Technical Foundation of RTDG
So, how does one focus the energies of a broad and far-reaching vision? Dance as a language is dependent on the human body as a vessel for communication. The technique is founded on this most basic of principles; the body must be trained as a versatile, finely tuned instrument of expression, unfettered by a rigid vocabulary of steps and/or codified style. The technique is based on seven primary movement dynamics, and on a series of balanced, strenuous exercises developed by Margret Dietz, called Fundamental Movement.
Fundamental Movement is comparable to a ballet barre or Pilates floor barre that strives to shape and tune the body through exercises designed to develop true core strength. The dynamics are the synthesis of Mary Wigman's study with Dalcroze and von Laban and require a clear understanding of the organic root and motivation for any gesture, form or movement-through-the-space crafted to fulfill the presentation of a theme. The dynamics are: walks and glides, vibrations, turns, elevations, falls, swings, curves and circles. Two other fundamental concepts form the uniqueness of Wigman's approach to dance, which is space as a tangible element of the Dance, along with integrity of purpose and function.
Dance is the art of movement through space. Space is an interdependent element of composition. Symmetry vs. asymmetry, mirror image vs. unison, strong and weak places in space, intimate or remote placement of a dancer or ensemble on the stage, a working knowledge of spatial relation principles is a core element of the craft of choreography. Using them so that they strengthen the form and fulfill the content of any given dance is the art. The empty space that is a choreographer's chosen framework is approached as a tangible element to be grappled with and shaped to the needs of the dance.
Integrity means wholeness or truthfulness. The integrity of purpose and function is at the very root of technique. The dance and the message, is the ultimate focus. The choreographer is the image-maker that crafts the dance to make the message as accessible as possible to an audience. Knowledge, of performing, teaching and choreography make the dancer. The integration of movement in space, light, sound, costume and emotion make the dance. Dancers trained in this technique should learn the principles of performing, teaching and composition and then focus at some point on one or two where their interest and aptitude are highest. The key point is that all three are taught simultaneously as disciplined skills because each is an essential element of the dance as art. A well-trained dancer should train in all three areas as a part of a comprehensive learning process. When this is realized, a much more powerful performer is realized. And, if one eventually teaches dance, what do you teach if you know it not as the soul-inspiring communicative art that it is meant to be?
It is important to grasp that this approach to dance is the very essence of this technical foundation's uniqueness. From it flows versatility as a technician, openness to the pulse of the dance artist's time, and facilitates potential to make an artistic statement that is accessible to a broad spectrum of interests and backgrounds.