user avatarZsuzsa Rozsavolgyi Eligible Member // Teacher
user avatarTamas Bako Eligible Member // Teacher
user avatarZoltán Nagy // Teacher
IDOCs » Reflections on our open class at the 3rd IDOCDE Symposium
In this doc we are reflecting on our class, we ask each other questions about: co-teaching relation to the topic of the symposium: form(less) how did the class work.

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Before the reflections we attach the original proposal and the line up of the exercises:


- How form gives a sensation


How can we create a form from a bodily sensation? In our session we would like to work with the tools we used to create the illusion of a body under no gravity. We are inviting dancers and teachers who are not afraid of receiving the weight of others and interested in the question of how can we teach a precise form using improvisation?


In 2014 we worked on Old Pond, a piece where we wanted to see how external forces can shape our movements and create a form on our bodies. We focused on environments where gravity is different than the gravity that shaped our bodies on earth. We used imaginary environments: 

We put our bodies under imaginary high pressure and create movements with this image, we explored deep see creatures for inspiration. The other condition was no gravity condition which starts to spin. 

During the process we found that giving an illusion of a high pressure world and a no gravity surrounding takes a lot of work on finding the right form for the right sensation. We worked out a method where two or three people are supporting one person on their buoyant movement. We worked out a pedagogical system how to warm up and strengthen the body to be able to carry a heavy load in slow motion without using momentum. Without momentum the usual contact and partnering movements can become too heavy. To lift light we need to teach very precise skills. We figured out how to give the weight of the body lightly and receive it slow and smooth, using pull and push at the same time. 

In our session we would like to work with the tools we used to create the illusion of no gravity. We are inviting interested dancers and teachers who are not afraid of receiving the weight of others and interested in the question of how can we teach a precise form using improvisation?


- Exercises:




We started working in trios, 2 person were working with hands on and one was the receiver. We worked with 4 different techniques of manipulations:

  • Rocking: gentle pushing into rocking motion through the whole body (get in touch with the resilient respond of the body with the fluid quality of the body).
  • Folding the joints: keeping the rocking motion we started to observe the range of motion, openness and ease in the joints, (experimenting with the mayor joints and small joints as well, go through the whole body).
  • Pulling the limbs: short pulling becomes rocking, (rocking not made with pushing but with pulling).
  • By pulling the limbs we move the body in space, (pulling through the limbs we slide the receiver’s body on the floor).


Each stage lasted 1-2 minutes, with soft transitions between and at the end all 4 techniques could be combined and used spontaneously and randomly, everything at the same time. 


At the end the receiver had 1-2 minutes resting, aded observation time to notice what echoes in the body. 


We were shifting roles and each sessions were about 7 minutes.




Next exercise was a solo practice (4 minutes). First anywhere in the space we had a possibility to experiment with the information from the previous exercises. Working alone from inside with the memory of the touches, with the variety of the different motion-qualities. How did the body relate to itself and to the space by moving? What was the experience being moved by the others? How can you facilitate all the information and generate movement. 


Out of these sources we reconnected to the original idea of the movement material used in the piece. The movement qualities, elements gave the form how can we resonate from a motionless state into a functional body moving in space together with others. How it can develop new skills and new forms as the complexity of coordination develops from a single cell state to a segmented body entity.

The stages:

  • Shaking stationery
  • shaking traveling
  • waving 
  • grow limbs 
  • expand in space in all levels.


Than we formed two groups to watch each other for 4 minutes. Having a possibility to work in groups, noticing how individual evolutions influence each other, how information passes through in a group situation and creates collective advancement. 




Pushing in trios:


The second part of the class we looked upon the other theme of the piece which relates to the try out of experiencing moving in antigravity environment. We worked with the image how the body behave in space. By lifting each other we tried to create a field of force for the body to take off and float slowly. In this tight environment the body moves as if it would be in an empty space or at least creating the illusion of it. 


1: We formed trios and two person was pushing with the hands towards one, who became the mover, and pushed back towards the touch. Pushing and pushing back. Navigate between the options of different touches. Changing roles.


2: The two manipulators pushed only from underneath, the mover pushed back, which created lifts.


3: We formed groups of 4 people, and made a sequence of lifting everyone one by one transporting the lifted ones in space. 



Closing the class we sat in circle to reflect.





Reflexions, questioning each other on:

  • co-teaching:


What is it like co-teaching for you?



For me co-teaching is a generous form. It provides the possibility to share knowledge and responsibility and reveals forms of co-existing, co-mmunicating, co-operating. I like the fact that in the situation of co-teaching the traditional roles of teacher and students shifts from the hierarchical structure to a stage where no dogmatic status has to be reserved. So experiencing and questioning and exploration can raise from a common ground, and can be studied by the whole group involving the teachers and the students to reflect on the topic together as equal partners. Learning and teaching doesn't become two separate phases of the learning process, but it evolves organically more like an exploration.



For me it is much easier to share the talking and the showing. I can talk and my colleague can show and i am sure what he shows is the right picture we want to create. The other aspect is giving an other point of view which can enrich the information. If I forget something I am reminded. It helps me to keep the structure of the class as we planed. There is a Hungarian expression: “More eyes see more.” The two of us can create more links within the topic,  within the development of the class, in the communication, there is a larger perspective on all aspects of the process.




  • relation to the topic of the symposium: form(less)



We felt that the themes of the piece we did had a direct connection to the topic of the symposium. For example, the old principle: “form follows function” appeared fundamentally in the development and in the material of the piece we created. Having the experience of working with very few and simple elements created a tangible setup of this idea. One of the score we got made us to explore a process of motion-form alignment. Movement started to create forms and these forms created new possibilities and territories for other movements and so on. We got a certain evolution.The movement qualities, elements and tendencies gave the form how can we resonate from a motionless state into a functional body moving in space, how it can develop new skills and new forms as the complexity of coordination grows from a single cell state to a segmented body entity. Somehow we always end up by these questions in dance. What makes what? Where does a movement come from? What is movement? What is the form of it and how do I form it? 

Sharing our experiences made us hope that we can discuss and observe this ideas in a wider platform. 


In the last two years I was working a lot with ideas of where the motion is born, how the moving body is shaped by the use and the environment and how it shapes it’s environment. I am fascinated by any kind of forms and bodies going forward and what is their motivation to do so. Is it finding food or a mate or is it a passive motion directed by outside forces? In my last research I looked upon information on how the outside forces and function builds structures? How the body grows limbs in order to move on land, fins in order to move in water, or wings to move in the air. From this ideas one of my choreographic interests was how creatures moves in these environments without limbs, wings, fins? How can I move and advance in space without my limbs? How functioning differently shapes the form of my body? How these bodies are communicating? How do they relate? And what appears choreographically? Beside that I was intrigued by the thought of: if I do the simplest physical action such as vibrating what will happen and what form it takes? And one more action, movements that are created from an outside force, such as turning how it creates form? Exploring these ideas we found many different forms that resembled on already existing structures in nature.



  • how did the class work:



I was totally nervous before the class (all tough I teach since long giving classes stresses me many times for all kinds of reasons). This time I was worrying mostly about my english. But it was much easier then I thought. I felt a lot of support from each side (people and Zsuzsa) that made me find the words easily. 

We managed an open dialogue between the two of us that continuously rolled the class forward. As well the people were very present and attentive and that created momentum and nice flow of interactions. And it was great to see that our tasks are so attracting and people curiously going into experimenting and making their own dance out of it. Even though we had a large group people built a firm group sensation which was very supportive in terms of creating attention, articulating information, accessing the material, building partnership, making the dance. I am grateful for the experience. It means a lot to work in an environment that is shared by people who are working on the same field, the aspects of teaching and learning viewed and reviewed, performed a stage of higher exchange, and at the same time we still got to dance.





Ok now seriously. Working together helps us to articulate much better what we are working with and cultivating this articulation gives us more and more knowledge about the work itself and about the methods we are using to share out ideas with others. It becomes clearer and cleverer how to invite and involve participants. The material is so specific that needs a clear instruction method, using imagery, anatomy, physics and movement analyses to understand and embody these movement ideas. We had different roles during the creation, Tamas was inside the movements as a dancer and I was outside, watching the images. I knew what I would like to see and I knew what instructions to give in order to see the ideas, and Tamas by doing it had the insight of how to perform it technically. Like this we could transmit of what to do and how to do it. Teaching this material in such a short time teaches us to condense and crystallise the tasks we propose so the specificity of it can arise and elaborated. I was amazed that we thought how to lift and stay in the air in 20 minutes. We gave only two very specific but simple tasks to prepare for the heavy load. That was a remarkable experience with acknowledging the fact that we had professionals in the class it makes me think that this approach is available as well for people with different backgrounds. 


How form gives a sensation

user avatar
Defne Erdur Eligible Member // Teacher
Dear Tamas and Zsuzsa, thank you for your detailed elaboration. It is inspiring to read when one considers collaborating with other teachers! I was wondering if you would like to open this specific idoc for participant reflections as well? or would you rather have a seperate idoc for reflections of participants. I ask this since we have the list of your sessions' participants to invite for a collective idoc and I can help to create the reflection idoc or add others to this idoc... Please let me know and I will proceed! All the Best, Defne

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