Universiteit Leiden

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Kunst en vrije tijd - Dans

Contemporary movement practices

Vrijdag van 18:30-20:00 uur

Natalie Heller

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

Since the lockdown, the organisation of bodies in space has become something no longer of  concern only to choreographers but to every individual who leaves the house. We have learnt to become aware of the daily choreography we make when we go about our everyday lives. Our sense of body awareness in public space has shifted. In September, I am excited to come together with a small group of 7 participants into the studio. During this course, I will propose a creative dance practice that searches to sense how our experience of embodiment and shared space has shifted since the lockdown. We will respect the Corno regulations so everyone will feel at ease. With that in mind we will not work with hands-on explorations or contact partner work.

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. By turning our attention inwardly to our sensations and physical awareness we prepare the body to engage in connectedness to the group and in relations to others in space (at a distance). 

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 self)
●    Floor work
●    Guided movement explorations through the use of
●    Movement research
●    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.

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

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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