Fleeing The Complex Distraction Dance Extended Essay

Youth with complex trauma have documented dysregulation of neurobiological stress systems (e.g., DeBellis et al., 1999; Ford, 2005). These youth have often used maladaptive strategies (e.g., drugs or alcohol; unprotected sex; skipping school) to cope with elevated levels of stress and have likely been criticized or punished for these behaviors. The therapist validates for the youth that these strategies were the youth's best attempts at the time to cope with the neurobiological impact of trauma, although they were often problematic (e.g., they got the youth in trouble). The therapist then helps the youth to develop more effective coping strategies, understanding that he will likely need more time than other youth to consistently and effectively use these strategies to reverse longstanding hyperarousal. Early in the coping skills phase, physically-based relaxation strategies (e.g., yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, dance, etc) may be more useful than cognitive-based ones (e.g., visualization or mindfulness) (Kliethermes & Wamser, in press).

Some youth become highly dysregulated if the initial coping skills sessions contain even minimal trauma information. For these youth, the therapist often starts TF-CBT using relaxation skills without gradual exposure as Kayla's therapist did initially. That is, these strategies are initially not paired with the youth's trauma reminders. Once the youth gains some ability to use one or more relaxation strategy, the therapist carefully begins to introduce gradual exposure through the safety and psychoeducation components, encouraging the youth to use the previously mastered relaxation skills as trauma information is introduced. As the youth gains increased mastery using relaxation skills, the therapist then pairs these with specific trauma reminders (further titrating the gradual exposure).

Case example

Once Kayla was successfully using music, yoga, deep breathing and visualization strategies at bedtime, her therapist worked with her to identify other situations that made her anxious (e.g., being around groups of males in the RTF; hearing laughing or loud talking) when she could also use these skills. Kayla gradually became more able to use these strategies when she became anxious or irritable. Over time she became more aware of internal responses to these reminders (“cues,” e.g., fisting her hands; clenching her teeth) and used these cues as signals that she should use relaxation coping strategies.

Youth with complex trauma often have blunted affect and lack a full range of affective vocabulary. Most commonly they have learned not to express feelings because doing so was previously punished, ridiculed and/or dangerous. The therapist does not make assumptions about expressing feelings in the current home or community environment being safe since this may not be the case. The therapist personally models a range of appropriate affective expression and validates a broad range of feelings as acceptable, but youth may be understandably reluctant to accept such statements at face value. Youth will often initially “test the waters” through expressing negative emotions that leave the youth less vulnerable (e.g., anger; disdain). Therapists work with parents or caregivers to validate and support appropriate emotional expression as described below. Feeling identification work may need to start on a very basic level. For example, the therapist (and ideally the caregiver) may need to mirror the youth's facial expressions (e.g., smiling when the youth smiles) and labeling the emotion the youth appears to be experiencing in the moment (e.g., “You feel happy!”). This process is similar to interactions that occur between adults and very young children in secure attachment relationships and serves as the foundation for developing more advanced affective regulation skills.

TF-CBT includes a wide range of practical strategies for decreasing affective distress (Cohen et al., 2006).Some specific strategies used for youth with complex trauma include distraction; mindfulness; perceptual bias modification; self-awareness skills; and cognitive coping skills. Each is described briefly here.

Distraction activities are helpful when initially starting to manage affective distress since most youth with complex trauma already use some of these activities (e.g., talking to or texting peers; watching TV; playing video games).These can be used as examples of how the youth has already learned to “turn down the volume” of difficult emotional states. The therapist encourages the youth to identify and practice a variety of distraction techniques and experience how different types of distraction activities feel very different. For example, listening to music, doing a crossword puzzle, watching a comedy show, taking a walk or knitting are likely to elicit different responses. As the youth adds different distraction techniques to his “toolkit,” he then uses different activities in different distressing situations to see which works best in which situations. Youth may overuse distraction strategies to their detriment (e.g., watching TV all night instead of doing homework) because they do not have an adequate range of alternative strategies for distress tolerance. Situations in which youth find they are overusing distraction can thus serve as learning opportunities for youth to apply new skills.

Mindfulness refers to the ability to be fully aware of and in touch with the present moment without taking a judgmental or evaluative approach to one's inner experiences. The therapist may use a variety of sensory activities to introduce mindfulness to the youth. For example, instructing the youth to focus on the sensation of taste as he allows different foods to melt in his mouth one by one (e.g., chocolate; ice; mint); focusing on touch as he reaches into a bag and explores different pieces of fabrics (silk; corduroy, denim). The therapist encourages the youth to fully experience the sensations associated with each and to fully describe what each was like. Through these exercises, the youth becomes increasingly aware of the present moment. The therapist instructs youth to spend specified periods of time dedicated to mindfulness each day. As the youth gains mindfulness he is increasingly able to observe his feelings without having to react to them. For youth who prefer physically-based activities, yoga can provide an entrée to developing mindfulness.

Perceptual bias modification strategies aim to correct youths' bias towards perceiving negative affective states in others (Pollack & Tolley-Schell, 2003). The therapist first asks the youth to identify a variety of feelings expressed in magazine pictures or photos of youth and adults. If the youth displays bias towards negative emotions (e.g., labels neutral faces “mad” or is unable to distinguish between different negative emotions), the therapist provides practice in accurate emotion identification. This includes in vitro (e.g., using pictures) as well as in vivo experiences (asking individuals how they are feeling), using gradual exposure to assure that safe individuals are selected for the initial in vivo activities. Through these activities youth gain a more accurate perspective on others' emotions, which are often a source of the youth's own affective distress. Self-awareness skill-building: Many youth with complex trauma lack self-awareness about how others perceive them in social interactions. The therapist encourages the youth to describe a recent negative social interaction and to tape record the youth's description of this interaction. After the youth describes the interaction (preferably including verbal exchanges between the youth and the other person), the therapist asks the youth to describe the feeling the youth was trying to convey to the other person. The therapist then replays the tape recording as the youth and therapist to explore whether the youth accurately conveyed the desired emotion during the youth's description of the interaction. For example, a youth who intended to express hurt feelings to a friend for not calling, instead realized upon listening to herself that she had expressed a great deal of anger and rejection towards her friend. This led to her expressing remorse because she “didn't mean to sound like that” and problem solving about how to correct mistakes that are later regretted. Through similar self-reflective activities, youth gain greater ability to modulate social interactions and thus to effectively access social support.

Cognitive coping strategies help youth and caregivers to identify alternative thoughts that may be more accurate or helpful than their current beliefs. Youth with complex trauma struggle to implement these strategies more than other youth because their maladaptive cognitions are often more deeply ingrained than those of other youth. Indeed, a thought the therapist is questioning (e.g., Daniel said, “You can't trust anyone”) may be the one the youth believes is responsible for his survival. In this instance the therapist validated and acknowledged the importance of this belief in the Daniel's past (e.g., “There was a time when no one in your life was trustworthy so it was very important for you to remind yourself of this to keep yourself safe from harm.”) The therapist then inquired about Daniel's current circumstances and whether there was any room to revise the belief, even slightly (e.g., “Since being adopted, has there ever been a time or a person that you thought you could trust at all, even a little?”). Daniel acknowledged that he sometimes trusted his adoptive mother, and revised his thought to “I don't trust most people but sometimes I trust my mom.” He was able to recognize that this helped him feel safer and more cared about at home than thinking that he couldn't trust anyone, and that these feelings in turn helped him get along better with his parents.

The ponderosa classes and workshops provide an educational container for liminal people questioning their identity as artists and gives the professional another way to retreat or hone ones skills as dance artists. Most of the workshops have some kind of base and or understanding in the art and teaching of improvisation, contact improvisation and somatics. The workshops and classes are grounded in the body and its discourses. The teachers or facilitators share their practice or theoretical concerns around embodiment. All takes place in Gut-Stolzenhagen, a reoccupied farm and cooperatively run project in Germany’s smallest national park "Unteres Odertal". Our local village and surroundings hold some of the most beautiful ruins and stunning scenery.

For the detailed daily workshop & event schedules go to the Pondi CALENDAR
New workshops will be added to this page in the coming weeks and months, check back regularly
​or consider signing up to our Newsletter to stay up to date!

starting in JUNE 2017

starting in JULY 2017

MARCH 18-20
Shelley Etkin
UNEARTHING EQUINOX CELEBRATION

We will find our own eco-logical ways. We will literally use shovels and rakes. Earthworms will be our masters of ceremonies! ​
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UNEARTHING EQUINOX CELEBRATION

We come together to dig, nurture the soil, and prepare the beds.

The coming of spring is the time of emergence. Emergency?

We dig and ask.

The spring equinox seduces with a brief moment of balance in a world constantly spilling over itself with imbalance, injustice, incongruence. The age of dawn rising in the east. The breaking of a new day. The start of the growing season.

We dig and ask.

What activates, what terrorizes? We cannot know. A plant insurgency from under the soil, full of precarious possibility!

We dig and ask.

‘We’ are multiple, we include many forms of living beings, we are not the same, all we can be is with. We will find our own eco-logical ways. We will literally use shovels and rakes. Earthworms will be our masters of ceremonies! 

We dig and ask and work together.

*Labour in exchange for room & board

​Shelley Etkin
​is a transdisciplinary artist, moving in-between geographies of Germany, Finland, the United States, and Israel. She works among realms of dance, performance, ecology, queer feminisms, curation, and community organizing. Rooted in a multiplicity of bodies, places, and politix, Shelley works independently and collaboratively in a range of environments from urban to rural, in private nooks, studios, stages, and public spaces.

Shelley has been based in Berlin since 2012 and works closely with Ponderosa as gardener, facilitator, and co-organizer. She is also a member of COVEN Berlin, a genderbender collective hosting live events and an online platform. Shelley performs with Vagittarius Rising, an experimental feminist fake band duo with Agnė Auželytė. Shelley holds a B.A. in Gender Studies, with a focus on embodied arts activism and is currently in the process of M.A. studies in Ecology & Contemporary Performance at the Theatre Academy in Helsinki, Finland.

www.shelleyetkin.com

MARCH 20-24 
Frank van de Ven
BODY WEATHER LAB

Bodies are conceived not as fixed and separate entities but as constantly changing - just like the weather. ​
Early bird deadline: Mar 5
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Body Weather is a comprehensive approach to training and performance that investigates the intersections of bodies and their environments.  Bodies are conceived not as fixed and separate entities but as constantly changing - just like the weather. Weather is seen as a complex system of forces and influences coursing through and beyond bodies and the world. 

After a thorough training and work with a partner on breathing, stretching, alignment and the notion of ‘relaxation’ in the morning, we will delve into the particulars of improvisation in dance and movement. We’ll explore both physical and mental states of being and creating movement, improvise on non-existing scores, inspect prevalent habits and patterns and engage in some Oulipian games.

​The daily training-routine consists of:
- ‘MB’ (mind/body, muscles/bones) 
An energetic, dynamic and rhythmic movement work-out that observes the kinaesthetic sensitivity and co-ordination potential of the body-in-motion while developing strength, endurance, flexibility and grounding.

- ‘Manipulations’ 
Structured and paced work with partners, concerned with breathing, stretching, alignment and the notion of ‘relaxation’.

- ‘Laboratory’
A wide forum of explorations including work on segmentation, different speeds within the body and the notion of time, sensory investigation, spatial awareness inside and outside the body, image-to-movement work.
Emphasis is given on observation and feedback as a means to objectify experience and to sharpen and articulate the perception of bodies.
 
The term & philosophical basis for Body Weather was founded in the early 1980's by dancer Min Tanaka and further developed by Laboratories worldwide. Frank van de Ven was a member of Tanaka’s Maijuku Performance Company in Japan, from 1983-1991. With Katerina Bakatsaki he leads Body Weather Amsterdam, a platform for training and performance. He has an ongoing commitment to the Body/Landscape projects conducted worldwide and since 1995 he has led the annual, interdisciplinary Bohemiae Rosa Project with Milos Sejn (Academy of Fine Arts, Prague, Czech Republic), connecting body and landscape with art, geology and architecture. For more info on Body Weather A‘dam see www.bodyweatheramsterdam.blogspot.com  ​

MAY 15 - JUNE 2
Steph Maher
SPOON CAMP 2017

an eclectic mix of performance and choreographic situations for professional artiSTS.
Early bird deadline: April 12
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SPOON CAMP is a place to prepare situations for research and exposure.  A performance platform, retreat and self devised entertainment playground for burnt out artists, Berliners, and global networkers.

SPOON CAMP is a retreat  hosted by Stephanie Maher that will build on a foundation of non-structure. It is an eclectic mix of performance and choreographic situations for professional artists. Led and curated by a group of artists who share their process, the engagement of public discourse and the toying with time and daily structure. Each weekend we will visit Betonest(LINK) in our neighboring village to create a generous performance venue, which invites you to share your own artistic engagement and practices.

SPOON CAMP Guest Hosts: 
Agne  Auželytė, Shelly Etkin, Kata Kovacs, Stephanie Maher, Peter Pleyer, & Yoav Admoni, Tom O’Doherty, Mary Pearson, Maria F. Scaroni, Marc Lohr and Thomas Tao Owen.

SPOON CAMP MONTH provides:
- 3 Weeks of Inclusive public Installations & Social Art situations 
- Discussions/Platform: how to view and engage in public space
- Outdoor/land & Industrial site specific research
- Comfort in the unknown
- Garden Luxury & Weeding
- Cooking & Living & Partying together
- Bodywork /Ideocratic improvisations 
- Living Library & Remaking Books 
- film evenings
- Extreme physical intoxication
- Burnt out Berliner performances! at Betonest (www.betonest.com)

MAY 19-21
Burnt Out Artist
​Weekend I

Ponderosa is reaching out to those artists who just cannot seem to get out of Berlin for whatever reason!​

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2 SPOON CAMP WEEKENDS in May with fabulous hosts. A fast pass to inclusive performance venue for 45€! Jump on the train, arrive, eat, sign up for your Saturday night performance slot & then we’ll see you at the bar!

​Ponderosa is reaching out to those artists who just cannot seem to get out of Berlin for whatever reason! Each weekend will be curated and hosted by a different artist.

We have tried to make it as attractive and spontaneous as possible for you  to join Spoon Camp and particularly to show your work in this international setting. There will be practices and public installations to join. Studio sleeping and food included. Set price for the weekend, no matter what time you show up!

Please apply with a short letter of what you would like to show that includes time, numbers of performers- must be flexible for all unknown spaces & 35 € price is set whether you show up for one day or all three!

2 Weekend performance slots for Burnt out Berliner Artists at ponderosa & Betonest.

MAY 20 - JUNE 2 
Kovács/O’Doherty
TIME CAMP

for people who are curious about durational processes, time-based art, slowness, layering, and related ideas.
Early bird deadline: april 12
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Time Camp is for people who are curious about durational processes, time-based art, slowness, layering, and related ideas. Sound, movement, image // Discussion, distillation, refinement // Mess-making, increment-indexing, repetition-patterning. 
Applicants will ideally have some kind of idea, project, or starting-point that they are hoping to expand on, but this is not essential. We will have a minimal structure of daily shared actions or activities, and daily ‘check-in’ talks. We will share work and feedback, ideas, and shared experiences. We welcome applications from both groups and individuals. A diverse range of spaces, locations, and zones, indoor, outdoor, and extraterrestrial, will be available. 

Participants can attend for either one week or for the full two weeks. ​

​For more information, and for answers to any questions, please write to: mail@kovacsodoherty.com

MAY 26-28
Burnt Out Artist Weekend II

Ponderosa is reaching out to those artists who just cannot seem to get out of Berlin for whatever reason!​

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2 SPOON CAMP WEEKENDS in May with fabulous hosts. A fast pass to inclusive performance venue for 45€! Jump on the train, arrive, eat, sign up for your Saturday night performance slot & then we’ll see you at the bar!

​Ponderosa is reaching out to those artists who just cannot seem to get out of Berlin for whatever reason! Each weekend will be curated and hosted by a different artist.

We have tried to make it as attractive and spontaneous as possible for you  to join Spoon Camp and particularly to show your work in this international setting. There will be practices and public installations to join. Studio sleeping and food included. Set price for the weekend, no matter what time you show up!

Please apply with a short letter of what you would like to show that includes time, numbers of performers- must be flexible for all unknown spaces & 35 € price is set whether you show up for one day or all three!

2 Weekend performance slots for Burnt out Berliner Artists at ponderosa & Betonest.

JUNE 5-9
Sri Louise
IMMOBILITY/MOBILITY OF POSTURE

JUNE 12-18​
Ela Spalding
BOOK BINDING

 JUNE 19-23
Peter Pleyer
CI BASIC SKILLS & DANCE​ DANCE DANCE DANCE

To pose or not to pose? Yoga, Privilege & Positionality: The Immobility/mobility of Posture​.
early bird deadline: May 12
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Yoga, Privilege & Positionality: The Immobility/mobility of Posture

To pose or not to pose? There are many conversations happening around Asana that need to be contextualized in the larger sphere of euro-centric whiteness, epistemic colonization and cultural appropriation. 

The morning session will focus on a somatic approach to Asana, slowing down the physical process to research the moveable parts of the design without losing the apex of the Asana. Each day we'll explore various bodily pathways to embodying Asana, while inquiring into one’s own positionality within it. Considering Asana from both an Eastern and Western perspective and how one inhabits the practice based upon their own geo/political framework. 

The afternoon session will theoretically expand on these somatic themes for a greater sense of social self-awareness. These will be guided, informal conversations open to all who are curious.
 
Sri Louise was introduced to Hatha Yoga in 1993 at the Jivamukti Center in NYC where she sites Alison West as her first and most influential Yoga Teacher. Sri began teaching in 1995. As an Indie Instructor, she is adamantly opposed to institutionalized styles, especially as they pertain to the body, and esteems somatic inquiry over formulaic posturing. Since 1999 she has been a disciple of Swami Dayananda Saraswati, under whose spiritual tutelage she studies Vedanta, Samskrtam and Vedic heritage. 

Sri teaches an integrative approach to Asana and has developed a unique pedagogical process for understanding Asana within the larger philosophical framework of Advaita Vedanta, which she refers to as Embodied Cognition. She is the visionary behind the Underground Yoga Parlour for Self-Knowledge and Social Justice, where she teaches Asana classes that fuse physical honesty and cognitive clarity with social responsibility.
www.srilouise.com
make your own books for notes, process, reflections, scores, concepts, stories or anything you envision to share in artist book format, using a few simple binding techniques​.
EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: MAY 12
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This workshop is designed for you to make your own books for notes, process, reflections, scores, concepts, stories or anything you envision to share in artist book format, using a few simple binding techniques.

During the workshop you will learn
- Three binding styles: simple pamphlet, accordion book and Japanese stab binding. 
- Book cover making and design 
- Overall aesthetic and design decisions based on your needs and visions of the book. 

Ela Spalding is a Berlin-based Panamanian visual and performance artist who discovered bookbinding in 2002 and has been making books ever since. She has made books an essential part of her creative process to document daily life and share her work. In 2012 she made her largest artist book commission with a Panamanian poet and continues to work on commissions with artists and writers, as well as designing special editions for her art & ecology organisation, Estudio Nuboso. Ela is also a first-generation Porchie and member of the Ponderosa family since 2008. 

MORE INFO
combine basic skills like falling, leaning, counterweight, giving and taking weight, rolling point of contact, jumping, colliding and catching into Your dance practice
EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: MAY 12
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CI Basic skills & dance dance dance dance

Contact Improvisation open to all levels. We will combine basic skills like falling, leaning, counterweight, giving and taking weight, rolling point of contact, jumping, colliding and catching into our dance practice. Getting to know the rules of gravity and inviting the not knowing of what comes next. Beginners and advanced are equally welcome as you learn something different in every dance, so we will dance a lot with each other. Contact Improvisation at ponderosa is also built on the experiences of the form and its development in San francisco. This includes some „west coast traditions“ of bodywork, healing, intimacy and radical physical art making.  

JUNE 5-9
Jess Curtis
EMBODYING THEORY​

 JUNE 12-16
Kathleen Hermesdorf
CORPO-REALITY

 JUNE 19-23
Jen Polins
POST MODERN AEROBICS​

 JUNE 26-30
Jen Polins
POST MODERN AEROBICS​

written theory about the body, performance and everyday life into action through reading, moving, seeing, sweating, speaking, feeling, breathing, sounding, listening, and writing
early bird deadline: May 12
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EMBODYING THEORY
Workshop with Jess Curtis
 
Too often critical theory about the body is only examined through the experience of reading, writing, speaking and listening while seated at tables and in chairs in seminar rooms. At the same time, even as contemporary dance practice utilizes more theoretical discourse in the production and reception of new work, the ‘thinking’ often comes into the studio only through the voice of the dramaturge or director, the books themselves remain outside. This course is designed as a place for the meeting of theory and practice. We will bring written theory about the body, performance and everyday life into action (and question) through reading, moving, seeing, sweating, speaking, feeling, breathing, sounding, listening, and writing. We will examine physical practices as the production and transmission of knowledge and reflect critically on them in relation to the historical lines of their transmission and their relation to other discourse. Each day one relatively short reading will be examined in relation to embodied processes from the world of body-based artistic practice.
 
Readings will include articles by Michel de Certeau, Robin DiAngelo, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Susan Foster, Jaques Derrida and Amelia Jones. Embodied processes will include practices drawn from Mr. Curtis’ career of study of interdisciplinary performance including the forms of contemporary dance, bodywork, contact improvisation, contemporary circus, musical and vocal work, referencing through embodied transmission the bodies and physical practices of (among others) Rudolf Laban, Irmgard Bartenieff, Alwin Nikolais, Remy Charlip, Sara Shelton Mann, Steve Paxton, Meg Stuart, David Zambrano, Annie Sprinkle, Kirstie Simson, Guillermo Gomez-Peña and Fakir Musafar
 
Jess Curtis is an award-winning choreographer and performance artist committed to an art-making practice informed by experimentation, innovation, critical discourse and social relevance at the intersections of fine art and popular culture. Curtis has created and performed multidisciplinary dance theater throughout the U.S., Europe with seminal group Contraband, the radical performance collective CORE and the experimental French Circus company Cahin-Caha, Cirque Batard. From 1991 to 1998 he co-directed the ground-breaking San Francisco performance venue 848 Community Space with Keith Hennessy and Michael Whitson. In 2000, Curtis founded his own trans-continental performance company, Jess Curtis/Gravity, based in Berlin and San Francisco. In 2011 he was presented the prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts for choreography. Curtis is active as a writer, advocate and community organizer in the fields of contemporary dance and performance, and teaches Dance, Contact Improvisation and Interdisciplinary Performance for individuals of all abilities throughout the US and Europe. He has been a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of the Arts in Berlin. He holds an MFA in Choreography and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the University of California at Davis.

www.jesscurtisgravity.org
Dancing the body as an instrument of perception, intuition and action​
EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: MAY 12
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CORPO-REALITY Dancing the body as an instrument of perception, intuition and action. Deepening awareness and understanding of your physical instrument by investigating states of embodiment and the act of motion through a hybrid of traditional, contemporary and alternative forms. Experimenting with the many bodies we inhabit - anatomical, elemental, emotional, artistic, political, animal, magical, mundane and more. Exploring articulation and agency, form and function, materiality and imagination while practicing intuition, following impulses, releasing inhibitions and trusting instincts. Working with energy cultivation, touch and manipulation, technical modalities, somatic and contact improvisation, choreography, scores and creative processes to encourage sensate virtuosity, interactive intelligence, personal presence and performative practice.

Kathleen Hermesdorf is an international dance artist, educator and producer based in in San Francisco. She directs ALTERNATIVA, with musician Albert Mathias, collaborating in and on an apparatus for deeply integrated contemporary dance and music via creation, improvisation, performance, production, curation and education. In action since 1998, the company presents an annual performance season every January, within the container of FRESH, a 3-week Festival of Experimental Dance, Music and Performance, produced by ALTERNATIVA since 2010. The creative work of the directors focuses on radical dance classes, performance projects and musical endeavors delving into the corporeality and ineffability of human conditions, behaviors and other curiosities. Hermesdorf has been dancing in the Bay Area since 1991 and teaches, performs, improvises, creates and curates around the world. Her work has been presented in the Bay Area, New York, Seattle, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Dakar, amongst other locations, in commission for universities, companies and independent dancers, and in collaboration with art partners worldwide. She was a member of Bebe Miller Company, Contraband/Sara Shelton Mann and Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, and co-director of Hermesdorf & Wells Dance Company with Scott Wells and Collusion with Stephanie Maher, a partner in PORCH summer/school at Ponderosa in Germany since 2010. Hermesdorf brings over 20 years of experience from the field, studio and stage to her work and holds a BFA and an MFA in Dance Performance + Pedagogy.
www.la-alternativa.us
www.freshfestival.org
a 50 minute "work in" for people who want to sweat, laugh, strengthen and stretch​.
EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: MAY 12
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​** WE ARE INVITING GUESTS THAT COME OUT FOR THIS WEEK TO JOIN IN OUR COMMUNAL MORNING PRACTICES ON TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS WITH THE PONDEROSA TEAM.

Post Modern Aerobics, PMA (all levels): PMA- is a 50 minute "work in" for people who want to sweat, laugh, strengthen and stretch. We combine movement patterns from Chi Gong, Gyrokinesis, Yoga and moving meditation with cardio sets and dance moves.

No prior dance experience necessary.

This class was invented by Jen Polins from a personal desire for more cardio work and sweat in her life. Jen has multiple certifications in body work and healing BMC, massage), pilates, yoga, gyrotonic and is known to merge forms to create physical and FUN approaches to dance and fitness.

Jennifer Polins is a curator, mobilizer, movement teacher, and performance maker, bridging somatics -performance practices- and contemporary dance techniques for over 25 years. Jen is the founding director of The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought, holds an MFA in dance from Hollins University/ADF and is a 2014 MCC choreographic fellow. She has danced professionally in America and Europe, starting with the Joffrey Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet and then the Zurich Operahouse Ballet companies before migrating to a professional career in contemporary performance art. Jen is working on the creative team of the Ponderosa TanzLand Festival beside Stephanie Maher. She has collaborated most recently with Maurice Fraga, Joy Davis, Jenn Nugent, Stephanie Maher, Peter Schmitz, Sarah Shelton Mann, Paul Matteson and James Morrow. Jen has been a visiting guest lecturer with the Five College Dance Department since 2000. She has taught Ballet and Modern and Pilates at Mt Holyoke, Amherst, UMASS and Smith Colleges. Most recently Jen taught Ballet 3 at Amherst College in the fall 2015.
a 50 minute "work in" for people who want to sweat, laugh, strengthen and stretch​.
EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: MAY 12
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​** WE ARE INVITING GUESTS THAT COME OUT FOR THIS WEEK TO JOIN IN OUR COMMUNAL MORNING PRACTICES ON TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS WITH THE PONDEROSA TEAM.

Post Modern Aerobics, PMA (all levels): PMA- is a 50 minute "work in" for people who want to sweat, laugh, strengthen and stretch. We combine movement patterns from Chi Gong, Gyrokinesis, Yoga and moving meditation with cardio sets and dance moves.

No prior dance experience necessary.

This class was invented by Jen Polins from a personal desire for more cardio work and sweat in her life. Jen has multiple certifications in body work and healing BMC, massage), pilates, yoga, gyrotonic and is known to merge forms to create physical and FUN approaches to dance and fitness.

Jennifer Polins is a curator, mobilizer, movement teacher, and performance maker, bridging somatics -performance practices- and contemporary dance techniques for over 25 years. Jen is the founding director of The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought, holds an MFA in dance from Hollins University/ADF and is a 2014 MCC choreographic fellow. She has danced professionally in America and Europe, starting with the Joffrey Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet and then the Zurich Operahouse Ballet companies before migrating to a professional career in contemporary performance art. Jen is working on the creative team of the Ponderosa TanzLand Festival beside Stephanie Maher. She has collaborated most recently with Maurice Fraga, Joy Davis, Jenn Nugent, Stephanie Maher, Peter Schmitz, Sarah Shelton Mann, Paul Matteson and James Morrow. Jen has been a visiting guest lecturer with the Five College Dance Department since 2000. She has taught Ballet and Modern and Pilates at Mt Holyoke, Amherst, UMASS and Smith Colleges. Most recently Jen taught Ballet 3 at Amherst College in the fall 2015.

JUNE 8-16
Karen Schaffman
LOUNGE READING

JUNE 19 - JULY 2 
Kata Kovács
P.O.R.C.H. EXT RESIDENCY

June 19-23
Maria F.Scaroni
BODY/MATERIAL

 JUNE 26-JULY 2
Jen Polins
READING WRITING MOVING MAKING 

savor A page and take notes, or imbibe an entire chapter. Following, we’ll digest with one another via embodied responses through various formats of your choice: talk, sing, draw, dance, …
​​EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: MAY 12
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Living Library series
Jen Polins & Karen Schaffman,  Tommy Defrance, Ella Spalding

LOUNGE READING soak it in and spill it out
2 hours per day
Place: Living Library
Facilitator: Karen Schaffman

What book have you been carrying around but have yet to dive into? What journals are stacked up next to your bed? Or, perhaps you prefer e-reading? 

Bring your reading of choice, pick up a coffee/tea and come to the library. We will settle into an hour of quiet time together. Read a paragraph and snooze, savor one page and take notes, or imbibe an entire chapter. Following, we’ll digest with one another via embodied responses through various formats of your choice: talk, sing, draw, dance, …. How does your reading relate to your identity/dance research/current practices/what’s going on in the world right now? We’ll culminate our lounge time by collectively formulating a performative panel to share with P.O.R.C.H. in an evening of exchange. 
For those who already have experienced P.O.R.C.H., lived through its structure, freedom and challenges and want to further experiment with it.
EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: MAY 12 
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P.O.R.C.H. Extended Residency

For those who already have experienced P.O.R.C.H., lived through its structure, freedom and challenges and want to further experiment with it. A residency focusing on performance, sharing practices and developing feedback methods.

You hold the space, the space holds you.
Meet your old porchie peers. Use the universal P.O.R.C.H. knowledge, that has spread out into the world and now is coming together to be shared, shaped, shaken up and performed! An open space that can be used and shaped to taste, because you already know what’s possible with it. Stretch the boundaries of the space and yourself.  

Participants can attend for either one week or for the full two weeks. ​

Before you register, please send a short email including when and which P.O.R.C.H. module you participated in, to: katakovacs@ponderosa-dance.de

** Community Discount. Participation in this workshop will also include contributing to general kitchen or cleaning work for the duration of the workshop. In exchange, participants receive a reduction of 5€ per person per day on the standard price they would normally pay for food during their stay at Ponderosa. This work will be organized by the facilitators of the workshop, and will include helping 2 - 3 times during the week. 
Please note about the communal discount when booking your accommodation.
EXPLORING PHYSICAL STATES AND IMPROVISATION,  THE BODY AS A SITE OF KNOWLEDGE, AS A FOREST OF SYMBOLS OR SIMPLY AS A PHENOMENON TO BE PERCEIVED.
EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: May 12
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An invitation to body practices and journeys, approaching the body as material. This laboratory suits anybody who is interested in exploring physical states and improvisation,  the body as a site of knowledge, as a forest of symbols or simply as a phenomenon to be perceived.
Full Text:

The body work I facilitate invites the participants to look and treat the body as material, addressing its organic functions and spiritual potential as well as its cultural implications. The nature of the approach is eclectic and sources from ‘chi’ cultivation techniques such as Qi Gong and Pranayama (breathing techniques), spine and limbs patterns explorations (body connectivity, proprioceptive systems), hands-on work (experimental body-alchemy teaching from Sara Shelton Mann) and elements of improvisation to transmute through different states. I use journeys and extended duration (either literal trance exercises drawn from dynamic meditation practices or shamanic journeys using visualization and movement) to flirt with the notion of ritual and personal/collective transformation, relying on trance and exertion, boredom and contemplation as tactics. The goal is to come to an understanding or to a state of questioning of the body’s borders, acknowledging it as multiple and idiosyncratic: codified, yet desirous of ecstasy and play, and seeking grounding and tenderness.
This laboratory suits anybody who is interested in the body as a site of knowledge, as a forest of symbols or simply as a phenomenon to be felt, visually, kinesthetically and verbally.
A certain stamina is required, but no specific skill, therefore is open to any moving body.

photo by Alexa Vachon,City Lights, HAU
What Matters? a collaborative performance residency with Jen Polins​
EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: June 12
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Reading Writing Moving Making 
(A Collaborative residency)

4 hours a day

What Matters? a collaborative performance residency with Jen Polins. This is a call for 4-5 participants who have a practice in critical writing, dance criticism and performance making. We will dismantle and gently interrogate each other’s work using lenses from dance theory. We will write, read and make- culminating in a showing of work gathered. Thus intending to understand multiple perspectives on personal preferences and aesthetics.  

We will also keep the Ponderosa Press going by engaging others to share reviews and critical questions about the art of dance making & viewing.

Jennifer Polins is a curator, mobilizer, movement practitioner and performance maker, bridging somatics -performance practices- and contemporary dance techniques for over 25 years. Jen is the founding director of The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought (http://www.scdtnoho.com), holds an MFA in dance from Hollins University/The American Dance Festival and is a 2014 MCC choreographic fellow. She has danced professionally in America and Europe, starting with the Joffrey Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet and then the Zurich Operahouse Ballet companies before migrating to a professional career in contemporary performance art. Jen is specialized in rigorous Improvisational practices and worked closely with many mentors most notably- Nancy Stark Smith, Steve Paxton and Lisa Nelson. Jen is certified in Pilates, Gyrotonic, Gyrokinesis, Yoga and Massage. She is guest lecturer in the Five College Dance department currently teaching UMASS. She is the co founder of Wire Monkey Dance where produced over 20 productions throughout America, Europe and Asia.  Jen lives between Berlin and Northampton where she creates work, curates artists, connects communities and teaches. With SCDT, Jen is in close collaborative relationships with San Francisco’s La Alternativa (la-alternativa.us),  Boston’s New Movement Collaborative (newmovementcollaborative.com), Northampton’s Community Arts Trust (www.northamptonartstrust.org) and Earthdance (www.earthdance.net). Jen is working on the creative team of the Ponderosa TanzLand Festival beside Stephanie Maher. She has collaborated most recently with Maurice Fraga, Joy Davis, Jen Nugent, Stephanie Maher, Peter Schmitz, Sarah Shelton Mann, Paul Matteson and James Morrow. 

Vimeo: vimeopro.com/user2635256/jen-polins-choreography

JULY 3-7
Kathleen Hermesdorf, Tara Brandel 
CONTACT IMPROVISATION AS COEXISTENCE + RESISTANCE

JULY  8-14
Tove Sahlin
S.A.D SYMPHONY

JULY  10-14
Sonya Lindfors
TRIPLE D

JULY  10-15
Bernardo Chatillon
DE[P]UNK

JULY 17-21
Teo Klug
RESISTING POWER

A testing ground and tonic for practices of resistance and coexistence while dancing in troubled times
EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: JUNE 12
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>< Resistance <+> Coexistence >>

Contact Improvisation as a testing ground and tonic for practices of resistance and coexistence while dancing in troubled times. Using CI principals of visceral listening, non-verbal communication, trust, risk, holding ground, redirecting force, stopping, blocking, translating and transforming to develop forms of collaborative movement. Forms that will help us survive, thrive, trust where we are coming from and inform how we make choices and affect change. Giving, taking and sharing power, freedom and responsibility. Testing core strengths, while taking strong stances and bold chances. Creating structures, scores and physics that allow different points of view to create new possibilities. 

5 days, 4 hour/day co-taught by Kathleen Hermesdorf [USA] + Tara Brandel [Ireland]

Kathleen Hermesdorf is a dancer and Contact Improviser based in San Francisco. She was introduced to CI by Scott Wells in 1990, and continued her explorations with Nancy Stark Smith, Kirstie Simson, Andrew Harwood and K.J. Holmes. She has been exploring and teaching CI since 1992 at ODC School, West Coast Contact Improvisation Festival, Seattle Festival of Alternative Dance + Improvisation, Ponderosa + PORCH, Impulstanz, RQD/Montréal, and at studios and universities throughout the US. She is the Director of ALTERNATIVA and FRESH Festival, and has been a member of Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, Contraband/Sara Shelton Mann and Bebe Miller Company.  
www.la-alternativa.us | www.freshfestival.org 

Tara Brandel is a Contact Improviser and Contemporary dance artist from Ireland. She trained in Contact Improvisation as a teenager with Steve Paxton, Kirstie Simson and Julyen Hamilton and has been practicing and teaching CI for almost 35 years. She has taught at West Coast Contact Improvisation Festival, Seattle Festival of Alternative Dance + Improvisation, GLACIER, Chisenhale, TanzFabrik, Ponderosa, Melbourne, Sydney and Cairo, and most recently as the main teacher at the ORCIJ in Toronto. She is currently Artistic Director of Croi Glan Integrated Dance Company in Cork, and has danced for Ka Rustler and Kim Epifano. www.croiglan.com
Working with the set up of a choir as a starting point for collective griEf and mass movement. 
EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: June 12
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Working with the set up of a choir as a starting point for collective grief and mass movement. 
Tove is bringing one of her closest colleages, singer, performer  and choir leader Maria Johansson Josephsson to combine a fun and deep singing practice with group oriented movement practices. 
We will sing and learn songs and harmonies/ disharmonies and then create a movement score that carries the group body into a collective ritual and practices made to unify and drop out of singularity. 
We - as something bigger. 

Drop in for a session with full on voice and collective experience. 
Practice practice practice. Improvise and practice again. 
Tove and Maria are touring their duet Blood-milk-water during spring 2017 and they are deepening their collaboration into this bigger body of work. 
S.A.D. Symphony is a community project that will work with a platform for meetings between  professionals and amateurs in the performing arts. 

Tove Sahlin is the artistic leader or Shake it Collaborations and 2016 the piece S.A.D. premiered in Stockholm. This workshop is a continuation and a deepening practice on collective and individual grief. 
During 2017 Tove is working on this project S.A.D. Symphony 

The workshop is open to anyone interested in using their voice in many different ways, and are open to instructions and the art of practice and duration. We will repeat our selves. We will practice. We will both practice skills, harmonies, breath and being togheter in a collective movement. 
the world feels dark and hopeless. Triple D comes from a personal need of finding hope, empowerment and a space for dreaming for a better future.
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Dreaming / Decentralizing / Decolonizing
The workshop focuses on the three cornerstones of my artistic practice: dreaming, decentralizing and decolonizing. During the workshop we will be exploring the three Ds through discussion and reading, different physical, mental and spiritual practices, ancestral energies and exercises that shake both the body and the mind.

Sonya Lindfors is a Helsinki based choreographer and artistic director of UrbanApa – arts platform. Lindfors makes her own and collaborative works for example performances, curated programs and performance lectures.
Currently she is working with blackness and shaking the white stage, the concept of fakeness and Bad Girls Practices and Swag Lessons. In all her work she pursues practices and ways of working that combine theory and strong physicality and that shake and challenge existing power structures.

www.sonyalindfors.com
www.urbanapa.fi
we believe we can fly, disappear, teletransport. sweat, dance, listen, practice telepathy & be enthusiastic with collective desires.​
EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: JUNE 12
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​DE[P]UNK or
(the myth of alligators in azores)

(6 days, 3 hrs/day, culminating in performance)

THIS IS AN OPEN SCORE TRAINING. For improvisation, composition.

There are ghosts in our studio. We don’t need another hero, the smell is now. We can fly, sweat and dance. This is an open score training for improvisation and composition. We work with the space between intention and action using principles of easy, easy going, going easy, light, fiction, fantastic fantasy, imagination, desire and fiction future fusion.
What is already there? How are we going to start? What do we want? How do we contaminate
each other?

Some things that may happen: shaking, automatic writing, soft choices, 100% belief practice,
yes/no skills, throwing the shoe, fast composition, finding the doors and portals into yourself and
into the space, shape-shifting, open scores and pimple popping technique. Here we question
EXPERTISE and EXCLUSIVITY and learn how to fuck with it.
This workshop includes dancing, talking and activating yourself through YOURSELF.

Bernardo Chatillon was 
born in Portugal, began his education at Chapitô (circus School),  proceeded to study dance/movement at C.E.M / FIA and the Higher School of Theatre and Cinema. 
Since 2006 he has been working between theatre, dance, performance and installation, 
From 2012 to 2015, he integrated the cast of Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, in Lisbon.
Currently based in Berlin, Bernardo collaborates with Stephanie Maher at Ponderosa and continues to develop his research, which is guided by the idea of art practice as an encounter and works with the question what is already there?

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