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Workshop 4

Russell Maliphant

Resonance of the body image – Embodiment
A thematic bundle around ideas of collaboration and conversation, body image and contact improvisation

Russell Maliphants work is characterised by a unique approach to the relationship between movement, light and music. Russell Maliphant trained at The Royal Ballet School and graduated into Sadler‘s Wells Royal Ballet before leaving to pursue a career in independent dance. He studied anatomy, physiology and biomechanics, and qualified as a practitioner of the Rolf Method of Structural Integration (or Rolfing®). These studies form the basis of both his teaching and choreographic work, along with a diverse range of body practices and techniques including classical ballet, contact improvisation, yoga, capoeira and chi kung. He collaborates closely with lighting designer Michael Hulls, evolving a language where movement and light are so intimately connected that the meeting point becomes a new language in itself.

These workshops will integrate principles and practices from a variety of body orientated techniques including Yoga, Release Technique,  Contact Improvisation and Martial Arts. The workshops will begin with general body practice and develop to explore choreographic qualities and elements of contact in the creation of work.

Workshop 3

Dana Caspersen/Amy Raymond

The Practice of Connection

Conflict is frequent in the creative process– on interpersonal, conceptual and institutional levels. But these conflicts do not need to be destructive. Conflict is inevitable, but it can also be useful. The conflicts that arise in the studio between a choreographer and a performer, between colleagues, in company meetings, between artists and administrations, between teachers and students, and often in the thoughts of individual artists themselves, can all be opportunities to find out what matters and what is possible as a result. Conflict can help us understand something new.
This workshop offers participants training in physical and cognitive awareness and skills that will help them to approach conflict as a place of possibility. Drawing on Dana’s training and work as a conflict specialist and Amy’s experience of working closely with Budo master, Akira Hino, as well as their common experience as performers and creators with William Forsythe, this workshop will propose concrete practices for developing the ability to differentiate and choose between actions that create connection and those that provoke harmful disconnection.

Workshop 2

Rasmus Ölme/Ulrika Berg

Self-movement

The history of the self is mostly immaterial. The body is our material existence but our self is symbolic. In dance this has also been seen throughout its history when the body has been used as a vehicle for representation of different symbolic narratives and belief systems. But dance can also be used to challenge this understanding if we approach the self from a different angle.

Our bodies are animate/ self-moving and the movement is present in our body before a subject – a self – is in place. The fact that the self-movement is present in our bodies prior to the self can allow for a reconsideration of the meaning of “self-expression”. The movement is already present in the body and does not need a symbolism in order to engage. We move before we have a purpose to do so. Instead of considering dance as an opportunity for a subject to self-express, we can understand dance as a material, animate body in auto-expression.

To dance departing from this approach to body and self is an activity that engages in the relation between thought, action, perception, imagination and sensation. The “between” of those elements is not only a negotiation in terms of relation, but also a place that is a space in which they become indistinguishable from each other.

Ulrika Berg and Rasmus Ölme will share the entire studio time, guiding some sessions together and some individually.

Workshop 1

Yael Schnell / Jörg Schiebe

On relationships between performance and training

“We become more aware of our form. We connect to the sense of the endlessness of possibilities. We explore multi-dimensional movement; we enjoy the burning sensation in our muscles, we are ready to snap, we are aware of our explosive power and sometimes we use it. We change our movement habits by finding new ones. We go beyond our familiar limits. We can be calm and alert at once.” – Ohad Naharin

The workshop will begin with a gaga class. Gaga is a movement language developed by Ohad Naharin over the course of many years and which is applied in daily practice and exercises in the Batsheva Dance Company.

In the later part of the workshop we will move into the idea of reflection and feedback. We will revisit aspects that were approached during the gaga class and improvise with them to start with.

Later we will add more aspects from gaga discovering the endlessness of possibilities by using the power of our imagination. This section of the workshop is framed by the practical task of creating short improvisations guided by clear time restrictions. Ideas from gaga (for instance “flouting”, a specific term from gaga) will be explored and each participant will have a specific length of time to improvise with those ideas.

Fundamental to this workshop (and perhaps performing arts) is the idea of observing and be observed as a tool to generate reflection and feedback. Furthermore, in this workshop beyond watching and discussing the participants will reflect on their experiences by doing, applying what knowledge the watching and discussion produced.

The excitement of involving and integrating subjective feedback is part of this workshop: Presenting improvised material for viewership and then exploring those areas that affect ourselves and/or the other participants. By adding different aspects of gaga into a series of performed/observed improvisations and reflecting on what we feel by doing and feel by watching, small changes are supported in both perception and creation of physical material.

This workshop seeks to inform in ways that improvisation is always creating performances.