Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Expanding into New Possibilities with Elizabeth Erber

2012 is set to be an interesting year for Origins, with the chance to connect with dancers and artists in our backyard and from across the world. It started off with a wonderful workshop, led by Elizabeth Erber, in contact improvisation.

CI is, to quote wiki, "a dance technique in which points of physical contact provide the starting point for exploration through movement improvisation". Created by Steve Paxton in 1972, this dance technique has evolved with each individual that experiences it. Although it has a concrete basis in the principles of movement, every person has something new to offer in terms of their own personal exploration and what possibilities they can create with their bodies and that of their partners'.

On January 15th, 2012, Origins facilitated a workshop led by Elizabeth Erber, who's been involved in CI for over a decade. It was aptly called "Expanding Into New Possibilities" and was hosted at KAPA, the Kalari Academy for Performing Arts (http://www.kalaripayattu.org/academy.htm). 

The participants were dancers, choreographers and actors among others, who were introduced to this exciting and challenging form in the simplest and most serene manner. Quoting Elizabeth, "We begin with our bellies, connecting with our partner, allowing energy to flow into our center, the solar plexus to relax and open, the nerves and muscles around our center to release. We breath, we soften, we open, making it possible to receive, respond, share, create."

From here, the participants worked with each other to explore moving in tandem and creating connections through the body. From simple movements that involved sliding along the floor to allowing one’s partner to balance on one’s body, the workshop gave everyone the chance to experience a different kind of movement and rhythm, creating their own, unique dance duets whilst working within a group. 

Liz Erber (GER/USA) has been practicing, teaching and performing CI for over a decade. She was mostly influenced by such teachers as, Karl Frost, Keith Hennessey, and Tonya Lockyer, while living in Seattle on the West Coast of the USA. From 2006-2008 Liz danced with the Cyrus Khambatta Dance Theater Company, and also taught regularly for the company. In 2008 she moved to Berlin, where she established her family and from where she has been choreographing, teaching and performing ever since. Liz was an artist in residence at K77 Studio in Berlin in 2011, presenting two full evenings of performance in May and June. Also in 2011, she began a 2-year certification program in Bartenieff Fundamentals and Laban Movement Analysis. Once a month she holds an artists salon in her home.
For more info please visit www.lerber.com

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