13th Dance & Non-verbal Theatre Festival San Vincenti
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Zagreb Dance Company
Hebrangova 36
10000 Zagreb, Croatia
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Sara Shelton Mann / Abby Crain: Moving Alchemy Workshop

Sara Shelton Mann / Abby Crain: Moving Alchemy Workshop

Improspekcije2021 in collaboration with Dance and Non-verbal Theatre Festival San Vincenti

Sara Shelton Mann's Movement Alchemy training is an ongoing teaching project and is influenced by certifications and studies in the metaphysical and healing traditions. The workshop is taught by Abby Crain, Sara's longtime collaborator. Abby will acquaint the workshop participants with Sara's approach to somatic, energetic and spiritual body through a series of technical improvisation tasks and performative riddles, and introduce to them the exercises from her own teaching practice, which is grounded in the imagistic and fantastical work of Skinner releasing/Open Source Forms.


Exploring physical, energetic, spiritual body through technical improvisation the workshop will unfold. Several of Sara’s puzzles will be introduced and writing practices will inform the experiences. "Solo Neutral Follow/Space and Geometry/Grounds and Fields"

chi-cultivation - a practice of detox, building energy and consciousness daily will set the tone each day according to the material. Bring your questions. Contact? possible, energetic for sure.

'I want to explore short stories of people in my local community and my student base, specifically through writing on topics that are global, universal, family, personal, private and focused into vignettes that are healing driven – thus not performance driven but performative, private and personally driven as public healings. Each image/dance acts as a willingness to be a surrogate for the collective. Lightning and thunder are simultaneous it seems, yet the gap occurs with light traveling faster and heating the air. This is cause and effect - that which comes around goes around – cliché yes – but here we are at death’s door due to greed and sleepiness while as always, the poor suffer, and the natural elements of the earth are squandered for a moment of a gold toilet.

My performance work has now become the same thread in that what I teach, I perform, and my students work with me to create the work. I work through writing, technical improvisation and choreographic puzzles and healing modalities to create a full platform of possibilities.

We will make offering of these short stories through writing and performing:
1. Teaching how to write from interim space as a shamanic portal
2. The exploration of turning them into spoken word, images, small theater pieces - states and sound work as performance, dance as performance
3. Cultural pictures and warps of where we live and who we are, and do we remember our essence and what is the job now?
4. The collective holds the key so as individuals share truth and stay present and, in the body, the collective moves together – say we have forever so all time is now

Specific skills taught that may and can be directed toward and organized around goals of social and political and human interactive exchange:
1. A study of being grounded deeply in the body as a soloist and then as a follower and then as neutral. A study in choice and a study in patterns – what movitates one to move? Nervous system ready – fight or flight, the send wave which is a stroke in space, and end point or a period?
2. Space and geometry – organizing movement and space as a series of intersecting lines from tiny to touching the ends of the universe. Space moving through the body and moving the body thus the body becomes transparent – and much less heavy.
3. writing for scenario – using the imagination muscles to create - movement, images, songs, stories, thought forms and all manner of trauma drama quick, fleeting and dissolving.
4. Healing as an act of intelligence and surrender. Holding sacred space and working with form so that the content of movement acts as a surrogate of healing for the collective.'

ABOUT SARA SHELTON MANN - author of the programme

Sara Shelton Mann has been a choreographer, performer, and teacher since 1967. She was a protégé of Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis in New York City before moving to Canada where she met Andrew Harwood and fell in love with Contact Improvisation. In 1979 she moved to San Francisco to work with Mangrove, now Mixed Bag Productions, for which she serves as artistic director. One of its early manifestations was the company Contraband, launched as a performance group and research ground combining the principles of contact, systems of the body and spiritual practice into a unified system of research. Among her awards are 7 Isadora Duncan Awards, including a special achievement award for “erasing time: celebrating 30 years a radical dance legend” (Sara Shelton Mann with David Szlasa and Norman Rutherford), Lifetime Achievement Bay Guardian Award, 10 Women Who Made a Difference, Bay Guardian "Goldie" Award. Her Movement Alchemy training is an ongoing teaching project and is influenced by certifications and studies in the metaphysical and healing traditions. Sara’s performance work is a platform for collaboration and research in consciousness.



Abby Crain is a dancer, author, teacher, writer and curator. As a performer, she has worked with Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People, Sara Shelton Mann, Jesse Hewit, Guillermo Gomez Peña, Jess Curtis/ Gravity, Kathleen Hermesdorf, KJ Holmes, Nancy Stark Smith and David Dorfman Dance. As a pedagogue, she regularly teaches at Mills College, Movement Research NYC, Ponderosa Tanzland festival in Germany and FRESH Festival San Francisco. Since 2013, she has been a certified teacher of Stephanie Skura's Open Source method. About her teaching work, Abby says: „I teach because I love dancing, because I love dancing with people, because I believe in the practice of study, and because I believe in the practice of coming together. … My teaching draws from my training as a teacher of Open Source Forms (an expanded version of Skinner Releasing as transmitted by Stephanie Skura), my study of Body Mind Centering, a twenty year practice of teaching pilates and pilates based rehabilitation, my study of craniosacral therapy, extensive practice and study alongside Miguel Gutierrez, and my longtime practice and study and performance with Sara Shelton Mann. … I teach because teaching teaches me something every time.“



Registration contact: petra@svetvincenatfestival.com

When applying for the workshop, we kindly ask you to introduce yourself with a short biography and/or motivation letter. The number of participants is limited.

1500 kn / 200 eur (full price)
1125 kn / 150 eur (for participants coming from low economy countries) & early bird (until 1/7/2021)
750 kn /100 eur (students)

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