Kategorie-Archiv: Teaching

What do I teach?

Workshops and Training Sessions:
Generally speaking, I teach what I embody as dancer and performer. I teach what I know most about, what I learned and still passionately study. So I design my dance teaching around one of the following 3 focal points
– contact Improvisation,
– improvisation and composition for performance (group-duet-solo),
– improvisation-based workout

Photo Eugene Titov, contact workshop Dancing with Others – Dancing for Others, Bucharest Contact Festival 2017

Seminars:

now that I finished my PhD I will finally make time to develop a series of thematic seminars that combine practical and theoretical inputs and explorations with the participants.
Themes:
– artistic research;
– improvisation as exploration, as performance, as research;
– showing process on stage;
– dance and narration;
– relating to audiences;
– subjectivity: made of transitions and (un)coordinated changes
– undoing age appropriateness;
– improvising age(ing);
– performing age(ing);

Photo:Harald Mühle, Zeitgenössischer Tanz und Alter(n), Dialog der Generationen Werkstattgepräche, Berlin 2013

 

Lecture Performances:
I keep developing the hybrid format of lecture performance.
I’m staging, dancing and discussing aspects, entrances and excerpts of my dissertation Dancing Age(ing).
For past lecture performances go to „Research“ in the menu.
Understanding Dance for Beginners and Intermediates is a series of 7 minutes mini-lectures I perform during my monthly mixed performance night 7 Minutes of Fame (curated together with Marlène Colle).

Video Still Benedikte Esperi, Dancing Age(ing) – Sliding through Time, Göteborg University for Music and Drama, Q&A with Benedikte Esperi 2017

Coaching:
I started to support individuals and groups in developing their respective artistic/research practices. I’m supporting processes of performance making, I’m sharing inputs, tools and strategies from dance, theatre, and from my personal experience with collaborative artistic/research practice.

 

What’s my teaching about … in 2011

My teaching today derives from my experience and ongoing practice as performer and performance maker, and my own ongoing training in dance and improvisation. Apart from this it is influenced by my education as dance teacher which I gained at Rotterdam Dance Academy (today called Codoarts) and  the two year process of completing my masters degree focussed on solo performance at HZT Berlin. Following are some of the central key words for my teaching practice and the learning process I support. Generally my dance practical teaching falls into the categories contemporary dance training, improvisation, contact improvisation, composition, performance making, performer training, instant composition.

Objectives
Gain Knowledge:
About the body in movement, about what improvisation and composition might mean, about the narrative act of performance

Enjoy the Practice:
Of moving, of improvising, of performing through playfulness and challenge

Develop and Refine Skill:
Dance skills, improvisation skills and contact improvisation skills, skills for realising a performance, skills for being on stage

Support and Train our Dance Bodies:
Through a work-out that warms and energizes, strengthens, stretches, activates, releases, and allows for enough individual variation and adaptation to help us through ever changing states of health, energy, injury, impairment, and well-being

Focuses and tasks in class
Movement:
Ways of warming up the dancing body, contact improvisation skill work, body work, use of gravity and momentum, 3-dimensionality / back space, folding / extending, modulating effort and dynamics, developing somatic and kinetic intelligence, integrating structurally effective and non-damaging movement patterns, broadening ones movement vocabulary and ability for differentiated and articulate dancing
Emphasising improvisational structures to work these themes

Composition – Choreography:
Scores. tasks, and themes for dance making, solo, duet, group work, reflecting aesthetic elements and preferences in what we do and see, studying choice, chance and necessity, organising the moving body in time and space

Performance – Narration:
Perform for each other, watch each other, frame and compose presentations in different ways, play with theatrical means beyond the body such as objects and costumes, include imagination, fantasy, storytelling, use of voice, what makes sense? what creates coherence? What affects and in which way? What’s the story of this performance? reflect / talk / write about the performances we do and see
Emphasising improvisational structures to work these themes

Work Formats:
Solo / duet / group explorations, contact improvisation, somatic hands-on work, response and feedback structures, devising, structured practice and reflection

Terms
Improvisation: My work as performing artist is strongly informed by the practice of improvisation and contact improvisation and even in my set works I’m looking for openings that allow direct and fresh exchange with partners and audience.

Artistic research: Apart from the shared processes of searching, developing and reflecting with partners in productions, courses, studies or research groups I understand it as a  very individual process  of tracking my own motives and questions that allows to move the plenitude of experiences to a more abstracted level of conscious learning / understanding. It is an individual process, no matter with how many people and in which kind of working structure I  find myself inside the field of dance.

Narration: When I consider performance as a narrative moment I am interested in questions of Vermittlung, approachability and intelligibility. A general question my teaching is concerned with is the relation and the possibilities between intrinsic movement, also called abstract or pure movement or dance, and the narratives of the moving body, build by layers of meaning, offered or subverted consciously or undecidedly, shared between the performer and the person watching. What is being told, what is being understood, what is the narrative of a piece, of a body, of a dance, of the different relationships inside the performance space? In class I’m interested to explore and reflect these questions through our performing.

Solo: I consider the idea of solo as a lonely (and therefore maybe even cathartic) process to be a myth. I did quite a lot of solos through the years, but it only started to be a satisfying and constructive form that I could build on, when I found working structures that included one or several partners, witnesses, coaches, collaborators, peer soloists…….The really interesting point is how to create these kind of collaborative structures that bring the individual solo forward. And this I want to share also in my teaching.

Work Formats/ Working Methods: I am very fortunate to regularly follow my solo performing interests and my passion for working collaborativly in long term partnerships. I also enjoy to perform under the guidance of a director as part of a contemporary theatre group. Drawing on these experiences, I guide students to explore different collaborative working formats, touching on concepts like consensus / plurality, feedback / coaching, division of tasks / hierarchies. The formats we explore will hopefully help dancers and performers to start building their own constructive collaborations and artistic futures.