Vitali Kononov (vitalika) wrote in burning_man,
Vitali Kononov

For dance, improv, and creativity nuts


January 8 - February 4, 2006 @ Moving On Center - School of Participatory Arts & Somatic Research in Oakland


Simone Forti, Brenton Cheng, Vitali Kononov, Cathie Caracker, Carol Swann, Jenny Schaffer and Jess Curtis.

The Improvisational Mind and Performance Module connects the fluid, inquisitive, and expansive attitude characteristic of improvisation with the search for clarity and communication accompanying the performance process. Exploring the many ways people adapt to their surroundings, perceive and react to internal and external experiences and create legible artistic events, this module creates a challenging and fun opportunity for movers with all levels of experience.

On stage, in sessions with clients, and in the midst of our urban landscapes, we observe again and again the advantage of flexibility, openness, sensitivity and risk taking. Improvisational methods such as Action Theater (developed by Ruth Zaporah), Contact Improvisation, Voice and Movement training, and the movement aspects of BodyMind Centering(r) are interwoven to expose participants to a diverse toolkit for allowing change to occur.

Mirroring the creative way children problem solve and come to an understanding of their world, the magic of improvisational techniques pushes us to play and play and play and....AH-HA!!!: doors open, potential for change blossoms and we increase our options for creating art, relating to others with depth and awe, and offering support in a therapeutic setting.

In a world constantly re-inventing itself, and not always with well-being and justice at the forefront, we hold the power of our own creative energy and curiosity. Moving On Center maintains a strong value in living the expressive arts, somatic awareness, curiosity and a commitment to social change as inseparable parts of our humanity. As artist Bill Viola so eloquently stated: "When a question is posed ceremoniously, the whole universe responds."

Inner growth and development of improvisational skills then flow into the performance and composition phase of module 3. Again, we can refer to human development and notice how all cultures develop language, expressive and dramatic methods and urge children to name the gestures they have gained mastery of. As Co-Director Peggy Hackney says, in the field of somatics, we seek a "lively interplay between inner connectivity with outer expressivity." This is the motivation behind the inclusion of performance into this curriculum.

As we use all of our senses and wisdoms to feel and explore, we can then share, communicate, and enter into a vibrant dialogue with the outside world. Introducing linear construction of phrases, deciphering the clarity of a particular gesture or quality, and experiencing the transformative moment in confronting an audience, this module challenges participants to use improvisation in the process of setting performable work. Participants are encouraged to break old patterns, use their unique voices and curiosities to surprise themselves and the public! Moving On Center sees performance as closely related to healing and social action as we strive for articulate ways of expressing our stories, thoughts, perceptions and needs. In the boom of chain stores, standardized testing, and "super-max" prison construction, we view unique, embodied, risk-taking performance as reclamation of individual freedom.

As in each MOC module, we include heart circles and verbal check-ins as a way to foster group cohesion and assure that emotion, spirit and critical thinking are nurtured in individuals and as a collective body.

Students are required to participate in study groups and do integrative homework assignments using themes from Participatory Arts. As in the other modules, there will be some mandatory reading, and occasional homework assignments for all students.

The next Improvisational Mind & Performance module will run from January 8 - February 4, 2006. To learn more about this program, we encourage you to set up a phone appointment or come in and speak to us in person. You can reach us at or at (510) 834-0284.

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