The Lenfest Center for the Arts
Modern Dance Masterclass Autumn Eckman
Saturday, January 13, 2018 from 10-11:30 a.m.
W&L Dance Studio
Autumn Eckman, described by Chicago Sun-Times reviewer Hedy Weiss as a “Galvanic work with a truly distinctive language,” ‘Yes…And!’ was devised to illuminate the rhythmical intricacies of its score by Brazilian body percussion group, the Barbatuques. Designed to unfold much like casual conversations between various groupings of people, the work grounds itself in the classic tenet of improvisation theater known by the same title. ‘Yes…And!’ explores the relationship of highly amplified percussive beats to corresponding stage patterning, gestural articulations, highly physicalized movement sequences and musical responses wherein its content—seen in overlapping motifs of movement-based “questions”—is driven forward through affirmation and fast-paced response.
Eckman received her ballet training from the Houston Ballet Academy. In her 20 years as a professional dancer, Eckman had the privilege to work with and perform the works of some of the world’s leading contemporary, classical, modern and jazz companies including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Luna Negra Dance Theatre, Giordano Dance Chicago, Lucky Plush Productions, Ron De Jesus Dance and the State Street Ballet.
She is currently a member of The Cambrians—a Chicago based company that uses large collaborative processes to create evening length work. Through extensive training in an ever broader range of techniques including the modern techniques of Horton and Graham, partnering, improvisation and the contemporary movement practices, she has formulated an integrated approach to her own ways of teaching that appeals to dancers from diverse movement practices and technical backgrounds.
From 2009-2014 she served as Assistant Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer of Giordano Dance Chicago and Director of its second company, Giordano II. She has also served as Artist-In-Residence for State Street Ballet and has choreographed for companies and universities including DanceWorks Chicago, Big Muddy Dance Co., Wylliams-Henry Dance Company, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Western Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Stephens College, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and the University of Missouri- Kansas City.
Her work has been presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Bates Dance Festival, Jazz Dance World Congress, Midwest RAD Festival, Florida Dance Festival, Detroit Dance City Festival and Kalamazoo Michigan’s Aesthetic Research and Education Program.
From 2009-2015, she was an Instructor of Dance at Northern Illinois University and has been a faculty member of Hubbard Street’s Lou Conte Dance Studio, Visceral Dance Center, State Street Ballet Summer Intensive, Florida Dance Festival, Summer Dance Lab (Walla Walla, WA), Arizona Jazz Dance Showcase and the Bates Dance Festival’s Young Dancers and Professional Division. Eckman is an Iowa Arts Fellow at the University of Iowa where she received an MFA in Choreography. Currently she is a visiting professor of dance at the University of Arizona.