Archives for Improvisation

Meet one of our 2017 Guest Artists for NJ SummerDance!

Guest Artists Master Classes are included in full registration or can be attended at a drop-in rate of $30/each. Email Janel Brown,, with any questions. Click here to learn more about NJ SummerDance.

Jenna Riegel, Intermediate/Advanced Partnering and Improvisation

Monday, August 14, 2017 at 1:00 to 2:50 pm


NJ SummerDance 2017 welcomes guest artist, and former Carolyn Dorfman Dance company member, Jenna Riegel. This two hour workshop will delve into the techniques and mechanics of contemporary partnering focusing on anatomical efficiency and the coordinated efforts of both partners. We will utilize some of the foundational elements of contact improvisation such as gradation of weight sharing and giving, qualities of touch (low tone to high tone) and physical listening and alert responsiveness. We will examine and talk about the importance of the pelvic relationships between partners during any lift or maneuver. We will put theory to practice and learn codified lifts and maneuvers that highlight certain principles of partnering and also incorporate improvisational exercises centered around certain skill sets to help expand our partnering toolbox. The workshop will emphasize sensation, safety and economic execution over aesthetic or style.


About Jenna Riegel

Jenna Riegel, a native of Fairfield, Iowa, has been a New York-based dancer, performer and teacher since 2007. Currently a member of the Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Company, Jenna also had the honor of performing with Daara Dance (choreographer Michel Kouakou), Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, johannes wieland, Tania Isaac Dance and Bill Young/Colleen Thomas & Company. She has also toured nationally and internationally as a company member of David Dorfman Dance and Alexandra Beller Dances. Jenna has performed in New York City venues such as The Joyce, New York Live Arts, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Danspace at St. Marks Church, Dance Theater Workshop, Aaron Davis Hall, Joyce SoHo, Dance New Amsterdam, Movement Research, Henry Street Settlement/Abrons Arts Center, John Ryan Theater, Symphony Space and the Duo Theater.

Jenna has been on faculty at Barnard College and The Juilliard School teaching contemporary technique and contemporary partnering. She has also taught classes in contemporary technique at Dance New Amsterdam, The Joffrey Ballet School, 100 Grand, Gibney Dance as well as at festivals around the world such as the New York University’s Tisch Summer Dance Festival, the Open Look Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Annual Dance Conference and Performance Festival in Bytom, Poland and the Dance Isadora Festival in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. Jenna is also a certified Stott Pilates instructor and taught pilates in NYC from 2007-2014. Jenna holds an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa and a B. A. in Theater Arts from Maharishi University of Management.

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