As a (future interdisciplinary) artist, one develops a specific practice; a practice that is specific to one’s individual work, consisting of research, methodology, style, materials, social relations, performances, presentations, expressions and so on. These practices are not isolated from our surroundings, but they are situated in a certain context. Therefore, as artists, we are social beings whose knowledge and skills depends on the way in which we engage with our environments. Hence, our work, processes, thoughts, sensitivities and ideas should not be considered as isolated, but as highly situated. Therefore, we can benefit from becoming aware of our specific way of engaging with the world. This training works with the assumption that the way in which we move through, relate to and attune ourselves to our environment depends on the way in which we use our body. When performing our (artistic) practices, we always use our bodies (in certain ways and in others not). Hence, in order to sensitize and attune ourselves to our practice’s needs, we train our body awareness.
In these sessions we will work with Body Awareness in several ways.
1. Practical (movement and sensitivity) classes that teach and train the students’ body awareness
2. Explorations of how what is learned in these classes can be articulated, documented or expressed
3. An individual research in which each students explores and reflects on the role of their own body in their work as a (future) artist and the body techniques that can help to develop these practices further.
During the sessions we will explore our body as an “instrument”. Each student, each artist, each researcher is, has and does a unique instrument with which they sense, attune to and relate to the world. Our bodies are our means through which we gather and process information, move through our environments and produce work. In short: not only is our body always there with us; it is the very medium we do our work with. Therefore, we will work on becoming aware of our instrument, learning about its specificities, how we attune it to and how it is affected by our surroundings. We work on “calibrating” our instrument to the practices we perform, the spaces we move through and the contexts we work in.
Because these sessions combine bodywork with documentation and reflection, students develop both intuitive and sensitive as well as analytical and reflective skills.
We will be dealing with questions such as:
- What role do our bodies play in our work (e.g. as (future) artists)?
- What role do other bodies play in our work?
- How do we situate or position ourselves/our bodies in a certain environment?
- How do we attune our bodies to other bodies or specific situations or contexts?
- What are ways to attend to our surroundings and how do we (distribute our) focus?
- How do we receive, gather and process information?
- How do our bodies react to certain situations?
- How do we relate to others?
- How do we connect?
- In what ways are we sensitive?
- In what ways are we intuitive?
- How do our instruments work and what exactly do they do?
- What kind of instrument does our work or a specific context ask for and how can we calibrate our bodies in a way that they become such an instrument?
- How can we attune our work and our bodies in a functional as well as healthy way?
We become aware of and learn about:
- personal patterns and styles of using our body
- positioning and situating
- attention and focus
- reacting and acting
- improvising and intuition
- connecting and relating
- sensitizing and attuning
Sessions consist of exercises and techniques from different methods such as:
- physical theatre/dance
- action theatre
- somatic movement
- body-mind coaching
- Laban Movement Analyses
- Feldenkrais, Ideokinesis
Besides that, we work on reflecting and articulating body awareness, building on the idea that finding words or other (e.g. visual) means to articulate what we perceive with our senses, helps to become even more sensitive (think of a wine taster who, by learning words for what she senses, learns to taste even more nuanced tastes). We will therefore practice documentation and teaching each other. Furthermore, while working on registering, documenting, articulating and presenting what bodies do, we work on making embodied and tacit forms of knowledge explicit (in order to enable exchange with other “wine-tasters” and establish ourselves within a “wine-tasting community”).
We alternate practice-based classes with classes that focus on reflection, documentation, articulation.