CardioCreativity (Dance Apocalypse): A Not-So-Blue Monday

Images courtesy of Nicole Bindler and Gabrielle Revlock.
Image courtesy of Nicole Bindler and Gabrielle Revlock.

Article courtesy of Art Attack Philly, in association with Drexel University and the Knight Foundation. See the original article here.

Got a bad case of the Mondays? CardioCreativity dance classes can help beat your work or school day blues. Created by Gabrielle Revlock and Nicole Bindler as a segment of their larger Dance Apocalypse project, these classes transcend the average dance or fitness regiment by allowing participants to unleash their creativity in a performance-based setting while burning calories. The class occurs every Monday through April 7th and appeals to everyone, of all ages, sizes and socioeconomic classes. Even if you’ve never danced in your life, you can still join in and have a good idea of what’s going on during the class.

Each class has a different theme featuring quirky and fun activities, from kegels to psychic sessions to karaoke; you can learn something new each week. For example, the class that I attended was Jewish Wedding themed. Wine and cookies were offered to celebrate a mock wedding between instructors Revlock and Bindler, who are expecting their first “child,” which is actually their collaborative film, “Chicken Fight.” After the wedding ceremony, everyone formed a giant circle and began doing a traditional Jewish wedding dance. An amazing sense of community emerged amongst all of the participants, as a group of strangers, all of them smiling ear-to-ear, joined hand-in-hand and danced. I walked in not knowing anyone, and left feeling like I had just made 30 new friends, and it wasn’t just because of the wine.

The duo’s mission in creating these classes and of their Dance Apocalypse project as a whole is to engage audiences in dance performance through participation. In Revlock’s and Bindler’s experiences as dance artists, there seems to be a lack of interest in concert dance. She says of herself and Bindler, “[we] appear desperate to reach audiences in an age where live performance is overshadowed by virtual entertainment. To address this ‘dance apocalypse’ head on, the project extends beyond a stage performance to include lots of social media, online videos and free dance classes as a way of engaging the public, potential audience members.” Revlock and Bindler are taking a hands-on approach to stimulating interest in the arts, and it seems to be working, judging by the enthusiastic CardioCreativity crowd.

Revlock also hopes that the fitness crowd will become more familiar with dance as a performing art, rather than just a means for calorie burning. She says, “Sidling up to Zumba fans, we aim to subvert their experience of dance, introducing them to dance as a performing art. The classes will help them to become differently embodied and also provide them with tools to access contemporary and experimental dance that might previously have felt impenetrable.”

Did I mention that the classes are free? The CardioCreativity classes are one of the most fun free activities happening in Philly right now and a great way to generate interest in the arts. Participating is simple, just RSVP first. If you’re more of an audience member than a dancer, you should try to participate anyway, but if you’re really too shy to get out there, Revlock and Bindler will be hosting a performance following the last class on April 7th. The performance, entitled The Dance Apocalypse, will offer a commentary of dance and of Revlock’s and Bindler’s artistry, essentially summing up their experience with the integrative, multi-media Dance Apocalypse project. So, step up and help prevent an apocalyptic death to the performing arts, or at least enjoy the ride to the end by joining in on the excitement in a CardioCreativity class. No tights or leotards required, but make sure to bring an open mind and your creativity.

Check out the video below for a preview of a CardioCreativity class.

CardioCreativity (Class Three: Personal Power & Working Together) from Gabrielle Revlock on Vimeo.


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