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The first ttt session in Vienna, initiated by Jennifer Lacey and hosted by danceWEB, provided space and time for 10 international Contemporary Dance teachers to analyze, discuss and explore their different teaching methods and questions about teaching in general. This performative research project set an ideal learning environment for the differently working Contemporary Dance teachers. Various classes were experimented and the critical dialogue was based on a specific form called "teaching-back". This idea of not teaching each other but rather spontaneous inventions of class forms outside of the normative standards happening was an important part of this ttt session.

Participating artists:
DD Dorvillier (FR/US)
Christine Gaigg (AT)
Keith Hennessy (CA/US/FR)
Karine Label (AT/HT)
Jennifer Lacey (FR)
Sri Louise (AT)
Jennifer Monson (US)
Janet Panetta (US)
Frans Poelstra (AT/NL)
Loic Touzé (FR)

Several differently working dance artists shared their experiences and working methods in the field of Contemporary Dance amongst each other. The most important point for them was to stay open-minded and not to feel the pressure of having to find a consensus. This was made clear at the very beginning by Jennifer Lacey, who didn't want to formulate a specific goal of this ttt session but rather let the experiment and investigation be the primarily aims of it. This meeting was not seen as a pedagogical forum but rather as an art-project. Learning was defined as valuating and observing the truth and information of one's experience. "A good teacher thinks constantly critically about his position in class and the class itself. What he knows only exists through the experience of others." (Jennifer Lacey)
In order to link the independently functioning teaching the teachers sessions, Jennifer Lacey was invited to participate in the following ttt session in Bucharest in 2009.

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WE THE TEACHERS:

Will approach the wealth of variety  of ImPulsTanz  classes as well as the hyperactive microcosm of the festival as a field for auto-ethnography and source of refreshment.

This is an invitation.

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December 2009

The starting point for this one week workshop (which I like to refer to as « The Meeting ») was a clear moment at a party in Impulstanz in 2007. I was there running a pro-series with DD Dorvillier. We were quite in touch with the energy of danceweb during this time as almost all of the participants  in « Vamire Theresa » were webbers. 2007 was my ninth year attending the festival as a teacher and during this time I had been able to watch the evolution of the dance web community as well as that of the larger impulstanz community. To my mind, with each passing year the dance web group becomes more and more indicitive of contemporary performance practice in that they seem to be more and more aware of the situation as terrain of action and creation rather than soley a time of skill aquisition and perfection. More importantly it seems to me that with each passing year they experience their collegues as the networking terrain to fertilize and invest in rather than  seeking out an apprenticship relation to older « master «  artists. This doesn’t mean that they dont profit from the knowlage on offer (or that this »master »  relationship is never interesting), but rather that they seem to have an earlier development of critical, contextualizing eye and that they consider this to be an necessary skill for a young artist to nuture.This of course is the aspect of the group that I choose to see and focus on and encourage. It makes me glad and keeps me interested in my younger collegues, but I dont think that I invented out of wishful thinking. I have been critical of the webbers in the past, sometime becoming overwhelmed and exhausted by their heedless aquisitiveness and I felt clearly that something was changing. In any event I began to be a bit envious of their experience, all this time of « learning » that they were defining for themselves at the same time being fed by the crazy energy machine of Impulstanz. So, at this party, with a drink in hand, I said (and meant) « we need this too ! the artists who come to teach here also need this kind of time and resourcing. We need to take care and feed ourselves from this energy source in order to continue to be of value ».  I wanted time with my collegues as well, not just the occasional coffee conversation. It was not just a desire for a little sabatical or some special  « creative » time but a real need to question  the architecure of impulstanz by releasing the role of teacher , to enter into the dynamics of this phenomenon  and observe what it produces . As I mentioned earlier, I have been doing the impulstanz for a while and have always been very aware of how I chose to participate in it and what the result are following different investments. The festival is a rich ethnographic terrain complete with customs, heirarchy  and habits that are of course related to the rest of the dance world but in some ways remain discreet( perfect for scientific observation !). The proposition of this meeting was also a time to experience the festival critically in order to feed and further it’s development in the way that had begun to intrique me.   It was a very clear stipilation of the project that the imulstanz habituees invited were to be invited as artists to observe the activity of teaching and the situation of class. Teaching is something that artists often end up doing because someone asks them to. It is for us very situational. I consider the « teaching » I do a part of my artistic practice and it is therefor volitile and unattached to notions of absolute pedagogy. I dont like the word pedagogy because it because it is a often used to justify personal behavior to institutions by pretending to represent « correct » methods. It implies a great scism between teacher and student, re-enforces the passivity of the student and the action of the teacher and implies a basic opaqueness in the relation of these two postions. Probably this is not true about the poor word itself, but i speak here about it’s usage. So, this meeting was never suggested or dreamt of as a pedagogical forum. It was concieved of as an opportunity for a part of the impulstanz community to profit from the festival dynamics in a different way in order to return something different. It was concieved of as a fun way to facilitate change. To get more information please see the letter of invitation that was sent.

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DEAR TTT JARDIN D'EUROPE

TTT was the most ideal learning environment for me.
I went through challenging and positive experiences.
Each class and every moment was like a contrast and excitement:
we know that tomorrow we will discuss, and after tomorrow, again and again.
"Sorry!! We are not in a school!"

We will discuss ways to TEACH our groups.
-Form and contemporary, all the time!
-Important is an overall physical and mental wellness.
-Authentic movements
-Learning without direction, without no direction, with rules

NO Rules!

Develop balance between the worlds of spirituality and dance. We are different. I am different.

We are all know that these are one of the thing that make a group together and stronger.
(Karine LaBel)


Monday
12:30 pm: Group Intro- Meeting
14:15 pm: Moving Authentic movement -> DD,JN,JP,FP,JN,
16 pm: Jenny Lacet Bolly wood dance, Karine Label, Brazilian dance.
18:30 pm: Discussion, schedule, format.

Tuesday
9:45 am: Janet Panetta Barre class -> DD,JL,JP,SL + Roaming, Observing.
9:30 am-16:30pm: Keith- Dramaturgy
Loic: Observe Janet class,
Karine and Janet: interview by JL
14 pm: DISCUSSION!
15 pm: Jennifer Lacet and Janet: Class 15-20min -> KL, SL, FR, DD, JM, JL, LT and Christine.
16:30 pm: Authentic movement -> DD, JM, LT, KL.
17 pm: Possibilities, move, rest, telepathic dance/composition -> DD, JL, JM, LT.

Wednesday
9:45 am: Janet Panette Barre class
Jenifer and Sri, taking Janet Barre class.
11:12 am: Studio B, interview KL by JL
Lunch, discussion, talking about what we do.
1 pm: Loic pillow class #1
Karine Snake Dance
DD, gives Reading of Skinner-Script.
5 pm: Moving with eyes closed, (LT)(JM)(DD)
Christina and Karine, Feldenkrais
Sri and Shelly, interview.

Thursday
9:45 am: Dance class by Janet (barre)
14 pm: Prelude: Talking about what we do, and did.
15 pm: Karine: Cleaning Ritual, Fire into for lading Zone
Janets: Telephone exercise, Visual +Physical
Loic: Telepathic dances.
Karine: Transmission duo into reading mine.
Group experience: Mine reading, receiving class.

Friday
9:45 am: Janet barre.
14 pm: Interview Christina, by JL
Interview Sri by JL
15:30 pm: Touch, Move, wright talk, observation, led by DD
Observing the room: (KL) (JL)(DD)(L)(C).
17 pm: Ritual Moving, quick circle, by Sri.
TAROT: BY Sri

SATURDAY DANCE BY TTT JARDIN D'EUROPE.
1- Yoga: by Sri: Arm Shoulder Support.
2- Towel: by Jenny Lacet: ( 3) different technics.
3- Travel: by DD: Autonomy, partner, exercise, check-lest, image.
4- Dance: by KL: exercise, and technique of the Snake Dance.
5- Mine: by L: Telepathic composition, telephone verbal and physical.
CERCLE QUAKER, AND VERBAL EXPRESSION (FP)
18 pm: We all meet at the Arsenal for drink, eat and good-bye.

Sunday
14 pm: Jeanet's, and Sri's talk!
KL,DD,JL,JL, Observing, writing, making a Blog, for our TTT.

Justice

Proverbe et citation

Quelle est l'énergie de la vie? Toi qui veut voir comment l'ame habite le corps, tu n'as qu'a regarder comment le corps use de sa quotidienne habitation.
(Leonard de Vinci)

Some Rules and Hints for Students and Teachers or Anybody Else
by John Cage 

RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for a while.

RULE TWO: General duties of a student: Pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.

RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher: Pull everything out of your students.

RULE FOUR: Consider everything an experiment.

RULE FIVE: Be self-disciplined: this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.

RULE SIX: Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.

RULE SEVEN: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.

RULE EIGHT: Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They’re different processes.

RULE NINE: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.

RULE TEN: We’re breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities.

 

HINTS: Always be around. Come or go to everything. Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully, often. Save everything. It might come in handy later.


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© Loic Touzé