International Outreach in Collaboration with Evolve Dance, Inc.

Mettler Studios collaborates with and supports Evolve Dance, Inc. in its Evolve Dancing Communities: Dance Together Projects:

In 2013 and 2014, Mettler Studios partnered with Evolve Dance Inc., Pacific Links Foundation (“PALS”) and Hagar International Vietnam to conduct dance programming that included Mettler-based creative dance at (i) a residence shelter in northern Vietnam for young girls rescued from human trafficking; (ii) a residence shelter located in Hanoi for women rescued abuse; and (iii) workshops for affiliated staff, professionals and psychologists who work directly with survivors of gender-based violence.

In 2015, a 2-week Dance Together program conducted by Evolve Dance at multiple sites included the introduction and presentation of Mettler-based creative dance to multiple local community organizations, including (i) a school for youth and teens with developmental disabilities; (ii) students and faculty at the Yogyakarta Institute of Art; and (iii) One Billion Rising Yogyakarta. 
In 2016, Evolve Dance completed a 2-week Dance Together program that utilized principles of Mettler-based creative dance with 2 holistic healing centers in Lima, Peru, for children ages 4 -13 overcoming the trauma of abuse and to affiliated staff.

Since 2014, Mettler Studios has assisted 8 staff members from Vietnam and 3 representatives from Indonesia to attend and complete the annual Creative Dance Teachers Training held in Tucson, AZ. Currently, Mettler-based creative dance is part of PALS’ and Hagar’s rehabilitation and reintegration programs. This year, we are excited to welcome representatives from Vietnam, Indonesia and Peru to the 2017 Mettler Studios Creative Dance Teacher Training program. This is part of our ongoing commitment to encourage program sustainability and active engagement within local communities.

Mettler-based Creative Dance Teacher Trainings Workshops 

Beginning in 2007, Mettler Studios has offered annual or bi-annual intensive Dance Improvisation Workshops taught by Mary Ann Brehm and Griff Goehring. These workshops soon evolved into teacher training workshops for people who are offering or wish to offer, Mettler-based dance work in their communities. These now occur annually in July at the Tucson Creative Dance Center. Each workshop covers the basic principles of Mettler-based dance through movement studies and provides discussion of how to apply the work to many kinds of groups. A follow-up program of teaching support and sharing among the workshop participants continues throughout the year via email and telephone. Participants also have the option of presenting a creative dance lesson for their peers at the end of the course. Many participants in the international outreach described above have been supported to attend the Teacher Training and take Mettler-based dance back to their communities. 

Green Mountain Creative Dance Center Projects directed by Griff Goehring

Summer Company 2013  was designed to provide advanced students with an opportunity to study in depth and at length. For six weeks the dancers (seven altogether) met daily to immerse themselves in the materials of dance. The goal was to develop a foundation of knowledge that would give each individual the understanding necessary for professional level work in creative dance as teachers and performers. Daily work included discussion of teaching methods, studies in the materials of dance and improvisation. Much of the dancing was recorded and will be made available online.    Here  is a video of a 5-minute dance improvisation from the project.  For more videos go to the Green Mountain Creative Dance Center website

Creative Dance Teacher Training Project September 2011 - June 2011

This project gave dancers the opportunity to develop their teaching skills in a variety of settings. Four developing creative dance teachers went to Austine School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Oak Grove Elementary School in Brattleboro, Vermont; Smith Agricultural Vocational High School in Northampton, Massachusetts; the Robert Crown Parker School in Eastern New York state; Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School in Hadley, Massachusetts; the Institute of Professional Practice (an adult day program) in Fitchburg, Massachusetts; a Buddhist meditation retreat for teenagers and a group of home school children in Amherst, Massachusetts. Over 250 young people and their teachers experienced free movement expression during this project. The four young professionals gained direct experience in meeting a diverse array of movement needs and have since found other professional opportunities to teach creative dance.

Bicycle Dance Troupe
Spring 2011 
Eight dancers with training and experience in creative dance improvisation as developed by Barbara Mettler traveled by bicycle in a 200 mile circuit beginning and ending in Amherst, Massachusetts that looped through New Hampshire and Vermont. During this tour they took part in daily study and dance sessions for their own development and presented group dance improvisations at street fairs, farmers’ markets and on town commons. They provided mini-residencies at three elementary schools that included a lecture demonstration and workshop sessions for students and teachers. Participants were current or recently graduated Hampshire College students.

Creative Dance Lab
Summer 2010
Creative Dance Lab 2010 built on the success of our 2009 performance project. Some dancers returned for a second and new group members were drawn from students and at Hampshire College and from experienced dancers who danced and studied with Barbara Mettler. This multi-generational group included a former member of Mettler’s Children’s Creative Dance Group which is depicted in her films Creative Dance for Children I –IV


Northeast Performance Project 
Summer & Fall 2009
A multi-generational group worked together for two weeks in the summer of 2009 and then weekly September – October. Its purpose was to deepen understanding of the principles of free movement expression and refine the practice of group dance improvisation. This group addressed the additional creative problem of performance: how does a group maintain the integrity of the process while acknowledging the presence of observers? Participants were drawn from Hampshire College students and recent graduates as well as from the local community of creative dancers who studied and worked with Barbara Mettler. Ages of participants ranged from 18 – 65 years. Performances took place at Hampshire College and Tufts University as well as in public venues in Brattleboro, Vermont and Hadley, Massachusetts

Tucson Unified School District Fine and Performing Arts Division Projects
From 2009 to 2012, TUSD’s Fine and Performing Arts Division received grants from the Barbara Mettler Trust to conduct workshops. Each year has expanded in the number of workshops and participants but the mission has remained the same: to teach and promote creative dance based on the materials and approach of Barbara Mettler to teachers and students in the Tucson Unified School District. 

In carrying out this mission, the goals and strategies have been threefold:

  • This first is to encourage and welcome participation in Mettler-based movement to middle and high school dance students at the Tucson Creative dance Center.
  • Second, our goal is to see the Mettler-based approach utilized in classroom teaching and learning, K-12.
  • Third, we want to offer the student of the classroom teachers a workshop experience in the studio as well. 
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