This August, as part of the Bessie Schönberg Choreographers’ Residency 2011 at The Yard in Martha’s Vineyard, Kai Kleinbard and I have been invited to create a community project with kids and adults – leading classes that focus our research on creative practices.   We are developing an approach that uses adaptive, self-organizing methods stimulating what it means to learn.  These practices are experiential in nature, utilizing both creative and physical components to integrate self-awareness, creativity and health.

We bring influences from our work as Alexander Technique teachers, study of underground vernacular dance forms, and Emergent Improvisation (developed by Susan Sgorbati), to this creative practice method.  It is our goal to create an open-ended learning process where students learn through creating and create through learning.  This method allows for a feedback loop in which students can build bridges between ideas, implement their own strengths, and harness reflective practices that foster their own self-development.

Our creative practice is an open-ended spiral that moves through these five principles:

  • articulating interests
  • gathering information
  • recognizing patterns that emerge
  • selecting what is useful
  • re-assimilating this information back into an emergent whole
Our adult classes follow this structure: 
Alexander Technique-based warm-ups
Technique utilizing a variety of dance forms 
Improvisational structuring and emergent forms
And our kid’s class –
Creative Movement Play with Creatures and Robots

Students will use their imaginations to orient their bodies in time and space, develop rhythm and coordination, and transform into otherworldly creatures.  Freedom of expression and improvisation will be encouraged and further developed through art projects that build costumes, sculptures, and drawings (using recycled materials).  The workshop will culminate in an interactive lecture demonstration as the kids lead the audience through their worlds of transformation.

Stay posted for our next creative movement class – coming Spring 2012!

– Cori Olinghouse