RESIDENCY WORKSHOP WITH MINAKO SEKI
Roehampton University, SW15 5PJ
Schedule: From Weds 18th – Sun 22nd April
Daily from 10 am to 4 pm.
Workshop Presentation: Mon 23rd April at 5 pm, (free to the public)
Screening of works: 5 pm, Thurs 19th April
CDR seminar: 12:45-2:00pm, Mon 23rd April
Workshop Fees: Standard: £60
Student concession: £45
Roehampton staff/students: £20
Download OPEN CALL
ABOUT THE WORKSHOP: In the workshop, we will explore principles of the Seki Method and work towards the creation of a collective site-specific performance focusing on the KE-HEI, a Japanese expression meaning “what is behind us”; that is, a respect for our background, where we come from. This respect holds a kind of mystery and the atmosphere of our secret history. In the creation of this site-specific performance, we will be dealing with the architectonic environment, examining the space, its function and aesthetics. This might include the form of a building, the texture of a tree, the material of a stone or the leaves, the soy… but also attention to time, space, movement, light, sound and music, created from an emotional tissue or sensations that create resonances and multiple points between them.
ABOUT THE SEKI METHOD: The Minako Seki Method departs from imagination and its endless possibilities. Through imagination, we can connect consciousness with unconsciousness, as well as microcosmos with macro cosmos. Imagination is our creative impulse and our motor for artistic
expression. During this particular workshop, we will use the power of imagination as the main source to evoke our senses and create natural quality in the physical principles of movement. Ultimately, the Seki method is working on the communication between the unconscious and the conscious; and the infinite paths in- between are the focus, which is composed of an infinite number of points and their transformation.
ABOUT MINAKO SEKI: Dancer, choreographer and teacher, founder of the Minako Seki Company. Her artistic approach cannot be separated from her personal philosophy of living, which in a holistic way combines vipassana meditation, macrobiotic cooking and Japanese traditional body healing techniques. Born in Japan, Minako Seki lives and works in Berlin since 1986. Her first source of influence was the Japanese dancers Tetsuro Tamura and Anzu Furukawa. Both have in common a crucial consideration of human and emotional levels and the fusion of contemporary dance and physical theatre with the classic Butoh dance technique. In her pieces, Seki investigates the communication between the conscious and the subconscious, the description of emotional states and the boundaries between reality and illusion.
Basic Principles of the Seki Method:
- Meditation: Every morning we will practice Vipassana meditation Technique learned from Ajhan TongSirimangalo. This meditation involves mindful bowing, mindful walking, mindful sitting. The movements can be extended to any activity, for example as a working meditation, for creating or improvising. We observe the perception of our senses, thinking and feeling and hereby we practice concentrating our mind on the moment (here and now) as well as becoming aware of our patterns, to be able to break them if required. The resulting presence is the basis for all further workshop content.
- Sense Power: Exercises that will bring us to release inhibitions, awaken the mind-body connection, deepen our breath and warm our bodies.
- Hanging Body: In reaction to the gravity force, we experience that in our reality everything is falling down in the direction of the center of the earth. Like the objects, when we walk each step is falling in to the middle of earth. Experiencing how easy it is to walk, we can feel this effortless sensation in all movement. By using gravity, we can generate all movements as they come out of the relaxed body; using it as a powerful impulse and motor of movement. We are all hanging from the earth.
- Water bag body: Based on the biological fact that our body contains over 80% water, we try to move our body as if it is be a big water bag. We observe and experience the properties of a bag felt with water to apply them to our bodies. We can feel that when we are relaxed, we are able to react to the impulses and to all that surrounds us and find an intense quality of movement. When we let go, our body falls in the direction of gravity, we get automatically a bouncing reaction. The re-bounce reaction of a fall is the dynamic of the dancing body.
- Tan Den: My source of energy is a little sun that is situated in the centre of my body (in Japanese called Tan-Den). Through this little sun there is a thin thread, that on one end passes up through the crown of our skull all the way to the cosmos and on the other end is pulled straight to the centre of the earth. Locating and feeling this line is what will help us to bring all the mentioned principles together.
- Dancing in Between: After my many years of choreographic experience, I developed my own creative method based on improvisation. I called my technique “dancing in between” as it is based on the connection between different points. While composing a dance, the points will connect in a circle and between the connection of two there always exist many other points with endless possibilities of association. We will experiment intensely with the possibilities for movement and expression generated by intermediate spaces. Navigating between desire and constraint and all the pending states that the “dancing in between” suggests, we will recreate a suspension between delight and confusion that is given by the indecisiveness of being.