user avatarPia Lindy Eligible Member // Teacher
user avatarElina Ikonen Eligible Member // Teacher
user avatarZoltán Nagy // Teacher
IDOCs » a dialogue - come together, be together, work together - brainstorming
Brainstorming before and after the Teach me (not)! - Symposium in Vienna 2014

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a workshop reflecting and exchanging our experiences and thoughts about themes like commitment-not commitment, collectivity-individuality, rules -no rules, the changing of roles from teaching to participating and vise versa. What kind of teaching situations you have found yourselves in and what kind of questions have come up in the work? What is the potential of failure and excitement?

Has the dancing (the way you do it, the way you see it) changed - how has your experience changed the way you think about embodiment and dance as art (collaborative modes, questions of social engagement, social media and activism)? Many teachers agree that one learns best while teaching - how can you teach by participating in the class by a student? Construction of knowledge and skills - where is your attention now?

In the beginning of the workshop Elina Ikonen and Pia Lindy share some from their longer reflection - exchange - process to others. Elina and Pia got to know each other in the end of -80s as dance students. Then they occasionally kept on meeting and dancing together while studying and working in slightly different fields of dance, dance movement therapy and social welfare work - then they ended up  in the same team teaching in ISLO Education in Dance and Somatics for the last eight years. Elina works full time as a teacher/director of the education. Pia besides teaching works as a freelance artist. 

In the workshop the emphasis is on working together. We split into groups of 2-3, using writing, dancing and reading to reflect and exchange. In the end the groups come together and share some of their processes.
Participants are asked to bring a laptop or paper and pen.


Symposium class/Come together, be together, work together

- 15 min demo Pia & Elina practicing their way to "come together, be together and work together"

- 40 min for people to create their own style to "come together, be together and work together"

- 30 min for sharing


DEMO - The beginning Pia and  Elina talking:

How to follow free logic? Do you need to be on a same page at the same time or could it go like this?

Pia: how do I change as I grow older? How do long term colleagues change in their co-working? Or do they change? Have we changed?

Elina: I am mostly interested in unconscious. In Trager as in many other approaches and human theories (remember the "weak methodology" in contemporary dance (Keith Hennessey in symposium opening) we talk a lot about the unconscious. My teacher mentioned the unconscious is an elephant and the conscious is a fly sitting on the top of the elephant. The fly often thinks (seriously!) that it controls the elephant, decides what to do, what to learn. It does not.

 Pia: Just recently I have started to accept more and more that I don´t quite understand my own behaviour or my choices. Things are far from clear and easily understood. What I have noticed to happen is that often I have done, written or said something which I just later (2 days - 2 months - 2 yers later) understand: " oh I have already said that, done that, worked on that before, I have written about it in my notebooks..." Roughly thinking I could say that I seem to live "half conscious" or half aware of things most of the time. 

Elina: such a guru, 50% conscious!, most of us are just flies, hah hah.. The reality is that people are - I don´t remember! - less than 1% aware of what goes on. In example if a creature with human brain needs to buy a car, and there are more than 4 details to understand and compare between different optional cars (as often is the case of course) one can make a better decision with unconscious than conscious decision. That is scientifically proved (where and when - I can not remember, but hey this is about contemporary dance pedagogy - week methodology, week theory...) If trying very hard, human brain just is not on it's best.

In our short demo I was literally taken by my unconscious (+ excitement). I ended up being crazy and on Pia's lap asking stupid questions, basically being weird. I was not a teacher, neither a student, I broke the rules of our score.  After the demo everything got better. I was proud of Pia how she still could work with me - even I behaved like a super freak. But when I later looked again our class discription, what do I find there? "...commitment-not commitment, collectivity-individuality, rules -no rules, the changing of roles...What kind of teaching situations we have found ourselves in and what kind of questions have come up in the work? What is the potential of failure and excitement?" Does my damn unconscious elephant just have to be so rule oriented...

Pia: What do I know about learning?

How do I tune into my teaching?  

How have I changed with aging? 

How to embody curiosity? 

Can dance be the answer? - This question touches me. When I said it out loud in our LEAP demo I got tears into my eyes. Why, that I don´t really know. Perhaps I haven´t given dance or movement the space it or I would need. Perhaps I have neglected something that I secretly long for? Perhaps I just miss the here and now  - feeling the weight of my body traveling trough space. 

Having talked with Elina about how our short demo at the beginning of our workshop went, I´m still smiling at my own surprise. I was surprised how it was going and same time I remember thinking:  "this is it how it goes in performance when improvising". In performance I´m used to be surprised and taken by the fellow performers choices and actions. In teaching situation I seem to act from a different kind of mindset. Is teaching or showing our short demo very different from performing? I think it  does not need to be so different. However thinking about it now, I can easily see that I have constructed separate boxes (mindsets) for being a teacher and for being a performer - without having made a very clear choice about it! 


Elina: We gave tasks to the participants. That was already more familiar, started get my conscious mind back. Also some new people entered the studio and I changed my role to be more a host welcoming and finding partners for the new comers. In the end I got a partner for myself too. People worked for 40 mins and after we had 30 mins of sharing.

Pia: During the 40 min task I was purely participating. I went outside with my partner Kerstin and our physical imagination was inspired by the site. Only sometimes we said a couple of words or suggestions of how to continue from there. I enjoyed the freedom that was present in our exhange and the willingness to jump from one thing to another: from dancing the sky to...


Pia: What was interesting and revarding was to hear how different outcome each pair ended up.

Elina: Yes, and how much material was shared. 

Pia: With that all we could have worked three more weeks.

More about sharing, see the video:

ps. we apologize the sound (the microphone we so eagerly held in our hands) not working so well in the video...




Come Together

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