The Salignac Foundation

Short Courses and Workshops

Dance - Video and Photography Training

Barry Paton & Fiona Alderman 

12, rue Fenelon
24590, Dordogne

General Information

We are both working professionals who have experience in both our disciplines that we are keen to pass on in a friendly and fun manner at our courses and workshops. The Salignac Foundation caters for all level of abilities in all our dance and video courses and workshops. We also run short weekend workshops and seminars in related subjects. We can tailor specific workshops for corporate groups or for individuals. All the work is conducted in English, although the ability to have a little French will enhance your stay when going to the local cafés and restaurants!

We really want you to enjoy your stay in The Dordogne, be happy, while at the same time you are learning about something you are passionate about, be it Video, Dance, Photography, Dance for Camera or any of our other courses/workshops.


The Video Courses

Video Courses 

Our workshops are designed for people who want to have "hands-on" experience of filmmaking or photography, no matter whether you are a beginner or slightly more advanced. You will spend the days exploring the practical aspects of film-making through camera techniques, planning, lighting and sound to editing and post production. We use the latest digital technology from camera to post-production. This enables you to import and export material from any source, digital or analogue, so that if you bring your own equipment it is no problem at all.

We do not dwell on the technical aspects of equipment except where necessary. There is very little in the way of classroom type study, as we believe that the practical approach is best for people. The workshops are designed by experienced industry professionals and we carefully tailor them to each group or individual in order to make sure that you get the very best out of it.

Catering for one to one instruction as well as for larger groups, here at The Salignac Foundation you will get a fun and practical way of learning and gaining confidence in making a video or taking photographs. Our video courses run for 5 days.


Barry Paton BSc.


Barry is an award winning director/cameraman & photographer with many years of experience in working in film/television and the media.

He has worked in news, corporate and feature films. He also has considerable experience of live television, production management, editing and post-production. He trained in TV/Stage management at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, followed by periods with The National Film Board of Canada and The Scottish Film Council before setting up his own production company early in 1970.

He is the winner of several ‘Highly Commended’ BAVA Awards for his documentary productions. As a news cameraman & photographer during the 1970’s, 80's & 90's he has traveled to many parts of the world’s trouble spots including Afghanistan, Sudan, Beirut, Ethiopia, Pakistan, to name but a few.

He is co-founder of The Salignac Foundation and still runs his production company Full Moon Productions in France providing logistics/production management, location finding and crew work as a director/lighting cameraman & photographer for visiting film producers. He has a very wide industry experience and is more than willing to help anyone in the many and varied techniques involved in film and video production. In fact this was one of the prime reasons for setting up The Salignac Foundation here in France.


The Dance Courses / Choreography Workshops


The Dance Courses run for 5 days and we also do Weekend Intensives. They consist of a daily technique class and a choreographic workshop to help develop new dance material. In 5 days a short piece can be realized and filmed (if required) as a working record of the process throughout the week.

Cunningham-based technique is taught at all levels. We cater just as much for the absolute beginner, to the more advanced student who wants to work intensively in this particular technique, you will experience moving in a fluid way, and finding precision and control of the body.

There are also plenty of opportunities to study our library of dance videos at the end of the day.  This is a chance to meet up with Fiona informally, and discuss the day’s work.  The teaching is done in a relaxed but informative manner giving you the chance to develop individually. Our aim is to have you learn something either completely new or to extend your knowledge of something further. The classes are therefore tailored to your requirements at whatever level.


Fiona Alderman


A leading teacher of contemporary dance, in particular the Cunningham based technique, which she has taught extensively throughout Britain. After forming her own company, Scottish Contemporary Dance Theatre in Glasgow in the 70's touring and teaching throughout the UK she pursued her career in London becoming co-director/tutor/dancer with The Islington Arts Factory Company. Fiona studied with Lloyd Newson ((DV8), Siobhan Davies, Richard Alston and Viola Farber. These teachers greatly influenced her and it was where her love of the Cunningham technique began. Fiona was awarded an Arts Council Bursary to study with Ruth Barnes in Paris, experiencing this style of dance more fully, from there incorporating it into her own way of moving.

Returning to Glasgow she founded, with other teachers/choreographers, Glasgow Independent Dance to promote and encourage new dance in Scotland. Fiona has been a tutor at The Edinburgh Ballet Academy, with her students performing at The Scottish Choreographic Festival, Mayfest and The Edinburgh International Festival. More recently she was a lecturer at The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance and as a guest teacher in Centro de Danca do Porto in Portugal, Dance Base & The Dance House in Scotland.

She is now co-founder of The Salignac Foundation in France. She teaches adults regularly at all levels, believing strongly in each person’s individuality. Her philosophy is “by using the Cunningham technique you establish a strong adaptable body with a keen and equally flexible attitude of mind. A chance to experience moving in the space, with energy and joy”

Dance for Camera Courses


A combination of the two techniques, filming the dancer with video as part of the “performance.” Various locations in the area include the chateau, mediaeval streets, open-air market hall and the wide spaces in the nearby countryside provide exciting opportunities. These 5 or 10-day workshops explore the relationship of dance and the camera and will take you through experimenting with the different techniques involved. Guiding you through basic camera techniques we strive to give you a final video for you to take home.

Specifically designed for dancers/choreographers who want to learn how to apply film/video techniques to dance. Instruction is given in lighting, camera and sound. Choreographic sessions are conducted beforehand to make dance material specifically for the screen. Developing new ways of viewing the dance, using different angles and heights for the camera. The workshops are open to dancers and choreographers with an interest in making dance videos.


Video Workshops

3 or 5-Day workshops are offered. Our popular 5-day Video Production Techniques workshop covers all aspects of production from camera work to editing. A basic introductory course intended to give an all round perspective of video making for beginners and newcomers to video production. Plenty of opportunity to get hands-on experience of cameras, lighting, sound and editing techniques. Our workshops  run almost every second week all year round.


Avid Media Composer Workshops

A 5-day workshop for beginners during which time you get a chance to learn to use and understand the world famous Avid interface. The Avid system is the industry standard digital editing programme. Using our Avid Media Composer system, you will learn the basics of capturing (from digital or analogue sources), working with the timeline, adding and configuring real time effects, colour correction, sound editing, making titles and outputting. In addition you will have chance to explore many of the exciting possibilities of the Avid System. 


We also run 3 day workshops for Video Production and Avid digital editing throughout the year. These are shortened versions of our 5-day workshops for beginners to get a basic grounding in camera, lighting and digital editing techniques. Usually held over a long weekend. We design these primarily as one to one tuition but small groups are welcome for any of the workshops. Please contact us for more details.


Weekend Intensives


"Cunningham based Contemporary dance"

A flowing movement form, with an accent on placement, control and precision. Suitable for either beginners or more advanced. Choreographic workshops, using chance methods and improvisation, within a framework of given dance material. Using different locations, both inside and out. Changing our preconceived ideas of where dance should be held? Students own ideas developed, to create new work.


The Location

  The medieval village of Salignac-Eyvigues, like many parts of The Dordogne has had a very chequered history over the centuries. Only a few miles from the pre-historic caves at Lascaux, the medieval hillside town of Rocamadour, the beautiful Dordogne Valley and of course Sarlat, the very heart of gastronomic France. 

Salignac sits on a plateau and has many interesting areas including a 12th century chateau (our next door neighbour), a picturesque square, medieval market place, historic back streets and courtyards as well as glorious surrounding countryside. All this makes a visually stunning backdrop for filmmaking/photography and gives exciting opportunities for dance. There are canoe and boat trips on the River Dordogne some 40 minutes away. As public transport is non-existent outside the towns, we recommend that you hire a car if you want to stay on and explore the area fully. All the major rental companies have offices nearby.




The Salignac Foundation does not provide acccommodation but can recomend the local hotel which is in the centre of the village. Other accommodation is available locally depending on your requirements and budget. These range from B&B, self-catering Gites, farmhouse accommodation and campsites. One of the best value is at The Maison Familiale, which is located in the centre of Salignac. This offers either hostel type single room or family chalet accommodation with a swimming pool.

These all have excellent rates for full board. We can arrange any bookings for you if you wish. Please note that the Dordogne is a very popular destination in the summer months so early booking of accommodation during the high season is highly recommended.


Eating out


One of the main reasons for travelling to the Perigord is its worldwide reputation for gastronomy. During your time in Salignac you will not be disappointed when you go out to eat locally. There are several excellent restaurants, a café/brasserie, many auberges and not far away in Sarlat or Souillac (both 10 minutes away) have many and varied eateries of all types. It is after all, the gastronomic capital of the region! 

If you opt for self-catering there are shops, a supermarket and the twice weekly regional market in the village square where you are spoilt for choice with the local cheeses, wines, vegetables and other produce all on display.


Getting Here

Salignac Eyvigues in the Dordogne is easily accessible from all major centres. Coming by train to either Souillac or Sarlat it is 4 hours from Paris or eight hours from London by Eurostar. By car we are an easy days drive from the channel ports (we are only 10 miles from the N20.) By air Brive,  Bergerac, Limoges and Toulouse airports are served by the low cost airlines such as Easyjet and Ryanair. Please note that the area around Salignac has no public transport (apart from taxis) but we do arrange to pick you up from either Souillac or Sarlat stations if required.


We look forward to seeing you in Salignac and can assure you that youwill have an enjoyable and instructive time.

For further information or a booking form please e-mail us on:

Or you can write to us at :

The Salignac Foundation, 12 rue Fenelon, Salignac Eyvigues, 24590 France.

Telephone from Outside France : 0033 951 98 30 82

Telephone from France : 0951 98 30 82