“Organic” is the word Bruno Collinet uses most to describe his movement philosophy in this 60-minute Contemporary Dance Warmup (by Tezoro LIVE Productions). That word has become so widely used in so many different contexts that it carries little descriptive power, but in this case one thing “organic” certainly means it that the movement feels good. Technique is not the emphasis here, rather, a sense of listening to the body while directing its energy. The movement is expansive and invigorating, challenging yet therapeutic. Bruno Collinet’s teaching manner is warm and welcoming, dynamic and energetic as he guides the viewer through five sections of elastic, visceral movement.
Each section is demonstrated in the studio by Collinet and two assistant dancers, and then shown with music in a class. The dancers on the video are arranged in different facings, making the movement sequences easy to learn.
Section I is floor work—a series of contractions, swings, rolls, and stretches “to put the body in a good mood,” as Collinet puts it. This is followed in the class by shoulder stretches, balance, and spotting work. In turning the head, Collinet emphasizes taking the eyes (“the look”) first, then following through with the head, something that often gets overlooked in many exercises for spotting or head isolation. I was happy to see it addressed here.
Section II focuses on the hips, backs of legs, and outsides of legs in a sequence of standing weight transfers, loose developpes, a fall, and a little more floor work. In section III, plies in first, second, and fourth position are deliciously tangled up with suspensions, cambres, and balances on two feet and one foot. Sections IV and V are a set of leg swings front and back in attitude. Section V emphasizes equilibrium with more suspensions and balances punctuating each repetition of the leg swing set.
This warmup is a comfortable and stimulating full-body workout. It was easy enough to follow and left me feeling powerful, coordinated, and in touch with my limbs and the ground. Taken at a slower pace or performed in reverse order, it could also make a good cool-down for looseness and relaxation after dancing.