"I have had the fortune to work with Lani in her capacity as a dancer and choreographer. Lani embodies a delicate and deep balance that merges wisdom, presence, curiosity and humor. She has a gift for drawing the viewer into a moment filled with raw human dilemma exposed in tenderness and beauty. Her performances ask us to hold the complication of truth. She is brave and fearless and full of surprises. Her work ethic is rigorous, honest and generous. Her artwork (is) full of life."
-Gerry Trentham, Director, lbs/sq"
To dance is our birthright, and Lani believes that anyone regardless of skill level has the capacity to experience the transformative power of their own moving body. Lani’s approach to contemporary dance is an ongoing investigation of a wide range of movement concepts and techniques. Her classes emphasize different themes depending on the population, and will always consider individual needs within the group. On the most fundamental level, Lani’s classes guide students to inhabit the body deeply, to listen to its impulses, and to discover ways to translate those impulses into authentic and vivid expression.
Her methods draw from an eclectic background in modern and contemporary dance techniques, somatics and butoh, emphasizing the capacity for ease, articulation, dynamic strength, and sensitivity to self, others and the environment. The intention is to create a body/mind that is available and ready for anything. A few of the “traditional” modern dance techniques may include the Limón qualities of fall, recovery and individual “voices of the body”; the Hawkins stability and ease of pelvic movement, and the Cunningham emphasis on clarity of form, line and direction in the body and space. Contemporary somatic techniques synthesizing gravity, momentum, natural alignment and core activation for the integration of the body as a whole are also a mainstay of Lani’s classes. Metric and free form rhythms are explored, as well as short and longer movement phrases as students’ capacity for remembering and embodying movement increases.
Improvisation is a key element in Lani’s movement classes. With improvisation, students learn to listen to their own internal impulses, and to allow those impulses to find expression, without questioning whether they are worthy of being expressed. Through honoring internal impulses as they occur, students bypass the need to please someone who may be observing, which immediately validates their own experience. Ultimately, this practice can lead to a greater sense of self-acceptance, empowerment, and compassion.
Through a balance of deep focus and lightheartedness, Lani guides her students to have the courage to show up to themselves in the moment, to open, to release and to find enjoyment in their own bodies in community with others, increasing their movement capabilities along the way.