Studying Aikido early on in my career was one of the most influential and beneficial learningprocesses for my development as a dance improvisation artist.
I continue to utilize and build on the principles that I absorbed from studying with ImaizumiSensei in NYC in the 1980’s.
These principles seeped into my consciousness and continue to deeply affect the way I moveand think about my art form. They form the basis for my approach to teaching, and have given me the ground from which to build my performance work and relationship with my audiences. I am therefore very excited and honored to be able to collaborate with Patrick Cassidy inteaching this workshop.
I met Patrick briefly many years ago through our mutual search for a state of harmonious unity, something I first glimpsed as a living possibility when I encountered Steve Paxton and his revolutionary work with Contact Improvisation, and which I later pursued with serious intentthrough the Enlightenment teachings of Andrew Cohen.
This opportunity to practice and teach alongside Patrick now feels like a precious gift, given that we have persued a number of similar interests in our life paths, and because from afar I have always been interested in and curious about his practices and teaching.
Through these 5 days of working together we will be discovering each others work, and sha- ring our approaches with participants in the workshop.
Photographer: Harry Jordon
And Patrick’s words…
It was early on my path of Aikido when I actually tra- velled to Japan. Once in Japan I decided to stay for 6 1⁄2years focused on learning and absorbing the art. I hadstudied in one of the most traditional schools in a small town called Iwama with a highly skilled technician whohad been the longest and arguably one of the closest students to the founder of the art, Morihiei Ueshiba.
I deeply appreciated the immersion into the matrix of technique with plenty of inherent principle work within the training itself. Yet I never felt that the traditional approach was going to offer the freedom of authentic spontaneous expression that is necessary to realize a state of harmonious unity that is central to the theme of Aikido. I was looking for something congruent to the
founder’s realization and declaration of his perspective, “I and the Universe are One”. Fol- lowing a contemplative path parallel to my path of Aikido led me to spending 5 years in In-dia, Nepal and Tibet. Here I met, studied and followed the teachings of a number of brilliant teachers. It is here that I first came across Kirstie and we shared an inspiration for inquiry into the nature of being. The source of all action. Although I met many authentic teachers and benefitting deeply from their facilitation, I never bridged the realization of Unity, into authen- tic movement with any deep degree of satisfaction. I saw the mystery of movement with itsspontaneous nature and the intelligence of Aikido married with that spontaneous nature beau-tifully, but it was not complete. It wasn’t until I felt the spirit of Dance, the expression of Life in rhythm, come into the picture, that I felt the experience of unity express itself through the Aikido congruently. Somehow by incorporating the natural inclination to “dance life”, did the approach come together in a seamless union. Where the outer congruently reflected the inner. In my experience when this happens, not only does personal development occur, but somehowour evolution as individuals and even the collective is stimulated…
With that being said, I have never fully collaborated with a Dancer sharing these two ap-proaches together. I have been inspired by Kirstie’s work from afar for a number of years as we share some community. It has always been my intention to make a closer contact and I am grateful for the chance to do this collaboration together, especially since we both share the ins-piration of looking into the nature of being and movement. Inspired to see what this alchemy between us and Aikido and Dance can bring…
CLASS WITH PATRICK
I am inspired by the questions of being in relationship to conflict and movement.
How do we remain centered and awake under pressure? How do we meet a situation of conflict as an opportunity to evolve rather than a threat? How do we connect with another in the midst of conflict and move in way that honors the relationship that is shared?
The teaching will introduce, simple doorways to awaken authentic, spontaneous and intelligent response to pressure, attack and imbalance.
The classes will emphasize accessing the inherent intelligence of body, heart and mind to fa- cilitate an exploration into the new territory of an alchemical transformation of the individualand the relationship in the midst of conflict.
Bringing ourselves to embrace conflict as a doorway to discover, awaken and evolve.
Patrick Cassidy has been practicing Aikido, Meditation and Yoga for over 30 years. He holds a 6th degree black belt in the art of Aikido and directs a fulltime school of Aikido, Yoga and Meditation in Montreux Switzerland. He also leads a worldwide network of Aikido dojos under the banner, Evolutionary Aikido Community. He has facilitatedconflict resolution programs in psychiatric hospitals for caregivers and their patients and has led leadership and teambuilding training for numerous corporate organizations. He is also a long term practitioner of Japanese Tea Cere- mony in the Ura Senke school.
CLASS WITH KIRSTIE
What Moves Us and Why?
An Exploration of Freedom through Dance Improvisation
An opportunity to engage with Kirstie
and her passionate interest in the libera-
ting experience of dance improvisation
and the exploration of freedom. Imagine what our relationship would be to dancing if we had no prior notion about what the moving body should look or feel like. Participants will work beyond culturally conditioned expectations and other limitations, to celebrate moving together using practices that Kirstie has developed over thirty-five years of teaching dance improvisa- tion.
Kirstie draws her teaching from her knowledge of contact improvisation, dance techniques, the Alexander technique, Aikido, meditation and her extensive experience of improvisation in 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.
What moves us and why?
There is deep inspiration and rigor in a practice of improvisation that posits vulnerability at its heart. Developing the skills to be able to care for, engage, respect and respond to that state of vulnerability in oneself and others gives life to improvisation that is powerful and transforma- tive.
This is the work that Kirstie engenders through facilitated exercises, open time for play and exploration, movement scores, observations and discussion. Much of the work is experienced through partnering and connection with others, balanced with solo time for processing and reflection.
Kirstie’s art form is her life practice, and she shares insights gleaned from thirty-five years ofexperience.
Kirstie Simson (UK) has been a continuous explosion in the contemporary dance scene, bringing audiences into contact with the vitality of pure creation in moment after moment of virtuoso improvisation. Called «a force of nature» by the New York Times, she is an award-winning dancer and teacher who has «immeasurably enriched and expanded the boundaries of New Dance» according to Time Out Magazine, London. Kirstie is renowned today as an excellentteacher, a captivating performer and a leading light in the field of Dance Improvisation. She is a professor of dance at the University of Illinois, and continues to teach and perform all over the world.
Photographer: Harry Jordon
Tuesday – Thursday
10-12:30 first session, 12:30-14:30 lunch, 14:30-17 second session
Friday / Sat
Both teachers will continue to teach 2 1/2 hr sessions per day, but we may adjust the schedule as we see fit. For instance we could decide to take one morning off, and to teach afternoon andevening sessions on that day.
Last meditation and talk, departure.
We would like to propose a 1/2 hr optional meditation each day. Scheduling the meditation is something we will decide once the group is together.
It would be nice to take a walk in nature together… perhaps one afternoon or on the morning off.
PARTICIPATION TO THE WORKSHOP
The WS is open to 13 Aikidokas and 13 dancers.
Please consider that you will need to be able move in and out of the floor with ease, so prohibitive injuries might be challenging to work with in this context.
Please give us some insights into your movement experience on the «registration form», to help us evaluate if this workshop is applicable for you.
Walk in nature
Dates: Workshop will take place from 23th to 28th of July, 5 days of practice. Arrivals on the 22nd late afternoon, departures the morning of the 28th.
The studio: Re.sources is a renovated barn in a mountainous context, 160 m2 of wooden floor. The place is a little above the village on the road to pass of the Supeyres, at 15’ from the town of Ambert, 75 km from Clermont Ferrand, Saint-Etienne and Puy en Velay, 130 km from Lyon.
Housing: At 10 minute walk from the studio, the cottage La Cheveyre offers shared rooms for 3 to 5 people with shower. Also there’s the auberge for the same price, with a few shared roomsfor two to three people. These two options are the cheapest and closest housing to the studio.You can contact us for further info, and for other possibilities of lodging in the village that you would undertake to register by yourself.
Workshop price: 280 euros including 10 euros for membership of Mû association.
Meals & cooking: We usually cook together in the big kitchen of the cottage. From past expe-
rience the budget for food for a week is around 55 euros per person.
Transportation: There is an airport in Clermont Ferrand, as well in Lyon, from where you can travel by train and bus to our location. From the train station in Clermont or Vichy you can take a bus to Ambert. We’ll pick people up in Ambert bus station. We will send the list of parti-cipant’s contact information before the WS to facilitate car sharing.
Clothing: We suggest you take warm clothes and good shoes to wear for walking around in the mountainous landscape.
Registration: Please fill in and send back the registration form below. Your place will be re-gistered as soon as we receive your deposit. Mû will not refund deposits after the 15th fo June. Prior to this date any cancelation will be refunded minus 30% of the deposit. Once the WS isfull we will create a waiting list.
Contact: Tel France: +33 (0)9 52 29 57 66 mobile +33 (0)6 09 36 46 88 Email: email@example.com
Organisation – Location:
MÛ association – Re.sources / Lieu dit La Moronie – 63600 Valcivières (FR)
Please, send back the registration form, by post or email (copy / paste)
Name………………………………………………………… Adress……………………………………………………. Tel…………………………………………………………… Email……………………………………………………….
Please, give us few words about your experience in dance or /and Aïkido …………………….. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
I confirm my participation in the workshop «Evolving Through Movement» in July 2019:
O- I pay 280 euros to the bank account of Mû (info below)or
O- I pay a deposit of 150 euros to reserve my place on the workshop, and will pay the ba-lance before the 15th of June 2019
IBAN: FR76 4255 9000 9541 0200 2969 317 Code BIC: CCOPFRPPXXX
RESERVATION LODGING: COTTAGE OR AUBERGE
O I want MU association to reserve a place for lodging
– Price per night: 15 euros (for the 6 nights = 90 euros)
You’ll pay directly the day of your arrival to the owner of the group cottage or the auberge. Please, remember to have the cash with you (no credit card)