August Intensive

August 19 -23, 2019



Opening & Connecting | Sarah Fregeau | 9:30 - 10:30am
(Morning option for Creation Stream and Performance Stream)
This exploratory work focuses on activating the senses, enlivening awareness, awaking the imagination, and attending to one’s relationship with space, as a means to prepare for and enrich one’s engagement in class, rehearsal and creation.

Fundamentals | Christine Wright | 9:30 - 10:30am
(Morning option for Creation Stream and Performance Stream)
Working with a wide range of refined exercises, each geared toward specific anatomical goals, this class delves into foundational elements of dance technique: articulation, strength, and integration.

Contemporary Technique | Peggy Baker | 10:45 - 12:30pm
(Morning option for Creation Stream and Performance Stream)
Peggy Baker brings the richness, depth, and immediacy of her physical practice into play in a class driven by dynamism and rhythmic feel, and focused on the expressive and kinetic potential of our bodies. The work unfolds fluidly, and with refreshing shifts of focus, through a wide range of vivid and invigorating movement explorations that address essential issues of impulse and action.

Ballet | Christine Wright | 10:45 - 12:15pm
(Morning option for Creation Stream and Performance Stream)
Based on sound principles of anatomy, the focus of this class is movement, flow, and musicality. Ms. Wright's emphasis is on teaching dancers skills that enable them to bring out their own innate abilities, resulting in freedom of movement built on a firm foundation.

Repertoire | Peggy Baker and member of the company| 1:30 - 2:45pm
(Part of Performance Stream only. NOT open to drop-in or enrolment outside of full stream)
Dancers participating in the Performance Stream will spend the first 75 minutes of each afternoon working with Peggy and Sarah on choreographic material from work-in-progress who we are in the dark. Elements integral to the movement exploration include:
- fluid, highly articulate action along spiral pathways through the body
- precise gestural language
- floor work
- sensitive physical interactions with other dancers
- rhythm and tempo defined by the dancer outside the context of metered music

Partnering | Sylvain Lafortune, PhD | 3:00 - 5:00pm
(Part of Performance Stream only. NOT open to drop-in or enrolment outside of full stream)
Sylvain Lafortune’s uniquely powerful approach to teaching partnering revolves around two main themes: biomechanics and terminology. Participants are guided through a series of exercises through which exploration and practice facilitates the development of partnering technique. Male and female, big or small, everyone learns both roles as lifter and liftee. The dancers change partners to adapt to various body types and personal body language. The objective of the workshop is not to learn a few specific lifts, but to give participants the tools to tackle partnering, no matter what style of dancing they practice.


Skinner Releasing Technique™ (SRT) | Julia Sasso | 1:30 - 3:00pm
(Part of Creation Stream)
SRT proposes a pioneering and inclusive approach to moving: when we let go of habitual holding patterns we can move more freely, powerfully and articulately. We access energy, alignment, flexibility, strength, creativity and spontaneity. A considerable influence on leading choreographers and dancers world wide, SRT can enhance any movement style while fostering artistic sensibility and creative unfolding. Classes interweave guided imagery and hands-on partner studies together with musical atmospheres that propel us and support us in accessing our creative impulses. For many, SRT is catalytic in their lives with multi-faceted, far-reaching effects.

Creative Practice & Open Studio | Peggy Baker | 3:15 - 5:30pm
(Part of Creation Stream. NOT open to drop-ins.)
Creative Practice is devoted to an exploration of powerful and innovative possibilities for movement invention, compositional frameworks, and choreographic process. Drawing from an expansive catalogue of techniques learned, discovered, developed, and practiced over the four-decade span of her career, Ms. Baker assigns a succession of creative tasks that each offer unique entry points for consideration, experimentation, observation, and discussion. Participants will each work at their own pace, pursuing themes and areas of interest they identify themselves. The last half hour of each afternoon is an open studio for the use of creative practice participants, and participants share their week's work in the August 17th Studio Showing.

Images from 2017 August Intensive, by Jeremy Mimnagh

Having a week to expand your knowledge and share with other working professionals is one of the unique parts of Peggy’s intensive. She provides lots of creative input and encourages you to share and explore your own ideas further.
— 2017 August Intensive Participant

CADA members may be eligible for reimbursement through the CADA Training Subsidy Program.

For questions or more information, contact Steven Smits at or 416-538-4436.

August Intensive
August 19 - 23, 2019
Canada’s National Ballet School
400 Jarvis Street, Toronto