exploring the elements in the body
exploring the body in the elements
ABOUT ELEMENTAL VESSEL
I believe that cultivating awareness of our physical bodies through movement, and re-tuning our attention to the non-human natural world that surrounds us are two sides of the same practice. Our bodies are landscapes of tissue and bone, with rivers and tides, forces and weather, and home to diverse micro communities of biological ecosystems. Likewise, the earth is a moving body. We humans and our earth are all vessels, containing the material and energetic dynamic, interrelated, constantly moving diversity of life.
Elemental Vessel is a collection of practices I’ve gathered throughout my life as a mover. It is also a physical manifesto of sorts- it is the body I want to be and the body I want to help others inhabit. I reach for a body that moves in response to the landscape external while wandering the inner corporeal landscape with endless curiosity. A body that is capable of both focusing on individual anatomical parts and mechanics with precision, and moving as an integrated and fluid whole, thus embodying the idea that we are the vessel as well as its contents. A body that observes and listens to its surroundings in part to build a capacity to move (as nature does) with a wide variety of qualities, speeds and patterns. A body that harvests metaphors from the natural world to initiate and inspire movement.
My formative movement training was in Japan on a farm with dancer Min Tanaka. I moved all day every day. Sometimes the movement was farming work, sometimes it was dance. Often it was some inextricable mix of the two. Since that time I have continued to dance and work with the land and these two practices move ever closer to each other in my life and in my work.
Elemental Vessel is a combination of internal and external sensitivity training as well as physical exercises that promote mobility, strength, stability, receptivity, fluidity and integration. I teach classes and private sessions to bodies of all ages and abilities indoors, as well as land-rooted workshops and classes outdoors. For more information about the specific movement forms I draw from, please visit the Sources page.
For me the practice of physical research itself is the benefit. I also believe it contributes to physiological and emotional wellness, promotes self cultivation as well as a deeper connection to the world, presents new perspectives and challenges, and enriches creativity. I hold the hope that it can be a tool for addressing some of the destructive imbalances we humans have propagated and are continuing to enact in our ecosystem.