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Elizabeth Ward // Teacher
IDOCs » The Anti - Fascist Ballet School
The Anti – Fascist Ballet School was born from the horror of late-night newspaper reading. A collaboration between Elizabeth Ward and Magdalena Chowaniec, the school was first imagined as an instillation during the '15 Large and Long Raw Matters, was presented at Lugner City during the '16 wien woche festival and continues as a 5 week public training course during Wiener Festwochen's Academy of Unlearning '17. Both Elizabeth and Magdalena began their studies of ballet as children and have long worked in the fields of performance and contemporary dance.
2017.03.01

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- FULL NAME: Elizabeth Ward & Magdalena Chowaniec

- PHONE NUMBER: +43 68110641693 (EW) +43 6508734050 (MC)

- SHORT BIOGRAPHY (400-500 characters) – relevant to the proposal, Symposium theme

The Anti – Fascist Ballet School was born from the horror of late-night newspaper reading. A collaboration between Elizabeth Ward and Magdalena Chowaniec, the school was first imagined as an instillation during the '15 Large and Long Raw Matters, was presented at Lugner City during the '16 wien woche festival and continues as a 5 week public training course during Wiener Festwochen's Academy of Unlearning '17. Both Elizabeth and Magdalena began their studies of ballet as children and have long worked in the fields of performance and contemporary dance.

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- TITLE OF THE ACTIVITY: Anti – Fascist Ballet School

-DETAILED CONTENT DESCRIPTION (max. 2000 characters)

Anti - Fascist Ballet School: Exorcisms for Well Being / Antifaschistische Ballettschule: Exorzismus für Wohlbefinden

 

Anti-Fascist Ballet School proposes ballet as a place to begin to unveil and become conscious of our roles in the maintenance of ideology and power relations. It’s a time to practice ballet in an act of scrying below the surface of the movement and come in touch with our active reproduction and replication of social codes and understandings from the past.

 

Ballet has been practiced over the centuries and the visual representation that we know ballet to be is in many ways a 20th century construction. Just as social values and aesthetics have changed in the larger society over the last 500 years so have they in ballet: today jumps are taught with legs stretched, dancers in the past valued a bent knee while in the air, yet both are ballet.

A fundamental of ballet is holding multiple energies and directions in the body at the same time, for example - pressing down to rise up. In a political environment more and more leaning towards divisiveness, what can we learn from working with opposing directions in the body? How can we use this bodily knowledge to move beyond binary thoughts today?

 

We will enter into the balletic, moving through steps and positions that have been passed down for generations, but ask ourselves what else are we reproducing as we dance these dances? When practicing ballet many people carry a rigid, hierarchical relationship to authority and the body. The body in question can both be the individual and the social body. Is it possible to loosen the hold that ballet is often associated with and instead go for the levity, freedom, and joy that it's physics can produce? Can we use ballet to create new synergies rather than to reproduce sameness of the forms?

 

Our ballet exorcism is offered as a guide to help collectively re-discover and loosen unconscious and deeply embedded bodily modes of being which stifle us. Following the example of Lygia Clark, we will invite you to “do your own walking” and look for the courage to face the unknown.

 

This class is open to everyone regardless of age or background and with or without ballet experience.

  • SUMMARY OF CONTENT DESCRIPTION AND MOTIVATION (max 400- 500 characters; for publishing)

    We will enter into the balletic, moving through steps and positions that have been passed down for generations, but ask ourselves what else are we reproducing as we dance these dances? When practicing ballet many people carry a rigid, hierarchical relationship to authority and the body. The body in question can both be the individual and the social body. Is it possible to loosen the hold that ballet is often associated with and instead go for the levity, freedom, and joy that it's physics can produce? Can we use ballet to create new synergies rather than to reproduce sameness of the forms?

  • SHORT BIOGRAPHY (max 60 words for publishing (if co-taught all in all max 60 words)

    The Anti – Fascist Ballet School was born from the horror of late-night newspaper reading. A collaboration between Elizabeth Ward and Magdalena Chowaniec, the school was first imagined as an instillation during the '15 Large and Long Raw Matters, was presented at Lugner City during the '16 wien woche festival and continues as a 5 week public training course during Wiener Festwochen's Academy of Unlearning '17. Both Elizabeth and Magdalena began their studies of ballet as children and have long worked in the fields of performance and contemporary dance.

     

  • GENERAL INTERESTS, CODE/KEY WORDS

  • ballet of the future // channel your power // anti -fascist ballet // emancipatory learning // joy // physics // aesthetics & ideology

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- Participating requirements (for whom is this workshop for?) open

- TIME REQUIREMENTS (how much time do you need for sharing?) 1.5 h

-SPACE REQUIREMENTS (what kind of space do you require for your sharing? studio size etc)

in case of good weather, the class takes places outdoors, in the area of Arsenal, optimally in front of Heeresgeschichtliches Museum

- TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS (what kind of technical support do you require? audio, beamer etc) Audio input for ipod / decent speakers

  • OTHER REQUIREMENTS – comments.

 

 


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