Movement class: the Sensitive, Sensible and Sensuous Body
I integrate my background in contemporary dance with more than 15 years of devotion to improvisation technique.
The warm up is activating the deeper musculature closer to the bones and the spine to help softening the outer layer of muscles, gaining more freedom and range in movement access. Through floorwork we will strengthen the core and gain ease and speed. We will study different ways to relate to the ground, raising and falling in an effortless yet dynamic way and constantly changing the tone of the body.
Weaving in and out of set material, with special attention on the phrasing and musicality, we will explore movement principles, and movement combinations built on those. In the combinations one movement is calling organically the next one, in a way that the memorization of movement pathways feels logical to the body organization.
We will apply principles of floorwork as well in the standing part, working with spirals, subtle and unpredictable weight shifts and sequenciality.
In the class a lot of attention is directed to the relation spine to limbs: how important is to raise awareness in the spine and torso as main generator of movement to allow the limbs to be free, articulate, precise and expressive in space.
I have an interest in movement prior to dance as a formal language, in my movement research I include kinesiology and somatics. I believe that content and functionality provide form. I look for sensuosness and embodiment in dance, often referring to kinesthetic empathy, how is the movement being read by the spectator not solely with the eyes and intellect, but perceived on a visceral level.
Dance improvisation: The Sonic Body
The work will start from the body, and how can we differentiate movement intention and quality and place that in relation to sound.
In particular in this workshop we will work with phrasing emerging from the use of breath, how the consciousness of breath can be a tool for creating musicality in the movement or movement in the music. We will explore different tones of physicality and (for musicians) qualities of sound, refining the readability of intention in sound and movement, to be able to commmunicate with the material being generated.
The aim is to encourage each performer to be engaged in their own personal research of physicality of sound and movement, with curiosity and playfulness.
Music Dance workshop ( collaboration with one musician)
with Mary Oliver (viola) 24 July till 3 August 2017 link
As music and dance teachers, our motivation for this workshop draws from our desire to deepen the study on how dance and music interact during the process of live composition. As the dancers are becoming more aware of what they are hearing musically, the musicians need to use their eye to track how the dancers are moving in the space. How is the music effected by what we see? How are the dancers’ use of rhythm, phrasing and dynamics reflected and incorporated into the music? These are areas of study and discussions that evolve from session to session, performance to performance, piece to piece. Our challenge as dancers and musicians is to keep tension in the room, while at the same time maintaining a relaxed state that allows creativity to flow. Dancers and musicians are addressed in the same way, considering everyone as part of the same “band” in which they all “play”. We consider everyone to be first of all a performer, thus the study of presence is very important. We will work with exercises that explore relationships between thought, movement and presence in the immediate environment. By promoting a greater awareness of sensory input, the performer becomes better equipped to interact with their internal and external impulses. For example, one exercise is a musician playing while a dancer is touching her/him somewhere on the body. The question will be asked “How does this change the development of the music”? We look for the expressive power of the visceral , the guts, the non intellectual, the material, the body, in combination with clarity and a sense for structure. We see analysis and intuition not as antithetical but supporting each other and essential for creativity. Our warm up exercises are aimed to increase awareness of the space between dancers and musicians. Space is the common ground in which the movement and music is taking place, therefore it is important to clarify the fundamentals for how to build a common understanding for how to play in space. The study of space relates to the physicality of the sound, acoustics. In our work, musicians rarely play standing in one spot unless it is a choice. They are encouraged to shift spaces, allowing sound to resonate differently. We will experiment with proximity and distance, how the actual physical space in which we play modifies the perception of sound and how the arrangement of bodies in space are affecting the composition. An important objective of the workshop is to study the language that dance and musicians use as a common ground and to question how do specific terminologies apply to one or the others artistic medium and what are the merging points. Every session starts with dancers and musicians playing together, however at times Mary will work separately with dancers and Manuela with musicians, giving specific practical assignments with feedback about the reading of each others language. We will point out the composition elements, such as phrasing, timing, pulse, overall structure of the piece, character, movement/sound quality, with references to styles and genres, and encourage the participants to articulate observations through the short feedback sessions. We believe in the importance of observation as a tool for change. At the end of each day participants will create instant compositions with sound and movement practicing looking and giving each other feedback. Parameters for the feedback will be body, space and movement-sound vocabulary. The participants will be encouraged to create pieces to present within the Freakatoni Witchy Weekends, performances. Our study will challenge the question : Are dancers supposed to follow the music, or are musicians supposed to play to the dancers movements? This question implies a relationship of interdependence and hierarchy. In this workshop we will encourage a constant dialogue between sound and movement with a complex, multi layered and fluid approach to the relationship between the two forms.
with Friederike Wendorf (flutes)
This workshop is aimed for dancers and musicians who have an interest in the study and practice of sound and movement in real-time composition with a curiosity to discover an intuitive organization of the body in space with sound. When relating to live sound, we need to take into consideration how it is altering the state of the body and the mind. We need to allow for raw materials to change moment to moment. As dancers, we need to be extremely alert, to listen to each change, shift of our state of mind and quickly create the material in a playful arena with the sound in space. In this workshops we start with exercises that train the awareness of presence and the listening. We address dancers and musicians the same way, being in this work first of all performers. We will then explore different tones of physicality and qualities of sound, refining the readability of intention in sound and movement, to be able to commmunicate with the material being generated. We invite the participants to compose material on the spot by letting it emerge from a sense of urgency, a need and a passion to give form to the ever fleeting moment. We encourage each performer to be engaged in their own personal research of physicality of sound and movement, with curiosity and playfulness. In the workshop we will make several pieces, real time compositions of sound and movement as an ensemble: in composing the pieces we will study how to be aware of time passing, tracking our feelings and responses to each other’s media, imagining the potential of the piece as it is being developed, getting to a fine tuning with each other that is close to mind reading.
We (Manuela and Friederike) met in Amsterdam working and studying with Katie Duck, and have been collaborating in Berlin since 2014. Noticing the interest and potential in the local artists community of Berlin, we created MusikTanzNullDreißig, a platform aimed at fostering the collaboration of dance and music in performance. Within this initiative we have been curating several performances of instantly composed dance and music in various locations in Berlin, (Club der Polnischen Versager, Dock 11, Tatwerk, Greenhouse a.o.) inviting local and international dancers and musicians to perform with us. Next to performances we also created regular practice sessions, to open the research and the discussion on the relationship music-dance. This Berlin project runs parallel with the Amsterdam series Music Dance 301, curated by Manuela at cultural centre OT301. This workshop will be a platform for both musicians and dancers to meet and begin to collaborate. It is essential, in the times we are living in, to contribute to the production of art by creating platforms and gathering crowds to experience the work. Those platforms provide opportunity for our performances and the work of peers, allowing continuity in the research. We believe that creativity needs to be promoted bottom-up, without waiting for permission from funding bodies and established venues, rather by getting hands dirty, digging into the material.
with Arvind Ganga (electric guitar)