The dance classes of the Maîtrise populaire de l’Opéra Comique are divided into two parts. Two teachers share the classes so that all the pupils are taught dance, tap dance or O Passo for the youngest.
Dance classes proper are led by Christine Bonneton. Her choice is for the pupils to feel what it means to be in a state of dancing. To attain such a state, experimenting from one’s own body is essential: “How does the ‘right’ movement arise from what I am and whatever my physical abilities? I think that dancing is a moving way of sculpting space.” Dance arises from any body, any situation and any encounter. Then the body becomes a tool that reveals the invisible.
Tap dance and O Passo classes are conducted by Rafael Meyrier.
The difficulty of tap dance lies in the comprehension of tempo. This form of dance enables us to deal with pulse and rhythm in choreography. “The rhythmic sharing between the artist and the audience should be flowing; this is the magic of tap dance.” For 6th and 7th grade pupils, work on rhythm includes learning the O Passo method. Established in Brazil in 1996, it is based on a specific gait guided by four pillars (the body, representation, the group and culture). Thus, pupils are led to work on pulse and the coordination of hands and feet in a group.