Rebecca Lazier - TeachingIntegrating choreographic research with teaching and curricular development in higher education has been the hallmark of my career thus far. I count among my influences years of pliés at Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Juilliard and two decades of multi-disciplinary somatic work. I have taught and choreographed at distinctly different institutions from the Hartford Ballet to UCLA, from the State Conservatory of Turkey to Wesleyan University, from American Repertory Ballet to White Mountain Summer Dance Festival. Through my work I aim to expose students to current practices, animate the exchange of ideas, and sharpen our critical eye.

Currently, I am a Senior Lecturer at Princeton University where I play a role in the curricular and curatorial development of the dance program and create interdisciplinary performance adventures. In addition to teaching technique, anatomy of movement, and choreography I have developed several collaborative courses, recently co-teaching and creating a course on Balanchine Repertory and Choreography with New York City Ballet Principal dancer Heather Watts, and  a seminar on Music and Dance Collaborations in the 20th Century with musicologist Simon Morrison. In the summers I teach in the Summer Intensive of the Mark Morris Dance Center.

julie_lemberger--6686Teaching Artistic and Physical Practice: Lazier integrates a broad range of somatic, anatomical, contemporary, and historical theories and dance practices to develop structures for learning and experimentation that support personal transformation and promote choreographic research. Lazier views the body as a site of experimentation and continually seeks new models of thinking to serve as stimulus for perceptual change.

  • Catalysts for Change: Morning Movement Practice
    • Movement practice workshops will investigate processes that reveal our fullest potential for three-dimensional movement. Building on Herman Kabat and Dorothy Voss’s research in multiplanar patterns set forth in their theories of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) and Irene Dowd’s neuromuscular preparations for dancers, classes focus on learning PNF patterns and adapting them to differing contexts to enhance neuromuscular function and ignite physical research.  First, we will explore the patterns during Feldenkrais influenced explorations where we surrender to gravity, ask what can be easier, and identify limitations.  Then we will recreate these patterns within distally initiated gestural sequences and proximally directed actions.  By addressing both open chain movement and weight bearing activities we will increase mobility and our ability to support greater range. Last, we will layer Laban’s theories of space harmony to move the patterns through space while shifting dynamics, timing, and genre. Our collective goals will be to learn, repattern, ignite physical play, and create possibilities for imaginative interaction between our bodies and communities.
  • Shared Practice: Moving the score for There Might Be Others
    • Choreographing Being in Action: Staging Negotiation and Interaction
    • Participants will learn and contribute to Rebecca Lazier’s evolving score for There Might Be Others, wherein the dancers compose the work in performance within a dynamic set of rules, contingencies, and games.  There Might Be Others is loosely based on the score and performer instructions for composer Terry Riley’s seminal aleatoric score, In C.  Using similar approaches to composition, dancers will negotiate the interaction of predetermined movement vocabulary and spontaneous response. Together, we will hone current modules of movement, which range from abstract gestures to task-based directives, and identify new possibilities.  We will refine the parameters of the score and experiment with degrees of openness and restricting frameworks to prompt discovery. Through a cycle of moving, observing, and reflecting, we will examine how we negotiate the subjective experience of memory and imagination with the ever-changing needs of the piece.  Our goal will be to build a dance that is visceral and visual, chaotic and simple, and proposes dancing together as a mode of choreographing, and choreographing as a mode of being.

Program in Dance at Princeton University

Courses taught

Rebecca Lazier Teaching

  • Modern/Post-Modern Dance Techninques
  • European Diaspora: Ballet Technique
  • Introduction to Dance
  • Choreography/Dance Composition
  • Repertory
  • Pedagogy
  • Movement Laboratory
  • Improvisation
  • Anatomy of Movement
  • Movement for Actors
  • Conditioning
  • Choreography for Theater

Undergraduate Courses Created:

Rebecca Lazier Teaching

  • Music and Dance Collaborations in 20th Century: Co-taught and created with music department Prof. Simon Morrison
  • Balanchine Repertory and Choreographic Adaptation: Co-taught and created with New York City Ballet Principal dancer Heather Watts
  • Physical Language: Knowing through Movement
  • Creation of: Le Pas d’Acier, Assistant Choreographer and Rehearsal Director to Millicent Hodson. Set design by Yakoulov and Prokofiev music.
  • Creation of: Debussy’s La Boîte à Joujoux, Choreographer/Director. Set design by Tony award winner Ricardo Hernandez, costumes by Obie award winning Anita Yavich and Bessie award lighting by Aaron Copp. Performed with live music played by an augmented Princeton University Jazz Ensemble conducted by Anthony Branker.

Graduate Courses Created:


  • Movement Theories
  • Topics in Choreography: Developing Physical Ideas
  • Movement Choices: A View from Functional AnatomyRebecca Lazier - Teaching