October 13-15, 2015: Technique and Improv with Shannon Stewart and Michelle Ramos-Burkhart

Recently relocated to New Orleans from Seattle, Shannon Stewart creates and tours work for stage and film with collaborator Adam Sekuler. Her work has been supported through numerous awards and residencies, and their films have screened in film festivals around the world.  Shannon has performed nationally and internationally in work by Deborah Hay (Austin), tEEth (Portland), zoe | juniper, salt horse (Seattle), Kathleen Hermesdorf (San Francisco), and many others. As an educator and practitioner, Shannon is interested in tools that help us listen and communicate with our bodies more clearly, gently, and productively.  She works with beginning to professional dancers, including differently abled people and movers living with neurodegenerative disease.  Shannon teaches contemporary technique, improvisation, is certified in Gyrokinesis®, and is a Teaching Artist with the Mark Morris Dance For Parkinson’s program. She is an activist, avid music lover, and writer. therealshannonstewart.org

Michelle Ramos-Burkhart is a retired professional ballet dancer, dance instructor, and nationally recognized arts leader. During her twelve-year dance career she trained and performed in her hometown of Denver, CO, with Larry Boyette, Ballet Arts, Colorado Ballet, and Cleo Parker Robinson. She danced with Dance Theater of Harlem in New York and San Diego Festival Ballet before retiring from her ballet career. She also worked in the commercial arena in Los Angeles for several years. She instructed for eight years with Dancenter in Santa Cruz, CA. She has moved from the stage and studio to behind the scenes, where she worked as Executive Director for Ballet Hispanico, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and ran Dance/NYC from 2006-2010. She is an attorney and has recently been appointed as a Trustee of Dance/USA, Washington, DC, and Vice-Chair of the Board for Dancing Grounds, New Orleans, LA. She is thrilled to be back in the studio and joining the vibrant dance community of New Orleans!

  • Tuesday: Contemporary technique with Shannon. Shannon Stewart’s contemporary technique class includes somatic tuning, guided improvisation, technical, cardio and strengthening exercises that allow dancers to increase range of motion, physical capacity and the potential for alternative virtuosities.   Shannon works equally with physical and mental rigor, attention to detail, play and experimentation, and always ends class with phrase work. Her training encompasses classical forms, somatic practices, martial arts and breakdancing.  She is certified in Gyrokinesis® and has trained abroad in Forsythe improvisation, gaga, and CounterTechnique.  Her class aims to create space for sorting through and integrating dancers’ various experiences, trainings, identities, motives, and relationships to their bodies. Shannon will be creating various contemporary performance works for film and stage in New Orleans in 2015-16 and looks forward to meeting collaborators through her classes and shared physical practices.
  • Wednesday: Structured improv with Shannon. See description above.
  • Thursday: Contemporary ballet technique with Michelle Ramos-Burkhart. This class follows the structure of a traditional ballet class but with contemporary music and movement exploration. It incorporates full body coordination and articulation, intricate footwork, improvisational exercises, and musicality. As classical shapes are developed and challenged, students are encouraged to take risks and approach familiar movements in non-traditional ways.

All classes from 10-1130am at Live Oak Dance (1128 Dublin St) in Riverbend. Drop-in rate is $12. Class cards are available in 10-class increments for $100.