Sevengardens – an inclusive participation model.

Diversityand education through sustainable development

Sevengardens is a globally active network initiative of the non-profit association avatus e.V./ Germany.

The work is based on dye plants from which natural dyes are produced. Dye gardens are the starting point for a low-threshold participation model from which a variety of products such as ink, oil paints, water colours, pastels … can be developed. The first sevengardens were established as early as 1996 by the artist Peter Reichenbach, the founder of the project.

The idea is always the same: artists join forces with interested people, find a suitable place for gardens and jointly make products from the plants obtained. The joint work promotes cultural diversity and intangible cultural heritage, the recognition of ecological connections and the strengthening of personal responsibility and participation.

The goals of the initiative include: Education for sustainable development, protection of biodiversity, promotion of local economic cycles, (inter-) cultural exchange and qualification, e.g. also language education. In this way, lost knowledge about colour production from plants is rediscovered. The aim behind the playful and aesthetic approach is to identify and promote competences.

All people learn together and everyone can contribute with their skills and ideas.

By cultivating and appreciating regional cultures, by dealing with handicraft techniques and making them accessible across local and national borders, an exchange of knowledge and the further education of each individual is to be made possible.

Sevengardens was awarded for outstanding networking by UNESCO.

Improvisation? A three-beat waltz.

Duration: ideally 3 days

Speakers: choreographers and dance thinkers.

Context: Improvisation is a common practice in the learning and creation processes of contemporary dance. Jackie Taffanel, choreographer and researcher, gives us her thoughts on this subject in the attached text. The art of improvisation can be transposed to everyday life for everyone, and for the most adventurous, can become an art of living. The relationship to the immediate geographical, social, cultural and sensory space is at stake here and implies an openness to the unknown as a motor of movement. Vigilance, patience, spontaneity/sincerity, liveliness, bouncing back, even virtuosity, are qualities that the improviser calls upon in the “game” of life.

Stage :

Ask the participants individually about the definition of improvisation

Putting the participants into play in shared improvisation spaces with the audience

Collective analysis of each person’s experience and refinement of the very notion of improvisation

Improvisation Skills:

Qualities of dance mouvements and the Laban Movement Analysis

What is Laban Movement Analysis?

„ Laban Movement Analysis is a method based on the movement studies of Rudolf von Laban (1879 – 1958), theorist and leading exponent of expressive dance. (…) Today it is used in dance and choreography, theater, sports and movement analysis, but also in therapeutic procedures such as dance therapy, psychotherapy or physiotherapy. Laban motion analysis currently distinguishes between six motion parameters such as Body | Space | Drive | Form | Phrasing | Relationship to determine motion. In choreographic practice, this analysis can be used to generate movement by shaping, determining, remembering, composing as well as observing and reflecting it“1

What do we focus on?

During the workshop „Train the trainers“ the focus will be directed on one of the six parameters of the method which is the drive and motion generator. We use this method to perceive and name eight resulting movement qualitiies by looking at the dynamics of motion or drive. Factors formed by the eight drive elements (…) describe the precise way movements shall be executed.

For example: To describe the qualities related to time we would pay attention to see if the movements appear suddenly, emerge with high acceleration or are slow or delayed.

To describe the qualities related to space, we would observe if the movement is performed directly, in a straight path from point a to point, or indirectly, in a roundabout way.

To describe the qualities related to Force/Weight, we would observe if the movement is performed with a strong active use of the body force or with little use of this force. We would furtheremore look for turning against gravity or following it.

To describe the qualities related to Flow of movement, we would observe if the movement can be bound and guided or unbound and open.

The eight elementary drive actions can be combined and describe the specific drive elements:

we than talk about

The workshop: The workshop starts with a spoken introduction moment. Than starts the physical warming up, followed by incorporarting in a playful modus the movement factors, such as Time, Space, Force/ Weigth and Flow of movement.

The group can be splitted in two: the makers and the observers, in order to enhance the dialog of the participants. After a small break the focus goes on the movement factors in order to dive playfully into the complexity of the eight elementary drive actions. The last part is dedicated to playing with the learned material: a jam session or so called Laban Disco gives a good opportunity to the participants to improvise on different musical settings. This part could lead to a composition part in which the improvised material shall be defined and fixed in sequences.

The goals of the workshop are

Duration: The workshop „train the trainers“ lasts 3 hours.

Program : Short introduction speach and video / Physical warm up / introduction of the Laban Movement Analysis / Opening to an improvisation jam / Composition session

Materials needed : Dance clothes, a large and proper dance studio, sound equipement / amplification and sound mixer with audio connector cables (mini jack), two microphone poles, a screen.

1st lesson: introducing the choreographer Rudolf von Laban and his method of defining movement qualities from three parameters each (theory)

2nd lesson: Practising the construction of movement qualities through three defined parameters, of which one parameter is exchanged for each new quality (practice).

3rd lesson: Laban disco with changing of movement qualities in individual social dance improvisations on call. (practical) – further: teaching expressive movement qualities (stage expression) instead of Scocial Dance movements. Introduction to possible movement qualities of expressive dance (theoretical).

4th lesson: Laban disco repetition with individually decided changes of movement qualities in individual scocial dance improvisations every 8 bars. – Second session: Laban-Disco repetition with individually decided changes of movement qualities in an experiment with expressive dance movements every 16 bars. (practical) Discussion of these offerings. (theoretical)

further possible units: Developing a presentation with the participants that builds on the Laban movement qualities, but transfers them presentably into stage expressive dance.

1 Klein, Barthel, Wagner. Choreographic construction kit, 2015 quoted from Laban Bewegungs analyse – transcript Verlag › ts3186_w02

Workshop for C2 Viral Visions -Carcassonne (France)

Directed by Giovanni Zappulla -L’espace APS-ASD-. 

 Qigong and contact improvisation Natural Movement Dance a new approach to dance

What is Qigong:

    Qigong represents the set of techniques that enable Qi cultivation within the body. The term Qigong literally means energy work and comes from the combination of the characters 气 – Qi – energy and 力 – Gong – work; it first appeared in the early 20th century within a training manual of Shaolin monks, The Orthodox Methods of Shaolin (1910). Prior to this time there were a number of practices involving body movement, breathing and sound, which were handed down and performed for the maintenance of health.

What is DMN:

D.M.N. (Dance Natural Movement), is a method that concerns the human, its movement and the consequences of it. this method today is proposed as a formative and changing tool to enrich the world of dance. 

The Workshop

The Workshop will be based on preliminary work of Zhineng Qigong (the Qigong of Wisdom) specifically the technique called: La Qi Guan Qi Fa (method for expanding and thickening energy) which enables participants to experience the concrete perception of energy as substance, and creates the preconditions for listening to subtle perceptions, promotes the resolution of all tensions both at the joint, muscular and mental levels.

 After more than two years of pandemic people need a loving contact with themselves and then with others, the distance and forced isolation we have endured have been the source of enormous stresses that affect our memory and our lives, never before has the experience of dance been able to make a huge contribution to the return to normalcy and perhaps much more, then all the experiences and proposals of movement and improvisation will be reinvested in danced movement in a pleasant and progressive crescendo of choreographic material related to contact improvisation.

The Workshop will last three hours. 

Program : 

– Brief theoretical explanation
– Practice of the exercise La Qi Guan Qi Fa
– Connection exercises through subtle listening to one’s own energy body, then the energy body of the other.
– opening of the exercise to more combinations in pairs and groups
– discovery and integration of more concrete levels of contact improvisation, skin, muscular endurance and body structure.
– through play and alternating movement and staying in a position created by the danced flow, listening to the “statue” and
associating it with emotion and the sound of the voice.

The Workshop with live music, will make use of the collaboration of sound artist Giuseppe Rizzo, who has been working with the Zappulla DMN company for 15 years and who has created for the occasion a system of sound capture through microphones connected to PCs to facilitate the participants’ practice and experience.

Materials needed : Comfortable clothes, a ‘large dance studio, sound amplification and sound mixer with Apple computer connector cables, two microphone poles.