Imagine a relationship to our bodies without any imposition of culturally conditioned expectations. Imagine a relationship to dance and dancing if we had no prior notion about what the moving body should look or feel like.
Is it possible to reach beyond these and other ideas of limitation, to enter a field of free expression in the body? Can we experience our birthright of embodying the intelligence that has created all of life, and to feel its force moving through us?
In this workshop Kirstie Simson joins forces with Matias Ortolá with an aim to entering this field together through the celebration of movement and music practices.
We will develop the sensitivity to care for, engage, respect and respond to our own and our partners’ bodies as we move and vocalize, through practices that are powerful and potentially transformative.
The work will include facilitated exercises, open time for play and exploration, movement and vocal scores, listening, observations, meditation and discussion. Much of the work will be experienced through partnering and connection with others, balanced with solo moving and sounding.
During the workshop Kirstie and Matias will offer a public performance of their music and dance collaboration.
Kirstie Simson draws from her knowledge of contact improvisation, dance techniques, the Alexander technique, aikido, meditation and dedicated spiritual inquiry, and her extensive experience of improvisation in performance. She has worked tirelessly over the course of three decades to share with people the joy of exploring the body’s primal urge to move. She feels passionately that liberating our often unquestioned and fearful relationship with our physical intelligence will be an important aspect in the creation of new culture.
Matias Ortolá is a multi-instrumentalist, teacher, coach and Neuro Linguistic Programming practitioner. His work and research in music, based on a solid academic foundation of study, is closely linked to his spiritual search, his appreciation for the healing power of music, and his respect for the art of dance.
Kirstie Simson (UK) has been a continuous explosion in the contemporary dance scene, bringing audiences into contact with the vitality of pure creation in moment after moment of virtuoso improvisation. Called "a force of nature" by the New York Times, she is an award-winning dancer and teacher who has "immeasurably enriched and expanded the boundaries of New Dance" according to Time Out Magazine, London. Simson’s eternal subject is freedom, as she dares to go beyond the boundaries of form and structure to create movement out of the rhythm of life itself.
For the past thirty-five years Kirstie has collaborated with dancers and musicians who share a common interest in researching improvisation including: Steve Paxton; Nancy Stark Smith; Simone Forti; Michael Schumacher; Adam Benjamin; Mei Li; musician Le Quan Ninh and many others.
She was awarded a London Time Out ‘Dance and Performance Award’ as "a unique figure in the dance world” and Jennifer Dunning of the New York Times said of her dancing "Kirstie Simson is justly celebrated in Britain for exquisite, sensuous dancing that seems to come from some simple force of nature".
She is renowned today as an excellent teacher and captivating performer who is a leading light in the field of dance improvisation. She is invited to teach and perform all over the world; working with major dance companies including Sasha Waltz and Guests, DV8, and Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan; teaching in universities, and conservatories; in performance festivals and private studios.
A documentary film about her work has been made by filmmaker Katrina
McPherson called Force of Nature now available through Amazon.com.
In January 2008 Kirstie joined the faculty of the Dance Department at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign where she is an Associate Professor. When the UIUC is not in session Kirstie is based in Cynghordy, Wales, from where she continues her research, teaching and performing internationally.
Matias Ortola is a multi-instrumentalist, teacher, coach and Neuro Linguistic Programming practitioner. His interests have led him to work in a multitude of musical genres including: jazz; flamenco; manouche and Latin American music; Indian; African; Eastern European and Middle Eastern music.
He plays various instruments including: oud (Arabic lute); yaylil tambur (Ottoman bowed instrument); hang (handpan); jazz guitar; and has explored in depth the use of the voice through overtone singing and vocal improvisation.
His work and research in music, based on a solid academic foundation of study, is closely linked to his spiritual search, his appreciation of the healing power of music, and his respect for the art of dance and the moving body.
Matias continues to study and share experiences with Master musicians, and throughout his career he has performed and recorded with countless artists of different nationalities and musical genres. His deep listening and curiosity in his research has led him to collaborate with dancers, musicians, actors, poets and therapists in the context of improvisation. Since 2014 he has studied with Daniel Oil who is a teacher and therapist in coaching and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Matias regularly teaches workshops combining music and NLP in Argentina and abroad.
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