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U P C O M I N G   T E A C H I N G:  

Movement research classes : Shared Practice for Movers

WED  I  FRI mornings 9:30 - 11:00 @ 159 Union Street, Dance Gym, University of Otago, Dunedin

This open training is for movers or anyone interested in movement. I will be combining elements from the workshops/classes descriptions below as suits each daily group as well as the overall development of the classes. Drop-ins are fine, but committed attendance would be great for optimal personal development of the material. Looking forward to see you there!

E-mail for registration & more information.

Information on classes / workshops:

Technique class / Professional training: Gaining momentum into space

The material in the class includes somatic based improvisation tasks, dynamic release techniques, qi-gong, spirals, and grounded animal-like floor work. Continuous movement flow, and improvisational tasks with attention to the feedback of the senses, are used to bring the dancer into a instinctive state of availability while thoroughly warming up the physical body. There is a clear focus on the use of the floor as a tool to form and inform the body in movement. We will sense and examine the suspension and support structures of our bones as they shift and change form during movement enabling us to balance continuous grounding with horizontal flying momentum through space. Through the specific buildup of the training, each dancer is able to find their own supportive anatomical alignment, timing, and weight in the material. At the end of the class, these elements are brought together in a sweeping movement phrase where each dancer is asked to challenge the delicate balance between fall & control.

Workshop/Performance Project:  walk into dance


What makes us differentiate walking from dancing?

The direction? The speed? The repetition? The efficiency? The musicality? The context?

In this workshop we will examine our individual and collective perceptions of the movement that the words "walking" and "dancing" suggest. By questioning and working in the liminal space between walking and dancing we will try to physically take the walk into our dance and our dance into our walk.

We will use physical explorations to expand our notion of walking in terms of temporality, spatiality, and functionality.  Shifting constantly between "walking" and „dancing“ we will examine where these two activities meet, and how they can co-exist simultaneously in the moving body. The fundamental physicality of walking (and running) will be studied to identify the essential physical elements that can be used as reference to the dancer's efficiency, dynamics, and use of momentum.  Patterns of movement sequencing that we innately understand from our (almost) lifelong walking experience can inform and clarify our movement patterns in other spatial relationships to the ground.


We will consciously work on bringing our "daily" body and state into the training. By reminding ourselves to relate and source all our movement from the state of "just walking" , we may find that our focus remains at ease and that our dancing develops efficiency, strength, endurance, and clarity.


Through this working process we will structure a tightly scored performance work based on the techniques, improvisations, developed sequences, and images from the training. Each dancer will be challenged to bring their movement to a performative level through staying grounded in their personal and collective movement research.


Workshop/Performance Project: Moving Matter

When we move our own bodies, or other material objects, we are constantly engaging efforts of push, pull, and reach in relation to the floor, space and in relation to gravity. When we don’t engage, we fall. There is an innate spatial and temporal understanding of these basic forces that we learn from a very young age as we play and explore the materiality of our environment. As our motoric skills and coordination develop, complex movements like, reaching for, pushing, or pulling material objects in space become highly efficient and practically automatic. Yet, there is a wealth of information stored in these “simple” patterns which we can use to inform our dancing bodies.

In this performance project we will try to re-examine and relate the perception of our dancing movements to the practical working movements we use in daily life. We will examine our own bodies’ relationship to other bodies of matter ranging from much smaller to much larger than ourselves. Identifying and working purely with the materiality of our body, and environment allows for a certain sense of freedom in our choices.  After all, we are "just moving matter". 

What is matter? Your own body, others' bodies, the floor, the walls, the space, your clothes, the objects in the space, the audience, the audiences things, etc...

How can we move these "matters", how do they move us, and how can we  physically connect one type of matter to another type of matter the way a sculptor or natural force like a tsunami would?


As part of the physical research in preparation we will also work with moving and sensing the weight/mass of other moving bodies to increase our own awareness of structural alignment, and dynamic muscular sequencing. How do we use the floor and our momentum to direct an object and ourselves in space with ease? How can we perceive the floor as our tool for the work of sculpting movement? We will give a strong focus to the use of the floor and walls to form and in-form the body in movement. We will also explore the body's anatomically efficient sources of power in varying connections to the ground.


Through the working process we will structure a tightly scored performance work based on the work and techniques/perceptions gained from the training. Each dancer will be challenged to stay deeply physically and mentally grounded in their research while at the same time preparing for a performance context.

Workshop: The Instrumental Body:  movement workshop for musicians 

co-taught with Violist Shasta Ellenbogen


A workshop introducing a new way to approach instrumental playing through the exploration of somatic movement principles with the help of improvisation.

Led by violist Shasta Ellenbogen and dancer/choreographer/teacher Marcela Giesche.

The focus of the workshop is to explore technical ease of instrumental playing, both with and without instruments, in group work situations as well as through individual coaching.

Included is a Feldenkrais lesson with an invited guest teacher. 


For more information:

To book this workshop please contact:

Teaching Biography:

Since 2007 Marcela has been invited to teach at Middlebury College Vermont, University of Louisiana, Stadttheater Bremen, MOOT Movement Lab, Alfred University New York, Ohio State University, BPS Studios Los Angeles, Kunst-stoff Arts San Francisco, Studio Fabienne Lachere Mexico City, Univerisdade Federal do Rio de Janerio Brazil, Codarts Rotterdam, Marameo Berlin, Tanzfabrik Berlin, DOCK 11 Berlin, Die Etage in Berlin, mehrTanz! Leipzig, ISWA project Berlin, Deja Donne Company Italy, De Stilte Dance Company Breda Holland, Ponderosa Festival Stolzenhagen Berlin, Love-In Toronto Canada, HZT Univeristy Berlin, K3 Hamburg, Univeristy of Michigan and Sarah Lawrence College exchange programs in Berlin, Toula Limnaous dance Company, Budapest Dance Academy, and the Impulstanz Festival in Vienna Austria amongst others.

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