Technique: As an internationally respected teacher of
contemporary dance technique, Stephen Pelton teaches a class that
combines the basics of the Limon technique with his own
idiosyncratic yet lyrical movement style. Technique classes
move from Limon swinging, fall and release fundamentals to ballet
placement exercises to yoga-inspired strengthening practices to
combinations which gradually accumulate into a final longer movement
phrase which reinforces principles from earlier in the class.
Stephen is committed to meeting, challenging and inspiring each
student, at whatever their level of expertise, through direct
feedback and supportive encouragement. It is his belief that a
healthy and challenging approach to dancing can resound in a more
fulfilling approach to life in general.
Stephen teaching a master class.
Stephen Pelton's choreography workshops use
the same group process technique that he uses with the
company—participants create their own movement studies based on
written material or guided imagery.
Stephen then directs the group members through integrating
their own material with each other's, creating duets and partnering,
while he uses the pool of material to create unisons and thematic
movement to help shape the piece into a unified whole. Pelton
offers one-day, three-day and week-long workshops.
Stephen Pelton brings two decades of performance,
choreography, and teaching experience to his role as artistic
director of the company. A native of Rye, New York, he began
dancing in 1979 at the State University of New York at
Purchase. He continued his studies at Connecticut College,
graduating with a BA in Dance and English in 1985, after which he
spent five years in Boston dancing with Gerri Houlihan's Boston
Dance Project, Susan Rose Danceworks and Dance
Stephen moved to San Francisco in 1989, where he began
teaching modern technique in local studios including New
Performance Gallery, Footwork, San Francisco Dance Center and at
the University of California at Santa Cruz. He danced with the
Della Davidson Dance Company beginning in 1991 until
establishing SPDT in 1993.
In 2000, Stephen began his work as a freelance technique and
choreography teacher in Europe. He now spends six months of
the year based in London.
Stephen Pelton in his 1998 solo
The Hurdy-gurdy Man
(photos by Andy Mogg)
|Pelton has taken gestures used by
Hitler and turned them into 12 minutes of continuous movement.
As he moves, you start to imagine the doctrine that
accompanied each gesticulation-- and marvel at how something
so terrible could lead to such a beautiful dance. |