presented by wonderful returning teachers from last July’s event. Organized loosely into “fusion” and “traditional” dance paths, these workshops also will be available for a la carte registration, for those who want to select their own palette of options for that day. The Friday-Saturday-Sunday paths July 8-10 will be more formally structured, and if you take all three of those days, you’ll be able to enjoy the offerings of all 12 weekend teachers.
During the Friday-Saturday-Sunday portion of the conference, our fantastic new teachers, who come from a diversity of styles within bellydance, will present theatrical techniques that can be applied to any style or fusion. Some topics that will be covered include: developing self-esteem as a performer, storytelling through dance, finding connection with fellow performers and with audiences, coordination in staging, using the physical performance space, imagery, humor, sensuality, and bringing feeling into your movements. Many teachers attend each others’ workshops, as well, contributing the atmosphere of collegial sharing.
The path system is a unique feature of our conference, one that participants said heightened their experience of the 2010 conference as well as of the one-day events we’ve held. While there may be a limited number of a la carte workshop slots opened closer to the conference (if space permits), the main availability for registrations will be in path participation, and we encourage dancers to attend the full conference so they can experience as many teaching styles and different content areas as they can. Within each path, we keep a small-group dynamic in each classroom, by limiting the number of registrants to 20-25 depending on the size of the studio.
During the lunch breaks, you may sit in on stimulating panel discussion between teachers and other professionals, or experience some of our new-this-year “electives”: mini-workshops or presentations on special topics. We are now accepting proposals for electives: interested participants and teachers may apply. See our submissions page for more information on how to make an elective proposal.