Moving Beyond the Habitual: Somatic Pedagogy in Performance Training

Speaker(s): Dr. Gina Giotaki, dance artist - historian, Greece
Date & Time: 19/05/2016 09:00-12:00
Location: Municipal Theatre
Language: Greek

Breaking the boundaries of habitual movement patterns is often argued to form a fundamental goal in contemporary dance and interdisciplinary performance education. This workshop will offer an introduction to somatic pedagogy while contextualising it as an approach and a field of study that cultivates this attribute for performers. Using focusing techniques, hands-on practice and movement improvisation processes drawn from diverse somatic methods, such as Body-Mind Centering, Experiential Anatomy and Skinner Releasing Technique, it will guide participants in conscious explorations of anatomic structures as a means to create subjective, raw, non-stylized movement that surpasses established patterns. In doing so, it will consider two main themes: a. the possibility and value of breaking boundaries developed through cultural and aesthetic references in performance and in our ability to seek kinaesthetic experiences through movement, b. the potentiality of reaching altered states of consciousness, often referred to as “transcendent” experiences through conscious focusing on physiological structures and/or partnering techniques.

The two themes will be explored whilst drawing from basic principles in Thomas Csordas’ (1990, 1994) sketching of cultural phenomenology, Shaun Gallagher’s (2011) conceptualisation of embodiment and the conceptual framing of altered states of consciousness by Vaitl et al. 2005. The workshop will be both experiential and theoretical in nature and will aim to link observations made as part of the workshop with findings from a practice-led, anthropological – historical research (Giotaki 2015) in the role of somatics and embodied practices in interdisciplinary performance.

Key words: somatics, performance, embodiment, altered stated of consciousness

Workshops' Instructors
Gina Giotaki

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