Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Learning from the Master: Noa Wertheim

Noa Wertheim (center) teaching class. Photo Credit: Lori Teauge
On Saturday October 18, Emory Dance had the honor of hosting a master class taught by Noa Wertheim, founder and artistic director of Israel based Vertigo Dance Company!

Emory sophomore and dance student Emma Neish attended class and now shares with us what she learned from her encounter with Noa. 


I have so much respect for the talented individuals who not only make art, but also incorporate it into their life. Noa’s movement and teaching immediately identified her as one of those gifted artists. 

Photo Credit: Lori Teague
In the span of a short morning class she helped me identify patterns in my dancing and aspects of my movement that I typically return to. While familiar movement can create a personal style, it can also be limiting. She first showed us how to continue with a movement. Instead of creating a snapshot image, we created a video. We began with a slow shift of weight and felt how one movement connects to another. Her movement felt very deliberate and grounded. She emphasized connectivity within the body, around the body, and between the body and the floor. By simply refocusing attention to my feet, core and the floor, I was much more stable- a key element in not only her movement but all dance. We continued with leaning and rolling, trying to make the movements feel effortless. Noa showed us that movement is simply weight transfer and if you can master and control your body in relation to gravity, the movement becomes “effortless”. 

Her advice resonated with me because after an hour of experimenting with weight transfer, rolling and falling I felt a new ease to my dancing. The feeling of effortlessness in dance is freeing and this inspired new movement and experimentation. Her suggestion to continue with a movement became clearer and instead of returning to my familiar affinities, I began to push the limits of weight transfer and balance. 

This class definitely inspired "aha!" moments and improved my self-awareness, creativity, and attention to connectivity.  ​

What great insight!

For information on the Emory Dance Program, please go to our website or check out our Facebook page.

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