IDOCs » why compromise. mind the dance. CHAPTER 5
A personal way of documentation in several chapters by Márta Ladjánszki (H) Translation by Zsolt Varga Connected to: Rock Paper Scissors by Iñaki Azpillaga (ES/BE), Sri Louise (US), Zvi Gotheiner (US), Keith Hennessy (US)
2017.11.08

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On the second day (with recharged “batteries”) I entered the space of Gestures4Europe installation by Brigitte Wilfing (AT)  THIS IS AN ALL DAY EVENT
“The Youtube-channel gestures4europe comprises movement interviews with people of diverse origins. They give one gesture for their current experience of Europe and one gesture showing their wish for Europe. The manifold transformation paths from one gesture to the other constitute the possible shapes each individual voice can take in the conditional process of becoming Europe/European. Taking Europe into one's emotions makes room for another thinking apart from the discursive options and leaves new imprints.”
By having a look what was happening in this installative interview series, Brigitte offered a set up and calm space for reacting with gestures and answering questions to this topic. Unfortunately the chosen space was almost hidden from the participants (although this could have given the calm atmosphere) Brigitte spent all day downstairs but the installation was visited just by few. Therefore she decided to walk around  and ask some participants to join the room and answer to her and her camera.
Her plan was to cut a film for the final sharing circle and introduce it to all of us.


As Arsenal, the main venue is a bit tricky to reach by public transport (in any case you have to walk a lot) I arrived a bit late for the first session. This running (since yesterday) reminded me on a similar moment in 2003 as I was a danceWebber and was running everywhere, almost not having a break weeks long. I know that I designed my programs but of course I didn’t want to miss anything as I was so excited about being there. Now I felt almost the same for a much shorter period. It was like a time travel for me :-)
And I am back to watch, learn and write…
Rock Paper Scissors by Iñaki Azpillaga (ES/BE), Sri Louise (US), Zvi Gotheiner (US), Keith Hennessy (US)
I was excited about the moderator Keith (as I knew him being very professional and conscious about his work ) as well as the invited ImPulsTanz teachers Zvi and Iñaki who I already knew from before. I was interested  in how these different perspectives and styles could find a common way of expression in the frame of the idocde program.
The brochure said: “Paper scissor stone is a playful juxtaposition of three seasoned ImPulsTanz teachers, facilitated by a fourth, pondering some aspects of compromise in teaching in practice and with ample time for discussing the ideas. Iñaki, Sri, Zvi will teach short sessions in response to each other, with Keith facilitating the journey. As a collaborative semi-improvised event, elements of unpredictability, serendipity and not knowing are part of the deal.”
I happened to miss the beginning of Sri’s introduction, who was talking about her anatomy based working method and focuses. I was watching the professional dance educators meditating into the instructions about the correct shaping and moving the body.

Then came a big change and with sort of a time travel mobile ballet bars were being brought in and put into the center of the space and Zvi started his ballet class for contemporary dancers. Everyone had a smile on their faces since each participant have left the bars long ago and was working with somatic methods on a daily base. They were smilingly recalling what learned way back and were perhaps mixing the now solid ballet moves with the methods they were using today. Deep breaths were being taken with concentration and soft plié. Zvi silently hummed the movements, taped softly his hips creating an atmospheric rhythm just for himself but guiding the movers attention as well.
What else can be said as a correction other than “beautiful” which actually was the truth.
[Meanwhile I wa thinking to myself: Raise your hands if you are still warming up or tuning in with ballet at the bar!]
“I’ll be with you, so don’t worry about it.” – and there they went for the second exercise (continuing the plié with one arm after a double arm one).

Zvi literally sang the counting, moderated the plié with a droning tone – even though he had a mic.

[Zap! During the grand plié the Russian and the French school divided the participants leading the arms differently. The personal past sneaked in, everyone was having fun again.]

No one was stressed about whether and how to close the 5th position, to turn out the hips or to execute the plié in a comfortable way.
During the short break Zvi talked a bit about breathing and the position of the neck. Everyone listened to the instructions (that they heard countless times and probably a long time ago) with a straight back and approacheed to carry out the second exercise for changing sides with a smile.
Arms were swimming in the air and mainly decorating in sleek, loose pants at squeaking bars.
People were reliving their lessons moving ballet-like. Some (like Iñaki) were filling their movement practically and joyfully: they stretch, breath, enjoy the possibilities of the movement scheme making those alive.
“I want you to accept your length.” – so the next little correction while people were standing at the bar growing into space (closed yes or not). When standing melted into plié you just have to adjust or just gently remind the body and mind not to forget to breath and to strive upwards as well as downwards.
And here came exercise number 4. Although it was not a difficult one and Zvi constantly cited the French terms people were a little stressed trying to follow the instructions. Execution happened by copying because most participants did not do ballet for a long time, their brain worked in a different mode and so the instructions reached the desired body parts just slowly.
Time went fast and Zvi asked: “Am I done? I am cooked! Thank you guys…”. He passed the word to Keith who shared a few ideas, interpretations and Zvi-ideas with the partners. Meanwhile the bars moved out of the space and Iñaki took over, but Keith reminded the participants on the sharing part at the end pointing out the possibility ask about the methodology as well because everyone was here “to learn about teaching”.

Iñaki cheered up the mood with some dynamic movement, free running, spinning in the space joining the participants. The next instruction was to get into off balance through moving, but not to fall into it, rather gently slip into or out of the space (which was fortunately big enough for this)…
After that the participants were being asked to run backwards making them feel the freedom of falling. “Try to be honest with your fall!”, “Use your feet!”, “The space gets moved!”
He worked in small parts because his 30 minutes were short and he was now working with teachers who were mainly educated and experienced. Of course these teachers experienced now the difficulties an exercise could hold.
In the next experiment the participants could experience falling in couples holding hands and helping each other to dive and to arrive on the floor.
With the next step people were experiencing falling during running and spinning. Assistance evolved naturally: one gage protection to the other one in arriving, not to hit the other wall.
At a certain moment Iñaki compared the quality of falling to ballet.

[I liked the idea (especially on this given symposium for dance teachers) that during a two hour session one got an insight into the work of four teachers who were actually working together since they join each other’s demonstrations.]

In the last 45’ Keith asked the participants and teachers to sum up on a moderated way.
“You have to figure out what you actually want and then to not compromise.” And he was pointing out that he realized that his teaching was already connected to the other teachers’ teaching which his students took before or after his class, which happened on such a workshop festival like here in Vienna.
He was mentioning some key words like teacher – tolerate and student – find resonance.
As the teachers first introduced their own teaching focuses Keith reminded us all on COMPROMISE.

And now some wisecracks:
“… I have learned from my students how to teach” could be a key word as well for teachers, which Keith also used to connect contact dance and technique based classes (which Sri was just mentioning). Keith pointed out the bridge between technical classes where this kind of paying attention to our students’ reaction was also a way of being in contact.
“I like moving like I would be a music score.” (Iñaki)
“I was experiencing with how to act as a teacher.” (Zvi)
“Collaboration, cooperation” (Keith)
“I am offering people to be thinking in your own body and take responsibility” (Sri)

After the introduction Keith asked the participants to write down questions. Everyone was silently summing up and just after this the teachers could raise questions to each other:
From Sri to Iñaki: “How do you deal with the students’ fear in the class?”
From Zvi to Iñaki: “…going to the dark side, to the back”
From Iñaki to Zvi: “I left ballet because of the hierarchy – how do you deal with that?”
Keith pulled out a second tarot card widening the focus a little: what was the role of the dance?

After this it was possible to raise more questions which were touching the following topics:
“… female populated field is dance. How do you do a power and how does gender show up in your teaching?”
“… manipulation through teaching”
“… being and teaching out of your own culture”
In the final round the participants could ask even more personalized questions directly to Sri, Zvi and Iñaki.

[I found this way of sharing very inspiring. The answers were interesting but action of how we think about questions was even more.
Am I really in power as a teacher? By offering exercises to look at and practice is “just” an offer from me.]

Zvi was pointing out that to talk about gender issues in teaching could be a whole week or more long discussion – maybe such would be interesting for another symposium (I guess). Zvi just mentioned, that “as teacher you have to be sensitive for those”.

Keith opened up a topic with mentioning: “Females are the financial base of such dance workshops.” He made a research on gender topics in the frame of ImPulsTanz. “Every single year the white males as teachers are the main majority.”

The last 5’ was left for the participants to add notes, more questions not just for the now presented teachers but to the circle of the teachers took part in this sharing.
And Keith closed with offering the space for thank-yous and gratitudes…

And now let’s run to the next one…

(… to be continued :-) )


Attachments:
IDOCDE 5th Becs2017 39 ZviGotheiner USA k
IDOCDE 5th Becs2017 42 InI?akiAzpillaga ES BE k
IDOCDE 5th Becs2017 45 RockPaperScissors zaras KeithHennessy USA Inaki Sri Zvi k
IDOCDE 5th Becs2017 47 RockPaperScissors zaras KeithHennessy USA Inaki Sri Zvi k
IDOCDE 5th Becs2017 37 ZviGotheiner USA k
IDOCDE 5th Becs2017 35 SriLouise USA k
 

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