The Jon Lehrer Dance technique revolves around the world of physics. We us the forces of physics to propel us through space, balance, turn, jump, and every other way we can move our bodies. The 4 main elements focused are Circularity, 3- Dimensionality, Oppositional Force, and Momentum. These combine to create an exciting and engrossing style of movement we call “Organic Atheticsm”. The students will engage their entire physicality, combining elements of ballet, modern, and jazz to achieve a more efficient and engrossing way of movement and expression. The students will get a great physical workout and gain valuable insight into the art and athleticism of dance as well as how physics and dance are related.
Physics is in all movement, and the use of physics will help make dance more fun, exciting, and easier to execute. Circularity is our first element and really the jumping off point. The circle is everywhere and the use of it makes your movement more engrossing, smooth, and connected. There are no straight lines on your body, only arcs and curves. The students will focus on these arcs and curves of their bodies to execute the physical movements, not using any straight lines or edges, which make movement tight, stiff, and choppy. Because of gravity and its downward pull, we don’t want to fight it by going straight up only. Rather, we strive to curve through space to use gravity and circularity together to make everything easier.
3-Dimensionality is the act of using our entire body at all times. In the company we use the saying “It takes a village…” to convey this idea. The village is your body and your body parts are the villagers, each one contributing. The more they all work together, the easier the movement is and less stress is put on one body part. Typically the legs and arms are stressed first, but by using 3-Dimensionality, the dancer will find the movement less tiring and more effective. As in physics, the more leverage you have, the easier it is to move something. Well, by using “the entire village”, your entire body in all movements, you obtain more leverage and can propel you body through space with less brut force and more organic strength.
Oppositional force provides us with balance, energy, stretch, and propulsion. In order to balance there must be opposing energies. In order for us to stand we have to oppose gravity vertically. We take that concept to extreme levels by showing the students that you can balance in any way (even off center) if you properly use oppositional force in your body. Like snowboarders, surfers, and skaters lean in and away from themselves and still balance, the Jon Lehrer Dance technique and challenges the students to be off center and still balance and control their movement. When oppositional force is used, it also creates energy - especially energy outward. This gives the dancer the feeling of being bigger than they are and a sense of freedom in their movements. It also allows the stretching and lengthening of the body to happen more effectively and efficiently. And, of course, oppositional force gives us the sling shot effect, or a natural way of propelling ourselves. We show the students how to be like a rubber band and stretch themselves one way to propel themselves another way. This is great for leaps and jumps that really fly through the air.
Our favorite use of physics is momentum. As Newton's First Law of Motion states: “Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it. “. We simplify this by saying, “Use your momentum, not your muscles to run and jump and fly and dance!”. We will compare this to rollercoasters, teaching the students to dance like they are on a roller coaster, using the ups and downs and loops to keep moving. When they tap into momentum, the student feels free and really starts to acquire and feel their “Organic Athleticsm”.