Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bill Evans

One of Mr. Evans’ foremost achievements has been the creation of a modern dance technique that has influenced hundreds of dancers and dance teachers throughout the world since 1976. In the past decade, this systematic approach to the training of modern dancers has been profoundly influenced by Evans’ study of Laban Movement Analysis and Bartenieff Fundamentals. This approach to teaching emphasizes total body-mind integration and allows dancers to establish:
  • balanced inner connectivity and outer expressivity
  • balanced stability and mobility
  • full three-dimensional access to the kinesphere
  • enhanced musicality and effective phrasing
  • healthful regenerative ways of moving that honor the body’s needs, prevent injuries and increase kinesthetic satisfaction and longevity
There is a great article about Bill (now 67) in Dance Magazine. Here are a couple of quotes:
"Bill was always interested in how the body works and how best to present that information to students," says Gregg Lizenbery, who now is director of dance at the University of Hawaii. "We had intense discussions about technique and how to develop a kinesiologically sound approach to training the body."

"There was something so expansive and lush about the dances," says one of Evans's early dancers, Debbie Poulsen (Debbie is far left in photo, Bill is far right). "Very sensual movement, but nothing was left to chance. With Bill, everything had to come from internal organs, and later, be part of a process."

Says Evans, "My immersion in [Laban Movement Analysis] allowed me to make connections with the space harmony that naturally exists in the universe, and to begin to integrate [its] language and value system in my own technique, Now, LMA flows out and into my technique seamlessly."

Don Halquist talked at the reunion about using the Laban lexicon in organizing movement. The elementary school teacher, who is finishing his Ph.D. in education, has, amazingly, never sustained a dance injury. "It gave me a firm grounding in dancing that feels effortless and organic. Bill's dancers now are similarly trained in LMA."

Critics have referred to Evans's work as "breath dancing," perhaps referring to its almost buoyant quality, or as a "loping, rangy reverie," a "crazy-legged shuffle to syncopated strutting." Others have noted his "catlike sinuosity" and long, rippling limbs.

More than sixty ballet and modern dance companies throughout the world have performed Evans's dances; his work has been supported by numerous grants, including a Guggenheim."

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