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Dance Spotlight is dedicated to preserving performing dance techniques for dancers, teachers, scholars and performers of all types and to help make dance appealing and accessible to broader audiences. Through our technique and class videos we are attempting to assure that these valuable artistic contributions are not lost.

We hope to preserve the original integrity of these techniques through our videos and demonstrate how these dance techniques can be used and developed through our class videos. Plus the class teachers, renowned in their field, give insightful directions and corrections for the performance of the technique.

Documented the Lester Horton Technique
   3 Technique Videos and 3 Class Videos

Currently working on 3 year project to document the Martha Graham Technique
   3 Interactive Technique DVDs being produced
   Plus interviews with former Graham Dancers

3 New Videos Released!
   
   
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ABOUT US


Babette Coffey-Fisch: Co-Executive Director

Alvin Ailey knew that I loved to film and photograph dance. Alvin would let me sit smack in the middle of the Grand Tier at City Center in New York City and take photos of the company during rehearsals. Alvin knew that Joyce Trisler had trained Ana Forsythe and me before we were even teenagers at The Garden State Ballet in Newark, New Jersey. She brought us to the very first performances of Alvin’s Company. It was love.

Alvin and I talked about how important it was to document the Horton technique. He told me that I should see that it was done. It was when I met Jeanne Suggs, who had dance training and film production background, that I felt this is the person who would know how to accomplish the documentation of the technique. I was right.

Ana Forsythe had been writing the book The Lester Horton Technique, with Cheryl Bell and Marjorie Perces. I felt that there must also be a visual component to make sure that the technique was remembered accurately. We worked very hard because we were all committed to seeing the project completed. It took us years because we all could only work part time on the project. We all had jobs and yet we managed to do what had to be done to keep the project alive. We finally completed the last video of the technique documentation in 2003.

It has been a labor of love. Now we have the classes that complement the technique and show how a Horton class can be taught.

From the Horton we wanted next to document the Martha Graham Technique and approached the Martha Graham Dance Company. With their consent, cooperation and partnership we have begun this 4 year project to preserve her great legacy.

Babette studied dance first at The Garden State Ballet School and Co.with Fred Danieli and Joyce Trisler among her varied teachers, and then went on to the Royal Ballet School, under Dame Ninette De Valois and Barbara Fewster. In England, Babette performed with the Royal Opera Ballet in Aida and Rigoletto under Frano Zefferelli. In the late 1960’s she wrote for Dance Magazine under Lydia Joel, the editor at that time, and well known dance historian. In the 1970’s Babette worked closely with Charles Reinhart and the National Endowment for the Arts in their Dance Touring Program in Charlotte, North Carolina bringing dance companies to the area. Always with a passion for dance, she has spent the last 30 years striving to preserve and document America’s great dance legacies.


Jeanne Suggs: Co-Executive Director and Production Director

I came to New York from Tennessee as a dancer with a degree in TV/Film Production. I performed with some small dance companies in New York but ultimately left the performance world for production. I wanted to combine my two fields of interest and create dance videos. My first business, Video Performance Studio, was designed for dancers so they could rehearse and choreograph with the use of video for feedback and documentation.

I started recording dance companies in performance, the Joyce Trisler Danscompany and several dancers who are part of the Horton legacy – my first experience with the Horton Technique. A mutual friend introduced me to Babs Coffey because she had an idea for a TV show about dance and they thought we would be a perfect fit. We’ve been working together since.

We produced the pilot for a dance news/magazine show called Dance Spotlight with interviews with such varied dance greats as Crazy Legs of HipHop fame and Merrill Ashley of the New York City Ballet. Our next venture was the documentation of the Lester Horton Technique. We produced the first tape in the Horton series “The Warm-Up”. Over the next 15 years, we produced the Intermediate and Advanced Horton technique tapes and the Advanced Beginner and Intermediate Class tapes. We are now finishing the Advanced Horton class.

Along with my production of dance videos I created my own production company, Suggs Media Productions. I produce and direct for the TV commercial, industrial and the home video markets. I developed specialties in Direct Response Advertising and also in children's programming with the Hard Hat Harry Real Life Adventure series and the Activity Works educational/exercise school videos. I have also produced a feature films including "Calling It Quits" and some theatrical shorts.

My heart and love are in creating our dance videos.


AVAILABLE VIDEOS






GRAHAM TECHNIQUE TAUGHT BY PENNY FRANK

Penny Frank teaches a unique Graham class, selecting exercises from the Graham syllabus, but combining and mixing the movement studies to create longer and different combinations and a greater variety of movement studies. This class includes one of Ms. Frank’s favorite Graham movements: the unique Pretzel study, which is based on Martha Graham’s work with Alexander Calder and inspired by his mobiles. The beautiful accompanying music is played by, Reed Hansen, who was handpicked by Ms. Frank because of his long association with her and ...  TAP TO LEARN MORE




THE DANCE TECHNIQUE OF LESTER HORTON - AN ADVANCED CLASS

Ana Marie Forsythe with members of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre teach and demonstrate the advanced progressions and fortification studies. ...  TAP TO LEARN MORE AND WATCH THE VIDEO




INTRO TO DANCE FOR BOYS USING HORTON AND WEST AFRICAN DANCE

Tracy Inman, Co-Director of the Ailey School, gives us a fantastic demonstration and learning tool for how to structure a class for young boys that is exciting, fun, and challenging; plus how to create an atmosphere of mutual respect, discipline and focus. The first part introduces the boys to the Horton technique, a great technique for young dancers to explore movement and how the body works, with appropriate terminology and positions. The Lester Horton technique uses geometric shapes the young dancers can easily see and ...  TAP TO LEARN MORE AND WATCH THE VIDEO




THE DANCE TECHNIQUE OF LESTER HORTON: THE ADVANCED BEGINNERS CLASS

The first video class teaching the Lester Horton technique: The Advanced Beginner Class taught by Ana Marie Forsythe including Improvisation with Marjorie B. Perces.

This Advanced Beginners Horton class was created to show how the Horton studies can be incorporated and taught within a class.

The class is based on the technique as documented in the book, The Dance Technique of Lester Horton, by Marjorie Perces, Ana Marie Forsythe and Cheryl Bell, and the 3 Dance Spotlight ...  TAP TO LEARN MORE AND WATCH THE VIDEO




THE DANCE TECHNIQUE OF LESTER HORTON
A GUIDE FOR TEACHING AN INTERMEDIATE CLASS

The Intermediate Horton class uses the technique as documented in the book, The Dance Technique of Lester Horton, by Marjorie B. Perces, Ana Marie Forsythe and Cheryl Bell, and the 3 Dance Spotlight videos: Lester Horton Technique The Warm-Up, Intermediate and Advanced Levels. Ana Marie Forsythe teaches the Horton technique with Marjorie Perces teaching a section of Horton improvisation. This DVD was created to show how the Horton studies can be incorporated and taught within a class that is ...  TAP TO LEARN MORE AND WATCH THE VIDEO




LESTER HORTON TECHNIQUE: THE WARM UP

Dancer, teacher, choreographer Lestor Horton (1906-1953) is regarded as one of the founders of American modern dance. He developed a unique style of technique and choreography, established the first permanent theater in America devoted to dance, and organized one of the first integrated modern dance companies.

On this DVD, Dance Spotlight presents The Warm-up; the innovative dance training technique of Lester Horton. Mr. Horton was determined to develop a warm-up that did limit how the body could move and that was anatomically corrective. As ...  TAP TO LEARN MORE AND WATCH THE VIDEO




LESTER HORTON TECHNIQUE: INTERMEDIATE LEVEL

Dance-teacher-choreographer Lestor Horton (1906-1953) is regarded as one of the founders of American modern dance. He developed a unique style of technique and choreography, established the first permanent theater in America devoted to dance, and organized one of the first integrated modern dance companies.

On this DVD, Dance Spotlight presents the Intermediate technique; the innovative dance training method of Lester Horton. Mr. Horton developed a training method that explores the many ways the body can move.

With the Intermediate technique,  TAP TO LEARN MORE AND WATCH THE VIDEO




LESTER HORTON TECHNIQUE: ADVANCED LEVEL

Dance Spotlight presents the final documentation of the Lester Horton modern dance technique. This innovative technique is a source of inspiration to countless modern dance choreographers and continues to train strong, versatile dancers, expanding the body's traditional range of motion. Lester Horton, the creator of the technique, developed a training method that explores the many ways the body can move. Marjorie B. Perces, former Horton dancer and teacher, and Ana Marie Forsythe, chair of the Horton department at the ...  TAP TO LEARN MORE AND WATCH THE VIDEO





VIDEOS IN PRODUCTION AND AVAILABLE SOON


THE GRAHAM PROJECT


Help Us Preserve the Visionary Technique of Martha Graham

Donate Now







 


For the first time the Martha Graham Dance Company, in collaboration with Dance Spotlight, is digitally recording all of the Graham Technique and movement vocabulary. This passionate undertaking will provide students and teachers with an invaluable resource assuring the revolutionary technique and movements are not lost.

Under the direction of Miki Orihara, 25 years a Graham dancer, and Susan Kikuchi, former director of the Martha Graham Ensemble and the Martha Graham School, Graham’s Technique will be thoughtfully captured and analyzed so these visionary movements will be available for generations to come.

The documentation will capture and preserve the technique as Martha Graham created and taught it. Over 3 years, 3 interactive DVDs and digital files will be produced. In November 2012, the movement vocabulary for the first DVD was recorded at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, New York, after the dancers spent a week there in rehearsal. This beginner level DVD will be followed by Intermediate and Advanced Technique level DVDs and digital files. This first DVD will be released in fall 2013.

MARTHA GRAHAM (1894-1991) changed the direction of dance in America. Graham worked tirelessly to invent a new language of dance, one that could reveal the passion, the rage and the ecstasy that is part of the human experience. This new language of dance was different from everything that preceded it, and left everything that came after it indelibly changed.

We need to create an accurate record of the original movement vocabulary before elements are lost or evolved beyond recognition as new generations add their interpretations. These DVDs will enable the technique and consequently the choreography to be preserved and performed. This project will provide greater knowledge of and access worldwide to this extraordinary legacy.

Be part of this historical endeavor and become a charter donor. Any amount is appreciated. Dance Spotlight is a 501(c)(3) corporation and your donations are tax deductible.

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Or, call us at: (212) 398 - 4200