Some insights, experiences and concepts of my work as teacher.
For more than 20 years I have been practicing dance improvisation and instant composition as well as contemporary dance and choreography. In parallel, I regularly practice Qi Gong and Tai-Ji Quan as disciplines that refine my body and mind. Only in recent years have these various disciplines been integrated into a system I have called Movement Alchemy.
Why Movement Alchemy?The name comes from the many similarities I have found in my studies of Western and Eastern Alchemy.
What is Movement Alchemy?The basic concept of traditional alchemy is the idea of transmutation. In alchemical thought, every material thing comes into being from a common substance or combination of substances. Thus, for example, all metals come into being as a fusion of two principles, usually called "sulfur" and "mercury." Given the right proportions of these two principles, moderate heat under the earth and sufficient time, the result of the combination is "gold". This simple analogy is the key to understanding the work.
In this movement practice, the basic substance is ACTION, the two principles that fuse together are BODY and MIND, and the result is CHOREOGRAPHY and COMPOSITION.
The work I teach in classes is structured around 3 areas of study and practice. To each area correspond well-defined techniques and exercises that allow for constant development to the whole practice.
These 3 areas of study and practice in my teachings:
1) practice of Qi Gong and Taiji Quan as the basic disciplines for the study of human mechanics and anatomy through Nature's principle of "minimum effort for maximum result".
2) contemporary dance classes and regular training in movement.
3) workshops in improvisation and instant composition. In these seminars we study the principles of movement and relations of mind-body, perception-imagination, discipline-spontaneity, space-time.
The study and practice of these 3 areas, given the richness and depth of each, is often taught in independent, dedicated classes and seminars.
- QI GONG / TAI-JI
Qi Gong and Tai-Ji represent two practices to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of human mechanics, health and movement through Nature's principle of "minimum effort for maximum result". In addition to the physical aspect, these two ancient disciplines help refine the mind and listening. The practice I teach is ancient Taoist Qi Gong, and as such it fully belongs among the best-known forms of Oriental Alchemy.
The classes include a whole series of exercises that help you get to know your body and make it more sensitive to the use of weight and gravity in movement dynamics.
- CONTEMPORARY DANCE
This session includes all the integration of Qi Gong principles with contemporary dance movements. Body weight and physical support; verticality building and vertical column; anatomical relationship between the various parts of the body (hips-knees-feet; torso-elbows-hands); elasticity and agility exercises in space; dance and music are some of the themes around which the classes are developed.
The topic of discipline and perseverance in studio training is also addressed, as well as that of freedom to develop one's own material and movement background.
- IMPROVISATION / INSTANT COMPOSITION
- In this area we study the principles of movement and mind-body, perception-imagination, discipline-spontaneity relations. Each class is articulated as a path that, beginning with what we might call the "basic substance" of Movement Alchemy, that is, the individual action, goes through the study of time and space in the different "mental states" of dance, the different processes of mind-body mixing, the transformation of the everyday act into a theatrical act, the construction of a phrase, scene or performance.
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