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workshop: SEPTEMBER 8 -NOVEMBER 10, 2024; 4-7 pm





(THUR-FRI-SAT 7:00 PM, SUN 3:00 PM)

Join us for a unique opportunity to learn 2 extraordinary repertory works by two extraordinary women's choreographers of the 20th Century, Doris Humphrey (1895-1958) and Isadora Duncan (1877-1927). This is a 10 week (3-hr week) workshop culminating with performances during Dances We Dance 2024 Fall NY Season at the Martha Graham Studio Theater in NYC.

Doris Humphrey’s dance “Water Study” (1928) is a vivid choreographic example of breath motif in a multiplicity of rhythms and forms. Performed without music and with a large ensemble of dancers, the piece depends entirely on the rhythmic flow of the bodies and breath of the dancers. The  composition begins with gentle wave undulations rippling successionally through their bodies. Gradually the movement becomes more intense; running and leaping suggesting high crashing waves on a stormy sea, rising to a climax and subsiding again to calm gradually returning to tranquility.

Classic in balance, symmetry and frontality, Isadora Duncan's "Water Study" clearly evokes water and waves. Motifs are built on the ideas of weight and flexibility, reflecting Duncan's fascination with "the law of wave movement" in nature. Endlessly flowing undulations, billows, swirls and ripples invite comparison with "Waves," "Splashes" and "Ripples" in the more complex Water Study of Doris Humphrey. Walt Whitman's "In Cabin'd Ships at Sea" provides a perfect poetic description of the Duncan Water Study: "We feel the long pulsation, ebb and flow of endless motion / The tones of unseen mystery, the vague and vast suggestions of the briny world, the liquid-flowing syllables." (ref. Nadia Chilkovsky Nahumck)

We are looking for 10 to 16 professional young dancers who are interested and passionate about learning these works and can commit to this 10 week workshop plus performance season. The workshop is divided in 2 sections: starts with a warm-up followed by the learning of repertory by Doris Humphrey; the last 30 minutes will be dedicated to the Duncan's 'water study'. 

Doris Humphrey (1895-1958) was a pioneer in American modern dance and an innovator in technique, choreography, and theory of dance movement. Humphrey's choreography set a standard and was an inspiration to the generations of modern dance choreographers that followed. She was one of the founding members of the dance department at the Julliard School of Music in 1951.


Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) an original thinker and cultural/artistic phenomenon, who fanned the flames of modernism 100 years ago, is considered the Mother of Modern Dance. Her technique and style uses breath and the solar plexus as the initiatory center. We will explore this authentic material which is examined and informed by a contemporary perspective reflecting the dance/movement backgrounds of the instructor.


Come share in a living history of modern dance and gain a physical and intellectual perspective on the origins of contemporary theater and dance. The Humphrey repertory will be taught by Gail Corbin, Humphrey Specialist and HDF director, and the Duncan part by Francesca Todesco, artistic director of DWD.

Limited number of places available: dancers who sign up must be available for the full workshop, in addition to tech, dress rehearsals and all the performances. Understudy positions available.

Selection process:

Class and Repertory workshop

SUNDAYS September 8 - November 10, 2024

4:00 – 7:00 pm

Performance Week

Tech Rehearsal Sunday NOVEMBER 17 (time TBD)

Dress Rehearsal Thursday NOVEMBER 21 (after 1 pm)

Performances November 21-24, 2024

(THUR-FRI-SAT 7:00 PM, SUN 3:00 PM)


Martha Graham Studio Theater

55 Bethune Street

Westbeth Building, 11th Floor

New York, NY 10014

Subways: A, C, E, 1 to 14th Street


Fee: $300

Please FILL OUT THIS FORM if you are interested in signing up and secure your spot.

Non-refundable $20 deposit fee

Payment plan available: contact


Venmo (preferred) @Francesca-Todesco (no additional fee)

PayPal (please add $5 processing fee for full workshop, $2 for deposit only)





​DWD offers weekly classes and seasonal workshops in NYC or abroad.

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