We’ve asked Andrea Nann some questions about Gyrokinesis, one of the methods she’ll be teaching at this year’s August Intensive. Here’s what she had to say about this unique technique:
When you Google Gyrokinesis, the first results that show up are very much in the “fitness craze” style. What’s the professional value of this practice for dancers?
AN: That’s funny! I think a “fitness craze” is suppose to lure people’s interest. It has the opposite effect on me, but I have to appreciate that this is the popular way to say that something is exciting, new, and potentially effective. I would describe Gyrokinesis as an Expansion practice, and at the heart of it is an energy practice that stimulates and harmonizes the various interrelated systems of the body. I see it as a means for me to expand my presence in the world and to tune and enliven my “instrument.”
Could you describe Gyrokinesis to those who are new or inexperienced with the form?
AN: I like this simple description from the Gyrotonic.com website:
The GYROKINESIS® method is a movement method that gently works the entire body, opening energy pathways, stimulating the nervous system, increasing range of motion, and creating functional strength through rhythmic, flowing movement sequuences. It is an orginal, and unique movement practice which has roots in Yoga, Tai Chi, gymnastics, and dance. Each class begins on a chair with a gentle warm up sequence to awaken the senses, and stimulate the nervous system. This is followed by a series of fluid spinal motions which increase range of motion, and prepare the body to explore more complex movements with agility, and ease. Class continues on the floor with exercises that expand on the spinal motions, gradually adding more complex sequences, incorporating more movements of the hips, shoulders, hands and feet.
How long have you been practising Gyrokinesis as part of your conditioning routine? What benefits have you experienced with your own body/craft?
AN: I was introduced to the practice in 2009 by dancer / choreographer Dana Gingras. She told me it was changing her life in ways beyond her comprehension: she had launched a new company, Animals of Distinction; built a new creation and Gyrotonics studio space, The Stable, in Montreal; and was about to marry the love of her life. At the time I remember quietly thinking that it was hard to believe that a movement practice could bring about such events, but in hindsight I can see how she chose to attribute the benefits of an expansion / energy building practice to all of these aspects of her life. I know that doesn’t answer the question, but I think it’s a fabulous story!
I’m curious about the term “re-educating” that’s used in the class description on our website. What practices / habits / mistakes have we normalized, and what does Gyrokinesis aim to enhance or correct?
AN: We all develop habits and this happens in our movement patterns as well. Gyrokinesis sequences reinforce long, extended, anatomically sound pathways. Variations of these pathways are repeated through the 60 minute class.
Are there any classes at the August Intensive that you’re excited to take this year?
AN: There is so much to learn from each of these artists / instructors. I’m particularly excited that dancers will have an opportunity to experience vocal training with Fides. Her somatic, emotion-based approach will deepen any dancer’s experience of being in, and tuning into, their body.
Dancers and dance students interested in Gyrokinesis with Andrea Nann can register as part of the Repertoire Stream, the Body & Breath Stream, or the Technique Stream, or sign up for single classes. Click here for full details on the 2013 August Intensive, or to register today!