Doris Humphrey Summer Intensive 2014

MOMENTA presents
A Doris Humphrey Summer Intensive
Directed by
Gail Corbin
& Special Guest Teacher
Deborah Carr
July 28 – August 2, 2014


The Academy of Movement & Music
The Doris Humphrey Memorial Theatre
605 Lake Street
Oak Park, IL  60302



Technique is an intermediate-advanced level class exploring the foundation of Humphrey’s technique of Fall and Recovery through the principles of weight, successional flow, suspension, and phrasing.

Repertory will include learning sections of Doris Humphrey’sThe Shakers and Weidman Studies.

In Pedagogy students will take the principles of Humphrey/Weidman technique in detail, and through their own studies will translate them into a classroom setting. Ages 18+.

On Saturday, August 2, at 7:30pm there will be an informal performance with demonstrations of technique, excerpts of repertory, and showings of studies from pedagogy class.

View and print registration form:

Doris Humphrey Summer Intenstive 2014 Brochure


About Gail Corbin

gail corbin.jpg

Gail Corbin is a leading exponent in the technique and repertory of Doris Humphrey.  Her longtime association with Ernestine Stodelle, an original member of the company of Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, began with Ernestine’s reconstructions of Two Ecstatic Themes and Air for the G String for the José Limón Company in 1977.  Gail assisted her in these reconstructions and served as a model for the solo roles.  She has continued to teach and perform these works along with other dances such as The Call and Breath of Fire, Quasi Waltz, Shakers and Water Study.  Because Ms. Corbin took part in the reconstructions and assisted Ms. Stodelle in the rebirth of these movements, Gail possesses a rich and vast knowledge of these works and a deep understanding of this technique.  She taught all levels of technique in Ernestine’s Silo studio for over twenty years.  Under the direction of Beatrice Seckler, also an original member of the Humphrey/Weidman group and Deborah Carr who worked with Charles Weidman, Gail was a featured dancer/soloist in the Deborah Carr Theatre Dance Ensemble performing the works of Charles Weidman:  Lynchtown, Brahams Waltzes, Christmas Oratorio, to name a few.  Ms. Corbin has taught and directed Humphrey works all over the U.S. as well as Europe and Australia.  She has conducted several workshops in Oak Park, Illinois at the Academy of Movement and Music, which is also the home of the Doris Humphrey Society of which Gail is a board member.  Some of the other places Gail has taught this technique and repertory are Barnard College, Columbia University, The Juilliard School and St. Olaf College.  For the past several years, Gail has been a guest teacher at the José Limón School.  The demand for her expertise has taken Ms. Corbin to London, England where she performed Doris Humphrey’s works at Royal Festival Hall.  She taught at The Place, Middlesex University, Islington Arts Factory.  She is co-director of the Doris Humphrey Foundation in London, England.  Gail gave Master classes and performed at the renowned Folk-wang studios in Essen, Germany, Dance Theatre of Ireland, Dublin and Modern Movement Academy in Sydney, Australia.  Gail is a featured dancer in two films:  “The Technique of Doris Humphrey and Its Creative Potential” and “Charles Weidman On His Own.”  Ms. Corbin continues to be a sought-after coach, teacher and director of this important dance style.

About Deborah Carr

Deborah Carr is a graduate of Stephens College where she studied with Harriette Ann Gray, soloist with the Humphrey-Weidman Company.  After graduation, Ms. Carr moved to New York and joined Charles Weidman’s Theatre Dance Company.  In 1976, she established her own company that performed original works by Ms. Carr and maintained many dances from the classic repertory of  Charles Weidman and Doris Humphrey.  Deborah Carr’s Theatre Dance Ensemble was a well-respected company that was invited to perform in prestigious dance festivals such as the American Dance Festival in North Carolina, the Early Years of Modern Dance Festival at Purchase and the New Dance Group Retrospective.  In addition to Charles Weidman, Ms. Carr has worked with other Humphrey-Weidman dancers including Ernestine Stodelle, Beatrice Seckler, Peter Hamilton, George Bockman and Nona Schurman.  She has studied Limón technique with Ruth Currier and Betty Jones and has performed with Limón dancers Carla Maxwell, Gary Masters and Fred Mathews.  Ms. Carr has many years of teaching experience on both the college and professional levels.  She has been on the faculty of St. Joseph’s College and City College in New York and has taught as a guest artist at universities throughout the country.  In the United States, she has set repertory on a variety of professional companies and also taught in England and Ireland.  She joined the Stephens faculty as Guest Artist for the fall semester of 2003 and became full-time faculty in 2004-05.


A Doris Humphrey Summer Intensive – 2011

Directed by Gail Corbin & Special Guest Teacher Deborah Carr
August 1 – 6, 2011, presented by MOMENTA.

Complete information and a downloadable brochure are found here. For more information on any of our events check out our Events page.

Hope to see you in the place of Doris’ birth this summer!

Full Site Update!

Several weeks ago our web site was vandalized, which led to a full update of our web site and the solution that we run upon. The new solution provides significantly more capabilities, and we are working on providing many of the enhanced abilities in the coming weeks. The first features to be added will be a full gallery of photographs and video as well as an updated event system to ensure that all Doris Humphrey related events are captured and syndicated.

In celebration of our sites relaunch here is an embedded video of Air for the G String (1934)
– Choreographer Doris Humphrey Dir Rosario Bourdon

The Doris Humphrey Summer Intensive 2010

MOMENTA and The Doris Humphrey Society present
The Doris Humphrey Summer Intensive 2010

MOMENTA and the Doris Humphrey Society are proud to announce a special technique and repertory workshop focused on Modern Dance Pioneer, Doris Humphrey. The workshop will be directed and taught by Gail Corbin (Humphrey Technique and Repertory), with special guest teacher, Deborah Carr (Humphrey-Weidman Technique and Repertory).

The workshop will be from August 2 through 7, 2010, at the Academy of Movement and Music in Oak Park:

TECHNIQUE class will explore the foundation of Humphrey’s technique of Fall and Recovery, and will work on exercises to develop breath, successional movement, and suspension.

REPERTORY will include learning a number of studies that illustrate the principles of the technique and will also include sections of repertory representing works by Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, and Ernestine Stodelle.

PEDAGOGY:  Students will take the principles of Humphrey/Weidman technique in detail, and through their own studies, will translate them into a classroom setting for a variety of ages and levels.

There will be an INFORMAL PERFORMANCE on Saturday, August 7 at 7:30PM.

To register, please contact Stephanie Clemens at 708-848-2329 or stephanieclemens @


Download the schedule and registration form here

About Our Faculty:

Gail Corbin, Director (read her bio here)

Deborah Carr, Special Guest Teacher (bio here)

The Passing of Ernestine Stodelle

Ernestine worked with the Doris Humphrey Society and MOMENTA from 1990 until her last visit in 2003. Her work teaching over a decade of our Technique Workshops has inspired and educated generations of dancers who can carry on her knowledge of the technique of Doris Humphrey. Without Ernestine’s tireless dedication to our video projects documenting Humphrey’s great early works, we would never have been able to complete the six videos capturing Ernestine’s understanding of both the quality of the movement and Humphrey’s choreographic intention.
Stephanie Clemens 1/2008

OBITUARY – Ernestine Stodelle Komisarjevsky Chamberlain


Ernestine Stodelle Komisarjevsky Chamberlain – celebrated modern dancer, author, teacher and one of the foremost chroniclers of modern dance in America – died on January 5, 2008, at the age of 95 in California.

Born May 6, 1912 in Oakland, California, Mrs. Chamberlain studied ballet as a child at the Metropolitan Opera School of Ballet in New York. She began her professional dance career as a member of the pioneer modern dance company of Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, becoming a soloist with the Humphrey-Weidman Dance Company at the age of 17. She later became a partner, dancer and choreographer of original works with Jose Limon.

During that same period – 1929 to 1935 – Mrs. Chamberlain also performed as a dancer with many symphony orchestras, operas, concert programs and in Broadway shows in Philadelphia and New York. From 1935 to 1939, she was in Europe, introducing American modern dance to enthusiastic audiences by presenting solo recitals and lecture-demonstrations in Paris, Salzburg and Geneva.

It was in Europe where she married her first husband, the internationally-known theater director and stage designer, Theodore Komisarjevsky (1882-1954). They returned to the United States at the outbreak of World War II, opening a studio of dance and acting in New York. She soon afterwards formed the Ernestine Stodelle Studios of Modern Dance and, for the next fifty years, Mrs. Chamberlain focused her energies on the training and development of the careers of many talented dancers, many of whom went on to professional careers in modern dance.

During those years, Mrs. Chamberlain also focused on reconstructing the dances of her mentor Doris Humphrey and teaching the Humphrey technique. She reconstructed the early works of Doris Humphrey, beginning with Air for the G-String and Two Ecstatic Themes for the Jose Limon Dance Company. In addition, in 1990 she premiered the reconstruction of two dances originally performed by Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman in 1929. At the request of others, she staged Humphrey works in Canada, England, Switzerland and throughout the United States. Mrs. Chamberlain also gave lectures on modern dance history and technique with an emphasis on the Humphrey-Weidman and Martha Graham techniques.

Following her first husband’s death, Mrs. Chamberlain married John R. Chamberlain (1903-1995), nationally-known author, columnist and syndicated writer, and moved to Cheshire, Connecticut, in 1956. She moved her dance studio to Cheshire, continuing to teach modern dance to both children and adults, while becoming a noted author, university professor and critic of the dance.

Mrs. Chamberlain published two books: The Dance Technique of Doris Humphrey and Its Creative Potential (Princeton Book) andDeep Song, The Dance Story of Martha Graham (MacMillan). In addition, she was a free-lance writer for The New Haven Register, Dance Magazine, Art Times and Ballet Review. She co-edited two books on dance research with Patricia Rowe of New York University:Dance Research Monograph One and Dance Research Collage.

Mrs. Chamberlain was also an Adjunct Professor at New York University, conducting courses in Dance Criticism and Aesthetics in Dance, starting in 1970 through 1991.

Mrs. Chamberlain is survived by 13 great-grandchildren, 20 grandchildren and six children: Elizabeth Chamberlain Huss; Margaret Chamberlain Davis; John R. Chamberlain, Jr.; Tanya Komisarjevsky Metaksa; Benedict Komisarjevsky; and Christopher Komisarjevsky.