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11.45 - 13.45

TOUCH MEMBRANES co-taught with Kelly Keenan

coming into contact​ 

In 2015 Kelly and Kira, gave a workshop entitled Touch Membranes that assembled a lot of their collaborative work in learning, teaching and creating alongside each other for a decade. This year, thanks to a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, Kelly and Kira have devoted time in-studio in Berlin, to continue labbing and generating somatically informated touch-based dance pedagogy. They are excited to offer a Touch Membranes (Remix) at this year’s Nomadic College.


The body is one’s personal harbour of sensation.  The skin, encasing the body,  is a sensitive and malleable interface with the world outside of ourselves.  Via stimuli it helps us understand with evermore refinement our relationships between our own body and to all other life and objects outside of ourselves.  This workshop is a preliminary partnering study.  We will use touch and sensing to extend our understanding of our own anatomies to that of another.  Anatomy and the principles of the Axis Syllabus will be referenced in guided explorations.

WEEK 2  

9.30 - 11.30 

11.45 - 13.45 (advanced practitioners)

ARABESQU-ING - moving through with and beyond form


Let’s take a deeper look into arabesque, best known as a position in ballet vocabulary, and investigate its purpose. What is the legacy of arabesque? What does this shape, so strongly associated with classical aesthetic, offer us today in learning functional movement for a variety of applications? Can it be transformed into or rediscovered as a significant fractal piece to reveal meaningful information and functional relevance for multiple modes of movement?


Some questions I am juggling with is the validity, necessity of form and what makes a form go beyond form and how we move through or inhabit forms or positions with autonomy or in a balanced relationship?


What if we can bring new values to arabesque as a symbol as a form?

A symbol for the revelation of principles like the interdependent structural relationships in the human body. A symbol for the essential asymmetrical organisation of the human body during locomotion. A symbol for the expertise in weight distribution and in the orienting of masses towards one legged support.

The architectural and dynamic deployment into the arabesque would then provide an opportunity for a thorough study of essential functional patterns of the human body and consequently an important form for developing and  transforming our movement potential.








Kira Kirsch 


Kira Kirsch is a movement artist, community organizer, mother and initiater/curator born in East-Berlin. After many years abroad she now works and lives with her family in Berlin as residents of Lake Studios - an artist run dance, production and performance place.

She is deeply invested into creating and shaping spaces for people to experience,learn about and sensitize their mind-body-movement continuum. She has pioneered, taught and continuously researched through the lens of the Axis Syllabus (AS) for over a decade, is a co-director of the Nomadic College at Earthdance, leads teacher laboratories and has build a community for AS research in the Bay Area, California from 2006 - 2012.


In 2014 she started co-curating a new annual dance festival called “SENSING IN” and is establishing a regular educational program under the name of Movement Artisans together with Antoine Ragot at Lake Studios/Berlin.


She currently has a lectureship at the HZT University of Arts in Berlin and is invited to festivals and institutions such as Impulstanz/Austria, Ravnedans/Norway, TQW-Vienna or the Goa Contact Festival among many other as well as private initiatives of the grass root type.

As a performer Kira has danced in the works of Sara Shelton Mann (US), David Szlasa (US), Avy K. Productions (RU), Christine Bonansea (US/FR), Half Machine (DK), ABCdance collective/Frey Faust, Cie. Anna Tenta (AT) and in numerous collaborations with her peers. From 2009 -2012 she collaborated with Montrealer Kelly Keenan and their creations "species - a moving body exposition" and "useless creatures" have been presented in the US, Canada and Austria.


Current projects are a short dance film "The Earth will Come" with film maker Katelyn Stiles and musician/poet  Barnaby Tree, research within ensemble improvisation, somatic communication and her garden.


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