Sarah Chien Brett Love Seven Gorges Gibney Dance

For me, training has always been about a love for the work. 

My classes and workshops integrate movement games, ideas and pedagogies collected from my travels in Europe, South America and the United States. The core of my teaching is rooted in the lineage of Flying Low and Passing Through (David Zambrano), in dialogue with qi-gong and other forms in my ongoing personal practice. 

I challenge students to question their assumptions by observing habitual movement patterns and offering a different paradigm emphasizing full body awareness and moving confidently up/down/around and through a room of shifting bodies. My dance floor is a multi-dimensional space: students are asked to practice without a set front, and to learn from each other as well as me.  Classes don't necessarily culminate in a phrase, but rather progress through solo and group investigations of spirals, energy and reactivity.

I am one of only 3 Americans qualified to teach Flying Low and Passing Through after extensive study with its creator, master teacher, David Zambrano.

Flying Low and Passing Through
floorwork technique & group composition

Rooted in the work of David Zambrano, we will research ways of directing our energy through space dynamically and creatively WITH other humans. We will warm up with qigong and principles from Passing Through, awakening the reactivity and connection between floor, feet, hands, and body center. Then Flying Low reveals our own bodies' efficient, spiral pathways for going into and out of the floor. We will work through short phrases that are like little puzzles for our bodies to solve. Together these practices help us to transform our bodies, the group and the space in which we play. Training doesn’t culminate in choreography, but rather progresses through solo and group investigations. How can we each become a conduit between earth and sky, one person and another?

 

Selected teaching history:
Princeton University, New Jersey (8 week guest course)
DeSales University, Pennsylvania
 (virtual master class)
Ballet Nacional de Ecuador (master classes)
Gibney Dance Center, NYC (open classes) 
Chez Bushwick, NYC (workshop series)
Brooklyn Arts Exchange, NYC (workshop series)
Open Arts Studio, NYC (workshop series)
Collettivo Cinetico, Ferrara, Italy (master classes)
AS220, Providence, RI (master classes)

Personal • Process • Practice
improvisation and development of personal practice

What if we approached improvisation not as inventing, but as a way to develop what we each already have? This unique workshop was designed to open up my personal practice as a solo improviser to others who are looking to balance training, creating and self-reliance as an individual artist. Each 3-hour session was designed to include the three pillars of my ideal practice, and can be adjusted to fit the container of a given space:
 

  1. A deep personal warmup to practice taking ownership of our practice, and to hone individuality while maintaining permeability to our surroundings.

  2. Solo improvisations scores for thematic investigations into the components of real time composition: time, space, physicality, voice/breath, emotional states.

  3. Flying Low and Passing Through group training to hone our physical control of each part of the body, and our ability to find our own pathways through challenging movement patterns. 

 

Our aesthetic will be clarity and commitment. We’ll perform for ourselves and for each other and hone our observer’s eye. I believe a strong solo practice is the foundation for collaboration and composition. Showing up for yourself is the best way to begin. 

Selected teaching history:
FAILSPACE at Abrons Arts Center, New York City (3 week series)
Circle Modern Dance, Knoxville, TN (master class)
Cross Move Lab (zoom improvisation class)

Made for Movers
workshops for movers, athletes, and more

I love to be in dialogue with movers of all backgrounds and have experience specifically in the movement culture world and with theater artists.  In 2018 I designed a custom intensive workshop that offered movers from non-dance backgrounds (gym-training, sports, acting) an entry-point into Flying Low and Passing Through. Since then I have taught daily qi-gong at an artists retreat, and developed community drop-in classes for all bodies and levels. 

These workshops emphasize the mechanics and philosophy of the work rather than performing or phrase work.  We focused on problem-solving simple pathways into, out of and through the floor.  We trained the connection between feet to centers to hands and used dance to create group dynamics and interconnectivity. Minimal memorization of forms/exercises left space for individual attention, exploration, and the building of a social dance experience.

Selected teaching history:
Chez Bushwick, Brooklyn (workshop)
Liberated Movement, NYC (open classes)
The Sable Project, Stockbridge, VT (daily group warm-up, master class)

This is just a sampling my recent teaching!
 
I teach contemporary floorwork and improvisation in a variety of formats and am also developing single-day workshops researching specific topics like solo improvisation, and standing ones ground by connecting with the floor. I can activate my training network, Floor Friends, to co-produce where appropriate.
 
I would love to create a custom offering for your community.