OPENLAB’s Season 7 is coming – Autumn Sessions.

OPENLAB 18:19 Autumn

In this image, Anne-Gaëlle Thiriot during last season’s ‘Facilitated OLsession with Joe Stevens.

We have passed half-way the summer; so, it is time to get an update about what’s happening with OPENLAB this coming autumn.

OPENLAB‘s Season 7 will kick off on Friday 7 September at Chisenhale Dance Space. The season will start with a ‘White Canvas’ session and it will continue with a programme alternating both ‘White Canvas’ and ‘Facilitated OL sessions.

Here it the Autumn Term’s line-up for your diaries:

  • Friday 7 September – A ‘White Canvas’ from 10 am-12 pm.
  • Friday 14 September – A ‘Facilitated OL’ with Shannon Stewart* from 10 am-1 pm.
  • Friday 5 October – A ‘White Canvas’ from 10 am-12 pm.
  • Friday 19 October – A ‘Facilitated OL’ with Butch Merigoni from 10 am-1 pm.
  • Friday 2 November – A ‘White Canvas’ from 10 am-12 pm.
  • Friday 16 November – A ‘Facilitated OL’ with Marina Sossi from 10 am-1 pm.
  • Friday 30 November – A ‘White Canvas’ from 10 am-12 pm.
  • Friday 7 December – A ‘Facilitated OL’ with Katharina Joy from 10 am-1 pm.
* Shannon Stewart is a New Orleans-based artist invited to the UK by Christopher Matthews as part of a 2-day event of curated dance classes and talks at Chisenhale Dance Space. Shannon will be teaching two classes: PERMISSION TO DANCE – QUEERNIQUE and WHAT DOES THIS BODY MAKE? on Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 September. OPENLAB is collaborating with Christopher Matthews and Janine Harrington to further introduce Shannon Stewart and her work within the context of a ‘Facilitated OL session on Friday 14 September.

What’s OPENLAB?

OPENLAB is a model for professional self-development for performers devised by 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. 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.

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

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About Mira Hirtz’s Facilitated OPENLAB on the exploration of the suspicious body and on somatic research within groups

A reflection on my, Mira’s, Facilitated OPENLAB on the 6th of July 2018 – season 6, session 21.

Again,
the suspicious body.
This notion has been in my mind, in my artistic research and artworks for a while now.

What is this inquiry about? It’s a question about social relations outside of a dance studio, some sort of political question (…) being taken into a dance studio. Being taken into it in order to look at social relations present in here, the dance studio itself; and in order to research the relations outside; and in order to research the potential of this practice of asking in- and outside questions for creative processes.

That is a lot to inquire. I am by now used to the nature of my research questions and methodologies that seems to look for this complexity. I enjoy it, I want to embrace it through collective and somatic practice. So taking this inquiry into a dance studio is both in order to use the ‘grounding’ effect of somatic work and in order to make the complexity inside of the dance studio visible, as the inquiry reveals that the dance studio context is also to be questioned in its assumptions about openness, tolerance; generally, in its dynamics of social relation.

This is going on in my head and body. How to communicate this complexity, and embrace it, and research it with a group? This is a task to be formed. A practice in itself.

1st idea: Set a collective frame by an exercise, and then to derivate from it.

This just results in different behaviour, the ‘other’ behaviour. What is suspicion then, I asked the group? Something about pretending not to, hiding in a norm, but having another intention: either playing along with the norm in order to break it or unintentionally being a person that is somewhere between norms and other. BETWEEN.

“the truth is I don’t know you suspicious body I will always call you suspicious before I can know you” [X]

Suspicious bodies haven’t yet broken the norm completely, not yet begun a terrorist attack, not yet started a carnival in the middle of the road, not yet disrupted the safe space of intimate somatic exploration. (Yes, this is a provocation. These events may be very far apart from each other and lining them up is a very reductive argumentation. Still, I am curious about its effect.)

How do we know when a norm is about to be broken, broken already? Collective reading of climate in social dynamics is such a powerful situation, we all agreed.

After the game:

2nd idea: Half of the group observes the other half and picks out one by one who appears to be the most suspicious body

“We don’t know what he has in mind.” “She looks like pretending to be relaxed.” “He mimes the others.” “She deliberately wants him to look suspicious.”

This game brought up thoughts on authenticity: if somebody looks authentic or not, and if what somebody does seems to be peacefully engaged shaped our judgements of suspicion, and all of these judgements changed due to the context it was read in. So to follow your sensations in movement may look genuinely trustful when others do the same, but may look unpredictable if others start to have a conversation.

Why does the suspicious body interest me so much, and why the participants? When they say, they are interested in its political dimension, that does not say anything precise. When they tell me about how to read codes in a mass protest and involuntarily spreading the wrong signals, it is more specific. When they talk about self-perception as a being not sure what to expect from, that is another specification. For myself, I ask about the usages and dangers of planting the seed of suspicion in the frame of identifying or naming a body: identifying somebody who is about to commit a crime is useful, but what is potentially harmful can be discussed as well. How do I argue that a terrorist is harmful but a body movement that is using space differently due to a differing functioning of body/mind/sociality may not be? How can I justify and how can we make sure our collective justifications are protecting human values and yet not end up in rigid protective anxiety?

 

beingsafeisscary

(Thank you Banu Cennetoğlu for this artwork at documenta 14)

Can a question stemming from everyday social relations inform my dance practice? Yes. How? “Can I slip under your skin and behave and move and breath and dance and shout suspiciously with you?” [X]

Can I research a question that is situated in everyday life be answered within the dance studio? Not sure. I think at this point some reflection about the relation of life and art, a reflection of social art and political art would be of benefit. But (a but is not really appropriate, as it is not really a contradiction) I am more concerned here with the very practicality of delivering a research session and researching myself, concerned with the momentary reality of people in space and our interest and ability to ask, answer, translate between frames we build and built.

Dear suspicious body, “Why am I trying to include you in a sphere of comfort, or is it you…Can’t we just accept that this is a forever new and wild world an let go of trying to organise information?” [X]

Season 6, Sessions 21: “Explorations on the Suspicious Body” – a ‘Facilitated OL’ with Mira Hirtz.

OPENLAB‘s 6th edition will close this July with a ‘Facilitated OL.

This session – Explorations on the Suspicious Body – will be facilitated by Mira Hirtz on Friday 6 July, 10 am-1 pm at Chisenhale Dance Space:

openlab_2

Nowadays in public space and transport we are often encouraged to look for suspicious events. I ask myself: what is a suspicious body? What does it look like, what does it behave like, how does it derive from the norm in a way that one could recognise it? I wonder if this rather terrifying and excluding manner of being together in publicity can be turned into a reflective state towards rules and norms. Could we as movers turn it into both reflective and playful observations, curiosities, hidings and further practices? How can imaginations become explicit, stigmatisations obscene, and derivations sensually motivated?

I will propose somatic and movement explorations as well as discussions and writing exercises in order to investigate these questions. And then, let’s jam!

Mira Hirtz is a mover and somatic practitioner currently studying the MFA Creative Practice at Trinity and Laban Conservatoire and Independent Dance. Before moving to London she finished her Masters in art theory on the topic of audience participation in performance art and worked as an art mediator for documenta14 in Germany. Mira is curious about somatic knowledge and exploring formats such as Jams in Contact Improvisation, and eager to mingle disciplines to question terms and concepts both theoretically and dancing.

 


Remember:

OPENLAB sessions are open to any performers: dancers, musicians, actors and anyone interested in presence and awareness in performance.

The facilitators of OPENLAB are also participants “in” the session and participants can propose their ideas for a future session. If you’d like to know more about this, come to one of our sessions or email Antonio de la Fe (antonio.delafeguedes@gmail.com).

The sessions function on a pay-what-you-can contribution basis to cover expenses and as an incentive for the facilitator of the session. We suggest a contribution of £7 for the 3-hour long sessions (‘Facilitated OL’ sessions) and of £5 for the 2-hour long ones (‘White Canvas’).

Chisenhale Dance Space
64-84 Chisenhale Road
London
E3 5QZ

Season 6, Sessions 19 & 20: “The Primal Body” – a ‘Facilitated OL’ with Galit Criden & ‘White Canvas.’

There will be two OPENLAB sessions in June.

On Friday 8 June, 10 am-1 pm, we will have The Primal Body – a ‘Facilitated OL’ with Galit Criden:

walking

How unusual it is nowadays to wander, to let oneself be taken by an experience and to truly observe within one’s reality. In this session, we will experiment wondering in our urban reality in a sensory tour throughout the topography of the city.

Walking through observation is the act of wondering accompanied by all sensations. This combined performance experiment will emphasis on the nomadic state in which people are situated these days. We will practice leaving the studio and working outside, letting the conditions affect our bodies. We will explore what actions such as walking and listening can do to our understanding of culture and how the body serves as an interpretative experiential tool. Within the busiest, loudest context, I invite us all to check together the most basic aspects of primal body: What do we want? How to start moving? When to stop? How far can we go? How much do we let ourselves drift?

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?

The participants will gather in the studio, where they will be guided through a short preparation for the walk, and from there, they would leave two by two to wonder, triggering observation and play between the streets. Through a simple and automatic action such as walking, I wish to touch one’s habits through one’s barest foundation and by exploring their function to learn something about the relation between the individual and their relation to the environment around them.

We’ll practice something like what comes before it becomes dance, the formation of dance – the primal body. To experience being in the body in space, we will try to practice being visible and present, to identify the situation as it is. (in-studio and out). Freeing the body and finding the logic at that moment. Here and now.

Galit Criden is choreographer and movement teacher. She holds a BEd and a graduate of the School of Visual Theater and a graduate of the David Yellin Academic college of Education. She is a co-founder of ‘ New-Stuff’ group: A theater, performance, plastic art group. She performed in various places around Israel and abroad. Her performances include: ‘Observation Room’, ‘Work Big’, ‘Singular’, ‘Phase II’ and BodySpeak’ and more. She received in 2017 Rabinovitz a prize for excellence in dance. Currently, she is an artist in the Fest’Fectory compound, Bat-Yam, Israel.

 

On Friday 22 June, 10 am-12 pm, we will continue with a ‘White Canvas’ with Flora Wellesley Wesley as an anchor (if one is needed by anyone).

 


Remember:

OPENLAB sessions are open to any performers: dancers, musicians, actors and anyone interested in presence and awareness in performance.

The facilitators of OPENLAB are also participants “in” the session and participants can propose their ideas for a future session. If you’d like to know more about this, come to one of our sessions or email Antonio de la Fe (antonio.delafeguedes@gmail.com).

The sessions function on a pay-what-you-can contribution basis to cover expenses and as an incentive for the facilitator of the session. We suggest a contribution of £7 for the 3-hour long sessions (‘Facilitated OL’ sessions) and of £5 for the 2-hour long ones (‘White Canvas’).

Chisenhale Dance Space
64-84 Chisenhale Road
London
E3 5QZ

Season 6, Sessions 17 & 18: “Companions and Strangers” – a ‘Facilitated OL’ with Carolyn Roy & ‘White Canvas.’

OPENLAB‘s 2018 Summer Term continues with two more sessions in May.

On Friday 11 May, 10 am-1 pm, we will have Companions and Strangers – a ‘Facilitated OL’ with Carolyn Roy:

may day trafalgar square

Companions, Composers and Comrades,

Arriving, being (present) with – the floor, the space, our memories or other dancers – is the foundation of dancing together, so we will start from there. Gathering with others the proposal is to see what happens when we start simply from the mix of our bodies, the space and the invisible baggage we bring.

Sharing proximity and distance. This is an invitation to explore composition through companionship and being a companion as an invitation to dance. What does it mean and what does it take to open up and accept the offer of companionship as we dance? This is a quietly political commitment. We matter.

Companionship is a dance practice that is also a practice of being in the world, attuning to a mutual state of being-with as a score, allowing rather than directing movement to emerge and relationships to form.

I propose dancing together with somatic sensitivity in the spirit of listening and being listened to, witnessing and being witnessed. There will be a warm up, a couple of long improvisations and time. No hierarchy. Not call and response. There might be conversation. Is it possible to truly dance together, and what would that dance be? Anything is possible and it doesn’t have to mean slow.

Carolyn Roy is a dancer, writer and teacher, interested in what happens as the body meets the world through improvising and walking and the movement that emerges in this encounter. She is currently exploring practices of attention – listening, touch, curiosity, stillness, witnessing ourselves, others and the space that we co-create(between). Formative influences of Skinner Releasing Technique and Body Weather continue to inform her practice.  In addition to her own projects, (recently Celebrate and  Demonstrate, London May Day, The Telling, What Remains, ID, Reeling, Wilkinson Gallery,  London) she has performed with Gaby Agis, Pacitti Company, Graeme Miller, Tino Sehgal, Florence Peake, and Lizzy Le Quesne, and is a PhD practitioner researcher at Roehampton University.

 

On Friday 25 May, 10 am-12 pm, we will continue with a ‘White Canvas.’

 


Remember:

OPENLAB sessions are open to any performers: dancers, musicians, actors and anyone interested in presence and awareness in performance.

The facilitators of OPENLAB are also participants “in” the session and participants can propose their ideas for a future session. If you’d like to know more about this, come to one of our sessions or email Antonio de la Fe (antonio.delafeguedes@gmail.com).

The sessions function on a pay-what-you-can contribution basis to cover expenses and as an incentive for the facilitator of the session. We suggest a contribution of £7 for the 3-hour long sessions (‘Facilitated OL’ sessions) and of £5 for the 2-hour long ones (‘White Canvas’).

Chisenhale Dance Space
64-84 Chisenhale Road
London
E3 5QZ

Season 6, Sessions 15 & 16: “Mine, Yours, Theirs: Exchanging Movements” – a ‘Facilitated OL’ with Danai Pappa & ‘White Canvas.’

OPENLAB‘s 2018 Summer Term kicks off with two sessions this coming April.

On Friday 6 April, 10 am-1pm, we commence the term with Mine, Yours, Theirs: Exchanging Movements, a ‘Facilitated OL’ with Danai Pappa:

openlab

During this lab, we will explore ways to produce, exchange and reproduce movement. Expressing either something visual or conceptual, we will go through a series of playful tasks such as being the same, being different, copying, and mimicking. By being present and conscious we will keep a constant dialogue between the members of the group while we will still act as individuals.

I believe that choreography is inspired by dancers. Exchanging dances and building bridges between the participants, we will challenge clichés and personal habits in order to expand choreographic possibilities by sharing movement preferences and idiosyncrasies. The theme focuses on subjectivity and raises fundamental issues such as originality, authorship, inspiration and interpretation.

This session is open to adults with minimum two years dance experience.

Danai Pappa:

I am a dance artist, choreographer and movement teacher. I have studied ballet, archaeology, contemporary dance, social anthropology, choreography, museum studies, and pilates. I have worked in all these sectors. Above all, I am a human. I work with people, I work with bodies, I share ideas, I am inspired, and I aspire to be a source of inspiration. I am interested in connecting and building relationships with others in order to find my distinctive voice.

 

On Friday 20 April, 10 am-12 pm, we will continue with a ‘White Canvas’ with Antonio de la Fe as an anchor (if one is needed by anyone).

 


Remember:

OPENLAB sessions are open to any performers: dancers, musicians, actors and anyone interested in presence and awareness in performance.

The facilitators of OPENLAB are also participants “in” the session and participants can propose their ideas for a future session. If you’d like to know more about this, come to one of our sessions or email Antonio de la Fe (antonio.delafeguedes@gmail.com).

The sessions function on a pay-what-you-can contribution basis to cover expenses and as an incentive for the facilitator of the session. We suggest a contribution of £7 for the 3-hour long sessions (‘Facilitated OL’ sessions) and of £5 for the 2-hour long ones (‘White Canvas’).

Chisenhale Dance Space
64-84 Chisenhale Road
London
E3 5QZ

OPENLAB sessions – Summer Term 2018

OL_Spring with water mark 3

After the spring comes the summer and for this coming Summer Term, we have a new lineup of OPENLAB sessions.

Here you are with the dates for your diary:

Friday 6 April, 10 am-1pm – A ‘Facilitated OL‘ with Danai Pappa: Mine, Yours, Theirs: Exchanging Movements
Friday 20 April, 10 am-12 pm – A ‘White Canvas’
Friday 11 May, 10 am-1 pm – A ‘Facilitated OL‘ with Carolyn Roy:
Companions and Strangers
Friday 25 May, 10 am-12 pm – A ‘White Canvas’
Friday 8 June, 10 am-1 pm – A ‘Facilitated OL‘ with Galit Criden: The Primal Body
Friday 22 June, 10 am-12 pm – A ‘White Canvas’
Friday 6 July, 10 am-1 pm – A ‘Facilitated OL‘ with Mira Hirtz: Explorations on the Suspicious Body


Remember:

OPENLAB sessions are open to any performers: dancers, musicians, actors and anyone interested in presence and awareness in performance.

The facilitators of OPENLAB are also participants “in” the session and participants can propose their ideas for a future session. If you’d like to know more about this, come to one of our sessions or email Antonio de la Fe (antonio.delafeguedes@gmail.com).

The sessions function on a pay-what-you-can contribution basis to cover expenses and as an incentive for the facilitator of the session. We suggest a contribution of £7 for the 3-hour long sessions (‘Facilitated OL’ sessions) and of £5 for the 2-hour long ones (‘White Canvas’).

Chisenhale Dance Space
64-84 Chisenhale Road
London
E3 5QZ