I am introducing a new workshop:


Facilitated creative honing workshops for diverse individuals and groups

workshops with Jo Shapland


Aim: to unearth and distil the crux of your originality: to free the embodied imagination through the cradle of structure: to tap in to a wellspring of creativity.

Drawings File


The process takes the participant on a physical journey of response to drawings and prose that are concerned with relaying the perceived spirit of place of undisclosed natural landscapes. Jo Shapland’s drawings and prose or ‘scores’ were created to stimulate physical, gut-felt, in-the-moment response. She will facilitate ways to evoke creative response in each individual – using the score as a tool to evoke and hone in on the participant’s creativity. We will be mainly working in the mediums of dance and music.


Open to artists, students, researchers and anyone curious to have a go; for people of all ages, abilities and attitudes.

more info soon….

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Other workshops on offer:


workshops with Jo Shapland

“A body in life is more than a body merely alive” Eugenio Barber

Jo will take you to some interesting locations near Blank for you to experience a deeper sensory awareness through THE ART OF WALKING SLOWLY.

short description Jo Shapland’s 20 year practice has for some years focused on ‘the art of walking slowly’ as a creative sourcing point for her site-sensitive performance/installations. She will take you to some interesting locations where she will share some of her approaches, showing you ways to sensitize to your own body and your surroundings at a deeper level. No prior experience necessary, she simply asks you to be open to surprise at what you discover!

This workshop will happen outdoors, whatever the weather, so please dress appropriately (waterproofs or sun cream…who knows?)!


duration about 1 hour (this can be flexible)

capacity 2-10 people

Originally presented as part of ‘The Exchange’ at Blank, Brighton May 7 and 8 (saturday and sunday) during the first weekend of Brighton Festival 

 Commissioned by THE HOUSE FESTIVAL

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workshops with Jo Shapland
kalarippayattu: 'the lion'

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 January/February 2011 at Natural Bodies, Brighton

There will be a number of Introductory and Taster sessions – look out for new posts….

To hear about upcoming workshops please email

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)


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