Axis in the Redwoods
June 13-24. Arcata, California
Frey Faust: What is "Undulation?"
Kevin O'Connor: Dancing with Fascia
Lori Halliday: Catching a Ride on the Under Curve
Kira Kirsch: Kinetic Thinking ~ Learning In and Through Movement
Antoine Ragot: Arms and Wings ~ Dynamic Pathways Into Partnering.
Nuria Bowart: I Am My Own Amusement Ride ~ The Art of Playing Capoeira
Week 1: June 13-18
What is "Undulation?"
Undulating patterns of movement express the architectural character of all energy and form in this universe, the spiral. The practice of wave-form motion is healing and profoundly instructive, and represents the fine-grade understanding and conscious use of the body's resources. The Axis Syllabus designates the masses of the body as "motoric", i.e. possessing the potential for energy creation and propulsion, and the articulation or joints as administrative "motion centers", which provide moment arms, pendulum tie-offs and levers for the motoric masses. The motors can be aggregated or isolated. Motion can be distally or proximally initiated. Sequencing can be more or less chaotic or directed. In this class we will practice limpid kinetic energy transfer from one motor to the other, and discuss specific vector choices while we observe healthy limits for alignment.
This class will be amenable to those seeking respite from the vertical-static in favor of the aberrant-oblique. We will explore the benefits and possibilities of the body askew. Pitching slantwise we invite the intelligence of dynamic disequilibrium. Recognizing the absence of straight lines in our body, we welcome an asymmetrical slant on locomotion - leaning our towers, tilting our scales, and queering our lines. Along the way, we attend to the collaborative dialogue between organization and disorganization.
Dancing with Fascia: A Movement Research Laboratory
In this class we will dance with fascia, moving with and being made different by its generative possibilities. Fascia is often referred to as connective tissue and seen as simply wrapping muscles. But it is also an active, intelligent and communicative sensory organ enveloping, permeating and constituting the body. As the “fabric” of our form it shifts our perspective from a body made up of parts to the wholeness of the architecture holding them together. Fascia can be described as a biomatrix that surrounds everything in our bodies, connects everything, and yet paradoxically cleaves and separates everything.
Fascia is not one thing. The emergent set of anatomical claims about fascia stretches between communities of biologists, massage therapists, doctors, anatomist and pathologists as well as somatic practitioners and dancers (http://www.fasciacongress.org). In this experimental dance research lab we will use these different claims, place ourselves in the midst of these new forms of experimental embodiment being made, and MOVE with them to create different movement scores, motifs and embodied questions in relation to fascia.
Catching a Ride on the Under Curve: Following a Feel / Listening in
Become embodied in this movement exploration by tuning in to ones own unique body and the experience of riding the under curve. We will practice breathing, using imagination, sculpting space and time as we find the strategic pathways and transitions of catching the wave! How can we partner with rhythm, and our own unique tone and quality to inform our movement? Can we pause into the present and the inertial moment that preceded the fall? Let's "follow a feeling" and "listen in" to advise our movement choices and enjoy the rise and falls of the Dance.
Week 2: June 20-24
Kinetic Thinking ~ Learning In and Through Movement
I continue to be thrilled by the possibilities as well as chaos that lie in discovering, developing and increasing movement intelligence. Something that always strikes me as unique about the Axis Syllabus, both as a way of experiencing or practicing movement and as a tool for teaching, is the ability to create awareness in every instant of a movement without taking dynamic or the joy of dancing out of the equation. An ability to slice a moment in more and more increments while moving, perceiving minute detail, being aware of simultaneous actions happening in the body while adapting swiftly to changing external conditions. This connection between careful analysis and the pleasure of moving seems to generate an intrinsic motivation in the student and a hunger for autonomous as well as collective inquiry, a sharing and celebrating of space and moving together...and that is what i am interested in as a human and teacher, what keeps me moving and what continues to inspire me.
Specifically to this workshop: I am always fascinated in classes that i teach or take, to observe something that is hard to put in words, a sort of kinetic or bodily thinking, the processing of information in the moving body. I'd like to play and experiment with these notions. Via writing, conversation and eyes-on-work, we will try to detect and document these phenomenons alongside our daily practice.
Arms and Wings… Dynamic Pathways into Partnered Situations and Contact Improv
Let’s dive into a dynamic anatomical exploration of the arms by investigating myofascial continuities, bones, sensory and motoric attributes. The functions of our arms are multiform, malleable, and multitasking. They can serve as support structures, balancers, embracers, hangers, catapults and swingers, landing pads, feelers and, last but not least, subtle orientators of the spine. Through this thorough investigation of the upper limbs, we will move to inspire a three-dimensional and interactive experience, sometimes sensitive sometimes athletic. Prepare for take off!
I am my own amusement ride: The Art of Playing Capoeira
Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian Martial art form. Embedded within the movement quality is a wisdom. There are stories and strategies woven within the dialogue. The wisdom may be visible, but its content is received over time and with practice. Capoeira is played, not danced, or fought. Within the art form is a cultivation of the ability to make a physical commitment while maintaining the flexibility and resilience to not only adapt to the unplanned interruptions that happen in the game, but to find new unexpected pathways as a result. These skills are useful inside and outside of the game of Capoeira. The information within the the Axis Syllabus is helpful to Capoeiristas (those who play Capoeira) who wish to maintaining healthy joints for longevity. In this workshop I aim to bring material from the Axis Syllabus into the learning of Capoeira. In this workshop we will look at the difference between playing alone, and playing in relationship with. We will be working on Expanding skills to move with spiraling momentum, and to be able to use our hands as tools for locomotion. We will rediscover what it means to play together as adults.
Safe expectations to have from this workshop:
Spiraling pathways in and out of the floor
Being upside down as much as right side up
Exploring the carving and filling of negative space
Deep knee flexion
Playing in the Roda (wheel:as in life)
Floreios (tricks like macaco)