Fresh Friday with Igal Perry and Buddha Stretch of Peridance Center
11th January 2024
We are delighted to welcome Igal Perry and Buddha Stretch from Peridance Center, New York City for a double bill of Fresh Friday this week.
Our students will have the chance to take two highly contrasting workshops. Mr. Perry’s class introduces a fresh and open approach to the study of traditional ballet vocabulary. The class eloquently fuses the different elements of ballet, from correct placement and alignment to the utmost in technical execution, coordination, musicality, and phrasing. His class is designed for professional dancers who are looking to start their day with a well-balanced fluid class, as well as for students who are looking to advance their technical ability, freedom of movement, and confidence. “The Art Of HipHop” with Buddha Stretch will consist of exercises working on the form and function of HipHop dance. While working on timing technique the class will build foundation and musical interpretation.
Find out more about Igal and Buddha’s illustrious careers:
Igal Perry, Founder and Artistic Director of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company and Peridance Center, is a world-renowned choreographer, ballet master, and dance educator. Mr. Perry’s elegant choreography, often in collaboration with contemporary composers, has been described as “blessedly inventive” (Jennifer Dunning, NYTimes). His works have been set on prestigious companies and performed at renowned festivals including Florence Dance Festival and Invito Alla Danza (Italy), Batsheva and Bat-Dor Dance Companies and the Karmiel Dance Festival (Israel), Ailey II and Complexions Contemporary Ballet (NYC), Companhia de Danca de Lisboa (Portugal), and Alberta Ballet (Canada). Born in Israel, Igal Perry began his dancing career with Karmon, a folk dance company. He later joined the Bat-Dor Dance Company, where he worked with leading teachers and choreographers including Alvin Ailey, Benjamin Harkarvy, John Butler, Rudi Van Dantzig, Inesse Alexandrov, Paul Sanasardo, and Lar Lubovitch. Upon arriving in the United States, Mr. Perry joined Dennis Wayne’s Dancers as ballet master and choreographer. During that period, he staged John Butler’s work for the NYC Opera, the Opera of Munich, Caracas Ballet, and Teatro Alla Scala in Milan, where he also directed the world premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s opera Paradise Lost. From 1981-1982, Mr. Perry headed the ballet department at Jacob’s Pillow. In 1983, he launched his dance school, Peridance Center, now one of New York City’s leading dance institutions. A year later he founded Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, for which he has choreographed over 50 works, with performances at BAM, The Joyce Theater, and City Center. In addition to his daily class at Peridance, Mr. Perry serves as guest faculty/choreographer at The Jacob’s Pillow Festival, The Ailey School, and Marymount Manhattan College. Since 1995, Mr. Perry has served as a guest teacher at The Juilliard School, where he staged his Intimate Voices and Mourning Song. His international teaching engagements include Scapino Ballet and Het National Ballet (Holland), Laterna Magica and the National Ballet (Prague), Architanz (Tokyo), The Royal Ballet of Sweden and Balettakademien (Sweden), the National Ballet of China, and the Kwang-Ju City Ballet Company (Korea).
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York with three sisters and one younger brother, Stretch was influenced by his dad Emilio Austin, Sr. His Dad danced as a youth and provided Stretch with discipline, inspiration, support and motivation and remained by his side to guide him throughout his career. This foundation carries Stretch, a father himself, throughout his personal and professional career today. Stretch heavily impacted the dance world by bridging the gap between what was termed, Ol! Skool and New Skool.
His dance style, known as Freestyle Hip-Hop, draws from all aspects of Hip-Hop culture, music and dance. These moves during the early days of music videos helped to launch the popularity of dance in this medium, as well as live shows. Stretch’s first audition was for The Dance Theater of Harlem; however, he left after seeing dancers in leotards and tights. His first video was with Eric B & Rakim, Eric B for President. He met the members of his first dance crew Mop Top at a music video audition they booked for Diana Ross, Working Overtime. They began to hang out at New York’s night spot, The Tunnel, and later formed their crew. He later formed a crew called Elite Force which appeared in documentaries, music videos, live shows and in countless projects overseas. His first choreography job was for Joeski Love (Pee Wee Dance), and he went on to work with the likes of Rosie Perez; Will Smith in the Men In Black and Miami videos; Michael Jackson’s Remember The Time video (his most memorable experience) and more. He was nominated for two MTV Awards for “Best Choreography!” for the Will Smith videos Men In Black, Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It, and Miami. Recent credits include choreography for Virgin recording artist Thalia (on Good Morning America), Aida, Tony Award Winner, Heather Headley, Hot ‘97 Air Personality, Angie Martinez and rapper Rah Diggah. In 1989, Stretch was the first Hip-Hop dancer to teach Hip-Hop in a mainstream dance studio – New York’s Broadway Dance Center. Stretch is no stranger to music. An MC and writer himself, he recorded an underground hit called It Don’t Matter by Ten Thieves and continues to make music today. His versatility is also displayed by his participation as a dancer and contributing choreographer for the Dance Theater crew Full Circle, and Co-Artistic Director of the Dance Theatre Company MiddleGround. His trendsetting style keeps him in demand as a choreographer, dancer, teacher and performer. His passion for dance is exhibited every time you experience his work. Stretch believes “music is the universal language; dance is its interpreter.”