From April 9 to 11, Ask la Cour and his wife, Mercyhurst alumna Kristen Kurie, will do a ballet and physical therapy residency in the Dance department.
La Cour is a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet and will be teaching Mercyhurst Dance majors Bournonville and Balanchine techniques.
La Cour studied primarily at the Royal Danish Ballet School, one of the only ballet schools that still teaches the ballet technique developed by August Bournonville.
In 2000, la Cour joined the Royal Danish Ballet as a corps de ballet member.
La Cour worked his way through the ranks of the New York City Ballet before becoming a principal dancer in February 2013.
After graduating from Mercyhurst, Kurie earned her doctorate of Physical Therapy from New York Medical College.
In addition to working with the New York City Ballet medical team, she currently works with the local Manhattan community as well as tending to the physical therapy needs of performing artists.
Kurie will be providing the Mercyhurst dancers with injury-prevention techniques, physical therapy lectures, movement labs and tips and tricks to stay healthy in a demanding physical profession like dance.
La Cour promises to teach a combination of both Bournonville and Balanchine ballet techniques during his Mercyhurst residency. His influences stem from his training and his professional work.
Bournonville technique, taught at the Royal Danish Ballet, is one of the last remaining courses of study that was heavily influenced by the Romantic era of ballet.
Bournonville technique features a very basic use of the arms, with a majority of the time spent with the arms held in a low, round position.
Other stylistic features include a downward gaze, graceful épaulment, low–legged pirouettes and quick footwork.
Balanchine technique, taught at the School of American Ballet, was founded by New York City Ballet’s original director, George Balanchine.
Balanchine’s style was deemed the original neoclassical ballet.
It focused on dancer’s lines and reinvented the dancer’s body ideal into what is considered the desirable ballet aesthetic today.
The New York City Ballet, in partnership with the Balanchine Trust, still presents works originally choreographed by Balanchine to this day.
La Cour will be presenting “Balancing the Traditional with the Contemporary Approach; Bournonville and Balanchine Techniques” on April 10 from 6 to 7 p.m.
The Mercyhurst community is welcome to attend this artist chat for free.