I consider my class a powerful way to shift roles of student and facilitator/teacher. Using somatic visualization and exercises as a starting point, we 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.
My interdisciplinary workshops combine voice, somatic/body based principles for performance, and work with performative objects. I always desire to teach people with a wide range of life practices. I have taught university students, performance artists, singers, theorists, babies, poets, families. My aim is to create contact points between different kinds of people and experiences, and a temporary sense of community.
Past teaching engagements:
Universidad de Las Americas Puebla visiting artist
Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival
CLASSCLASSCLASS Dance Teaching Initiative, NYC
NAHNOO Social Advocacy NGO, Beirut
Colorado Queer Yoga Project, Boulder
Studio Current, Seattle
Performancy Forum, Brooklyn
University of Kentucky—Lexington visiting artist
The Exponential Festival, Brooklyn
Just Situations Conference, Brooklyn
Spiderflower Activist Collective in Santa Fe, NM
3 workshop methods I am currently practicing:
In workshops and lab-based environments, it is often assumed that we should follow our “interests” or “intentions,” when in fact our in-the-moment actions are a result not of clear-cut decisions but our relationship to the organism of bodies, room and objects around us colliding with what’s inside us. What do we want and why? What if we derailed ourselves, worked with our own insincerity, faked ourselves out, played tricks? Is it possible to create a realm where choice-making and motives are material to be constantly warped and re-routed?
We will begin with somatic visualizations of the body to access playful work with voice, movement, and objects. We will then work in solo, partnered, and group improvisation scores, working together to examine and be bold in our choices. In this way, the class will serve as a radically open space for the uncomfortable to arise and bring about the new.
Over the course of the workshop, will find all of the nooks and crannies in our class organism. We will seek to create a realm outside of culturally constructed notions of value, performance, art objects. Our moments will range from the vigorous to the insipid, and we will maintain interest in every mood we encounter.
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 recruited the methods for creating an unstable, fertle ground for creative play that I developed with DESIRE/REVILE, and shifted into a mode that questioned the end of this kind of exploration. 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? our acts and queries as means of working toward what justice could look like. Participants began by reading specific texts (Claudia Rankine, James Baldwin, Jamaica Kincaid), then moved into somatic and physical exercises held by the guiding question. Finally, via writing and discussion, participants reflected on the desires and motives that arose in that kind of directed somatic state, and how they could apply them to activist practices outside the room.
A Body Is a Process
How can queer people claim space and share space shamelessly, constantly questioning and discovering, celebrating, and enacting new parts of ourselves? In this workshop, we will widen the experience of living in and as our bodies, shed layers of inhibition, and move toward transgressive freedom. This workshop takes a playful, accessible approach to somatics and work with discussion, writing, voice, and movement. Together we’ll create a space for accessing ourselves and interacting with each other in imaginative, open ways.
We will begin this journey with inquiry into how we embody queerness, what it means to us, and how we can inhabit our identities as fully as possible. Taking cues from work of queer writers and artists including Holly Hughes, bell hooks, Jamondria Harris, Juliana Huxtable, and David Wojnarowicz, we will discuss these ideas then continue our work through a writing prompt. Then, we will move through a individual and group exercises involving voice and movement, and come together to reflect on our work together in discussion. Influences in this class stem from Qi Gong, BodyTalk, Feldenkrais, and BodyMind Centering. These somatic modalities, as well as playful visualizations of the body and the room, form cohesion between moving body and sounding voice, as well as the intellectual and expressive aspects of the class.