Academic settings, conferences and seminars:
Upcoming: Articulating Body Awareness (februari - June 2020 Iarts Maastricht)
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. 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.
2019: Sensitivities at (field)work Short Intensive Course University of Amsterdam
This edition of the body awareness short intensive course for social science PhD’s was more specifically focused on doing fieldwork and its sensitivities. “Fields” (places, people, practices and so on) have a lot of things to offer to those researching them. For fieldworkers the body becomes an instrument, sensitivities become ways of knowing the field. However, being sensitive requires practice. How can we sensitize, calibrate, and care for our instrument so that it operates in the field in such way that is productive to our research and also to ourselves? When and how does our work require attentiveness? When and how should we be open to our environments? How to remain sensitive to one’s own body, its boundaries and needs, in surroundings that may be overwhelming? How do different notation techniques hone different sensitivities for events, practices, bodies?
2018: Sensitivity as Skill at LEARNING/TEACHING MATERIALS: A SKILLSHARE WORKSHOP (Making Clinical Sense Research Team and Marres Maastricht)
In several short interventions and through various techniques, we approached feeling the body as a skill. We looked at multiple relations of feeling and thinking and how thinking can be a technique to foster feeling and vice versa. We explored how feeling our bodies can help us (as researchers, thinkers, academics) think, write and work.
2018: Body works for “talking minds” Short Intensive Course University of Amsterdam
Academic education trains us to write sharp arguments, to read attentively, to relate to other’s words, to prepare engaging classes or original conference papers. What is strangely absent when being prepared for all these different tasks, is how to use our bodies. Doing “quiet, sitting bodies, separated from each other, concentrated on producing and perceiving discourses, not paying attention to other sensations and activities in themselves as in other bodies” (as Carozzi describes academic bodies in Talking minds: The scholastic construction of incorporeal discourse, 2005) is a useful or even necessary practice in certain stages of academic work. However, other ways of being attentive may be required while being in the field, teaching a class or presenting a paper at conferences. How to be more aware of one’s physicality, presence, our relation to our surroundings and other bodies? How to become more attentive to our bodies and individual specificities? How to perform bodies differently in various contexts? This Short Intensive Course is aimed at making these questions present in our academic lives and provide tools to perform aware and attentive academic bodies.
2018: Body Awareness for VGCT Conference on psyche and soma “Mens Sana in Corpore Sano”
Four short sessions, each with a different focus, named WAKKER (for a fresh mind and an active body), LEKKER (a back-care session), BEELD (on images and imagination as constructive techniques for healthy alignment) and HUID (about the skin as an arbitrary boundary between ourselves and our environments).
2018: Seminar Bodily knowledge – an exploration of thinking through feeling (Theater Academy Maastricht)
In my research I study the practices and methods used by professionals that sensitize bodies, such as somatic therapists, yoga teachers, butoh dancers or haptonomists. They are professionals of what I call “feeling techniques”; ways of using the body that both require and enhance sensitivity. Throughout their work they use words, images and other sensory media in order to invite, guide, provoke, stimulate, activate or articulate feelings. Using language, thoughts, ideas and concepts, they access the realm of feelings, a realm that is often considered “implicit” or “non-representational”. Doing so they break through a number of dualisms such as thinking and feeling, sensitivity and knowledge, body and mind. In this seminar we explored how words and drawings produce bodily sensitivity and ways in which thinking and feeling interrelate. During the first part of the day, we practiced examples of feeling techniques (a set of bodily exercises accessible for any bodily ability). In the second part we experimented with ways in which feeling techniques may become tools to write, talk, draw, perform, move or think. In light of these explorations, we thought about how we can train our own specific version of “bodily knowledge”, using feeling techniques ourselves, within our own (professional) practices
2017: Seminar Bodily Knowledge (Theater Academy Maastricht)
In this seminar we learned about sensory knowledge by doing sensory knowledge. Through different kinds of exercises that originate in different fields - such as somatics, butoh, mime and meditation - we sensitized ourselves in different ways. By reflecting on what and how we sense, we worked on developing our ability to articulate and to experience subtleties in sensations. Finally, we explored how feeling individually can be used to foster feeling collectively, where our discussion moved from bodily knowledge, to consider the role of sensitivity in artistic knowledge.
2017: Touch Seminar
Intervision seminar for experts from different fields who touch people as part of their professional practice. Movement teachers, physical therapists, massage therapists, dancers and anyone who professionally touches people where invited and gathered to exchange thoughts, experiences and techniques.
2016: Body Awareness at Innovation Art Education conference Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design
Through accessible exercises we practiced body and social awareness. We experimented with techniques that make us aware of the way we affect and are affected by a group or collective. Deriving from the assumption that art teachers in-the-making have to learn to tell stories, we researched how we can affect an audience and create collective sensory experiences.
2015: Movement introduction Network meeting Rijkswaterstaat
A movement intervention based solely on walking in circles and spirals with the intension to set a tone of togetherness in the introduction of a co-creation day for 200 Rijkswaterstaat employees from different sectors. The emphasis was to give each participant the feeling of what it means to be part of a whole and to enact and be enacted by it. Moving as one and being aware of ones own particular place and space within this massive body consisting of 200 individual, yet not separated parts.
Ongoing movement intervention projects:
A cheeky homage to mindfulness, with similar intensions, yet requiring and evoking a completely different attitude. Like mindfulness the goals are to establish a non-judgmental and open attitude, be able to escape from the bustle in the head, break patterns and reduce stress. It addresses topics such as dealing with obstacles, living in the so called ‘here and now’, creating the conditions and mind-set to let this happen, practicing trust and confidence and dealing with thoughts and ways to communicate. Where mindfulness accounts for patience, caution, modesty, stillness and peacefulness, out-of-your-mindfulness is playful, confronting, breaks through comfort zones, awakens creativities and imaginations, prevents seriousness and invites ridiculousness. More information is to be found on www.outofyourmindfulness.com.
Movement at work / Office Yoga
Short movement interventions (from methods like yoga, Pilates, somatics and physical therapy) in offices that do not require props, special clothing or abilities, but that do intervene with chronic postures and patterns and address all body parts, movement directions and planes of movement.
Ongoing studio training:
to enhance awareness of body, space, presence and performance, combining techniques and exercises from somatic movement, physical theater, mime and butoh. These trainings are productive for performance in the broadest sense of the word: whether on stage, at work or in their daily life movements, bodies become more sensitive and attune more fluently to other bodies and environments.
Playful intervention at Magneet Festival Amsterdam (2015).
Festival-goers are invited for a real-life bord game and to incorporate their favorite or most feared fairytale characters. Performances, consisting of movement, theater, singing, dancing and more, are rated by an audience and decides the player's progression in the game.
Child-parent movement interventions and workshops (multiple venues 2015/2016):
build around the intension to have children and parents move around in each others imaginations. Exploring unrealistic worlds, forgetting about what makes sense and taking turn in deciding the game rules of their imaginative worlds, children and adults move together and forget about their usual roles, rules and norms.
Out-of-your-mindfulness festival editions. Go to www.outofyourmindfulness.com for more information.