Articles

Workshop: The 4 Elements: Moving into Personal Mythology

In Workshops on August 23, 2010 by danceumbrella

Time: September 27 at 10:00am – October 1 at 12:30pm

Location: Dovehouse Dance Ballroom – 805 Dovercourt Rd, 2nd floor, Toronto, ON

Created By: Series 8:08
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The workshop is open to all professional and pre-professional performing artists with movement experience. Bring a short piece of memorized text (monologue, poetry, lyrics, etc) and a simple movement phrase. Bring a notebook, pen and crayons (optional).

The elements are a vehicle to explore and inhabit inner landscape through improvisation in movement, gesture, sound, words, character and narrative. In this experiential workshop,… each of the 4 elements (earth, air, fire and water) will be embodied to access the unconscious and the imagination; the body being the home of the unconscious. Each day we will connect to one element and a plethora of impulses and images, often archetypal in nature. It is an opportunity to be out of our habitual element and unlock lesser known creative aspects. This work, originally taught by master teacher Richard Pochinko in the 1970s, was developed by Jo with her students at the National Theatre School. It is a powerful tool for self-knowledge and investigation, and a creative resource applicable to choreography, improvisation, interpretation, writing, painting, composing, acting and storytelling. The elements are a portal to personal mythology.

The warm-up will lead us into the vocabulary of image, sensation and feeling to open the body and psyche in preparation for a very individual journey. A personal warm-up prior to this is recommended. Jo`s expertise in teaching and directing this work ensures a grounded, well-defined approach, where each participant is personally guided towards deep exploration, play and  discovery.

Jo Leslie’s prolific career in dance and theatre spans 33 years. She is currently a dramaturge and director for dance and interdisciplinary work with such companies as Docudance (“Florence”), Solid State Breakdance (“Take it Back”), Sinha
Danse (“PDJ8”) and Skidmore (“Tour busT”). For the past year she has been working with a group of disabled performers on their show “Les Mémoires de Lady Chesterfield”. Recent commissioned choreographies include, “Apropos of Nothing” for Louise Moyse in St. John’s and “Affair of the Heart” for Jacinte Giroux in Montreal. As a movement director and choreographer for the stage her many credits include large Shakespeare productions (NAC, Stratford Festival), new plays (Caravan theatre, CanStage, Great Canadian Theatre Company), children’s theatre (LKTYP, NAC) and new opera (Montreal and Wales). She was guest company movement coach for the Stratford Festival for 2 seasons (2006-07). Jo was
principal movement teacher at the National Theatr! e School (1990-01) where she coached on 40 productions.

An acclaimed independent dancer-choreographer and master improviser, she co-founded Studio 303 and the Vernissage Danse series in Montreal. One of the first teachers at LADMMI, she also taught in the Concordia dance and theatre departments (1984-88). Jo’s approach embraces somatics, release, breath, energy and chakra work and is centered in whole being connection and awareness. Jo also works as a dance writer.

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