Today you officially receive the first issue of our new electronic Alumni Newsletter!
In the usual way, the Alumni Newsletter informs about news from the Palucca University of Dance Dresden in the University News section. In the Alumni News section, our alumni share updates on their current projects and events. Our current series "Nutrition for Dance Professionals" can be found under Nutrition for Dancers.
Many thanks to all alumni who agreed to share their current projects for this newsletter issue! Alumni contributions for the next issue of the Alumni Newsletter are welcome. Please feel free to use the contact information listed below in the Alumni News section.
We are thrilled to announce this year's “Palucca Sommerbühne” - an open-air and online dance festival with the Semperoper Ballett as guest! The “Palucca Sommerbühne” has been taking place open-air from 19 June to 20 August 2021, on the Palucca University of Dance Dresden campus and partially online. Learn more
Alumni Online Seminar (in German)
7 October 2021 with Dr. Anja Centeno García
Was trägt Ihren Unterricht? - Kompetenz- und Handlungsorientierung in der Tanzpädagogik
Teaching dance is more than just teaching technique. Dance teachers guide dancers of various age-levels on their journeys to become dancers and artists; this is often closely connected to the development of their personalities. A good support is one that provides freedom to develop and orientation at the same time.To what extent dance pedagogy can profit from the current approaches to general didactics shall be our focus within the scope of an interactive online seminar with linguist and communications manager Dr. Anja Centeno García.
In his new project WERT the choreographer Massimo Gerardi - former teacher and MA graduate of Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden - focuses on the juxtaposition between "having" / materialism and "being" / idealism in relation to the career of a professional dancer.
Particular attention will be given to the movement of the body connected to the location of the performance. In fact WERT will not be presented on a theater stage, but on public locations. This site-specific performance also contributes to the sustainability of the dance art genre, as dance in public places becomes an art form accessible to a general spectator. The proximity to the performer involves both intentional and casual viewers. This performative approach is also aimed at increasing interest in this art form which very often lacks visibility and tangibility.
WERT has been performed digitally and will be performed live in July 2021. Learn more
PLAY.GROUND is a dance-based, participative, cross-generational performance project in public spaces in combination with preparatory workshops for children, adolescents and seniors. Direct encounters are no longer a matter of course in our society. Singularisation and polarisation are increasing steadily. Both mobility and digitalisation contribute to this development. As a result of the Corona pandemic, physical encounters have ultimately become risks to personal safety. PLAY.GROUND takes up this situation and creates experiential spaces which allow people of all ages to experience the fascination of direct encounters in a new way.Learn more
Dates: Ostritz, Tue., 13 July, 14:30, Ostritz Playground, Bad Muskau, Wed., 14 July, Kita Bergpiraten, Räckelwitz, Thu., 15 July, Schule Räckelwitz (Räckelwitz School)
*** In the summer, there will be three more performance dates at playgrounds in Dresden
Irina Pauls, Choreographer from Leipzig, examines the fragility of the human body in TRANSITZONE. She and five contemporary dancers go to highway rest-areas where they observe those in transit (Leipzig - A38/A4). For several years now, Irina Pauls has studied the radically changing work processes and their impact on people. This theme is the trigger for her artistic explorations in this project as well. The aim of the project is the creation of a film whose message is as simple as it is urgent: We are here, we exist - also in transit zones.
On 01 September 2021, Franziska Wolf begins her ‚Choreomundus - International Master in Dance Knowledge, Practice, and Heritage‘ within the programme Choreomundus Consortium. The Consortium is sponsored by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme and comprises four partner universities in France, Norway, Great Britain, and Hungary. The 2-year master’s degree programme is shared by these four European locations. In the interaction of theoretical knowledge and ethnographic field work, the Master programme provides a multi-faceted approach to the theoretical, epistemological and methodological issues connected to the cultural heritage of dance. We congratulate Franziska Wolf, who has been granted an Erasmus+ scholarship for the Choreomundus Master programme.
Gaia Mentoglio speaks about her work at the Theater Basel:
„After completing my studies at the Palucca University of Dance Dresden, I joined the dance company Ballet Theater Basel under the direction of Richard Wherlock in the summer of 2018. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the new situation the theater had to face, Richard Wherlock gave eight dancers of the company the opportunity to choreograph a collaborative work of a full length piece called „Gloria“ with music from Pergolesi and Vivaldi. This creation has been one of the most unique experiences for me and the choreographers as they started their creation process from home and over video calls. As we had to respect all Covid measures we also had to find new ways to work together as a group. To witness this process and the feeling of being united in the company was very special and emotional.“
Is there a correlation between nutrition and injuries in dance? Very clearly: yes! There are several factors which influence a dancer’s life and at the same time facilitate injuries: low body weight, short time periods allocated for pauses and regeneration, an irregular and constantly changing daily schedule, high levels of stress, dehydration, lack of knowledge about nutrition, and thus an imbalanced diet.
Let’s look at these in more detail: A low body mass index (BMI=weight in kg divided by height in m²), that is less than 17 and means severe underweight, and a low body-fat percentage that is often related to this, abnormal eating behaviour up to and including eating disorders and/or absent or irregular menstruations are alarm signals at many levels but are ultimately also reasons for frequent injuries. The reduced intake of calories combined with a high training workload, irregular menstrual cycles and bone health disorders are closely interrelated. When the daily intake of calories is restricted, sooner or later there is a lack of important nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D or fat, that are dependent upon each other - the start of a vicious circle.
A low percentage of body-fat contributes to oestrogen deficiency made evident by late first menstruation or an irregular or absent menstruation. A deficiency in oestrogen in turn has a negative effect on calcium absorption thus causing the bone walls to grow thinner, which manifests itself among dancers as well-known “stress fractures”. Reduced bone density up to oesteoporosis can also be a problem for dancers at a young age with long-term consequences. Also, vitamin D comes into play at this point because it supports the absorption of calcium and is therefore important for bone health. Vitamin D deficiency is common, also among dancers. One should take care to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D especially in the winter months.In the busy life of a dancer, balance, rest, and regeneration are important sources of energy - whether it be a good sleep, not dancing for once, or being outside in nature. From a nutritional point of view, the key to good regeneration is protein. Dietary protein provides essential amino acids among others that are necessary for the growth and repair of the body’s endogenous structures. Bones and joints, enzymes and hormones, muscles, tendons and blood and also the immune system all consist of proteins and these require an appropriate regular supply through the diet.
Because of their physical activities, dancers generally require more protein and therefore it is even more important to pay attention to protein intake as a preventative measure and especially during phases where injuries occur. Otherwise, the body’s own reserves will be depleted and the muscles will become weaker, health declines and the risk of injuries increases. (Daily need: Women1.2-1.5 g per kg body weight / day, Men 1.5-1.8 g per kg body weight / day - the higher value applies for when there are injuries or an increased need of regeneration.
A dancer’s daily routine usually offers little time for recovery and regeneration: A higher level of stress, especially before premieres or examinations, the constantly changing daily and weekly rhythms, breaks that are too short during the day and during the week, and in general, the majority of dancers simply do not like to put their feet up and be lazy. Nevertheless, two days of rest per week for massages, warm bathes, showers, and sauna sessions should be a regular part of the schedule. Food and a sufficient supply of protein also provide good support here. Because the vegetarian and vegan dietary forms are generally preferred by dancers and because this has noticeably increased in recent years, it is even more important to pay attention to protein. By leaving out animal products, it is even more necessary that plant-based proteins find their way onto your plate. Practical tips for the right timing and a balanced diet for a dancer’s hectic daily routine can be found in the article in the April Alumni Newsletter.
Also, the topic of “staying hydrated” must not be ignored when dealing with injuries. A sufficient amount of liquids improves the bloods viscosity thus relieving the heart-circulation-system and promotes the circulation of blood in the brain and small blood vessels. With a sufficient intake of liquids, muscles, tendons, and ligaments also experience an increase in oxygen which in turn prevents the risk of injury. The connective tissues and fasciae profit from about 3 to 4 liters of liquid per day. The water between the cells increases the elasticity of the tissues and therefore provides for more suppleness. More information on the topic “Drinking and Sweating” will be provided in the next edition (published at the end of August 2021).
Conclusion: Nutrition may not be able to heal an acute injury, but as a preventative measure, good body awareness, a balanced diet and lifestyle can contribute a great deal to a long and healthy life as a dancer.