Tecniche di Danza Moderna 🇺🇸


Caterina Rago decided to launch Modern Dance Techniques in Rome in September 2016. Rago developed a program of study that introduces Italian dancers to the American culture of modern dance techniques. This new development will take place in the city of Rome and will be a collaboration between Rago and renowned artists Kenneth Topping, Maurizio Nardi, Pablo Ruvalcaba, Ryoko Kudo and Bradly Schelver. 

Dedicated exclusively to the promotion of Modern Dance, Modern Dance Techniques offers the possibility of study, development of a deeper understanding of each individual technique, and will provide employment opportunities and projects for professional dancers and choreographers. For the first time in Italy, internationally renowned artists will be invited to share their experiences and knowledge with Italian students for an entire academic year. 

Caterina Rago aims for higher education. Arts Education is an important part of her work. Throughout her years as a professional dancer and instructor, Rogo has shared her experience through workshops and master classes all over the Italian territory, an essential duty and an integral part of her activities. Rago’s goal is to create a project that can become a reference point for the Italian territory, a real home for Italian dancers. Providing this unique program to students at a reduced cost is one of Rago’s main objectives.

Due to the success obtained by the Compagnia Teatrodanza Contemporanea of Rome and the Centro Professionale di Danza Contemporanea as well as the early visionaries such as Elsa Piperno and Joseph Fontano, Rago feels the desire to continue the work of her first mentors, who have always inspired her by their great passion and professionalism. 

We must continue to introduce, establish, and strengthen dance in Italian culture in order for this art form to grow. This is achieved by focusing on the quality of the work, which can be seen in the American dance culture where it aims for a system of cooperation and not division. We must rebuild the system by eliminating the mediocrity within this art form. We must nurture the desire of young Italian dancers, help them to learn, satisfying their curiosity and pleasures not through a certificate or scholarship, but through a valid recognition; a professional mechanism of pure discipline and rigor that help them to perform and understanding with a new perspective.




Kenneth Topping, a native of Boston, MA, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Skidmore College, where he began his dance training under the supervision of Moss Cohen. After graduating in 1984, Mr. Topping moved to New York City and became a member of the Martha Graham Dance Ensemble under the direction of Yuriko. In 1985 he was invited to join the Martha Graham Dance Company. In 1990 Mr. Topping was promoted to principal dancer status.  Under Ms. Graham’s direction, Mr. Topping was given the opportunity to dance many of the leading male roles in the repertory including the Minotaur in Errand into the Maze, Hippolytus in Phaedra , Adam in Embattled Garden, the revivalist in Appalachian Spring, Oedipus in Night Journey, Orestes in Clytemnestra, among others. In 1990 Ms. Graham invited him as part of a small group of Company members to participate in the creation of what became Martha Graham’s last ballet: Eyes of the Goddess. It was a work about an individual’s confrontation with death.  In 1993, Mr. Topping ventured off-Broadway to co-direct and choreograph the 50 year revival of the musical play “Dark of the Moon”. Two years later he moved to Holland for one year where he taught Graham-based modern dance and choreographed at the Rotterdam Dance Academy. After returning to the United States, he was invited to dance Maurice Bejart’s original role of “Faust” in an excerpted duet from Mr. Bejart’s 1967 ballet. In 1996 while continuing to dance part-time with the Martha Graham Dance Company, Mr. Topping was appointed Artistic Director of the Martha Graham Ensemble (now Graham 2). From 2001-2004 he was Director of the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. He retired from his three positions – dancer, director of the school, and artistic director of the Ensemble – in 2004.  In his current position as Regisseur of the Martha Graham Dance Company, he assists in Company rehearsals and restaging. In 2014 he assisted Denise Vale, Associate Artistic Director of the Martha Graham Dance Company, in the 20 year revival of Martha Graham’s The Rite of Spring for the company’s New York Season. Mr. Topping continues teaching dance in the U.S. and internationally. In addition, he teaches Pilates in New York City.


Maurizio NardiMaurizio Nardi is a former Principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company.  In his home country of Italy, Maurizio begin his professional career dancing with Carla Fracci and with mentor, friend and choreographer Deanna Losi. He has danced in productions by Beppe Menegatti, Micha Van Hoecke, Roberto Guicciardini, Anne Bogart and dance in original creation by Deanna Losi, Dug Varone, Mary Anthony, Kun Yung Lin, Larry Keigwin, Martha Clark, Nacho Duato, Pearl Lang, Boulareyang Pagarlava and many others.  Maurizio join the Martha Graham Dance Company in 2002  has danced in principal roles such as The Revivalist and the Husbandmen in Appalachian Spring, The Chief Celebrant in Acts Of Light, the leading role in Maple Leaf Rag, The Goat in Circe, the man in the Red and White Couple in Diversion Of Angels, The Stranger in Embattled Garden, The Blind Seer in Night Journey, the Crist Figure and the Penitent in El Penitente,  Aegisthus in Clytemnestra and Hippolitus in Phaedra. Maurizio has being teaching, demonstrating and leading lecture-demonstrations all over the world, he received the 2007 “Les Etoiles De Ballet2000” in Cannes, France and is currently the founder and Artistic Director of Key West Modern Dance summer study program.


Caterina RagoOriginally from Italy, Caterina Rago obtained her B.F.A. from l’Accademia Nazionale di Danza in Rome. While there, she was a company member of Danzare La Vita under direction of Elsa Piperno with choreographer Joseph Fontano, President of the International Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute of UNESCO; and an aerial dancer in Kitonb Extreme Theatre Company directed by Angelo Bonello. In 2006, Rago was chosen to perform Ivan Manzoni’s “Simbolo Della Pace” at the Inaugural Ceremony of the XX Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy. After moving to New York she completed the Professional Training Program at Martha Graham Center and was invited to present her work, “Eternal Return”, at the 2008 Graham II New York Season. In New York, Rago has danced with I Giullari di Piazza directed by Alessandra Belloni, Nu Dance Theatre, Hunter Performance Group, Mare Nostrum Elements, Graham II and in 2009 she joined the Martha Graham Dance Company. She has performed work from Robert Battle, Pearl Lang, Virginie Mecene and Lone Kjaer Larsen. She was Principal Dancer of the Off- Broadway Show Spider Dance directed by Jeff Whiting and toured Italy in the original cast of Cercando Picasso, with the Martha Graham Dance Company, directed by Antonio Calenda e Giorgio Albertazzi. After the great success of Cercando Picasso, Rago danced in two Greek Tragedies: Baccanti directed by Antonio Calenda and Prometeo, by Claudio Longhi, at the Anfiteatro Greco of Siracusa, Sicily. Throughout her career, Rago has received Among numerous honors and awards. Rago received an official invitation to the 33rd World Congress of the International Theatre Institute ITA in Xiamen, China, was Guest Artist in Kiev, Budapest, Brussels, and Montalto Uffugo for the Ruggiero Leoncavallo Gala Opera Competition. Rago officially founded the Caterina Rago Dance Company (CRDC) in 2007. Caterina presented her original work in the Graham II 2008 season, and in many festival and showcases throughout New York City and Italy. In 2010 two sold-out performances at the MMAC marked CRDC’s debut season. CRDC presented in 2013 the premiere of their evening-length work, Fall in Autumn, at MMAC. Caterina has received two Company Commissions for Steffi Nossen Dance Foundation and the Accademia Nazionale di Danza in Rome, Italy. Selected as the 2016 Emerging Choreographer for the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Texas. 



_DSC3182Artistic Director/Choreographer/Dancer/Author Originally from South Africa, attended the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg, and received a full scholarship to The Ailey School. He is Currently the Artistic Director of the Steps Repertory Ensemble and BSCDT and a member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Shelver is Co-Producer and Curator of the annual REVERBdance Festival in New York City and Co-Artistic Director of the Bahamas International Opera and Dance Festival. He has danced as a soloist with the companies of Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, Elisa Monte Dance, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Hispanico of New York, Limon Dance Company and Phoenix Dance Theater in the UK. He has performed as a guest artist with; The Mark Morris Dance Group, Universal Ballet Company, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, New Jersey Dance Theater Ensemble, Eglevsky Ballet, Minnesota Ballet Arts, Nathan Trice Dance, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance and the Francesca Harper Project. He has also performed with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and has been presented in many international galas as a solo performer. Mr. Shelver has Choreographed works for Purchase Collage, Long island University, Cedar Lake 2, Svenska Ballet (Goteborg), The Dance Umbrella Festival, OURE Contemporary Dance (Denmark), MAS Milan (Italy), and works for The Alvin School, New Jersey Dance Theater Ensemble, Cape Dance Company (South Africa), Lustig Dance Theater, Ballet Austin, Joffrey Ballet School, Central Ballet School and Periapsis Music And Dance. He is on the teaching faculties of many notable schools and companies worldwide, including; Matthew Bourne’s ‘Adventures in Motion Pictures’ and Phoenix Dance Theater (UK). He has Taught for the Alteballeto Festival (Italy,) Bartholin Ballet Festival at the Royal Theater in Copenhagen and the Laban Centre (London) ,Performing Arts High School in Tel Aviv, the World Modern Dance Congress (Brazil) Joffrey Ballet in San Francisco and New York as well as for the ABT /JKO School. His book, “Performance Through The Dance Technique of Lester Horton” was published in 2013


Pablo RuvacalbaA native of San Diego, California, and a graduate of The Juilliard School. Mr. Ruvalcaba first joined the Limón Dance Company in 1996 where he was quickly cast in prominent roles dancing opposite Carla Maxwell in Carlota and Nina Watt in Orfeo as well as featured solos in The Winged, Choreographic Offering and There is A Time. During his tenure with The Limón Company, Mr. Ruvalcaba originated roles by noted guest choreographers such as Doug Varone, Donald McKayle, Adam Hougland, Murray Louis, Lar Lubovitch among others. He has performed José Limón’s roles in Limon Company revivals of Missa Brevis, The Traitor, There is a Time, Lament For Ignacio Sanchez Mejías and The Moor’s Pavane as well as featured roles in commissioned reconstructions of Anna Sokolow’s Rooms, Antony Tudor’s Dark Elegies, Pauline Kohner’s Poeme, Jirí Kylián’s La Cathedrale Engloutie and Evening Songs, among many others. He has also lectured on the themes and choreographic works of José Limón, has been an invited artist at the Jacob’s Pillow’s production of “The Men Dancers: from The Horse’s Mouth” and has recently guested as the Moor for American Ballet Theater’s production of The Moor’s Pavane. He is also Co- Founding Director of The Higher Ground Festival of collaborative arts in the Washington Heights/Inwood neighborhoods of New York City. Mr. Ruvalcaba teaches the Limón technique and it’s repertory extensively nationally and internationally.


Ryoko KudoRyoko Kudo, MFA, is a current member of the Limón Dance Company since 2001 and has had the privilege to dance works by world-renowned choreographers such as Graham, Taylor, Lubovich, Kylian, Linke, Koner, McKayle, multiple works by Limón and Humphrey. Kudo is also an aerialist with Airealistic and has performed at the Beijing Olympics, Hangzhou, China, Bregenz Opera, and in the show Breaking Surface in NYC.  She teaches and restages Limón works and has taught abroad at Canadian Children’s Dance Theater (Canada), Congresso Brasileiro de Dance Moderna (Brazil), Arte Centro (Guatemala), Bratislava Academy of Dance (Slovakia), ArtEz (Holland), Puglia Talenti (Italy), Casa de la Cultura (Mexico), and schools in the U.S. such as SUNY Purchase, Point Park College, Bryn Mawr, Mont Clair, University of the Arts, Drexel University. Kudo is also a certified Pilates instructor since 2008. Kudo received her training from Emerson College, The Boston Conservatory, Ailey School, Graham School, Limón Institute, and Kane School of Core Integration. She is thrilled to be teaching at Marymount Manhattan College.


Kenneth Topping and Graham Technique

“I had the fortunate timing in my life to work with Martha Graham in the last years of her life – from 1984-1991.  I look forward to sharing what I learned of Martha Graham’s theater and technique. The contraction and release are the basis of her technique and they are the basis of the drama created on the stage in performances.  Her dance style allows for one to go from the personal to the universal.  So what is happening in the narrative of the ballet can be experienced by all watching as he or she feels in common with the dancer/actor on the stage.”


Pablo Rubalcava and Limon Technique

“Limón Technique places emphasis on the body’s natural rhythms of fall and
recovery and the interplay between weight and weightlessness. The technique is noted for its range of expression and humanism, the immediacy with which a Limón dancer conveys the universality of experience, and the dynamism and the physicality of dance. A Limón-trained dancer has an organic way of moving that is adaptable to a wide range of choreographic styles and prepares him to perform in both classical and contemporary dance forms”

Bradley Shelver and Horton Technique
Developed by Lester Horton in the 50’s and defined by Alvin Ailey and Joyce Trysler and codified by Anna Marie Forsythe. This technique forms the basis for the Alvin Ailey Company. Classes consist of fortifications, Preludes and studies designed to increase strength and flexibility. Classes focus on performance technique and the understanding of anatomy and musicality as well as incorporating the ballet aesthetic while investigating the principals of breath and swing introduced by Joyce Trysler.


Modern Dance Techniques program studies will take place one weekend each month from Friday to Sunday. Each monthly meeting includes the study of Graham technique, Horton and Limon and includes 9 classes of 1h 45, for a total of 13 hours of activity.

The program is open to all the students of the Italian territory with a strong background and knowledge of modern dance.

The 2016/2017 academic year will end with a Summer Intensive held in July. The week will include technique and repertoire classes, performances and will be awarded scholarships and possibility to audition to several dance programs of some of the most prestigious dance centers in New York.



Registration for the program of study of Modern Dance Techniques must be made through the online form on our website and received one week before the beginning of each monthly event. 

The program aims to train students in all techniques offered in the course. Therefore, it will not be possible to select to study only one technique. The students are not bound to take part in all the events of the 2016/2017 academic year, but the program comes from the idea of creating a continuity of study and the opportunity for Italian students to work closely and long-term with an International renowned faculty who contributed to the history of modern dance. In this regard, priority will be given to students who attend the entire academic program, and admission to the Summer Intensive will be given to students who have attended a minimum of five meetings.



The use of clean and professional clothes, unitards or leotard and tights are required.



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** Please note that there will be no refunds after receiving payment.



Payment must be receive through bank transfer to:


IBAN: IT 87D0100580850000000002087

CAUSALE: “Tecniche di danza moderna:Student first/last Name , Month”


Email: tecnichedidanzamoderna@gmail.com