20021018 MCST Dance Program

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Tuesday December 31, 2002

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Dance Your Heart Out

Photos By Joe Gigli

Morris County School of Technology Offers In-depth Dance Program

Photos By
Joe Gigli

By Jeanne Dikdan Gigli

DENVILLE There aren't many technical/vocational high schools where students can study all aspects of dance. Morris County School of Technology (MCST) is one of only five in the state to offer such a curriculum at the secondary school level.

 There are 25 students enrolled this year in the 3-year-old program being led by five instructors.

 "The program seeks to prepare students for university dance careers," explained Ruth Clarke, dance instructor. "It's a broad-based program where students get the chance to study choreography, dance history, human anatomy, nutrition for dance," as well as the classic disciplines such as ballet, jazz and modern.

 Suzanne Briod is a dance restager and notator who is a temporary guest artist/teacher at MCST working on the

Living History Project, part of a supplemental grant from the New Jersey Council on the Arts. She teaches ballet and dance notation. Dance restaging is the teaching of a choreographed piece to other

dancers. Dance notation is a symbolic language for recording human motion much as notes are a symbolic language for recording music. The notator writes the "score" for a dance piece.

"I've been so impressed with the professional attitude of these students," said Ms. Briod. "They've worked beautifully together." A former faculty member of Montclair State University and performer with the Garden State Ballet, she loves what she does because "it uses my

entire background and offers a large range of dance opportunities. I'm also having a lot of fun in this unique field."

 Dance performance is not the only avenue open to these students after their college careers are finished and they begin the circuit of resume writing and auditioning.

 "Some students go into technical theatre, others go into

drama, choreography or costuming," said Ms. Clarke.

   A special treat for the students coming in December and January will be the New Jersey-based Randy James Danceworks company who will be the guest artists teaching modern dance.

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