By Visiting Assistant Professdaor Ann Sofie Clemmensen
DANCE Denmark was a 5 ½ week - from May 28 to July 6 - performance, teaching and cultural exchange program committed to engage with dance as a creative movement practice with many forms of expression.
The study abroad group, led by Ohio State Dance Visiting Assistant Professor Ann Sofie Clemmensen, partnered with Gerlev Sports Academy, an institution that since it was founded in 1938 has been highly focused on developing and creating excitement about movement and sports. Gerlev has pioneered pedagogical activity in Denmark and contributed to revising the image of creative movement through parkour and dancing. At Gerlev, tolerance, openness, community and freedom are the keywords.
Fifteen dance majors were selected through an audition process in October 2016, and they rehearsed their performance program throughout spring semester 2017. Joshua Manculich (MFA 2017) restaged his work Ride; Assistant Professor Daniel Roberts choreographed a new work (quartet) and Clemmensen in collaboration with the dancers choreographed Ingeminate, a new work for all 15 students.
The students experienced the largest sports and culture festival in Denmark where they performed at the International Gala Show, at outdoor venues in Aalborg downtown and at various events in partnership with Gerlev. They also experienced the largest 4th of July celebration outside of the United States, which takes place in Rebild Bakker, northern Jutland. They visited Copenhagen for four days, where students took master classes, taught workshops, explored the city on bicycles and met leaders within the field of dance to hear about dance in Denmark as well as Europe.
The program included teaching workshops for different youth groups and leading/partaking in weekly dialog sessions with students from Gerlev Sports Academy. Ohio State dancers visited historical and cultural sites, beaches and other natural areas, as well as art events and community engagement activities.
“We have all learned so much about ourselves as dancers and as people in a greater context," said BFA Dance student Mikaela Hayes. "By expanding our view of the world, we are empowered and excited moving into the coming year, with new inspiration, commitment and drive due to the amazing things we took part in during our time Denmark.”
This study abroad program was facilitated by Ohio State’s Office of International Affairs and the Department of Dance.