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October 30th - November 3rd 2017


13h30-15h30 Sessions

16h00- 17h00 Conversation, Exchange and Lab time


Facilitated by Kelly Keenan and in dialogue with the invitees and the community The Movement Educators Forum aspires to demystify what the teacher in the studio next to you, or the week after you is doing; to exchange knowledge through practice and generate dialogue between practitioners. The Movement Educator’s Forum chooses a broad theme topic and invites movement practitioners to share their knowledge on the topic through their practices.

This year’s topic Dancing Together acknowledges and celebrates the social nature of the practice of dance. The stellar team of invitees includes Kira Kirsch (Axis Syllabus & CI, Berlin), Nancy Lavoie (Quebec, Tango), Alanna Kraaijeveld (mobility and coordination, Montreal), Lucy M. May (Montreal/New Brunswick, independent dance artist) and Eroca Nicols (CI & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) will be guiding us on how they bring their participants together, literally.

MONDAY Alanna Kraaijeveld (Mtl) 

Mobility and Coordination

This class is informed by my encounters with Fighting Monkey, a practice co-developed by Linda Kapetanea and Jozef Frucek that aims to nourish and restore movement patterns and mobility. Using selected Fighting Monkey movement situations as a point of departure, we will examine and test tendencies and limitations, both individually and in partners, and nurture mental and physical potential through difficulty and danger. The proposed training fosters strength, adaptability and softness.

Alanna Kraaijeveld is a dancer, teacher, and improviser. She is interested in playfulness, endurance, timing, and rigour. Kraaijeveld’s quixotic movement style, humour and adaptability have supported her in diverse projects. She has worked with artists and organizations including Marie Claire Forté, Dave St-Pierre, Grouped’ArtGravelArtGroup/Frédérick Gravel, Louise Bédard Danse, Et Marianne et Simon, Susanna Hood, Elizabeth Langley, Yves Charest, Toronto Dance Community Love-In, Opéra Québec, Danse à la Carte, Mayday/Mélanie Demers, Sylvain Émard Danse, Regroupement québécois de la danse, Dancemakers, Alexandra Wells, Studio 303, Circuit-Est, Concordia University, L’école de danse contemporaine de Montréal, and was a member of (now defunct) Le Groupe Dance Lab under the direction of Peter Boneham for four seasons. Fall 2015, Alanna received grants from the DTRC and CALQ to study Fighting Monkey, an approach to movement training developed by Linda Kapetanea and Jozef Frucek. Her collaboration, interest and training in the method are ongoing. She currently runs a weekly training group called Training with Alanna where she explores her curiosities of less traditional movement approaches, with Fighting Monkey methodology as a key inspiration.


TUESDAY Nancy Lavoie (QC) Tango Argentine, Massage Therapy

Partner Dance, Connection and the Art of Touch

- We will explore the state of ‘hook up’, a global consciousness and simultaneous singular, where sensation, intuition and intellect are in constant dialogue;

– We will see how to be with our temporalities, sculpt space as two or more, including the viewer.

– We will develop a sense of “looking” and explore the possible contact with it by touch, or by activation of mirror neurons or other approaches;

– Inspired by the tango connection, you will learn to sense the entrella organique of the body’s directions, its tensional integrity, and if possible, how to transform it.

By researching the accuracy of touch and its motion, we will attempt to create a living dialogue, flexible and free, to see the world differently, to explore the links, to play from our senses and the traces that they leave.… That in listening, something happens.

Nancy Lavoie BA in music and piano teacher, Nancy Lavoie was seduced at her first tango class by its expressive richness. She traveled to Argentina to study with the elders who have experienced the golden age of tango to understand the sources, traditions and language. From the beginning, she teaches both roles: guider and the guided.

A passionate promoter of tango, in 1995 Nancy founded the first school dedicated to tango in Quebec, l’Avenue Tango. . In 2005 she became a member of the group Tango Discovery, a movement research group based in Buenos Aires where she pursued educational tools to develop a teaching method of movement and partner work inspired by cultural anthropology and human phenomena analysis.She is also certified in californian, sports and Momentum massage. Since 2007 she is a trainer at Attitude massage center in californian, body abandonment, body awareness and massage for pregnant women. Nancy is regularly invited to give intensive workshops and to present her short choreographic works in New York, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Rome, Stockholm, Hamburg, Zurich, Oslo and Paris.

WEDNESDAY Kira Kirsch (Mtl) Axis Syllabus

Somatic Symphony

Dancing together is as old as human history. Stepping to the same beat, aligning spatially and physically is described  as a joint recruitment of motor and perceptual systems that blurs the self with another and increases cooperation. In this class we will use tools from the Axis Syllabus to explore the values and comfort of synchrony paired with autonomy via deep introspection into one’s individual anatomy and personal rhythms. 


Kira Kirsch is a movement artist, community organizer,  independent curator, passionate dance researcher and mother. She grew up in East-Berlin and Vienna  and after many years of nomadism and living abroad she is now based in Berlin with her family as new residents of Lake Studios - an artist-run dance, production and performance space. Kira is deeply invested into creating, questioning and improving spaces for people to experience, learn about and sensitise their mind-body-movement continuum. She has pioneered and is a senior teacher of the Axis Syllabus (AS) with over a decade of teaching experience, is a co-organiser of Nomadic Colleges, leads teacher trainings, screen designs websites and has build a platform for AS research in the Bay Area, California from 2006 - 2012. In 2014 she started curating together with Francesca Pedulla a new annual dance festival called SENSING IN, happening in Berlin every November. Recently she taught at ImPulsTanz, CmC-Goettingen, Tanzquartier Vienna, Transformation, 303-Montreal, SEAD, Body IQ Festival among many other institutions, festivals and private initiatives.As a performer Kira has danced in the works of Sara Shelton Mann (US), David Szlasa (US), Avy K. Productions (RU), Christine Bonansea (US/FR), Half Machine (DK), ABCdance collective/Frey Faust, Cie. Anna Tenta (AT) and in numerous collaborations with her peers. In 2009 she started collaborating with Montreal-based Kelly Keenan and their creations "species - a moving body exposition" and "useless creatures", which have been presented in the US, Canada and Austria.

THURSDAY  Lucy May (Mtl/New Brunswick) independent dance artist

I have been developing an intimate creative practice as an artist in residence in New Brunswick over the past year and as an interprète with Marie Chouinard for seven. Workshops are opportunities to bridge this research with the potential of collective movement. My interest in folk wisdom, phenomenology, language, anthropology, and more-than-human life appear in the performances I make (Vivarium) and in my writing and drawings. These endeavours eddy with the good experiences I have had in workshops with other dance makers who work at delivering not only techniques for the individual, but approaches to driving and collecting strongly complicit energies that are generated in a studio by groups of dancing humans. I use music, repetition, yielding, and exertion as conduits. Hopefully, hang-ups and everyday life enter the studio in the midst of the improvisations I prompt. Informal, collaborative, and experimental templates such as a “Surprise Party” situate dancing and movers as the yolk within an egg: what happens on the inside is supported by what lies beyond the membrane. The Surprise Party is about overlaying movement generation with verbalization and conversation so that each other’s everyday life experiences are cross-pollinated with dance gesture. Unexpected connections might be made. Other invitations include informing mechanical-anatomical research with cultural references such as palmistry (Fingers & Toes), encouraging forces of nature [beyond gravity] to be present in dances (Rustlin’ Vessels), and experimenting concepts such as ‘conflict’ as inter-corporeal states. Be it resolved that dancing is a way of thinking in the world.


Lucy M. May is a contemporary dance artist, teacher, and writer for The Dance Current based in Montréal. She is attracted to the porousness of collaboration and the margins of dancing. Currently, Lucy is developing performances that ask how geo- and bio-social environments thread their way through human movement (Vivarium, Esemplastic Landing). Between 2009 and 2016, Lucy was a member of Compagnie Marie Chouinard. As an independent dancer she has worked with Margie Gillis, Alejandro De Leon, Sasha Kleinplatz, Melissa Raymond, and choreographers based in her natal province of New Brunswick. The workshops Lucy teaches are alive to folk wisdom, anchored in participants’ own physiology, and play with the foundations of professional dance training and knowledge. Lucy imagines her moving body as a meeting place, where theories and conversations find confluence with what is local, sensual, or tactile. She has taught across Canada, in France, and in the United States.

FRIDAY Eroca Nicols (Int’l) Contact Improvisation & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Aggressive Snuggling


I have recently started studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and I see many parallels to contact improvisation (CI). Like CI, in BJJ it is absolutely necessary to commit all my attention to the task at hand because of real physical risk. One of the aspects I love about BJJ and where I see a very real difference from CI, is the incredible clarity of boundaries. When a person “taps out” a little tap anywhere that can be reached, means: stop doing what you are doing, let go, physically come apart and start again. Also, before engaging in any touch, there is a customary high five then fist bump. The cues are clear; yes, I agree to engage and; no, I longer agree and we are now stopping.

Often boundaries are muddy in contact improvisation. A lack of clear boundaries in CI may exclude many people particularly women and femme presenting folks, queer folks, gender fluid folks, people of color and folks of different abilities. Perhaps by adopting some of the explicit consent codes of BJJ with care and openness, we can address some of the issues around consent and boundaries that exist inside the CI community. 

I want to stress the importance and the place for the politics of touch to precede the poetics of touch. I believe that we can begin to work on this and at the same time have a good time learning some fun skills from another partnered movement practice (BJJ.)

Here’s a list of some of the things we will definitely do:

-Ask for and receive consent before touching anyone!

-Develop and practice both a physical and a verbal start and stop signal.

-Practice saying yes and saying no and meaning it.

-Practice hearing yes and hearing no and responding to it.

Eroca Nicols is an international performance art and body nerd. Her alter ego and company, Lady Janitor combs the globe looking for places to incite radical moments of art chaos, consume massive amounts of coffee, wear amazing unisuits and confer with movers and thinkers of all varieties. Eroca is currently known a dancer/choreographer/teacher but her multiplitous practice stems from a family of semi-mystical nomadic trailer people, years working as a janitor, and a BFA in video/performance art and sculpture from California College of the Arts (formerly and Crafts.) Her teaching, dancing and training are deeply influenced in her continued study of choreography, anatomy, biomechanics and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She is super stoked to be all over the world including stints as Teaching Artist in Residence at The Whole Shebang in Philadelphia and at various festivals and institutions including The School of Making Thinking in NYC, P-af/performing arts forum in France, ImPulsTanz in Vienna and Studio 303 in Montreal. Eroca is a Chalmers Research Fellow, and investigates death, ritual and performance with healers and conveners around the globe.

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