OPENLAB sessions after the Winter Break – Spring Term 2018.

OL_Spring18 w: water mark

After the Winter Break OPENLAB will be back for a packed Spring Term.

The term will kick off on Friday 5 January with a ‘White Canvas’ session and it will continue with a programme alternating both ‘White Canvas’ and ‘Facilitated OL‘ sessions.

The final dates with the line-out for the Spring Term sessions will be announced in early January. For now, we are glad to announce that the spring OL Facilitators will be:

Valeria Caboi, who will bring her EYE LIE research.

Joe Stevens, and his Game of Utopia paper games.

Emma Zangs, who will facilitate Bodies and Machines.

Until then, OPENLAB will be taking a break during the Winter and New Year’s Festivities. We hope you too will have a restorative and cosy break.


OPENLAB is a model for professional self-development for performers devised Antonio de la Fe. It hosts open sessions for anyone interested in a shared space for performance practice. In this way, OPENLAB could be understood as a co-working space for performers. At the same time, OPENLAB proposes a frame of work that revolves around a basic question: what does ‘to perform’ entail?

OPENLAB’s model is fluid: always changing, always open to dialogue within the group. OPENLAB sessions are developed by a constantly changing group of people. Any person can join the group at any time according to the personal needs and circumstances. Each member of the group may use these sessions the best way they suit them. Generally, the members of the group are artists interested in performance, movement, the body and in the actions the body can deploy as an artistic medium.

What’s the difference between ‘White Canvas’ and ‘Facilitated OL‘ sessions?

In the Spring Term, OPENLAB will continue alternating between ‘White Canvas’ sessions and ‘Facilitated OL‘ sessions.

‘White Canvas’ sessions don’t have an outspoken facilitator or pre-decided theme. However, for this term we will aim to have a participant in the studio that will serve as an anchor for other participants who may feel they need it. Participants may still be responsible for their own time in the studio but this time they’ll have not only the support from doing it with others but also the support from the anchor person. The possibility for ad lib exchange within the group is also always there. ‘White Canvas’ sessions are 2-hour long. For our first ‘White Canvas’ after the New Year Antonio de la Fe will be in the studio as anchor.

‘Facilitated OL‘ are sessions with a theme and a facilitator guiding the group throughout.

WITCHDANCING after AFTERMATHS (Charlie Ashwell’s own re-tracing of her ‘Facilitated OL’ session on Friday 23 November 2017)

On the 24th November, I led a 3 hour workshop called WITCHDANCE at Chisenhale Dance Space as part of Openlab. This writing came from the task to write continuously for 10 minutes, with the following 3 principles in mind:

– Whatever you write already exists

– Everything you write matters

– Go with what you will

(Thanks to Antonio for posting his own traces of the workshop and prompting me to post mine.)

Here’s what I wrote:


Flailing. Flute music fruitioning.

Ha lala la la

Like a song

from paradise park papers

Breaking ice open and paper mache-ing the crafty fox from Mile End Cyrus Cyprus tube station.

The woman driving the tube wears leather trousers. Her dinner still weighs a ton.

She’s pregnant.


Lightyears away, a small frog, visible only to the ahuman eye nudges a gem of a rock, covered in moss, with his word wide webbed appendage.

Footnote: this is not frantic.

Nature has changed and we’ve democratically elected a square foot of moss as our leader. Bleed me dry later on the gorey details.

Do what you will.

Elect who you will.

Who do you actually will, though? Who even is that guy?

Right left right left, legible, left-leaning social democrat algae pills: you keep forgetting to take them and instead always go for…

Breathe. Green juice, green pond, green fingers, green bra, green bread. Just tear it off, it won’t kill you.

Things are piling piling piling opening opening opening doors and more doors

And no-one’s there.

Jelly contains beef.

Floor contains rubber.

Stomach contains bacteria, without which you, yes you, would not be here leading people towards fruity existences and those other words you never bothered to pick, no, look up.


Last minute hoo hoo hoo

People writing stuff without even spell-checking. Fingers go to Sunday school in Polly Pocket’s living room but only every other Sunday. The other Sunday they just sunbathe.

Getting rid of clutter. Open both windows and doors before you leave. Calamity. Jane or Joan or Juan.

(Taken from Channelling Writing, a post from Charlie Ashwell’s blog on Tuesday 12 December 2017: Retrieved on Friday 15 December 2017.)

And The Quality of Your Time Was… (from ‘Facilitated OL’ session on Friday 8 December 2017 by Misha Horacek and with Antonio de la Fe)


And the rest it is the privileged secret of those attending the session…


More info about more sessions is coming soon. So watch this space!