"begin" with K.J. Holmes, Nóra Hajós, Karen Nelson

A week-long workshop of improvisations in Somatics, Contact, Tuning Scores, Logomotion

Programming category: 
May 14, 2017 - 5:00pm - May 21, 2017 - 3:00pm

Your dance is unique and continuously threading through many forms, studies, observations, inspirations, and influences. We will explore various styles of improvisation that point us towards discovering a dance that feels unique, connected, on the edge, and belonging, all at the same time. Enlivening somatic influences including Body-Mind Centering™, Embodied Life imbued Feldenkrais™movement and listening practices, Process Oriented movement work of Amy and Arnold Mindell, combined with the profound underlying states discovered in Tuning, Contact, Material for the Spine and Logomotion will guide our way. Nóra, K.J. and Karen’s shared history brings over 30 years association, collaboration, performance and research with each other, and with their mentors Steve Paxton, Lisa Nelson, Simone Forti and others. Open to those with experience and a passion for making. (Photo credit: Ray Chung)

The word “begin” is a treasured Tuning Scores call that measures the start of a dance, among other things.

Three classes a day and evening activities including jams, discussions and showings will activate the mix. Find more information, including the "begin" blog HERE


Tuition, Room & Board (tiered for accessibility)
Professional:  $795
Full:                 $745
Subsidized:    $695 

Note: Full Payment will be due April 16, 2017

Our Sliding Scale
The fees to attend Earthdance Jams and Workshops are priced on a sliding scale. Please pay at the highest level of the sliding scale that you can afford. This allows others who need to pay less the opportunity to attend.

Professional Rate: for those comfortably paying their rent or mortgage. The Professional Rate also helps us offer lower prices to those who could otherwise not afford to attend.
Full Rate: for those who have a regular income and are paying their mortgage or rent. Prices at this level contribute to the range of Earthdance's operating costs.
Subsidized Rate: for those with an income low enough that making ends meet is a challenge.
Work Study is often, but not always, available to offset the costs for Earthdance events.
There are Scholarships available for this workshop. Please follow the link to apply.

Work Study
Earthdance cancellation policy

Participant Community Support
As Earthdance runs as a​ community, all participants contribute to 1-2 chore shifts (typically meal cleans) throughout the workshop and a Final House Clean from 9-10am on Sunday, May 21st. These are great ways to connect more with your fellow participants, Earthdance staff, and to feel more at home here. We will be welcoming you into this collective home and thus so appreciate your contributions to our space!


Human/ity Dance with K.J. Holmes
We are the mediums between all the expressions we enter.  This workshop will address the dancing human through looking at the collaboration between studies and research that connect to a greater sense of self and the world, both as sensation and from being alive in these contemporary times. In classes we will: look at systems and states of the body; challenge ourselves with direct contact as physical, psyche, emotion and dream; sound, sing and use our voices as music, with found text and what we write;  and we will find a poetics of creating dance and theater that we can utilize what we know and reveal new strengths and tools for performance.  

In addition to the shared practices between K.J., Karen and Nóra (The Tuning Scores of Lisa Nelson, Moving the Telling of Simone Forti, and Material for the Spine of Steve Paxton,) Human/ity Dance classes include 30 years of personal research into somatics, theater, voice and eastern forms.  These forms include the evolutionary and developmental studies of Body Mind Centering (r), the Athletics of Intimacy of Contact Improvisation, the Sanford Meisner acting processes (who said "Acting is doing/living truthfully under imaginary cirucmstances"), Roy Hart Voice work (who taught there are no wrong sounds, and the body is a base for singing, for speaking, as it holds both our mortality and what is immortal in us); and Yoga and Ayurvedic practices  (ancient practices of being contemporaneous in one’s body and mind and the joining of the two through intentional actions).

How do we resonate?   How do we work with resistance?  How do we know when we are more? How do we encounter the human dancing?

Logomotion + Puppet Dreaming with Nóra Hajós

Logomotion, “....a way for me to know what`s on my mind ...before I think it through, while it`s still a wild feeling in my bones.” In her own words, Simone Forti describes this improvisational dance/ narrative form she developed where movement and words spring spontaneously from a common source. We will begin with a warm up, focusing on our inner sensation.Than we will explore moving and talking arising in the moment. The class will spend some time outside of the studio observing and being in the nature surrounding Earthdance & explore spontaneous writings. Every movement is a valuable one that can carry information. As we move, images can come to our mind and we can unfold those images via words and movements, until they have a life.

In  addition, Puppet dreaming, part of Nóra’s longtime practice and study of Process oriented movement work founded by Arnold and Amy Mindell, notices and appreciates our intentional movements while also exploring unintentional and spontaneous movements as the seeds of our on-going day and nighttime dreaming process. Puppet dreaming shows the way to access and unfold our hidden dance as well as gets us in touch with our dreaming while awake process. Using objects from nature we will each make our innerwork puppet. Working alone and together as a group, we will discover the creativity of our dreaming process and the wayour creations teach us about life. Founders of Process work Amy & Arny Mindell say, “When we explore these movements with awareness we can enrich our experience of everyday life and discover ourselves as unending creativity.”

TUNING the Unimaginable ~ Flow ~ Resonance with Karen Nelson
This class mashes forms. It also simply and clearly follows an embodied journey of Contact Improvisation from before it was imaginable thru the discovery of flow, onwards towards resonance, and approaches Tuning Scores both as compositional experiment and underlying warm-up.
During Unimaginable, in solo and with a partner, we attend to the sensations of falling, momentum and reflex of balance, and continually re-discover sensations of the skeleton and it's movement in relationship with gravity, what Steve Paxton called the “small dance” of standing. In practice, we start small and carefully, listening to our movement using Embodied Life influenced Feldenkrais lessons as a further basis with gravity—eventually we free our movement to get as big as we can, playing with the larger, expanded relationship between ourselves and earth. In Flow we sustain connection to falling by constantly refreshing the off-centered autonomy, and focused entrainment of reflexes with the partner.  We allow hierarchy and domination to vanish by returning to sensation of “the third thing” that leaving an egalitarian entrance into an as-yet-unexplored-now. In Resonance we are expanding into space, improvising with inner and outer spirals and puzzles, studying specific rolls discovered in Paxton’s Material for the Spine. And, Tuning Scores (developed by Lisa Nelson with herself, the group Image Lab and others) to compose dances of physically-based perceptual awareness games that absorb making and watching into the unfolding  dance. The choice maker becomes involved in following instructions provided by the environment and the physical sensations of the imagination. Tuning Scores use actions and verbal calls to communicate, learn, and resonate compositional desires with collaborators during an improvisation.

Karen Nelson

Karen Nelson is a dance improviser for 4 decades of touring, performing and teaching worldwide and collaborating with many influential artists including Steve Paxton/Material for the Spine/Contact Improvisation; Lisa Nelson/ Tuning Score/perceptual improvisation; Nancy Stark Smith/Contact Improvisation; and many others including those of diverse abilities and ages. Karen initiated the Contact Improvisation mutation DanceAbility, along with Alito Alessi, Bruce Curtis and other mixed abilities dancers using Contact Improvisation as a basis for equality. Karen initiated the community sustained Diverse Dance Research Retreat, a “bring your own research” leaderless experiment attracting international mixed abilities participants annually for 7 years. Throughout the 90’s she was part of Image Lab, an original Tuning Scores group, with Lisa Nelson, Scott Smith, K.J. Holmes and guests including Nora Hajos and Ray Chung. She initiated Cobrew a meeting of Seattle tuners and John Zorn’s Cobra musicians overlapping the two compositional mediums. Gaggle (1988) a pre-tuning, evening length piece marked a devotional shift for Karen’s choreographic work exclusively towards improvisation. Joined by Nora and K.J. in DanceBand they performed Gaggle under the stars in the Eugene Planetarium, . Her work Deal (1996) explores the nature of collision, composition, and dealing reflexively with unknown impacts using Contact and Tuning. Karen worked for 8 years in early 2000’s as a multi-tasking caretaker of a Buddhist meditation retreat facility-under-construction. Her writing has been published in a new collection Dancing with Dharma as well as Contact Quarterly. A graduate of the Embodied Life School, Karen began studying with founder and lifelong Feldenkrais trainer Russell Delman in 2011, a mix of Feldenkrais, zen and "embodied listening-speaking” or Focusing. Karen lives on Vashon Island in Washington where her community activism includes work with All Island Forum. explomov.weebly.com

Nóra Hajós

Dancer, Choreographer, Visual Artist

Nóra's choices are made by her deep interest in search of authenticity in dance. As an improvisational performer she is interested in sensation-rooted movement explorations, action painting, and juxtaposition with words, voices, imagery and motion.

She started her dance studies at age 4 in her native Hungary. As a young adult, she searched for open forms which led her to contact improvisation, authentic movement and New Dance in the USA. For the past 26 years, she has been exploring, teaching and performing. Nóra studied in-depth with Steve Paxton (the originator of contact improvisation), Lisa Nelson (Tuning score), and Simone Forti (Logomotion).

She feels that studying with Amy and Arny Mindell (process-oriented psychology) since 1999 underlies her way of teaching, motivates her process, and widens her view on performance development and dance.

Nóra has created and performed her solo improvisations in the USA and Europe. She toured with Simone Forti, dancing Logomotion. She has also performed with Kossuth Prize-awarded composer/pianist Gyorgy Szabados, a Duet Improvisation Performance Series in Hungary. She has collaborated with Steve Paxton, Lisa Nelson, Karen Nelson ,K. J. Holmes, and many others.

Nóra has recently been working with a group in Transylvania using Logomotion as a base for performing in various towns & rural locations; produced & directed Las Meninas~Dances under the St. John’s Bridge ( Portland OR ); internationally toured a duet dance piece with Karen Nelson titled Found; and performed Come Now Go and Soon Go See, a process work-inspired dance duet with Craig Baker. She has been teaching dance & performance improvisation at various festivals and private workshops in the USA, South America, and Europe.

K.J. Holmes

K.J. Holmes is a Brooklyn NY based dance artist, actor, singer and educator traveling throughout the world performing and teaching at universities, festivals and venues that range from theaters to site specific spaces to living rooms.   She has collaborated extensively with dancers Simone Forti and Troupe, Karen Nelson, Lisa Nelson and Image Lab, and Steve Paxton, poet Julie Carr, actor/performer Keith Biesack, dancer/playwright Karinne Keithley Syers, and trumpeters Dave Douglas and Roy Campbell, Jr., among many other artists.  K.J. attended the School for Body-Mind Centering ® from 1995 - 99, the William Esper Studio of Meisner Acting (with master teacher Terry Knickerbocker teacher) 2008 - 2009, Satya Yoga (with teacher Sondra Loring) 2006 - 07, and continues to study with and be coached by voice teacher Richard Armstrong (a founding member of the Roy Hart Theater).  The play between these forms are essential to K.J.’s current practices as an artist and teacher.   K.J. is adjunct professor at NYU/Experimental Theatre Wing and Juilliard, and also teaches through Movement Research since 1986 and was an Artist in Residence 1993 - 94 and 2012-14.  Most recently, she has performed in the work of Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People (And lose the name of action), Xavier LeRoy (Retrospective at MoMa:PS1), Emily Johnson and Catalyst (SHORE), Melinda Ring (Forgetful Snow), Mark Dendy (Ritual Cyclical at Lincoln Center Out of Doors); and in The Works of Steve Paxton at Dia:Beacon; and acted in a short film of Dylan Stephens Lever and in the Casting Project video.  K.J. is currently completing her installation/performance piece HIC SVNT DRACONES began as an MR AIR that has been rehearsed and performed as chapters at residencies that include Mana Contemporary Chicago, Sector 2337 Chicago, The Belfry NY, Hanna Barn Vashon, Chashama NY, Studio Current Seattle and other locations.  kjholmes.info (Photo credit: Carly Vanderheyden)

252 Prospect Street, Plainfield, MA 01070 | map | directions

Copyright 2011 Earthdance