Simon Whitehead, Kirstie Simson
In the frame of Sommer Tanz 2020 - Meeting in the Virtual!
A Collaboration between Movement Artists Kirstie Simson & Simon Whitehead
For the past 3 years Kirstie Simson and Simon Whitehead have facilitated a summer workshop in the small village of Abercych in West Wales, hosted by dancer Stirling Steward. This year the format of the workshop will be transformed into the at-the-moment-possible space, physically based in the own private surroundings, meeting with the others in virtual space. How do our artistic practices help us personally/collectively root ourselves within the mesh of connectivity with ourselves, others and our biosphere? Practices that emplace and prepare us to face and deal with the most pressing questions of our time.
They have called their work together ‘Practicing Places’, where they propose a gift and blend of gentle practices for 3 hours per day, at coordinated times, synchronous between participants. These include: Audio movement & meditation practices; Indoor & Outdoor scores (some work will be done at night); Zoom check ins & sharing; Sharing relevant images / videos / texts on online platform; Self-portrait drawings & moving; Duet/Trio teams to dialogue and accumulatively create material that would be shared with the group at the end of the workshop; Time for Silence & Listening.
Whilst the online platform will be used to deliver the content and some of the engagement, participants will be primarily asked to engage with their bodies, homes and the neighbourhoods in the localities in which they reside. Through this process Kirstie & Simon hope to facilitate a weave of ideas, movements and conversations across space and time zones in which we can all practice being together and with ourselves within the material conditions of our current lives. There will be one nighttime score that will be shared as a written score, therefore people can respond to this in their own localized night time, and dialogue with others afterwards. In the score, people can leave their homes, or turn off all the lights and work inside their home space.
1 day before the workshop begins participants will receive relevant information including a proposed schedule for the four days, plus reading materials that we will use as a springboard for our work together.
Simon Whitehead: Over the last 18 years Simon has located much of his practice in the valley close to his home. Through walking he collaborates physically in a world of materials and events- making itinerant performance, often fleeting, ephemeral and playful. He hosts Locator, an ongoing incubator workshop that researches ecological ideas through movement practice, situated in an ancient sessile oak woodland in west Wales. He is currently growing a dance floor with plants and herbs, newground will be a place of encounter and touch in a fold of human, plant and wild life. Simon is also a craniosacral therapist and is conducting PhD research into ‘a choreography of things’ at Glasgow University. www.simonwhitehead.net www.untitledstates.net
Kirstie Simson: Kirstie’s art form is her life practice, and she shares insights gleaned from forty-years experience of living dance improvisation. Kirstie draws from her knowledge of contact improvisation, dance techniques, the Alexander technique, Aikido, meditation and her mature understanding of improvising as performance. Her work explores the huge potential of the body’s response to the primal urge to move, inspired by the energy released through human interaction, physical challenge and a daring to go beyond inherent ideas of limitation. Her current questioning pertains to the relevance of artistic practice in today’s troubled world. www.kirstiesimson.com