Universiteit Leiden

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Kunst en vrije tijd - Dans

Contemporary movement practices

Vrijdag van 18:30-20:00 uur (geen les op 10 april - Goede Vrijdag)

Natalie Heller

For whom
This is a mixed level course, where participants are expected to work at their own movement abilities and artistic depth.

In this course we approach the body as a means for movement explorations. We work through sensing and perceiving: weight, breath, movement. We are drawn into dancing through a curiosity about the body and our experience of it. Each class is as much an individual journey as a means for creative expression. Form is not searched for and yet it is not absent from the work. The formal beauty of the moving body (independently and in a group) is the end- focus of the work. Together we create a performance piece to be presented at THE SUITE at the end of the course. I draw from numerous contemporary dance practices including Release Technique, Body Mind Centering, Skinner Releasing, Alexander Technique, Contact Improvisation, Instant Composition, Experiential Anatomy, Klein Technique, Simonson Modern Jazz, Yoga, Pilates and more. You can expect the classes to involve:   

  • Experiential anatomy (hands-on bodywork)
  • Floorwork
  • Guided movement explorations through the use of imagery
  • Movement research
  • Partner work (using touch or words)
  • Contact improvisation
  • Strengthening the core
  • Finding length and release
  • Attentiveness to body use
  • Dynamic movement

My current choreographic practices is rooted in various Somatic Practices. This approach to the body enables participants to attain dynamic and technical movement through releasing muscular tension and attending to their internal sensations.

Natalie Heller is a choreographer and dance artist. She has an MA in ‘Creative Practice’ from Trinity Laban and professional training from Dance New Amsterdam (NYC), Movement Research (NYC), Siobhan Davies Studios (London) and Ecole Supérieure de l’Enseignement de la Danse (Montpellier, France). She is interested in body awareness and in helping her students develop energy efficient movement pathways. It was on her exploration of different movement methodologies that she discovered Ashtanga Yoga, Pilates, Thai massage, Body Mind Centering, Contact Improvisation, Alexander Technique, Skinner Releasing, Feldenkrais, Klein Technique and many others. She has been taking movement workshops for over twenty years and has been trained by key players in the field (including Gill Clarke, KJ, Holmes, Malcolm Manning, Eva Karczag and many others). She has been teaching movement techniques since 2006.

More about Natalie: www.natalieheller.com and www.practicingsomatics.com

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