About | Technique & Training
NUS Dance Ensemble is best recognised for its unconventional style which fuses ethnic elements from Asian dance into contemporary, jazz and ballet, creating what the troupe fondly calls The Asian Contemporary in dance.
NUS Dance Ensemble trains by an adapted version of the Luigi Warm Up Technique by Eugene Louis “Luigi” Faccuito, a renown American jazz dancer, choreographer and teacher. Originally, this technique was used by Luigi for rehabilitation after he suffered paralysing injuries in a car accident, as it helped him regain control of his body via stretching and stabilisation exercises.
Today, the Technique is commonly used for jazz and musical theatre dance. The Luigi Warm Up Technique is a training programme that promotes body alignment, balance, core strength, and a better understanding of one’s body. It consists of a series of ballet-based exercises. Likewise, Zaini Mohammad Tahir’s spin on the Luigi Warm Up Technique for the NUS Dance Ensemble teaches the dancers fundamental technique, such as strength and stability.
Apart from the Luigi Warm Up Technique, Dance Ensemble dancers perform a rigorous cross-floor routine, which incorporates kicks, turns, balances and leaps, across the dance studio. In contrast to the Luigi Warm Up Technique, the cross-floor routine is more dynamic and intense.
Zaini Mohammad Tahir then conducts a short choreography session of roughly ten-eights, which the dancers will have to showcase to each other at the end of the technique class. This trains the dancers to be alert and quick in picking up new steps and new styles, whilst learning the performance aspect of dance, rather than just the technique. This also draws the dancers closer to the Ensemble’s roots of Asian Contemporary dance.