Ulrike holds a PhD, a master in anthropology and a bachelor in art education. She is a certified yoga teacher, Pilates teacher, massage therapist and somatic coach (see www.ophetmatje.com). Her personal interest in the body and movement goes way back to her childhood when she constantly encountered and often exceeded the limitations of her body. Professionally, her journey to and through the body began with her yoga studies and gained both depth and scope through years of studying Butoh dance in Europe and Japan.
After having experienced and practiced very different types of body work and practices of somatic awareness, such as Yoga, meditation, Mindfulness, Feldenkrais, Pilates, Shiatsu, Laban Movement Analyses, Noguchi Taiso, Mime, Clowning, Butoh and other types of dance, she decided to use her knowledge, experience and tools to make movement accessible for everybody and every body accessible to movement. Her main interest and passion has become body awareness and the knowledges and sensitivities that are produced within body practices.
Currently, Ulrike is working on a research project "the body of the artist" (working title), in which she investigates how bodies are cultivated and trained in art educational programs. She looks at how bodies acquire and what kind of bodies have acces to bodily knowledge, how embodied skills are cultivated and through which techniques. She also works at the Master of Theatre in Maastricht, teaching and supervising artistic research, at the Bachelor Interdisciplinary Arts Maastricht (iArts), teaching body awareness as a method for artistic research and at University of Amsterdam, teaching about embodied methods and the role of the body in doing research and science.