Teaching as Practice

The class model we use in our teaching is one where imagination and compositional mind are developed at the same time as physicality and movement skills are honed.

Listening

 

We listen to skin, to breath, to bone, to heart, to blood, to space in our joints, to the fluid weight that pours through us constantly as we move; we listen to the incessant movement of energy, of thoughts, of sensations and feelings that flood us as we live our lives and create the stories of our lives; we listen to our imaginative wanderings, the atmosphere of where we are, our presence and the presence of another; we listen to each other and to the world around us… and we make our work.

 

for more about listening

The Center for Deep Listening

Sharon Stewart on Deep Listening

Touch

 

Touch is an ability we all have, an innate skill that we can hone and use. We are wired to touch and be touched.

We engage with forms of dance where touch is an integral part of what we do. These awaken our senses and can revitalize us physically and emotionally.

 

Touching and sensing consciously can reveal fresh details about our physical structure, stimulate our imagination and rekindle our pleasure in moving.

Touch – passion and necessity - Eva Karczag (draft, December 2021) 

Language

"As artist/teachers we became increasingly interested in identifying the different nuances within the language we each use in our teaching. We began a list, attempting to articulate the commonalities in our various approaches. This evolved into a compelling and thought provoking process of teasing out why we considered these approaches to be important."

What We Use In Our Teaching and Why

The Vienna Research Project - Gill Clarke & Eva Karczag

Improvisation

 

Improvisation plays an important role in our practice.

 

"Improvisation, by its nature, is living at the edge of the unknown. As such, it is fundamentally about creativity. Working spontaneously, we draw upon worlds within us that are largely inaccessible to conscious thinking."

 

Improvisation and Depth: trusting what comes up, Chris Crickmay (downloadable pdf)

Learning while teaching

 

“Yes, I get pleasure from the unexpected. It’s the only way to learn. I’m learning more while teaching than when I’m thinking about my teaching because I’m constantly having to meet people. Our difference creates a current, a difference of potential. This difference of potential between what I expect and what the other expects is the definition of dynamic. The difference of potential creates movement.”

 

Interview with Hubert Goddard by Caryn McHose

Dismantling solidifying ways of knowing

“Bennington College continues to be the ideal environment for me. It provides the freedom to integrate the current lively discourse around performance into my teaching approach, one that strives to be constantly ready to update and grow. My aim is not to become set in the role of a “teacher” who teaches the f​ormula​, but to dismantle solidifying ways of knowing. I keep my personal practice of learning and unlearning/undoing as my foundation for pedagogy and dance making. 

I am further inspired by the fact that Bennington’s pedagogical aims align with my own convictions around teaching art-making, and most importantly, ​how to learn.​ I have experienced how Bennington recognizes the artistry required to mesh professional activity with teaching. Because I have not felt pressure to align my teachings to any particular academic ideology at Bennington, as can be common in other institutions, my teaching approach constantly grows, allowing me to ready my students for participation in the current and continually evolving context of the dance world.“

Elena Demyanenko 

Our teaching methodologies are syntheses that include concepts such as: offering time and space for experience to unfold; valuing individual experience; giving attention to feedback; creating contexts where trust can exist; stimulating group engagement and exchange of knowledge.