Summer Conference 2023

Descriptions of Workshops & Lectures

The Workshops (Thu and Fri)

Workshop 1 (E)
Body as a System and Part of Systems
Moving thought! How bodily processes organize the world(s)!
Trude Cone & Fabian Chyle

This workshop explores using early organizing forces/movements as the foundation for creative process and realising ideas. Practicing these organizing actions through somatic experience, help tap potential, come into motion, find balance while moving, and encourage participation moving together. Eventually fostering collective progress.
The long-term goal is to apply this progression to facilitate understanding by creating situations and environments for growth. A few concepts introduced in the workshop are the interfacing between host/guest roles in experience; transitions and transformation underlying moving forward; the gradual ability to take increasing responsibility in participation in complex problems in the world. In the last part of the workshop, different ideas on group development, creative process and choreo-therapeutic strategies based on developmental patterns will be researched.


Workshop 2 (D)
The individual Body
Experience subjective physicality and experiential anatomy based on Body-Mind Centering®
Helena Nicolao

Body-Mind Centering® is a bodywork and movement method of somatic learning. The core of the work is that each cell of the body is attributed a consciousness and an inherent intelligence. The aim of the work is to embody the body systems and developmental movements in their mutual interaction.
BMC® transmits in an experiential way the anatomical and physiological interrelationships of the individual body systems (skeleton, musculature, internal organs, ligaments, fasciae, nervous system, fluids, endocrine glands), the processes of embryonic development and the sequences of early childhood movement development. The focus is on the detailed exploration of movement and the question of how the mind finds expression through movement.
On these days, the focus is on the dynamic connection between the skeletal structures and the inner organs. We experience a moving interplay of stability and mobility and how a felt volume expresses itself spatially. Starting with an exploration of the axial skeleton, we illuminate the development of our midline. We explore the soft tissues of the digestive tract and central nervous system and travel all the way to the embryonic origin of our very first midline, the chorda dorsalis.
We sensitise the self-awareness of our own physicality and the observation and experience of the subjectively experienced body. We will work with anatomical images and somatisation, with touch exercises (partner work) and movement experiments to explore the body systems in their unique qualities. We become aware of personal expressive qualities and perceive which are more in the foreground or in the shadows. The process is accompanied by a verbal exchange in the group.


Workshop 3 (D)
Body and Trauma
Trauma and Ressources in Play TRiS
Karl-Klaus Madert & Angelika Schretter

Crucial parts of the psycho-dynamics of trauma are: extreme stress, body reaction, damage to the self-concept, and the trauma compensation that then follows.

In this process, the person identifies with a role, mask, persona (C. G. Jung) or a character armour (W. Reich) behind which they hide the trauma and which serves to cope with everyday life.
An identification with the intellectual and imaginative ressources of the persona is an elegant and tempting, nevertheless misleading way of dissociating trauma feelings.
When the trauma complex is triggered or the character armour is put under physical-mental stress, the everyday role can collapse. The shadow of embodied trauma behind the mask takes over in form of a trauma-state and dominates – pre-consciously and unconsciously – perception, body sensations, world experience and action.
In the play with body and expression, traumatic memories can very easily be triggered and re-staged – this constitutes a high potential of change, but also the danger of re-traumatization through the undermining of defences. In consequence, avoiding re-traumatization and fostering a productive process of elaborating and integrating traumatic experiences requires a specific structure of stress-modulation, resource activation and containment in the therapeutic relationship on the base of a stable self-reference of the therapist. Resource activation, whether individually or in a group, always includes working with the body, preferably in play.
In our workshop we bridge neurobiological basics of trauma therapy with bioenergetic body exercises activating resources and strengthening containment.


Workshop 4 (D)
Body and Theatre
Body – Inside – Ooutside – Form
Klaus Möller

“The theatre is the state, the place, the site where human anatomy can be grasped and through which life can be healed and governed!” (Artaud, A., To End God’s Judgement.)

If I practise gathering, concentrating into my basic structure, the inner, then the appearance, the outer expression, the form, will emerge as if by itself.
Access to the structure of the body, the skeleton of our bodily framework and its order or disorder provides me with the ability to feel, to sense.
It helps to be guided by the movement of the breath and the growing awareness of the statics of the body.
This awareness will guide me through the experiences of balance and imbalance, energy flow and energy congestion, well-tension and over-tension in the physical action, and possibly encourage me to show myself with all that arises.

We become magnificent out of desire for freedom.
The body stretches,
This tugging for imagined forms
Gives it tension.
Heavy hips shudder into long growth.
In tightening we quiver with inner feeling –
We are so beautiful in our longing that we could die.
(Henriette Hardenberg, 1913.)


Workshop 5 (D)
Body and Voice
Embodiment of the voice as a practice of listening
Ralf Peters

This workshop will be about practically exploring the manifold relationships of voice and body. Without body there is no voice, but voice is more than a purely physical phenomenon. Body causes and affects voice, and at the same time voice affects the body. On the basis of a practice programme for the whole voice, we will take a close look at various aspects of this network of relationships and put them through the listening tube. The guiding question is: How can voice and body support each other in being and becoming alive? The general answers that may exist are only helpful if we succeed in applying them to individual circumstances. To do this, it is good to listen! Listening to one’s own voice and body but also listening to the voices of others opens up the field in which voice and body move together.


Workshop 6 (E)
The collective Body
Fighting Monkey Practice
Natalia Pieczuro

This workshop serves as a basic platform for the Fighting Monkey Practice: it’s an overall introduction to the qualities and ideas that have been developed over the last 15 years of F.M. research.
You will experience mainly ‘movement situations’ – irregular training methods to provoke and increase the adaptive value of your behavioral traits and strategic planning. We will work on complex and most of the time improvised structures to improve your movement qualities and increase your creative variability. We will help you to understand the underlying principles of human motion and how stress and pressure affects our perception, behavior and actions and how creatively adaptive you are in complex situations. 
Foster improvisation, imagination and creativity. The above are vital to problem solving. Which is vital to adaptability, longevity and sustainability. Play games. Expose yourself to difficulties.
We will concentrate on strengthening and elaborating your partnering skills – other words speaking: your ‘communication skills’. Working with the partner will bring us the alive and so precious irregularity in the training, will influence our behavior, the diversity of qualities, tempo and rhythm of our movement.
Through partnering work – ‘movement situations’, coordinations, work with tools, injury prevention and body conditioning and ‘being’, we will work on strengthening the focus, the awareness and the whole system.
We will break the patterns, learn new patterns and try to find our wings. 
We will question how can one learn as much as he can and want?
How can one be open to the ‘new’ and still be well rooted?


Workshop 7 (E)
Body and Performance
Embodied cognition, live action and role playing
Saša Asentić & Alexandre Achour

Live Action Role Playing Games (LARP) is a type of role-playing game in which participants act-out scenarios. Depending on the kind of scenarios that structure the game and roles that are embodied, as well as the set goals, LARPs can serve as a micro-stage for world-building and examining social relations. The main question in this workshop will be: How can we, through dance and play, point to a critical examination of oppressive mechanisms in our society using contemporary dance as an example, i. e. as a field of social and creative interactions?
This workshop will use methodologies from LARP intertwined with choreographic, dance and body practices in order to create performative and discursive frames to address hegemonic structures in contemporary dance, and to understand their impact on the body and mind of participants in dance both as artists and citizens.


Workshop 8 (E)
Body and identity
(Em)bodied Play
Britton Williams

Bodies hold a rich web of complex – and even contradictory – experiences and expressions of identity. Leaning into embodied processes of drama therapy, we will examine the complex (inter)plays of how intersectional identities are held and expressed within the body and how they inform the assumptions/expectations/beliefs that get ascribed to the bodies of self and others.
We will take an expansive understanding of the body with/in this workshop to include: physical body, bodies of knowledge, matter and materials, groups of people. We will explore a range of ways in which bodies perform identity and examine how/why some of these performances exist as a tool for survival, support, and/or sustainability. Utilizing creative inquiry, we will engage a range of questions, including: How do external messages inform perceptions of one’s own body and identity and shape assumptions/expectations about the bodies and identities of others? How do intersectional identities shape and (in)form our bodies and the ways in which we navigate space(s) and move through the world?


Thursday online lecture (E):
Bodies in Virtual Space
Bodies in crisis: exploring how the body, as a tool in Drama Therapy and Dance Therapy, offers insight into the effects of teaching online.
Linda Mdena Thibedi

Linda’s research is linked to her curiosity around human responses and processing in the use of online platforms for teaching purposes. What sparked this thought was the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020. The research is focused on online teaching during the pandemic. As a lecturer and Drama Therapist, she hopes to gain insight into other lecturer’s experiences of engaging with pedagogies like Drama Therapy and Dance Therapy and how things have had to shift or change as a result of teaching online. This research locates itself in the present, but also looks to the past and future of the teaching experience recognizing that different countries are in different phases.


Resonance workshop
The entire conference will be accompanied by a wandering writing/graphics/resonance workshop, a nomadic sounding board – 2 people producing adhoc texts and illustrations which they will publish directly in the house – with the invitation to all to resonate with it.
In this location-independent writing and graphics lab, local impulses can be taken up individually and then initiate the resonance process. The participants are invited to give intermedial impulses themselves, e.g. by means of a picture, a sentence/word, a colour, a smell, … However, the initial impulse can also evaporate completely in the course of the process.


Some workshops are held in English, some in German, they are marked accordingly (E) / (D).