Dancing Among Fascia Relations
In this workshop we will dance and be moved by metaphors, images, models, scientific research and somatic practices cultivated in relation to fascia. Fascia is often referred to as connective tissue and seen as simply wrapping muscles. But it is also an active, intelligent and communicative sensory organ enveloping, permeating and constituting the body. As the “fabric” of our form it shifts our perspective from a body made up of parts to the wholeness of the architecture holding them together. Paying attention to this biology in formation highlights how the multiple connective issues that make up this biological material, also make up ourselves, our categories and sense-abilities.
In this fascia workshop we will try out, experiment, and place ourselves in the midst of this 21st century human biology.
In thinking with fascia as an unformed emerging material biology entity, the challenge is to consider how to denaturalize without dematerializing it, and to simultaneously attend to materiality without fixing it. One way we will do this is though using the practice of scoring as method. Scores can be thought of as a loose set of instructions that guides a group of people to interact with each other. Scoring is a method that takes ideas, images, and metaphors in relation to fascia and instead of figuring out what they mean, sets up exercises that examine the problem or concern, so people can collaboratively work with it, in motion, together. Scoring fascia keeps open rather than forecloses what it is possible to feel or say or know with this emerging biology, re-materializing it again and again.
My aim in this workshop is to demonstrate that dance practice and training and anatomical understanding of the body are entangled in multiple ways. This project serves as an initial examination of thinking with how these knots can be explored and teased open for their political, social, biological, mythical and cultural complexities while at the same time moving and being moved in new ways.
Influenced by the practice of biodynamic cranial sacral, the winding down sessions will offer a gentle touch based exchange in partners and solo, influenced by the science of embryology. Embryology is a science that focuses less on the placement of tissues, what has been realized, and instead attends to the processes that give rise to the placement. In other words, one’s body is not a finished anatomically defined object, but a lifelong performance, a whole life’s worth of embryological growth. Through embryology, we learn that everything is connected and always in a state of becoming something else. For instance, this groove is become fascia, becoming muscle, becoming something else. We will ask what are we touching when we attend to a body coming into form?
Kevin O'Connor is a multidisciplinary artist working as a choreographer, dancer, improviser, and somatic bodyworker from London Ontario, Canada . He is involved in a decade-long artistic collective with Ruth Douthwright exploring participatory de-colonizing performances within polluted watersheds in Ontario. Over the last few years, he has worked with NAKA dance in Oakland, Shakiri and Skywatchers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Oncogrrrls feminist art collective in Spain, and collaborated with Inuit hunter and designer Paulette Metuq on a project in Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic. He has been learning with the Axis Syllabus Research community for over a decade and is a biodynamic CranioSacral practitioner. He completed an MFA in choreography and recently finishing a Ph.D. in performance studies at UC Davis. His research sits at the intersection of sciences, practice-as-research in the arts and improvisation theory and practice. His research examines anatomies, body performance capacities, interventions and imaginations in relation to science studies, including the material-bio-cultural tissue called fascia.