Level 1 Training: Personal Embodiment
For me to dance is to live.
Here I can dance all the life that I have experienced
The life I haven't experienced
The life that I want to experience
And the life that I don't want to experience.
It is like having an extra life and it is a real life.
I want to learn more from my dance.
I want to live that wisdom more,
That wisdom that is in my body.
All that I know when I dance I want to know in my life when I'm not dancing.
I want to dance my life.
- Pernille Overo (Training student, Denmark)
In the Level I Training, participants are given the opportunity, and the challenge, to explore their personal material within a disciplined structure. Working with intermodal art mediums - shifting between movement, drawing, vocalizing, written and spoken dialogues - we work with and reflect on our history, who we are now and the changes that we would like to embody in order to live more artfully in all aspects of our lives.
Using artistic and therapeutic principles, participants uncover and explore a "body mythology" which connects to the compelling events, issues and questions in their lives. We explore each body part, identifying the literal and metaphoric connections between body, life themes and personal stories. In this way the body is explored on the physical, emotional and mental/imaginal levels and is understood as the template for our entire life experience.
Each art medium, as well as each part of the body, acts as a mirror reflecting aspects of self, our relations with others and the world. The training group also acts as a mirror. Through group creativity and learning, we develop the skills and sensitivity, which allows the collective environment to serve its members as a place in which transformational work can take place. The processes that unfold within the group environment reflect the nature of interpersonal relationships, family stories, and community issues. It also motivates its members to cultivate collaboration, collective creativity, skilful communication, and the value of differences and diversity within a supportive setting.
Following an opening week of introductions to the practice, each week a different body part inspires individual and group themes, art explorations, body awareness exercises, movement studies, partner and group interactions.
During the last three weeks of the training a final, life-sized self portrait drawing is created and explored. In culmination, ritual-performances are enacted with the group and teachers witnessing. The self portrait ritual symbolizes the re-integration of all the different parts of self and one's story with renewed insight, vitality and visions for change.
During final week of training we enter into acts of completion and transition to facilitate the shift from studio and training community life to daily life at home.
In the weekend format a different body part is explored each weekend with several weekends devoted to the exploration of self portrait drawings and ritual performances inspired by the self portrait drawings and training experience.
L 2 students and graduates often apprentice in our programs as a way to expand their practical training through observation, mentorship and supervised facilitation of other students. Apprentices are thoroughly versed in ways to witness and participate that are supportive and non-interruptive to program participants.
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