Thursday, August 29, 2013

Interview with Limon Faculty Member Logan Kruger

"One of the greatest challenges we face [in dance] is truly letting go….we are so well trained to DO, that it can be difficult to give in to gravity and let movements happen." - Logan Kruger 

In 2014, Peridance's successful, long-established partnership with the Limon Institute will reach its ten-year milestone. Meet the newest addition teaching Limon technique at Peridance, faculty member Logan Kruger.

-What initially drew you to Limon technique?
I was very lucky to begin studying Limón at a very early age, when I was about 9 or 10.  Since I really grew up with this technique as my "home base" it has always been an important part of my life as a dancer.  I think what's kept me interested in it after all these years is the honesty and potential for risk taking inherent in the technique, as well as the humanity in the work.

-How did you get started teaching Limon technique?
My first experiences teaching Limón came from being a dancer in the company, where we, as dancers, share information and ideas with one another.  That's where my interest in teaching first began, and where I developed an eye for seeing the technique on other bodies.  As my interest in teaching grew I decided to take the Limón teacher's workshop last summer and began teaching at peridance soon after.

-What do you think is one of the most challenging aspects when studying Limon technique?
I think Limón is deceptively challenging.  To a new comer, it can appear very easy.  But, because we work with fall and recovery, suspension and release, you need to have a very strong technical base, otherwise you'll have nowhere to recover to! 

-What advice can you give to those that are unfamiliar or new to the technique?
I would say to trust in your technique enough to be able to fall away from it.  Trust that if you let your head go, you won't fall down.  But if you do fall down, that's ok too!  It's not too far to the floor.  Just trusting in the body's natural ability to interact with gravity.  We do it everyday.
Photo: Yi-Chun Wu
-What advice can you give to those that are currently studying it?
The beauty of Limón is that one can always go deeper.   Challenging yourself to include the focus into the movement will change one's experience so dramatically.  So often, in class we don't give enough thought to our focus, because we're concentrating on learning the exercises, or "getting it right".  But when we include the focus, it helps us to find a more full and connected sense of physicality, and we move away from doing exercises and towards dancing.

-How are Limon classes structured?
There is no codified structure for the Limón technique, so each teacher is free to structure their class how they want.  In order for it to really be a Limón class, it needs to touch on the principles I mentioned above: breath, weight, swing, suspension, fall and recovery, etc.  Personally, I like to try to incorporate those principles with a fairly standard "dance-class" structure, first warming up the spine and breath and the plié, then moving from smaller gestures of the legs (tendus, degagés) to bigger ones (battement), all the while approaching these actions with the Limón principles.  One major difference to the structure of a Limón class to that of a ballet class, for instance, is that we incorporate shifts of weight much earlier on in the class, as well as big movements of the torso. 

-How would you describe the technique and style to someone who has never taken a class?
In the Limón technique we are working in a context which doesn't aim to ignore, or overcome gravity, but acknowledges it and aims to find the beauty in giving into it and resisting it.  We utilize weight, breath and isolations of the body to explore fall and recovery, swing and suspension.  Between the poles of weight and weightlessness there are endless possibilities for dynamic movement.

-What are some challenges you face when teaching Limon technique?
I think one of the greatest challenges when teaching dance in any form, is learning how to give the students information in words, when the real truth of the movement is in it's own language.  

-What inspires you as a teacher and artist?
Well, this work inspires me.  It's truly a dream to dance and perform.  I think it's extremely important to pass this legacy on, so, even just doing my small part by performing the work and teaching it when I can, is extremely satisfying to me. 

Catch Logan's class at Peridance, below.

Limón Technique

Intermediate Level
Saturdays, 11am-12:30pm

Starting Saturday, September 7th, Logan's class time will shift to 10:30am-12pm

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