user avatarKerstin Kussmaul Eligible Member // Teacher
user avatarAnne Garrigues Eligible Member // Teacher
user avatarMartin Streit Eligible Member // Teacher
user avatarSabina Holzer Eligible Member // Teacher
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IDOCs » HOMMAGE TO OUR TEACHER Documentation of class during the LEAP Symposium
This documentation refers to the last class of a 5 days ImPulsTanz workshop SURPRISE YOURSELF. A team of 5 different teachers co-taught every class during the week. This last class was part of the opening of the Symposium "Teaching Form|less?" July 24th, 2015.

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The video that is posted below  is about the last class of our workshop. This class was also the opening IDOCDE symposium and was given the internal title and theme "Hommage to our teachers" by us, the co-teaching teachers Anne Garrigues, Sabina Holzer, Kira Kirsch, Kerstin Kussmaul, Simon Wehrli.

The class was part of the ImPulsTanz workshop called SURPRISE YOURSELF! which we co-taught as 5 teachers, in a pre-set and yet improvisational mode. The goal and theme were agreed upon the day before among the group, and each teacher was assigned an "essential" to be covered with the group.

The workshop format is a result of one of the Teaching Residency of LEAP, where we investigated essential components of a dance class - and how we could find a common ground coming from different backgrounds.


25.07.2015 Hommage to our teachers

This class was shared with 50 students-teachers - some of them present throughout the week in previous classes of the workshop, but the majority new to this. See also the video!

The essentials
1 Getting to know more about oneself - Kira Kirsch
2 Creating a friendly environment - Kerstin Kussmaul
3 Letting go / Lacher prise  - Anne Garrigues
4 Dynamic architecture - Sabina Holzer
5 Creativity - Simon Wehrli


1 Getting to know more about oneself (Kira)

Walking through the space, seeing, acknowledging the arrival of the new group and largness of the group. Finding a place in the space to lie down and close your eyes.

I invite you to take a little journey. Go back in time and remember a teacher or mentor that has impacted you. I would like to invite you to build a Lineage Prayer Practice that sends invokes a memory, traces back, credits and expresses gratitude for what we have been given. Take something that was essential in the relationship to this person, maybe a movement, words, a song...and create this prayer. 

After 10 minutes i ask them to meet one or two other people and share their lineage prayer practice. 

--> it was pretty messy. it was a total experiment with a noble intention and lots of practical difficulties ;) I believe there was a nice moment when people wandered to their teachers in their minds and I imagined a massive invocation and all these people started coming into the room filling the other dimensions of this large hall...full of wisdom, light and interconnected traces.

2 Creating a friendly environment (Kerstin)

As a tribute to lineages, I chose an exercise that is attributed to Trude Cohn and which I call the "switch score". I don't know how much of how I teach it is actually original, or how much of it has turned into something else. I also don't know Trude personally but have learned the score from one of her students, Sylvia Scheidl.

The MP3 player is on random. Half of the group watches, or rather witnesses from the outside standing in a circle, half of the group dances inside the circle. It is important to recognize that both groups are active. The group outside chooses to filter what and how to watch in order to turn on your synapses related to moving. After 3 minutes, I call out to switch roles, after a while the duration becomes shorter and shorter (up to a few seconds).

In this class, I also suggested that people choose if they want to have eyes open or closed (for the whole round of witnessing or moving).


3 Lacher prise (Anne)

I chose to offer a practice of Odile Duboc, one of my teachers who worked sometime with very big groups like we are today.

We start with the pulsation in the feet, meeting the earth, grounding.

Then, imagine the movement of the diaphragm in the breathing down and up to support this relation between earth and sky

Open the eyes to space, horizontality

Flocking in space, all group listening: walk forward and back in one direction and reorientation in another direction, soft acceleration and deceleration.

4 Dynamic Structure (Sabina)

This proposal is a dedication to my artistic partners and teachers who showed me how to intervene art-practice with live-practice, engaging in the functionality and poetry of the body. Eileen Standley, Julyen Hamilton, Milli Bitterli

Let's leave the studio and go out in nature in front of the space.
Find a spot and connect to your breathing.

Relate to a partner. Take her/his hand.
Explore the hand and arm of your partner: explore with subtle pushes and pulls, the functional dynamic of the muscles and the bones of the hand and the arm. Explore with movement: start with little swings, increase them. Follow the structure and ways of movment-states of this individual special arm.

Over the contact of the arm we relate to the whole body: the palm of our hand, refers to the palm of our feet, which we can relate to other structural arches in the body. The back of hand refers to the neck. As we loosen the joint ofthe hand, we also loosen our neck. The lower arm has a similar construction as the lower foot. The ellbow can we connected to the knee, the upper arm to the upper leg, the shoulder to the hip. Feel how your shoulderblade relates to the arm reacher front and back.

The one who is touched, puts her/his awareness to the touch and the sensations, which are triggered.

From the awarness of your inner and out shapes and motions develope a dance together. Be inspired by the others and the surrounding (trees, wind, sky, clouds, earth).

Change roles.

5 Creativity (Simon)

Honouring one of my teachers (David Zambrano) we parctice a very basic Passing Through. Walking through each other in constant curves and spirals. Having options of arrival / pause, running and walking (forwards and backwards). Being aware of the movement of the entire space as well of how to dissolve through each other by making use of spirals and curves. We dance on a 13 minute long musical composition by Paul Giger.

Video by franzi kreis,

Surprise Yourself

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