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The Shakes: From Feldenkrais to Improvisation in a Creative Process

Simonetta Alessandri


16:00 - 16:30


Short Presentation

The Shakes From Feldenkrais to Improvisation in a Creative Process

Simonetta Alessandri presents a video of her recent ensemble performance: The Shakes, London 2017, TripSpace.
Inspiration for this work comes from trance dance Tarantism and its filmed documentation by anthropologist Ernesto De Martino (Puglia, Italy 1959). Women suffering psychologically due to a difficult or restricted life, or through anxiety, abuse and trauma, used Tarantism as a healing ritual to rid themselves of the poison of the spider bite, whether real or as metaphor. How do we allow anxiety, shock, trauma, fear to be expressed as individuals and collectively? How do conflicted emotions stay in the body? How do we address this today as ‘real and metaphoric’, and how might we approach illness through performance, in space, in place, in relation to site and a witnessing audience?

'The Shakes' emerged from a rehearsal process that used the Feldenkrais Method as a listening and tuning tool, enabling the dancers to discover movement journeys where a dance can be made through a ‘variation of the small’. With repetitive sequences, a need for bigger movement emerges and a releasing of energy in space leads to and encounter of others, sharing rhythm and space in a unified kinaesthetic experience.'

The Shake, TripSpace 2017
Idea and Direction: Simonetta Alessandri
Dramaturgy: Mary Ann Hushlak
Collaborators and Performers: Kirsty Arnold, Anne-Gaelle Thiriot, Flora Wellesley Wesley, Tania Soubry and Jia-Yu Corti
Music Artist: Alison Blunt
Picture: Sam Coren

Simonetta, an Italian dance artist and somatic educator based in London, applies the Feldenkrais Method in dance and movement training, and in performance making. She has specialised in linking the Feldenkrais Method to improvisation, Contact Improvisation and choreography. She teaches at Trinity Laban, Goldsmiths University and London Contemporary Dance School. Her work is informed by more than 30 years of dancing, teaching and choreographing. Her choreography has been for dance companies, student pieces, large scale opera, improvised performance, site specific and movement direction for theatre. She was one of the few dance practitioner in Italy who began working with CI in the 90’s. She taught for more than 20 years in Italy and kept Contact Improvisation alive in Roma for 10 years with her classes and jams. She has been a guest teacher in Germany, Colombia, UK, Norway, Israel, France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Taiwan. She obtained the Post Graduated Diploma in Choreography at London Contemporary Dance School (London 2008), she is qualified teacher of the Feldenkrais Method (Rome 2002) and she holds the Teacher Certificate of the Royal Academy of Dance. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her last choreography The Shakes has been supported by Trinity Laban London, Echo Echo Festival, Derry Northern Ireland.

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