UNDOING: THE WORKSHOP
UNDOING is a workshop that synthesizes my personal research and creative practice to support investigation by a wide audience of creatives and activists. For UNDOING, I began with a central question: Can a quest for liberation, and a path toward resistance, begin with our flesh and blood, and the energies and histories we contain?
The workshop begins with accessible somatic play with body and voice (influences include Feldenkrais, Qi Gong, Bodytalk, and meditative practices). Participants then address what arises in their somatic experience through writing. From there, the workshop bounces back and forth between ‘cerebral’ and ‘physical’ modalities. Participants read curated activist texts (Claudia Rankine, James Baldwin, Jamaica Kincaid), then move back into somatic and physical exercises held by the guiding question. Finally, via writing and discussion, participants reflect on the desires and motives that arise over the course of the class, and how they could apply them to activist practices outside the room.
In all my workshops, we use somatic visualization and exercises as a starting point. We then confront our bodies and experience vocalizing as expansive resonance, movement as creature-like transformation, and performance as social disturbance. I create a space for improvisation that is both safe and dangerous: safe for the full expression and observation of the self, and an open portal to express dangerous parts of oneself–the dark, rebellious, and derelict. In this context, I make clear that there are no assumed boundaries or rules, and I instruct as I participate, breaking the barrier between student and teacher.
Past teaching engagements include New Museum, University of Kentucky-Lexington, NAHNOO (Beirut), Universidad de Las Americas Puebla (Mexico).
Testimonials from past students:
“I arrived feeling broken down and desperate for rejuvenation. Lorene set the tone for discovery and play. I felt I could do or not do anything that was presented. I had agency over my body. They presented somatic techniques I was familiar with but the durational practice was new to me. It seemed to usher me into a place of knowing that was so blissful I actually silently questioned which exercise could have made me high. Then we went outside and colors were more vibrant, patterns seemed sacred, sounds somehow clearer. In the past I’d roll my eyes if someone suggested I hug a tree, but I found myself holding onto one and weeping, apologizing to it for not taking the time to notice it before. And then I was just in awe of everything. At the end of the workshop I found my experience to be similar to others. I wasn’t alone.” -Amy Compton, Dance Artist, New Mexico
“It was a sweet communally supportive experience of listening to self and others through exploring embodied creative exercises. I left feeling lighter and more connected to the present, informed by different practices that Lorene proposed could be part of my toolkit.” -Katya Chizayeva, Somatic Artist, New Orleans
“The playful and deep spirit with which she guided us into ever more connected improvisation serves me as a guide when I’m feeling creatively stuck. Lorene can take you to the yicky sticky places and show the way through.” -Carole McCurdy, Movement Artist, Chicago
“Lorene challenged and pushed us out of our comfort zones and helped us to buck against socially prescribed “acceptable” movement and behavior. This control demolition was very effective and left the room feeling free and jubilating.” -Cooper Gibson, Artist