The Mercyhurst Dance Department welcomes New York choreographer and teacher Richard Chen See to Mercyhurst University Feb. 10-15.
Chen See performed with the Paul Taylor Dance Company for 15 years, where he studied the Taylor technique under the direction of Paul Taylor himself.
This opportunity is provided by the Mercyhurst Dance Department, which funds annual residencies for the professional development of dance majors.
Since dance is a kinesthetic art form, it is important to study styles from those closest to the primary source.
Material taught by members and previous members of large dance companies helps dancers to see how movement was crafted and styles were developed.
By exposing dancers to as many styles as possible through residencies and master classes, Mercyhurst produces well-rounded and uniquely developed dancers for the professional world of dance.
Chen See, through his direct work with Taylor, will bring insight and inspiration to the Dance department during his residency at Mercyhurst.
He will be teaching a mix of repertory, ballet and modern classes to the Mercyhurst dancers.
Chen See currently teaches in New York at several dance institutions.
He said, “when I teach, everything is a system. It’s like a song with a bridge and a chorus.”
The Taylor technique offers an interesting blend of modern and ballet dance styles, both of which are studied by Mercyhurst University Dance majors.
Taylor’s unique style is a blend of the choreographers he studied under in New York City: Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham.
Taylor’s choreography challenges the idea of American modern dance with its combination of pedestrian movements, large jumps and long periods of stillness.
Chen See will be teaching various pieces of Taylor repertoire as well as technique classes throughout the week, allowing Mercyhurst dancers to experience the Taylor technique in depth.
Chen See will be presenting a free lecture titled, “The Evolution of the Taylor Aesthetic/Style” on Feb. 8 from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. in Zurn 114 at Mercyhurst.
Chen See will also be teaching a master class on Feb. 10 at 10:30 a.m. for the greater Erie Community.
Students looking to attend the Saturday community class are asked to be at least 12 years of age with a minimum of five years of dance experience.
The Saturday community class is $25 to attend and $10 to observe.