Simone Forti Movement and Writing Workshops: Body Mind World
*Participant slots for these workshops are now sold out. Observer tickets will be available at the door!*
No movement experience is necessary. Wear comfortable clothes and bring a notebook.
On the occasion of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)’s acquisition of Simone Forti’s Dance Constructions (1961), Danspace Project and MoMA’s Department of Media and Performance Art are collaborating on the Simone Forti Research Residency. During the weeklong residency, Forti, invited guests, and the public will engage in discussions and workshops to ensure that this work is brought to the dance community and the new generations who will carry it forward.
As part of this historic Research Residency, Danspace Project and MoMA’s Department of Media and Performance Art will co-host Movement and Writing Workshops with Simone Forti.
The artists describes the Body Mind World workshop in the following way:
Do our words have access to what we know in our bones? In our daily lives we spontaneously weave together body language and spoken words to help us understand and communicate. In this Body Mind World workshop we will cultivate this synergetic process to help us engage with subject matter that interests us. The class will include warm-ups to awaken our kinetic juices, and focused stream of consciousness writing to put us in touch with our wild thoughts, questions and observations. We will learn the “Dance Construction Huddle” and work with improvisational movement scores, as well as in ways that can help us develop a natural and intuitive flow between our moving and our speaking, with surprise and delight. By letting our body intelligence and our verbal mind interact, we will access a fuller view of our world, both personal and collective.
Simone Forti is a dancer/choreographer based in Los Angeles. In 1955 she began dancing with Anna Halprin, who was doing pioneering work in dance improvisation in the San Francisco Bay Area. After four years of studying and performing with Halprin, Forti moved to New York City. There she studied composition at the Merce Cunningham Studio with musicologist/dance educator Robert Dunn, who was introducing dancers to the work of composer/philosopher John Cage. In these classes she began her association with choreographers including Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, and Steve Paxton. In the spring of 1961 she presented a full evening of what she called Dance Constructions at Yoko Ono’s loft studio. These pieces were seminal to the Judson Dance Theater, which revolutionized dance in New York in the 1960s and 1970s.
In the 1970s Forti’s improvising was anchored in observations of animals’ movements, both for varieties of ways of moving, and for what she came to think of as the roots of dance behavior. She has often performed in collaboration with musicians, including Charlemagne Palestine and Peter Van Riper. In the early 1980s Forti started improvising speaking while moving. Working with newspapers, she began performing News Animations, giving expression to images, memories, and speculations sparked by the news media.
Forti has performed and taught throughout the US, Canada, and Europe, and in Japan, Korea, Australia, and Venezuela. She has received various grants and awards, including a 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship in dance and a 2011 Yoko Ono Lennon Award for Courage in the Arts.