Workshop/Audition with PCDC!
“If you can talk you can sing, if you can walk you can dance.” This is exactly the kind of attitude and positivity Melissa Gendreau expels as she teaches her classes filled with everyone from her own professional company dancers to high school students on break from school. While technically challenging and highly energetic, Melissa and her dancers radiate an inclusive and fun energy (bursts of laughter are a guarantee in any PCDC class).
As the company continues to grow, they thrive off the energy of New York and – most importantly – the company and creative spirit of the dancers it houses. Right along the lines of PCDC’s inclusive ways, they recently had a workshop/audition in which the sole purpose was to foster relationships with new dancers while growing, learning and creating together with dance as the platform. Melissa, fearless yet humble, lead and instructed a group of eager dancers through a physically challenging workshop that encouraged strength, bravery and a strong sense of individuality.
Throughout the workshop Melissa and company dancers were able to get to know many of the students on a more personal level, and from that open place encouraged honest feedback about their experience dancing with PCDC. When asked to comment on her experience, Cailin Murtha so generously offered:
“When the first day of class started I was nervous and excited. As soon as warm-up started I had a good feeling. The director of PCDC, Melissa was a really sweet person and was very knowledgeable about the body of a dancer. The 2 girls from the company, Natalie and Laura were very helpful from the start in learning the choreography and warm-up routine. The warm-up was great; it warmed me up quickly but didn’t make me feel too tired to finish another hour and a half of dancing. Learning PCDC’s choreography was an awesome experience. Their work is so different and incorporates so many different aspects of contemporary, modern, athleticism and technique. I really enjoyed the workshop and the encouraging atmosphere.”
Another purpose of the workshop, was to find dancers for PCDC’s first evening length piece, “Will/Work” which takes a look at the often mundane robotic 9-5 lifestyle and one’s desire to break free. The piece was showcased as a work-in-progress this past winter during the APAP Conference, and is being further developed during a week long residency at the Silo this June. Erin Johnson, no stranger to PCDC, also attended the workshop and commented on being asked to work with the company through the development of “Will/Work”.
“I’m intrigued by PCDC’s quality of performance on stage and in the studio–one of the reasons why I decided to pursue auditioning for the company for the second time. The workshop was an-inside look into the Company’s class, challenging repertoire, and informative rehearsal process. I’m excited to take part in the new work and thankful for the opportunity.”
As always, the company thrills in working with new dancers in a classroom-like setting. Aside from technique, an actual interest in PCDC choreography and the interest to grow together in a close-knit family kind of way is what Melissa looks for in dancers. Asking dancers to show up in an emotionally open and physical way is understandably no small request. But in return, Melissa promises to give back in the same open and caring way while paying special attention to each dancer’s body and potential to grow. If interested in exploring the unique class yourself, check out Melissa weekly classes at Studio Anya and her upcoming classes at Dance New Amsterdam where she will be teaching as part of their Modern Guest Series.
Stay tuned for more and thanks for taking a brief intermission with Perceptions!