Join the ICONS

Dance ICONS is a global network for choreographers of all levels of experience, nationalities, and genres. We offer a cloud-based platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration, inspiration, and debate. Dance ICONS is based in Washington, D.C., and serves choreographers the world over. 

 

Subscribe today to receive our news and updates. Become a member of your global artistic community ​-- join the ICONS!

 

 

What is ICON SMART?

ICON SMART™

 INSTRUMENTS OF CHOREOGRAPHY AS OBJECTIVE NORMS –

SYSTEMATIC METHOD FOR ARTISTIC RESEARCH AND TRAINING™

 

BASIC DESCRIPTION:

 

The craft of choreography is as old as human history. However, there are only a couple of ways to teach dance making: the “experiential” way, by inheriting wisdom from master choreographers, and then self-learning by trial and error; or the “intellectual” way, by studying patterns and formulas simplified by academic researchers with very good intentions but limited professional choreographic careers. Both learning processes might lack modernity and opportunities for choreographers to find their own artistic voice.

 

ICON SMART™ offers a pioneering, multidimensional and cross-disciplinary approach that integrates modern scientific processes, such as brainstorming, problem solving, innovative thinking, business, statistics, human development, psychology, neuroscience, and computer science. Young choreographers educated through this method will be equipped to create new unique dances relevant in the 21st century.

 

ICON SMART™ educates a choreographer on how to:

 

  • -  Understand the historic development of choreography as a profession;
  • -  Learn the fundamentals of dance making and construction; 
  • -  Foster creative habits and proficiency in dance composition;
  • -  Conduct artistic research and expand intellectual repertory;
  • -  Cultivate artistic voice, unique dance and choreographic individuality.

 

ICON SMART™ is most suitable for young and busy dance professionals, post-graduates in dance, experienced dancers with a passion to excel as choreographers, and choreographers committed to experimentation with different and new approaches. The training is suitable for choreographers and students across all dance genres and styles. 

 

ICON SMART™

 

~ CULTIVATING CHOREOGRAPHIC SKILLS AND ARTISTIC VOICE ~

A POST-GRADUATE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT RESIDENCY

 

This twice-a-week, low-residency program for busy professionals takes place on evenings/weekends in Washington, D.C.

9 months: full winter and spring semesters: 54 lectures in 28 weeks

 

ICON SMART™ reveals experiences in three ways:

a) The Curriculum unfolds over nine months and contains fall and spring semesters with 14 semester weeks, with lectures twice weekly – a total of 58 engaging lectures. Every few weeks, different “units” are presented, where each lecture is followed by homework – choreographic assignments of increasing complexity.

 

The first lecture each week is presented by the professor using material from the provided textbook supplement with PowerPoint and other visuals. That lesson concludes with movement exercises and a choreography assignment (homework). The second weekly lecture is a movement showing with constructive feedback and discussion provided by the professor and your choreographic peers. 

 

On the days between class meetings, the choreographers are encouraged to: a) read the scheduled 16 page chapter; b) engage in the assigned artistic research of the week; c) prepare and rehearse the required choreographic assignment for the upcoming session.

 

Additional meetings and discussions with master choreographers are being planned for those in the residency who are available to attend. Short weekly pop quizzes may be used monitor how readily student choreographers retain information. To see a sample of the curriculum, please click here.

 

b) The Method of learning choreography is based on a progressive interactive principle. We use the logic and structure of a 90-minute dance class as a means to incrementally develop a choreographic skill set. A dance class begins with warming-up the feet, the joints, the ligaments and the muscles, then evolves into larger movements of the torso and limbs, finishing with one or a series of complex dance combinations.

 

Similarly, each ICON SMART™ class expands the idea of a 90-minute dance class into a nine month choreographic learning curve. The craft of choreography is initially taught by studying basic structures in an historic context. Then the fundamentals of choreographic content, form, and process will be honed. Finally, the focus shifts to the development of choreographic individuality and discovering your unique artistic voice.

 

The goal of ICON SMART™ is to develop habits of creativity, unique artistic expression, and innovative ways to solve problems. As a class we will engage in understanding the complexity of contemporary society and use multiple views and reference points drawn from modern sciences, the arts, and world cultures.

 

ICON SMART™ has developed a comprehensive multidimensional training system combining the best of the most current creative practices. To view some of our PowerPoint sample graphs from Dancing Physics, Psychology of Choreography, and Content, Form & Process, click here.

 

c) The Content – We are developing new text book content, which involves a systematic approach to learning the art and craft of choreography based on actual physical dance practices.

 

For example, a dance and movement class is usually about 90 minutes. The length of each text book chapter is 16 pages, which takes 90 minutes to read – just like a dance class. This progressively structured consistency in learning helps students master comprehension skills, expands intellectual repertory, establishes good research habits, and provides a positive learning experience.

 

 

IN SUMMARY:

 

The ICON SMART™ system for learning choreographic skills and tools is both practical and affordable, making it an attractive choice for students and emerging artists who want to immerse themselves in the processes and practice of choreography. It combines:

  • -  Structured in-class lectures with PowerPoint visuals,
  • -  Practical movement, creative, and choreographic assignments in the studio,
  • -  Mentorship, evaluation, and constructive feedback by professionals and peers, 
  • -  Discussions and meetings with master choreographers across genres to engage in  diverse perspectives and practices in examining the        choreographic process,
  • -  Tools and practices to conduct artistic research in preparation for the creative process, 
  • -  Experience to produce full artistic work in shared and safe environment, 
  • -  Creative time with dancers to experiment, invent, edit, and finalize ideas to make artistic work of the best possible quality.

 

For the latest information on lectures and movement sessions, meeting times and other details about ICON SMART™, please contact vlad@danceicons.org.