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Courses in winter/spring 2011

    ‘Making the body all eyes: body, breath, activation, performance’

workshops with Jo Shapland

This is a performer training to prepare and awaken the bodymind through Asian martial/meditation arts – Chinese t’aichiquan, Indian yoga, and the closely related martial art, kalarippayattu.

Drawing from the workshops of writer, director and actor, Phillip Zarrilli, who has been my teacher since 1998, bodymind connections are practically elaborated through

• repeated exercises/movement combinations
• a sense of activation through breath in movement
• the development of specific focus/concentration
• circulation of energy through the body
• awakening the bodymind to specific tasks
• cultivating a sense of body/spatial awareness

Whilst being an enjoyable and worthwhile practice for its own sake, it is also used as a warm up for further physical practice, rehearsal or performance – preparing, awakening and attuning both individual and ensemble. The training and its principles are also applied in a variety of ways in the creation of performance material and exploration of specific performance states.
Over long-term practice, this work ideally enables the participants’ bodies to ‘become all eyes’, i.e. to develop an intuitive awareness necessary for performance.

Courses Winter/Spring 2010 at Natural Bodies, Brighton:
Introductory Course: Saturday January 15th 2-5pm, Sunday January 16th 10.30am-1.30pm cost: £20 each day, £30 both days
Six-week course: Wednesdays February 2nd – March 9th, 7.45-9.15pm cost: £8 per class
To book please email Jo Shapland

Multi-disciplinary artist, choreographer and performer, Jo Shapland, has over twenty years professional dance and installation/performance devising experience. Originally trained at London Contemporary Dance School (1982-87), since 1998 she has been practising and demonstrating asian martial/meditation arts psychophysical performer training with Phillip Zarrilli. She also regularly trains in Scaravelli Yoga and, most recently, Aerial Dance. Jo has extensive experience teaching dance, movement and performance skills to people of all different ages, experience and abilities and spanning over the last 20 years.

‘One cannot work on oneself… if one is not inside something which is structured and can be repeated, which has a beginning, middle and an end, something in which every element has its logical place, technically necessary.’ (Jerzy Grotowski)

‘…t’ai chi is corporeal reflection on shadow and breath. It stresses clarity in vacancy – movements which are exact, clean and pure, while inseparable and indecipherable’ (Herbert Blau)

‘Widely known and practiced throughout Asia, martial arts use concrete physiological processes to destroy the automatism of daily life and to create another quality of energy in the body.’ (Eugenio Barba)

a quick update…

We took ‘[in]scape transposed’, an installation with three performances, to the 10th Experimentica festival, Chapter, Cardiff in October. Elements and traces of the entire [in]scape project at Mostyn brought into one large black box room…

Performances of Told By The Wind have been going well, and the most magical for me was our third performance in the beautiful Apocalypsis Room at the Grotowski Institute, where Grotowski and his ensemble made such remarkable work… the place was buzzing!

I have much documentation of the past few months o sort through…At some point I will sort out images and get them posted!

The Guardian, Saturday 7 August 2010, “This Week’s New Exhibitions”

Jo Shapland, Llandudno

Jo Shapland is essentially a dancer who translates her choreographic skills into installations and performances. As part of an artist’s residency, she has been visiting the Oriel Mostyn building site during its three-year refurbishment. Now, in the recently reopened space, she exhibits the photographs, videos and sculptural objects she has accrued through her observations. Shapland’s dance skills afford her a supersensitive awareness of spatial characteristics, the body’s movement through deserted spaces or traces on walls and floors of activities and presences. Linear diagrams and choreographic maps are laid on weather-beaten plaster. Everywhere, the passage of time leaves its melancholic compositional mark.

Oriel Mostyn, to 25 Sep

Robert Clark

This article appeared on p32 of the The Guide section of the Guardian onSaturday 7 August 2010. It was published on at 00.05 BST on Saturday 7 August 2010.

Small Mausoleum (detail)