courses - labs

Applied Anatomy - Body Basics – Physical Training based on Somatics & Release Techniques

In this class we investigate the use of our body in movement; how does the body function so that we move effectively and safely. Our physical training work is based on the principles of the Alexander technique applying those in developmental movement patterns, stretches from Hatha Yoga and free form movement meditation. We develop body awareness applying information derived from anatomy and physiology to embody movement principles. We focus on the way we use our energy while we stretch and while we transfer ourselves in space. We aim towards “the body that thinks”, that is, we bring our attention to what is happening while we move; how do we use our structure and its content to create alignment that supports ease, flow and connections so that we experience ourselves as a unified whole being. We warm-up focusing on our breath and the balance between stress and relaxation while we exercise in order to achieve agility and strength, a resilient body. In every class we explore a certain part/s of our body, a theme that reveals pathways of energy that connect the various centers of our body to its periphery. Articulation comes with the awakening of our sensory perception while we develop mindfulness and sensibility. We learn how to be in a process where one moment supports the next. Practising daily movements such as walking, running, standing, sitting in combination with more complex movement patterns, using the somatic work, our familiar habits change and can be substituted by new directions that may free our expression.
All levels. Beginners in movement are welcomed to participate.
Educator: Christina Klissiouni


In this lab we practice:
•    performance skills and presence on stage
•    self awareness exploring tools of improvisation through the study of Authentic Movement and the inner witness
•    contemplative movement based on the work of Master Teacher Suprapto Suryodarmo (Indonesia) where we learn more about non-identification and neutral space
•    scores of improvisation and the poetry of expression.

The lab is oriented towards performers, dancers, actors and non-professionals with some experience in movement.
Life is a continuous improvisation, a constant negotiation with the unknown. Improvisation is the art of instantaneous synthesis, a dialectical mirror that the individual develops using both conscious and unconscious data, in time and space, thus describing one’s unique course, his own history which distinguishes him as a part in relation to the whole.  
In this class-lab we focus on experimentation, to enrich our skills on improvisation. Our intention is the enhancement of our performance abilities while we create composition in the present moment. While we study Authentic Movement we deepen on the understanding of "the inner witness" that exists within us as movers and witnesses, that is, as an audience too; in this process we come into contact with physical pathways, sensations, emotional impulses, images, needs and memories, the material that is ready to be revealed from our body in stillness and in movement. The unconscious comes on the surface as we experience each moment with the support of the witness. We learn how to use “what is” in a non-judgemental approach creatively and relate to the judge that exists within us differently. Our warm-up focuses on bodywork techniques with touch based on shiatsu to open up our breath and our physical sensation to moving with awareness and presence; to prepare the ground for active attention and availability in playing with space, time and energy while we are in dialogue with each other.
 
Authentic Movement practice creates space to being aware of our inner state, to get in contact with and in relation with the core, with what the body and our psyche is ready to reveal. We study the art of inner and outer listening. Through the work we come into contact with the inner witness who opens up possibilities for deep experience and inspiration. In this process we become present as a whole: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as we learn how to allow ourselves to surrender to what is in the present moment and discover what needs to be embodied. While we expand our perception and our consciousness through the practice of Authentic Movement and as we relax in our being, we can use the tools of improvisation such as scores and structures in order to explore qualities of expression and different states of being in order to create pathways towards transformation.
Through the art of listening and the skill of waiting, where acting derives from sensing and feeling, we train our attention to bring awareness so that impulses become movement pathways that take form in space and reveal our state of being. Thus through the individual mirroring that improvisation offers to each participant, the subconscious gets connected to the collective mind of the group. This practice is the study of consciousness and gives meaning and breath to the dance as it envelops. Language becomes the bridge. A significant aspect of our investigation is how we tell our story, how we give content to the form.
Improvisation is the vehicle where we can discover the value and the strength that is encompassed in the poetry of dance, through the refined and the articulate expression of the performer; an improviser who creates from nothingness and chaos work that reflects complex relationships with meaning, mindfulness, physicality, presence and authenticity.

A working knowledge of movement is necessary.  


Present Bodies: Jams - open evening for the practice of improvisation.
Friday 8pm-11pm.

Contact Improvisation Jams, open space for performance and improvisation research, presentation of work in progress, lectures, video-dance projections.


Awareness through movement & Contact Improvisation

This lab constitutes one of the main classes at Present Body Studio. We focus on the process where the participant cultivates awareness while he/she explores movement work based on somatics/ release techniques and the principles of CI on a beginners’ level. What happens when the body meets the floor? How does the body function? How do we use the physical forces and our physical connections in order to transfer our weight across the room? During the warm up, we open up our sensory perception as we study the body mechanics; we learn how to translate impulses into inner movement pathways, we prepare our body to be available and energetically ready to dance in space with safety and support. In each class we develop theme/s deriving information from anatomy and as we apply developmental movement patterns we allow our bodies to gradually find deeper connections and better integration. As we understand experientially more about our center of gravity, and the use of our anatomical center as well as the use of our axis in relation to our periphery, we dance with more ease, unity and presence; our physical expression acquires articulation and flow.
During the class we experiment with physical contact in movement and we practice hands on work in a duet form; as we play with weight and momentum with a partner, we familiarize ourselves with skills from CI such as falling, rolling, sliding, spiralling, supporting and being supported. We stress on CI principles as we aim to enhance listening, the communication to oneself and the other. Dancing in and out of contact, we playfully open up our curiosity as we improvise; we creatively expand our boundaries, the way we relate to space, time and energy.

This lab is oriented towards amateurs with some experience in movement, actors and performers as well as professional dancers who are interested in developing their skills in CI from the initial stage through the somatic approach.


Awareness through Movement & Improvisation Lab

This lab constitutes one of the main classes at Present Body Studio. We focus on the process where the participant cultivates awareness while he/she explores movement work based on somatics/ release techniques and the principles of CI on a beginner’s level. What happens when the body meets the floor? How does the body function? How do we use the physical forces and our physical connections in order to transfer our weight across the room? During the warm up, we open up our sensory perception as we study the body mechanics; we learn how to translate impulses into inner movement pathways, we prepare our body to be available and energetically ready to dance in space with safety and support. In each class we develop theme/s deriving information from anatomy and as we apply developmental movement patterns we allow our bodies to gradually find deeper connections and better integration. As we understand experientially more about our center of gravity, and the use of our anatomical center as well as the use of our axis in relation to our periphery, we dance with more ease, unity and presence; our physical expression acquires articulation and flow.

The practice
•    An active relation to our posture and an understanding of our alignment acquiring better integration towards a more unified body-mind spirit.
•    We learn how to use contact, a tool of awareness familiarising with touch as we practice hands-on intentional work in duets that opens up the space for physical dialogue, sensing and feeling one’s self.
•    Strengthening and relaxation, muscular suppleness and agility.
•    Balance, connection between our center and our periphery.
•    Mindfulness and perception.
•    Natural, fluid and safe movement.
•    Coordination between our limbs and the use of spinal undulations and pulsations.  
•    Experiencing dynamics and different qualities in movement, discovering the joy of self and group expression through dance.
•    Energetic flow and presence.
•    Well-being and self awareness in connection to our daily life.
•    Rhythm and spatial awareness.
•    Creative use of our imagination, playfulness, connection to our instinctive self, a sense of freedom.

This lab is oriented towards performers (students of dance and acting), amateurs with some experience in movement. Mixed level.


Contemporary Dance & Improvisation Lab
based on Somatics & Release Techniques

with Christina Klissiouni

This class consists of three parts:

1. Our warm up creates a safe space for the movers to start attending into their body – mind state breathing, sensing and feeling their inner physical impulses and pathways of energy that support appetite for movement expansion. They learn how to transfer their weight with ease and clear intention. As they connect with the kinetic potential that exists within their joints and their body containers using gravity and a functional relationship to the earth, they discover more freedom and support in playing with the change of levels, speed and energy.
In each class we experientially work with a certain theme drawing information from the anatomy combining the practice of developmental movement patterns with the tools of improvisation. Our intention is to find connections in the body, presence and flow.
2. In the second part the teacher proposes movement sequence/s so that the dancers have the chance develop their physicality and their skills, cultivating alertness, adaptability, perception, flexibility and synchronicity. Studying the technique of embodiment and how to use weight and momentum, they acquire a  wide range of physical expression and dynamic and they enrich their movement vocabulary.
3. In the third part we apply the experiential information that comes from structured movement motifs as we open up the space for experimentation through the practice of improvisation where the dancers have a chance to play with movement principles, ideas and share them with the others, discovering their own personal way of expression.


Contact Improvisation intermediate level.

Contact Improvisation is a form of play as much as a dance form. Practiced in duets, the dance unites two people in a flowing stream of physical contact that traverses their bodies. The ever-changing physical meeting ground is a point through which much is shared, from weight and support, to profound levels of communication. Both individually and together the partners interact with gravity, centrifugal and centripetal forces, momentum, stillness and the energetic flow of intention.
In this lab we practice our skills based on the principles of CI; we explore the form based on a duet where two people improvise as they dance ‘spherically’ in space, moving with the flow that is created between them while they are in contact supporting each other. Continuously following the ever-changing point of contact leads the dancers into a somatic dialogue based on physical awareness, presence and listening, sensibility and playfulness, instinctive imagination. As they experiment with the physical forces and the laws of physics through CI, the movers develop reflex patterns in their bodies that create a safe and open ground to stretch their boundaries and deploy movement as they express themselves while they improvise. Being in contact and exploring various dynamics of touch, the dancers experience a wide range of sensations and impulses that reveal pathways of energy that transform into motoric expression and flow. Thus contact movers learn to trust and enjoy dances that open up unexpected possibilities and change that reflect their physical choices, balancing and suspending while being supported, falling and spiralling, rising on higher levels, dancing on someone’s shoulders, being in and out of contact. In the class we support the process to widen one’s inner space so that the dancers may appreciate and find fulfilment engaging in quiet, slow, satisfying dances as well as in vigorous, dynamic and risky ones.

A working knowledge in contact improvisation is necessary to attend this lab.