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Many artists of the West have used the word study, étude in French, to describe a kind of work.  Chopin and Piazzolla wrote études as have many other classical musicians.  Other dance companies perform études, sometimes to music with that name but not always.  We at American Creative Dance proudly continue that tradition.

For us, studies are both experiments that have value in themselves and the building blocks of the compositions we perform.

Lena Gilbert

We warm up with studies that let us do what musician Lena Gilbert  calls taking out our box of crayons.  Before we can do our work, we need to get out our tools. The tools of our creations are the movement system and accompanying sound that we use.

Every time we go into the studio, we do studies that use our basic movement and sound: studies that allow us to focus on the time, space, and force elements of dance and the sounds that accompany them.  We always do a study in closing and opening movement and sound, in upward and downward movement, in forceful and forceless movement and in slow and fast.  When we have time, we create studies in complex combinations of qualities .


The warming up studies usually allow us to work with the contrasting qualities of each element.  We want to be able to make a wide range of movement and sound so that when we are creating we do not fall into the trap of using only one kind; we want a rich variety.

One of our favorite studies for warm up is an ABA study.  If Mozart could make ABA musical compositions, that is good enough for us.  An ABA study as we do it has three parts.  The A section focuses on one movement quality and its accompanying sound and the B on its opposite quality.  For example, we might do an A section that uses only forceful movement and sound.  The B section would then have only forceless movement and sound.  Then, we do another A section.  Mozart's ABA studies repeated the A section nearly exactly as it was the first time.  Our work just uses the same qualities a second time, thought many of the same movements may recur.


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