Styles and Workshops at the "Tanzfestival Bielefeld"

In African Dance, the entire body pulsates in rhythm with the drums and an inner rhythm. Ever recurring rhythms and movements empower concentration and tranquility. Characteristic for African Dance is an earthy, energetic dance technique. In many cases today, traditional West African dance techniques are mixed with elements of Modern Dance. Classes will include live percussion accompaniment with Djembe drums. 

Afro Cuban is an ethnic dance form from Cuba that originated out of traditional African dances, brought by slaves from their native homelands, which was then influenced by Spanish dance style. The typical elements of African Dance are mixed, among others, with those from Flamenco and Salsa. In Cuba, this form is often wildly and ecstatically danced when practicing the natural religion Santeria. 

Body-Mind Centering opens the way to personal intelligent embodiment and offers paths to regeneration and aptitude expansion on a physiological, emotional and intellectual level. One is engaged with the dynamic contexts connecting body and mind (intellect, conscience, comprehension, emotion). This leads to an understanding of how the mind is expressed through the body and the body through the mind.

Classical Ballet It takes years of training to learn classical ballet technique. The method is based on exercises at the barre and in the milieu (center). Exercises at the barre serve the preparation of the body and the study of basic techniques. This ensures that the body is the agent of the movement that is at the center of the dance. In the center (milieu), some of the exercises are repeated. When all this has been rehearsed, steps and combinations are trained. 

Contemporary Dance This collective term commonly describes modern day choreographic stage craft. Dance communicates a fluency of movement and an effortlessness, a deliberate association with gravity. Placement, coordination and strength, clear impulses, dynamics and balance; rolls, turns, bending, jumping, stretching, falling: all forms of movement are included in the choreographic sequences.

Flamenco does not solely concentrate on rhythmic foot technique. As in ballet or in Oriental dance, all of the body is involved in Flamenco. Upper arms, arms, hands, fingers, even the gaze of the eyes is important. Especially the slow passages demand a great deal of expressivity, in order to hold the suspense. The alternation between fast foot technique and slow passages constitute the true attractiveness of Flamenco dance. 

Hip Hop is not an independent style of dance, having its roots in many various forms of street dance. Its origin lies in the USA in the 60s and 70s. Similar to many other dance forms, Hip Hop is subject to change through time. Locking is a popular form of Hip Hop, that originated in the 70s in Los Angeles. Don Campbell is regarded as its originator, teaching his dance crew The Lockers this style, - thus the name. The most important attribute of Locking is the so-called “Freeze”, during which the dancer holds his pose for a moment before continuing to the next movement. House Dance was developed at the beginning of the 80s in New York and Chicago, where Hip Hop dancers took over the discotheques, syncing their moves to the House Music being played there. Complicated foot combinations (Footworks) and dance movements with the torso (Jacking) are danced to House or Hip House music. New Style is a version of Hip Hop, often seen in Rap, R’n’B, and Pop music videos or concerts. Most prominent are flexibility and isolation – one part of the body is moved isolated from the others. The body is held laxly, in order to achieve the largest possible freedom of mobility and facilitate fast changes between rhythmic and expressive dance movements.

Important characteristics of Jazz Dance are the emphasis of the body line, the fast and exacting footwork, and rhythmic body movement. The center of movement is the pelvis. Jazz Dance is a very sensual and extroverted form of dance, that can vary from precise and quick to modern, lyrical movements. Originally, jazz music provided the acoustic foundation. Today, Jazz Dance is open to all forms of music. 

In Modern Dance, the dancer's expression and energy are in the spotlight. Based on techniques from various pioneers of Modern Dance, the full spectrum of body movement is sensitized and conscious coordination cultivated. One attempts to defy gravity and pursues balance - soft, fluent movements, tension and relaxation strive for a total body awareness.

In Musical Dance, different dance styles are mixed together. Jazz Dance, Hip Hop, Ballet, Show Dance and elements borrowed from Latin American Dance are all a part of this popular style, that is at the heart of many musical productions. Warm-ups, coordination exercises and of course, the rehearsal of dance choreographies to and with musical songs - these are the ingredients of a Musical Dance class.

Pilates is a holistic form of body training that focuses on the deep situated small and normally weak core postural muscles, which help keep the body balanced and assure a healthy posture. The classes include strength exercises, stretching, and cognizant breathing training. All movements are executed slowly and fluently, therefore protecting muscles, ligaments and joints.

Salsa In the course of time, salsa has generated many different styles. These Salsa forms did not derive independently from each other, but were always interactive - and new Salsa dance steps are ever evolving. Normally, Salsa is danced with a partner. However, present day instructors tend to concentrate on Salsa movement - or Salsa dance without a partner. 

Samba is probably the best known Brazilian dance form. Samba is typically known for distinct and quick hip movements and "Bouncen", a complex back and forth movement of the under body by slightly stretching and bending the supporting leg's knee, while at the same time, not raising the upper body. The extension of the supporting leg is counterbalanced with the hips. Since Samba is not a static dance form, very fluent movements emerge in the process.

In Dance Theatre, each dancer is a personality - perceived on the stage with his/her own individual character and traits. The most important aspect is not physical perfection, but expression and intensity. The body language is open to all forms of dance and movement. The degree of stylisation is differentiated. Often, commonplace gestures are used. Dance is not the only form of expression: speech, song, and pantomime can also be supplementary elements of Dance Theatre.