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Vladimir Conde Reche

Teaching and Artistic Philosophy

 

My teaching is driven by the belief that the arts are part of our lives as much as any other subject. They enrich our capacities for creative action and reflection fomenting thoughtful communication. Starting with the premise that we see and engage with the world and with one another in varied ways, I encourage students to be actively, physically, mentally and when appropriate, vocally involved in courses.  They can then embody and own the acquired knowledge so that it translates to their daily lives.

Hector Zaraspe has mentored me from at the beginning of my professional career and from his example I teach that a dance class is more than an exercise in mastering steps and concepts. With an extensive training in ballet and my background in Graham, Limón, and Taylor techniques, I teach classes in Ballet, Modern Dance, and choreography aligning traditional and contemporary disciplines, applying the necessary approaches to guide dancers of the current generation towards the demands of present performance arenas.

My technique classes offer a clear and functional architecture for the body. Ballet classes focus on the form and functionality of its classical form above and beyond any particular style. This open approach, focused on the functionality of movement, makes ballet appropriate for a wider range of body types. The stress on functionality, mechanics and organic movement also make a strong connection to the approach in my modern/contemporary classes. My classes focus on developing a correct basic position, endurance and speed, coordination, musicality, differentiation of movement qualities, transitions between diverse movements, and the use of weight. Through encouragement and disciplined class work students undergo a process of self-discovery, learning the way to develop artistry through dance, professionalism changes from goal to reality.

I am a Brazilian artist and as such I have been exposed to the beauty and understanding of the eclectic and unique cultural mix offered by my home country where diversity is part of our upbringing, it is part of my DNA and I am proud of it. My Brazilian cultural heritage combined with the influence of foreign expositions has forged my own approach to movement. I use my research to continually strengthen the sense of community that arises in this interaction of cultures, embedded with the happiness that is associated with Brazilians.  I believe that to cultivate and pursue this mixture of “Brazilian” freedom, expansive movement, and individuality is worth a lifetime of investigation.

My teaching and creative research are solidly based on my education and professional career where I have been privileged to work with a wide range of choreographers. I use my choreographic works as a way to research and create a bridge between the student/performer and the performance arena. My goal is to stimulate performers and viewers towards self-discovery and identification. I strive to push both away from their comfort zone electrifying every performance with the freshness of the moment bringing them together to the world created onstage.

I am interested in the use of technology as a tool and prop to support the development of choreographic works as well as technique and creative classes, often editing sound scores and videos (final cut) as well as manipulation of digital images (photoshop).  This provides a way to ignite new ideas or concepts from creators, performers, collaborators and audiences. I frequently collaborate with composers, costume, set and lighting designers, choreographing for students and professionals in the contemporary, ballet and theatrical idioms (plays and musicals). As a creator my I choose to comment on current issues engaging all participants (viewers included) by using traditional and/or contemporary language, fomenting a healthy dialogue through artistic means.

As an artist and educator, I believe it is my duty to provide society with sensible, intelligent, confident professionals and artists that are aware of their surroundings. I want to foster their knowledge and appreciation for the art of dance and to prepare them to succeed in whatever area they wish to work. I strongly believe that dance students should understand that what is learned in a classroom can and should be used in real life, that this experience is more than just an isolated ideal.