This week Anouk van Dijk, creator of Countertechnique, has launched an online platform for dancers everywhere to experience her movement system while the world shelters in place. This is an unprecedented opportunity—there are only 32 certified Countertechnique teachers around the world with official approval to teach the work. Now is your chance to give Countertechnique a try from your own home.
From her home in Melbourne, Australia, van Dijk asks, “How can we stay physically engaged, inspired and connected to our bodies? How to feel part of a community, and how to stay engaged in training? Our online classes in particular will acknowledge these needs, and we have developed a special format that offers dancers a sense of ease, experience of space and enjoyment of movement, beyond the reality of confines.”
The series began yesterday, free of charge (donations accepted if you are financially able), with seven sessions led by instructors from Australia, Greece and the Netherlands, including some by van Dijk herself. Classes are 75 minutes long; find the schedule and calendar here.
If new to Countertechnique, it is a movement system of set exercises and a toolbox of concepts to learn. This is subtle and sophisticated work for advanced contemporary dancers seeking new layers and approaches to the weekly technique class. In my own experience in Charles Slender-White’s Countertechnique classes in the San Francisco Bay Area, we work on clarity and efficiency by focusing on directionality and body parts in motion. We create space in the joints and play with dynamic balances.
“Anouk is a force of a woman,” says E’lise Jumes, who has recently joined the dance faculty at DeSales University and who worked with van Dijk during a residency at the University of Utah School of Dance. “She has the ability to laugh at herself and laugh alongside others. There is this feeling of ‘we are all in this together’ that you experience when you take class from her. She creates an incredible environment for dancers, one that is filled with compassion, support, autonomy and mindful risk-taking.”