Movement Essentials for Musical Theatre
Best practices are essential to develop for the career artist specializing in live performance. We will work with release of tension, ease of movement, physical impulse, range of motion and energy – all supported by breath and alignment. Exercises will include dance, yoga and alignment exercises to increase body awareness, agility and expressiveness. CLASS MATERIALS: - A yoga mat or cushioned floor - Comfortable form-fitted clothes you can move in - A sweat towel - Water Christopher Niess's creative work spans over 200 productions in musical theatre, dance and devised work; as director, choreographer, actor, dancer, performance artist or movement coach throughout the U.S., and in Canada, Germany and Scotland. He has received meritorious citations from the Kennedy Center-American College Theatre Festival for directing and choreography for his work on The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein, Reeling, Trevor, Scapin, Lend Me A Tenor, and Marisol. He co-directed, with Artistic Director Jim Helsinger, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby as well as served as an associate director for West Side Story and The Hound of the Baskervilles for the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. Mr. Niess has served as Chair/Artistic Director for the University of Central Florida Department of Theatre, Artistic Director for the Great Lakes Festival Ballet and Ballet Theatre Ohio. He has performed for companies including the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Cleveland Play House, Nebraska Repertory Theatre, Porthouse Theatre, the Berkshire Ballet, the Tennessee Festival Ballet, and the Lexington Ballet; danced a good share of the classical repertoire and noted as a "memorably fine-scaled" performer by critic Jennifer Dunning (NYTimes); acted in productions of Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, King Lear, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Country Wife, Proof, To Kill A Mockingbird, as Richard in a Suzuki-style Richard III, and Off-Off Broadway in Tap Shoes. He also has been working in the area of health & wellness for the performing artist, presenting or collaborating with Nemours Childrens Hospital, UCF Medical Center, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Niess also manages a Health & Wellness class for Music and Theatre students at the UCF School of Performing Arts, where he teaches acting and stage movement – having designed the movement sequence for the MFA Acting program and the BFA Acting track.