The Body Archive|Laboratories and Workshops

Each Laboratory Workshop provides the space and the time to delve more deeply into the "archive" of ones own "body".  Practices explored include dance and improvisation, the body and relationship to nature and environment, somatic practice and integrated movement, and Yoga and Ayurveda. Labs/Workshops are focused towards a specific movement discipline and exploration, but are always layered with information from the different movement modalities and teachings that I continue to study and practice. Through all of the workshops that I facilitate, my intention is to provide a space where the participant can tap into the innate wisdom of the dancing body, and the healing and expressive potential of the body in relationship to nature, and the surrounding environment. 

Current Workshop Offerings:

Somatic Practices for Traveling Between the Worlds 

Through practices of deep sensing and inner listening, breath and movement work, and the use of poetic language and imagery/visualization, we will explore the generation of altered states of being using the body as the doorway in. Consciously accessing the liminal space between waking and dream states, we will look to unearth the intuitive wisdom of the body and its layers of mystery and meaning as they arise through sensation, image, archetype and symbol. Through cultivating our relationship to this liminal space, we connect ourselves into the roots of our own creativity, the potential for healing, and our essential spiritual nature.

The Sacred Body

Embodied Transformation

This series of laboratory workshops provides an opportunity to engage organically, energetically, and creatively through an exploratory physical practice of Yin Yoga, integrated movement, and subtle body experiencing. How do we engage with the energies and patterns that already exist within the body, embedded inside of the tissues and etched within the nervous system? How do we begin to release some of our own cellular and ancestral psychic holding patterns, setting these energies free to move once again inside of our bodies, and within our own lives? How do we somatically experience the quality of divine mystery and love within our own physical form? How do we charge the body with the sacred, rather than the profane? I invite you into this ongoing journey of experiential learning that brings together body, mind, and spirit, where we open to the opportunity for healing, the descent of grace, and begin to truly plant the seeds for embodied transformation.

Body as Field

Inner Alchemy of Dance Improvisation

We are physical beings existing within a physical world, and yet too often as dancers it is too easy to over identify with that world, ignoring the invisible landscape within, and the forces that move through us and around us. Within this laboratory/workshop we will philosophically and experientially approach the body not as a physical object to be controlled, but rather as a field or instrument through which forces of sound, light, thought, memory, emotion, space and time are passing. Using somatic practices, and improvisational movement scoring as the gateway through which we access the invisible inner flow and terrain of the body, and the doorway of the senses as the key between inner and outer worlds, we will sense and feel, move and be moved, see and be seen, experiencing the continuous stream of consciousness through the physical field.

Dance Improvisation and The Five Elements

How do we experience nature within the body, and body within nature? Using the Five Elements of the Vedic/Yogic cosmology (Air, Fire, Water, Earth, Ether), this laboratory/workshop is an introduction to the exploration of how these forces live and operate in the body as we dance, as well as how these forces relate to the environment that moves through us and around us. Using somatic investigation and dance improvisation, we will take the time to explore each element individually, with its manifestations and correspondences within the body, and then begin to see how we use these forces to interact with others. The workshop culminates in a fluid and open score where body and nature commingle, allowing the participant to arrive in a harmonious and open state of awareness. Sail, transform, flow, solidify, and expand…

Tracking Change: an Investigation into the Nature of Duet Improvisation

co-taught with Sharon Mansur

This workshop focusses on duet tuning, the art of deep listening and responsiveness to another mover in relation to one’s own movement impulses and felt experience.

Starting with explorations to support perceptual awareness, fluidity of mind and body, and an inner and outer sensitivity, we’ll then explore various ways to support a full experience of duet-ing, including tracking the process of continuous flux and change individually and collaboratively with your partner, moving and being moved, and forming and un-forming.

The Spiraling Body

From the majestic movement of a galaxy, the delicate growth of a plant or a sea-shell, to the structure of our DNA, the living world is built upon the structure of the spiral. As we find this movement all around us, so we find it in the movement through our bodies. The spiral gives us three dimensions through space- the vertical, horizontal, and the sagittal. To access these three dimensions through the movement/dance of the body is to be more fully embodied, and to come into contact with some of the most profound and mysterious truths that nature has to offer us. Through somatic practices and improvisational scoring, we will explore the spiraling action through the joints, tendons and muscles, connecting us to this elegant form. We will also explore the psychological implications of the three dimensions: that is the ability to stand where you are between earth/sky, the ability to move forward and backward through space/time and past/future, and the ability to see and be in relation to the world around us through the horizon line. 

Dynamic Alignment

In this workshop, we will look into the principles of dynamic alignment, and explore how to work with the natural structure of the spine and organization of the body to find fuller freedom through movement. The class will begin with a discussion of these principles. Accessing alignment as a mobile rather then static state, we will move into an exploration of the relationship between the head and the tail, and the creation of space through the spinal column, and body as a whole.  Using yoga, developmental movement, and somatic release techniques, we will explore and expand our awareness of alignment while releasing back tension and pain, finding a greater sense of well being through the practice

Yin Yoga and Somatic Release

"Tension masks sensation, and sensation is the language of the body" (Nancy Stark Smith).

If the body is holding deep layers of tension, then we are unable to feel what it is that we are doing. Within this workshop, practices of somatic release will be introduced, including working with the underlying fascia/connective tissue to begin to unwind holding patterns that may be obstructing ones ability to move, sense, feel, and express. Through sustained Yin postures that promote the elongation of the connective tissue, specific breathing techniques, and the introduction of gentle patterns of developmental movement, we will encourage the release of deep holding patterns, moving towards a tabula rasa, or neutral body state of being. From this more neutral state of being, anything can be possible. 

The Dosha Practice 

Ayurveda (“the science of life”) is the ancient sister science of Yoga, and encompasses the healing practices which help to bring each of us towards a fuller state of balance and and harmony within ourselves, and relationship to the natural world around us. Ayurveda categorizes human beings into three basic different Dosha constitutions, or biological humors.  These are Vata (air/ether element), Pitta (fire element), and Kapha (water/earth element). For each Dosha, there are specific recommendations for posture, breath, and the way in which one goes about their own personal practice and lifestyle.  These recommendations fundamentally have to do with either heating the body up, or cooling the body down.  In this workshop, we will investigate these three biological humors, and do a preliminary diagnosis to determine which Dosha you tend most towards.  After determining this, we will investigate the kinds of Yoga practice that are suitable for each, and explore ways of working that will bring greater balance and harmony both within your practice, and within your life.