Iwanson School

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The Iwanson School (Iwanson International School of Contemporary Dance) in Munich is one of the leading training institutes for contemporary dance in Europe, alongside the academies in Frankfurt, Dresden and Rotterdam . The school was founded in 1974 by the Swede Jessica Iwanson , who was awarded the Medal of Honor “Munich Glows” by the City of Munich in 2001 “for her services to contemporary dance” and in 2010 was honored with the Munich City Dance Prize for her life's work. In 2013 she was awarded the Golden Medal of Honor by the Ivo Cramér Foundation at the Stockholm Opera.

Training in contemporary dance

The three-year main course is aimed at young adults (ages 16-21) and requires good prior knowledge of classical and contemporary dance, which is assessed in an entrance examination.

The curriculum is characterized by the harmony of classical ballet and various contemporary techniques. In order to prepare students for the stylistic diversity of contemporary dance aesthetics right from the start, the Iwanson School developed a rotating guest lecturer system in the early 1990s. International choreographers and dancers convey technique and artistic concepts in one to three week cycles. As in most courses in contemporary dance, body awareness techniques and dance theory round off the subject canon.

Contemporary dance for children and young people

From 1975 Jessica Iwanson developed a teaching system for children and adolescents to offer an alternative to classic children's ballet. Since 1985, children's dance according to Iwanson has been spread in the form of advanced training events, initially by Jessica Iwanson personally, later by the dancer and choreographer Karren Foster and today by the head of the children's department, Gabi Würf. In German-speaking countries today, more than a hundred dance teachers teach according to the Iwanson method.

With workshop events in the style of traditional youth camps, young people from a wide area have been addressed since 1988 and, in addition to dance lessons, familiarized with the latest developments in contemporary dance through theater visits. To this end, the school cooperates with the Tanzwerkstatt Europa , the Tanzbasis association (as part of the Tanzplan Deutschland ) and the Gärtnerplatztheater . During the Bavarian summer vacation the Iwanson School organizes the youth summer dance academy.

Advanced training for contemporary dance teachers

In order to enable dance teachers in German-speaking countries continuous and systematic advanced training opportunities within the framework of the Iwanson method , the school organizes a series of weekend advanced training courses in the fields of “contemporary dance for children” and “contemporary dance in children's and youth culture at the beginning of the school year and half-year "(Especially hip-hop and jazz dance )," contemporary dance in school sports "and" contemporary dance in lay education ". Longer-term training courses are offered as part of the 3-week summer school.

In cooperation with the Bavarian State Association for Contemporary Dance (BLZT), the Iwanson School has developed a certification system for contemporary dance pedagogy for children and laypersons (training supervisor examination).

The Iwanson Sixt Foundation for Contemporary Dance

In addition to the Iwanson School, the Iwanson Sixt Foundation for Contemporary Dance was founded in 2007 . The foundation awards prizes for services to contemporary dance and grants grants for youth culture projects. The foundation is funded by the cultural department of the state capital for the broad-based program “Young Dance Munich” and from 2008 has a rehearsal room dedicated to promoting young, contemporary dancers and choreographers. Renowned dance artists such as the director of the Venice Dance Biennale, Ismael Ivo and the ballet director of the Munich Gärtnerplatztheater , Hans Henning Paar belong to the foundation's advisory board.

The Iwanson Method

Jessica Iwanson's teaching method is based on the footwork of classical ballet during the warm-up (on the bar). The footwork is trained using pliés, tendus, frappés and battements, while the upper body contrasts with dynamic swings and complex arm work. In order to strengthen certain muscle groups and simultaneously relax others regardless of gravity, up to 30% of the weight is shifted onto the bar. Each exercise has a set breathing technique. In contrast to classical ballet, Jessica Iwanson phrased in different tempos, making the training "relaxed", "lively" and "earthy". Strength and firmness from the feet over the middle of the body relieves the upper body and frees it for artistic expression.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ History (short version) of the Iwanson School. In: www.iwanson.de. Retrieved January 27, 2020 .
  2. Swedish Culture Prize for Jessica Iwanson. In: www.tanznetz.de. May 15, 2013, accessed January 27, 2020 .
  3. ^ Iwanson Sixt Foundation. In: www.iwanson.de. Retrieved January 27, 2020 .

Coordinates: 48 ° 7 '44.5 "  N , 11 ° 32' 8.4"  E