Blog – The Singing Body
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The 3-week “Laboratory” took place from June 1st – 21st, 2021 with 18 participants in Portugal. The focus of the laboratory was to lay the foundations for a successful collaboration in the exchange of good practice over the entire project period, both in the group process and in the artistic-creative process.
Over the 3 weeks, there were two workshops per day with movement, dance and voice improvisation, led by various participants, as well as intensive music rehearsals by the participating professional musicians.
There were workshops and practical reflection on improvisation in African dance, traditional dances from Portugal, bioenergetic work, theater education with a focus on the voice and yoga with a focus on mantra / breath work. The participants included professional dancers, dance teachers, musicians and teachers who would like to integrate dance / voice more into their professional practice. Great emphasis was placed on interdisciplinary cooperation, so that the musicians also took part in the workshops on creative bodywork. For many this was the first time to step out of their role as a musician on stage and experience their own body in motion as part of the group. It was the first time for the dancers and educators to work with live music. This was experienced as a privilege and an enrichment for the educational possibilities of dancing with voice work. Through the workshops, which were also conducted in teams from different partner organizations, all participants expanded their repertoire of professional practice and deepened their self-awareness with music and movement.
For the introduction to voice work as an empowering element in dance, it quickly became clear that a low-threshold approach is necessary to get rid of fears and shame – especially since the “Laboratory” was the first time for many people to work in a group after months of social isolation. In order to enable the exploration of voice, music has emerged as a central supporting element. Professionally played live music provides the structure and security for experimental voice work. Therefore, there was a lot of space for the music rehearsals, during which 5 songs were created. These were further worked out in dialogue with the dancers. The dialogue between music and dance was felt by everyone to be enriching for the respective artistic / educational processes. In addition, it was a pleasure that the music was used straight away. This created a powerful feedback loop for the creative process. The 5 pieces of music were recorded and will accompany the project over its entire duration as a musical foundation for dance education with voice work as a method for empowerment. In the further course of the project, the song writing and the vocal work with the music can gradually take up more space. As a basis for the work on the song writing and the creation of a final performance, all participants also created a performative short video with body / voice as a means of expression.
The Singing Body laboratory has laid a valuable foundation for the project goal of creating a platform for artists to exchange best practices in performance / pedagogy and to develop and disseminate innovative methods that actively encourage European values in one’s own artistic practice.
Music and Dance: the dance of liberation
Intercultural non-verbal communication through play
African dance workshop and music