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Video Details

Virginia Tanner: Dancing Through the Magic Eye

Grade Levels: 6 - 12
Core Subject(s): Fine Arts - Dance, Physical Education
Usage rights: Download and retain personal copies in perpetuity.

Availability information for this program


  • Teaching the Concepts of Time, Space and Texture in Dance

    Students illustrate Tanner's teaching techniques that use objects to convey concepts of time, space, and texture and to inspire the creation of movement. While Mary Ann Lee (Children's Dance Theater) provides a verbal explanation, Virginia Tanner is in the dance studio with her students with some of the "treasures" she uses to inspire them. Ranging from silly putty and feathers (falling movements) and seed pods (opening and closing movement) to corals, rocks, shells ( three-dimensional design, positive and negative space), these objects provide inspiration for the dance movements that are illustrated by her students. Lee explains what Tanner meant by the words "dancing through the magic eye."

    Length: 00:04:46
  • Training Children's Bodies to Dance

    Virginia Tanners discusses the specific challenges of training children to dance. She talks about the need to move beyond adult techniques by employing strategies that help children become aware of their bodies as they develop agility, balance and control. She discusses using rhythm, ideas about space and the need to build awareness of those in close proximity in order to develop the capacity, within each student, to explore, experiment, solve problems and delve beyond that which is easy. Tanner's goal is to help all students reach their own level of success. She coaches her students as they illustrate some of these ideas.

    Length: 00:04:39
  • Virginia Tanner's Philosophy of Teaching Modern Dance to Children

    Virginia Tanner talks about her childhood passion for experimenting with movement and how that led to her philosophy of teaching dance to children. She discusses her decision to pursue dance education instead of a dancing career. Two of her students who now lead modern dance companies, Linda Smith (director of Repertory Dance Theater) and Mary Ann Lee (artistic director of Children's Dance Theater) talk about her influence in their lives.

    Length: 00:03:13
  • Virginia Tanner's Techniques for Teaching Modern Dance to Children

    Mary Ann Lee (Children's Dance Theater) talks about Tanner's philosophy of building both technique and stimulating creativity using everything from visual and musical cues to physical motions and objects. She stresses the importance of building a child's art vocabulary and introducing them to all forms of creative expression. Virginia Tanner talks about giving creative guidance that goes beyond the passive stimulation offered by simply making available tools, like paint and paper. These ideas about teaching are demonstrated by both Lee's and Tanner's students, shown in the studio, being taught using these techniques. Linda Smith (Repertory Dance Theater) reinforces this philosophy, reminiscing about learning everything from art, design, choreography and music, from Tanner, while being exposed to some of the twentieth century's best modern dancers.

    Length: 00:06:25



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