Reclaiming Your Body Workshops: Jan11int (click for pdf of example flyer)
3. Reclaiming Your Body Workshops for Cancer Support Groups. Co-facilitated with Cornelia Kip Lee, Cancer Centers of North Carolina (01/2011), St. Francis Cancer Support Group (07/ and 12/2010).
Work with patients inspired by Liz Lerman’s Tools for Health. Developed over the course of several workshops and meetings, Cornelia Kip Lee and I (Marie Garlock) facilitated work based on movement participation, creation, and expression (groups witness one another’s work in creation, rather than sessions which function as individual art therapy alone). This brings into focus the experience of persons with cancer that may include pain, separation, and dislocation from their bodies, and possible responses, reclamations, and “transition” spaces of our own participation and interaction with our physical, social, and emotional selves. Rather than a reduction to either process or product, these workshops were guided by the principal of art creation as integral, where both risk and revelation are engaged, in a process of co-creation.
4. Halprin, Anna. “Dance as a Healing Art: A Teacher’s Manual for People with Cancer.” Kentfield: Tamalpa Instititute, 1997.
“…(I)t is important to remember that these components function continually in a mutual feedback process. They cannot, in truth, be separated. Movement affects the way we feel; the way we feel affects the way we move.” p17
“Most people do not [remember the motor and kinesthetic senses, beyond sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste], although the kinesthetic and motor senses occupy the largest part of our brains.” p18
“Two people being active at the same time introduces the element of determination, but also playfulness.”. p81 (Halprin, in conversation with Crease’s notion of “play” in experimentation: An openness, a prospect ahead that begins with “rules” but leaves open opportunity for creation, in moment of interaction between “players,”).
What do we “hold in” / clasp down on, and what do we release? In actual practice, can this relate not only to conversations about desire and “outcome,” but also process? Halprin: “…In this class or series of classes, explore the issue of relationships through the metaphors of passive and active movements. Begin each class with a check-in and a sensory awareness exercise that helps participants distinguish between tension and relaxation.” p83
In workshops exploring individuals’ own experiences with cancer, Halprin also engages relationships among participants to the process of sensory, kinesthetic, emotional articulation. For this project: Halprin understands and invites the power of the self-portrait, of danced ritual, of assistants and co-participants’ contributions to one another to cultivate awareness, to stand, or sit, or simply breathe, building breath and concept of self (and relationship) in the corporeal.
*Halprin’s “Tamalpa Institute” work exists at the intersection of dance and healing; after dealing with cancer herself and being hired by the Cancer Institute to lead dance and movement workshops, she published a book, “Dance as Healing Art: A Teacher’s Manual for People with Cancer.”