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Harrison Students Work With Donofrio Dance Company

Harrison High School students recently took part in a modern dance workshop with the Donofrio Dance Company of New York City.
Harrison High School students recently took part in a modern dance workshop with the Donofrio Dance Company of New York City. Photo Credit: Courtesy Harrison School District
More than 70 student dancers participated in the workshop.
More than 70 student dancers participated in the workshop. Photo Credit: Courtesy Harrison School District
The students learned several new techniques, including how to properly perform a tableau, which is the final pose dancers must hold before the curtain falls.
The students learned several new techniques, including how to properly perform a tableau, which is the final pose dancers must hold before the curtain falls. Photo Credit: Courtesy Harrison School District
The six individual groups worked together to develop a final pose with all members connected.
The six individual groups worked together to develop a final pose with all members connected. Photo Credit: Courtesy Harrison School District

HARRISON, N.Y. -- Harrison High School students recently took part in a modern dance workshop with the Donofrio Dance Company of New York City.

This in-school field trip provided the nearly 70 students with professional interaction, engagement and exploration of the techniques associated with modern dance. The Donofrio Dance Company was founded in 2009 by choreographer and dancer Taylor Donofrio with the intention of exploring the physical and metaphysical realm of dance. Donofrio‘s performances enhance and connect emotional responses, instinctual desires and the human body, representatives said.

"For many students, dance is about rules….perfecting counts, formations, steps, and 'tricks.' Improvisation tosses the rules out the window and allows dancers to move 'on the spot,' exploring movement without thinking about what’s correct or incorrect,” said Deborah Toteda, Harrison High School dance teacher . “Accepting that there are no wrong answers when improvising is always a difficult concept for most students to grasp but they eventually became more comfortable by participating in this workshop.”

The groups created individual tableaus where dancers create a final pose and remain frozen until the curtain falls. The six individual groups worked together to develop a final pose with all members connected.

Donofrio and her assistants also held a Q&A session with the students after the workshop and spent additional time with the Studio IV students discussing college options for dancers and life working as a professional dancer.

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