Western Mass Moving Arts Festival 2012

Celebrating 8 years of the Western Mass Moving Arts Festival!  

Festival Schedule | Class Descriptions | Register Now

 

August 16-19, 2012

This year's festival features voice and movement, contact improvisation, site-specific movement in nature and physical theater.  Come for a day or the whole weekend; and join us for an evening of performance by WMMAF faculty on August 18th! 

Early bird rates apply before July 15th!  
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

 

Festival Schedule

 
Thursday 8/16
Friday 8/17
Saturday 8/18
Sunday 8/19
8-9:30am
  breakfast
10-1pm
Intensives
  Dancing Self — Dancing World with Gabriel Forestieri
    Awakening to Action: Contact Improvisation with Kristin Horrigan
    Voice as Movement and Active Song with Peter Sciscioli and Ben Spatz Voice as Movement 
with Peter Sciscioli
Active Song with Ben Spatz
1-2pm
  lunch
2:30-4pm
Afternoon Workshops
  Seeds of a Story- Creating a Monologue through Character Development
with Debra Disbrow
Freedom and Joy of Singing
with Margot Bassett
Departure
    Movement Ritual and Dance Explorations
with Terre Unité Parker

INSIDE OUT: Pressing Presence
with Krista DeNio

 
    THE LIVING PRACTICE
with Jen Polins

Embodied Dramaturgy: Sensing and Making Sense
with Davina Cohen

 
4:30-6pm
Evening Workshops
Arrival and
Check-in
Documents and Translation
with Julia Handschuh
Seeds of a Story- Creating a Monologue through Character Development
with Debra Disbrow
 
    Embodied Dramaturgy: Sensing and Making Sense
with Davina Cohen
Documents and Translation
with Julia Handschuh
 
   

Somatic Roots and Membranes 
with Lani Nahele

Somatic Roots and Membranes
with Lani Nahele
 
6-7:30pm
Dinner  
8pm
Connect and Settle Movement Jam Faculty Performance

 

Class Descriptions

Morning Intensives

These intensives run each morning from 10am-1pm.  Choose one for the duration of the festival and dig deep into a particular practice.

Dancing Self — Dancing World
with Gabriel Forestieri
 

After many years of creating work outdoors, and even more working outdoors, I have realized my fullest being dances outside. Recently becoming a Qi Gong teacher has deepened my awareness of what I was practicing outdoors. Beginning each day with techniques from the Universal Tao lineage we will recycle the negative emotions and clear our energy to make us more available to the space. We will then move into a solo practice of including/sharing/seeing, a moving meditation on making room for everything else by releasing our boundaries of self. From this foundational work we will spread into moving with others, as well as watching others practice. No practice has given me more insight that this one, I hope you will come share in it with me.
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Awakening to Action: Contact Improvisation
 
with Kristin Horrigan
 

Touch connects bodies as they tumble with the force of gravity and the momentum of their own movement.  Sensing through their skin, the dancers shift, spiral, soften, and reach.  Whether you are a new dancer or a long time contact improviser, what captures your interest in this dance?  This workshop proposes to investigate the process of getting interested, deeply interested, in every moment, opening our perception to the myriad details that provide inspiration for improvisation.  Building on this lust for detail, how can we, in the moment of moving and perceiving, follow our interests into the unknown?  What physical skills do we need to survive the dance that results?
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Voice as Movement and Active Song
with Peter Sciscioli and Ben Spatz

Peter and Ben, both New York-based interdisciplinary art-makers, co-teach this intensive focused on the possibilities of the human voice and its connection to the body and to movement. During the first day they will offer a shared perspective, based on their individual approaches to moving the voice within the body and through space. On Saturday, Sciscioli will lead Voice as Movement, and on Sunday, Spatz will lead Active Song. The intensive is open to all levels of experience.


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Voice as Movement (with Peter Sciscioli) is a workshop intended for anyone interested in using voice in performance. Beginning with basic techniques for accessing breath, we will move into an anatomy-based approach to producing sound. Various exercises for accessing resonance, volume, range, stamina and articulation will be introduced. We will explore how the extension of movement into sound can alter our perception and activate space differently than movement alone. Further, we will experience a dialogue between spoken language and movement. Finally, we will discover how this interplay can expand the variety of choices that are available to performers, allowing for a fuller means of expression through the body.
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Active Song (with Ben Spatz) is an exploration of how the act of singing can transform bodies, spaces, and attention. The workshop draws materials from a variety of traditional and contemporary sources to sustain a dynamic flow between physical and vocal action. As a group, we will work through fundamental techniques of impulse, rhythm, sensitivity, and association to find moments of meaningful nondiscursive contact with ourselves and with each other. Emphasis is placed on commitment and play within simple but rigorous structures of the body and voice. This workshop is intended for practitioners of martial, healing, or performing arts who wish to extend the depth, precision, and strength of their embodied practice by connecting breath, sound, and action.
 

AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS

Two sessions of afternoon workshops on Friday and Saturday (2:30-4 and 4:30-6) offer a multiplicity of options to study with a number of teachers.

Freedom and Joy of Singing
with Margot Bassett
Music is movement in the body whose waves can be heard and felt equally by the singer and the listener; the song is meditation.

Our voices are connected not only to our physical bodies but also to our emotional and psychic bodies. In this workshop, we will explore practices inspired by Roy Hart vocal technique for accessing the full capacity of the voice through the body, and we will practice sharing our voices with other voices through easy songs and simple harmonies. No prior musical or singing experience necessary – anyone who wants to open their mouth, to be heard as themself, and to enjoy the pleasure of singing with others are welcome! Come prepared to move, improvise, and, of course, sing.
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Embodied Dramaturgy: Sensing and Making Sense 
with Davina Cohen
What is dramaturgy and what does it have to do with embodied artistic practice? Can we be engaged in sensing and making sense at the same time or does one process necessarily override the other?


Evocative.  Explicit.  Narrative.  Abstract.  Meaning.  Sensing. Communicating.  Failing.  The promise of language.  Hope.


This workshop is open to all and may be of particular interest to folks whose artistic work, interests, or aspirations are sometimes dance, sometimes theater, sometimes music, sometimes visual art; a little or a lot of all four or something else entirely.  Be prepared to use all your creative faculties and ask questions with your whole body.
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INSIDE OUT pressing presence 
with Krista Denio
On or off stage, we exude our presence.  What choices are we making about how our presence affects our audience, the room, others? 
 
Whether we create live performance work, improvisational dance or practice, or otherwise simply engage with our surroundings, there are many options for how we engage presence.  What is truthful, in any given moment?  How do we practice sharing our truth, on or off the stage?
 
Drawing together improvisational skills from forms, including Contact Improvisation, Action Theater, and various theater improvisation and contemplative practices, we will examine and create moments of presence, with elements of the stage and life: movement, sound, composition, architecture, personal and/or political her/history. 

Bring your own desire, creative interests (performance or otherwise) and approaches to expand the palette of your very own presence.
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Seeds of a Story- Creating a Monologue through Character Development
with Debra Disbrow
Using a combination of physical theater forms with guided somatic, vocal and writing exercises inspired by Grotowski, Keith Johnstone, Roy Hart, Body Mind Centering and others, we will each create short theatrical monologues in a playful and supportive environment. New physical characters will emerge with stories that want to be told- loosely autobiographical or fictional with the opportunity to try something new each day or to continue with a character and story. You will leave inspired with tools and ideas to keep working.
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Performance Documents and Translation
 
with 
Julia Handschuh
In this workshop we will look at documentation for performance, and performance for documentation.  What residue and objects are manifest from action, how can we translate these objects, traces, maps and documents and how do they have an aesthetic and narrative integrity all their own?


 
We will use video, still photography, writing and actions to implicate the body in the making of marks and memory.  We will investigate each other's ephemeral and concrete documents in an attempt to translate them beyond the life of their original action.  


 
We will work through, around and outside of the farmhouse making mini performance actions and documenting them along the way.  Bring comfortable clothes and some kind of recording device.
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Somatic Roots and Membranes
 
with 
Lani Nahele
Shifting tides, perceptions, evolution, realities...where do we plant our roots?  With many surfaces, substances, organizations, truths and "fields" in flux, it might make sense to tuck our roots inside and roll.  And on this journey, what thickness of membrane will serve our need for connection, protection, and exchange?  We'll explore these phenomena and find pathways within and without, working this foundation of inquiry from inside the house outside to the woods.
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Movement Ritual and Dance Explorations 
with 
Terre Unité Parker
"Dance is any movement performed with awareness.” - Anna Halprin

This workshop introduces the backbone of the Halprin Approach: Movement Ritual and Dance Explorations. The nine movement sequences of Movement Ritual deepen students' perceptive capabilities and structural integration. Dance Explorations provide the opportunity for the body to lead the mind to unearth each dancer’s unique creative expression. Anna Halprin developed this daily practice over the course of her seventy years (and still counting!) as a dance innovator to respond to the evolving needs of each body. All are welcome.
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THE LIVING PRACTICE 
with Jen Polins
Improvisational scores and juicy warm ups that invite: Sourcing from the body. Developing articulation and awareness from the inside out. Exploring movement driven from sensation. Transforming how we use the eyes. Knowing the skeleton as a dimensional living infrastructure that supports and directs movement through space. Understanding how to access a greater modulation of tone (effort). Cultivating a vitality of presence and an embodied intelligence that puts guts into your dancing. Investigating the subtle and radical qualities that somatic work offers to your performance and choreographic practices. Expanding your perceptual field to support articulate technique and the creative process.
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