DELving into Dance History

Feb 21 - Feb 28


DELving into Dance History

Join Ann Biddle (Director of DEL at Jacob’s Pillow) and Felice Santorelli (DEL Facilitator) in this online workshop series highlighting the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive site. Bring history to life as you re-envision how to teach dance history as an inquiry-based and embodied practice. Using the extensive video and multimedia resources of the Jacob’s Pillow Archives as entry points, DELving into Dance History explores the lives and work of diverse dance artists from the past to the present through examining multiple contextual lenses.

Courses in this ongoing series are designed for K-12 and college level dance educators who are interested in learning new instructional practices to enhance remote and in-person teaching. In addition, participants receive extensive curricular support materials and resources via Google classroom as part of each course. Guest artists linked to specific dance traditions are invited to share their expertise in many of the DELving courses.

Stay tuned for upcoming DEL opportunities and workshops, or contact [email protected] to join the mailing list and receive announcements.

Next Workshop

The Roots of Tap Dance | NEW DATE! Sunday, February 21 and Sunday, February 28, 2021 | 2:30-5:30pm Eastern

DELve into the roots of tap dance as a distinctly African American art form in this upcoming Zoom workshop offered through Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) at Jacob’s Pillow with Ann Biddle (Director of DEL at Jacob’s Pillow) and Felice Santorelli (DEL Facilitator). Pulling from Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive, a growing online collection of dance videos and multimedia essays contextualized by leading dance scholars and thought-leaders, participants will explore the rich and complex dance form and learn about a range of tap dance artists from the past to the present. A special guest tap artist (to be announced) will visit the course to offer an embodied master class in the basics of tap dance and body percussion. Designed to re-envision teaching dance history as an inquiry-based and embodied practice, DELving into Dance History is for K-12 dance educators, college-level dance educators, and dance history enthusiasts to enhance remote and in-person teaching and discovery.

This workshop runs on two consecutive weekends.
Fee: $99 per course (includes access to Dance Education Laboratory resources and materials)

Register Here

Past Workshops

Common Ground: Exploring Choreographic Processes of Diverse Dance Artists | Friday, December 4, 6-9pm Eastern & Sunday, December 6 | 2:30-5:30pm Eastern
With a focus on two extraordinary figures in dance history, José Limón and Donald McKayle, this interactive workshop centers around the online resource  Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive and explores the common choreographic tools that different dance artists employ in their creative processes. With special guest artist Paul Dennis.

DELving Mini-Workshop | FREE! | Saturday, November 14, 10am-12:30pm Eastern
Join us in the Zoom room as we explore a choreographer’s voice through the Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) model, which emphasizes a comprehensive and inclusive approach to embodied learning. Highly experienced DEL facilitators will guide you through an exploration and investigation of a choreographer’s work through multiple entry points in order to design accessible lessons and activities for all dance learners. In this interactive, virtual workshop participants will:

  • Learn about the DEL model and discover possible applications of the workshop content to one’s own teaching context
  • Explore different approaches to looking at a choreographer’s work including movement analysis, embodied research, improvisational exploration and collaborative choreography

Re-imagining Early Modern Dance | Saturday-Sunday, October 31-November 1, 2:30-5:30pm Eastern
In this interactive workshop we will critically examine the work of Ted Shawn and Martha Graham, and look at how contemporary choreographers have re-imagined their work through a socio-cultural 21st-century lens. Special guest artists: leading practitioner of Graham technique Blakeley White-McGuire and foremost reconstructor of the work of Ted Shawn Adam Weinert.

DELving into Dance History is an ongoing series and is designed for K-12 dance educators, and college dance history enthusiasts to enhance remote and in-person teaching. Each course investigates different dance artists through multiple contextual lenses in order to gain an holistic understanding of dance history.  Each course can be taken on its own.

Above photo credit: Alvin Ailey and Carmen de Lavallade of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Lester Horton’s Dedication to José Clemente Orozco. Photo John Lindquist, ©Harvard Theatre Collection

“I used to think teaching dance was mostly about movement and technique. Now I think there is so much more to discover, explore and research.”
– DELving into Dance History Participant

About the Program

DELving into Dance History provides an opportunity to design dynamic and meaningful dance learning activities for students. Together we will explore diverse dance artists, genres and eras with a critical understanding that dance exists in a cultural, historic, and social context. 

During this unprecedented time, dance educators are seeking new ways to connect with their students through digital and remote learning. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive documents hundreds of artists who have appeared at the Pillow from the 1930s to the present day and is an invaluable resource for dance educators seeking to expand their video and multimedia resources for remote and in-person teaching. 

During sessions, participants will DELve into the rich materials archived on Dance Interactive and explore a wide range of innovative and multi-modal teaching strategies including LMA analysis, re-construction practices, embodied research, and collaborative dance making. In addition, Norton Owen, Director of Preservation, will guide us on a personalized virtual tour of the Pillow Interactive site.

Learning will occur via Zoom, independent and collaborative work, video viewing, access to online materials and resources, group discussion and feedback, curriculum design activities, independent research and one-on-one mentoring. Participants will walk away with concrete tools and resources in order to utilize the extensive collection of catalogued dance videos, podcasts and lectures/articles to design lesson plans for elementary through college level learners.

Event Dates
Sunday, Feb 21

2:30 PM

Sunday, Feb 28

2:30 PM

DELving into Dance History

At Jacob's Pillow: Feb 21 - Feb 28