The MCT Teacher Training Program

 

Week One

 

Cunningham Technique Basic Principles

This class includes a thorough review and discussion of the core values of Cunningham Technique, what makes it unique, and what fundamentals we strive to impart in each and every class.

Class Structure

This class outlines the basic structure of a Cunningham Technique class and reviews important basic elements such as time management in the studio.

Review and Investigation of the Back Exercises

This class focuses on the back exercises, identifying each one’s key purpose and common variations.

Legwork and Sample Exercises

This class examines all exercises in the central portion of the class which are focused on legwork. Sample exercises are given, as well as common variations.

Adagio/ Traveling Phrases/ Jumping and Class Closure

These classes will be covered over a three-day period but will follow a similar format. Key elements of each exercise will be determined and discussed, sample exercises will be given, and then participants will have the opportunity to create and share their own combinations will their peers.

Modifying Classes for Different Student Levels

This class is an in-depth discussion of not only how to modify classes, but also identifying the reasons why it may be necessary. This is a course meant to empower participants to make decisions on adapting the classwork to suit the needs of their student body. 

Teaching Practicum

Using the knowledge gained thus far, participants will practice teaching the various exercises covered and will also be assigned to teach a 45-minute warm-up on a specific day. Target levels will be assigned to aid in a more varied experience for participants.

 

Week Two

 

Placement and Body Awareness

This class focuses on placement of the body to allow for the most economical movement patterns and to avoid injury. Common student corrections are also addressed. 

History of MC’s work based on the “Four Discoveries” essay

Basic History of Cunningham’s Choreographic Work based on his Four Events that have Led to Large Discoveries essay

This class includes an examination of four Cunningham masterworks that exemplify each of his four discoveries. Participants will view these works in advance in preparation for the discussion session.

Communication Tools When Teaching with a Live Accompanist

This class focuses on the necessary communication tools needed when communicating with a live accompanist during a class. Basic music notation is covered as well as basic music vocabulary. This course can be modified based on the level of prior musical training of the participants involved.

Using Repertory Phrases as Inspiration for Class Combinations

This class will identify key elements in repertory phrases that can be used as the basis for creating class combinations. Participants will review the repertory videos discussed in week two and the group will identify several signature movements and movement combinations from each and will then use these to create their own class exercises.

Teaching Practicum

Using the knowledge gained thus far, participants will practice teaching the various exercises covered and will also be assigned to teach a 45-minute warm-up on a specific day. Target levels will be assigned to aid in a more varied experience for participants.

As a follow-up to this training program, the Merce Cunningham Trust will host yearly gatherings in person, online, or a combination of the two, during which teachers will have the opportunity to share and discuss their teaching experiences.