Primordial Perception

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*photo credit: Mohamed Ibrahim Ali

Movement Workshop – Social Practice & the City Conference – Vancouver, 2013 – collaboration with Luciana D’Anunciação – City of Vancouver/Cultural Services, Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation

 We understand the city as an extension of our bodies. In particular we are interested in the concept of “primordial perception”, a term used by Merleau-Ponty to describe the bodily sensation from contact between individual and outside world, believing that these inner and outer worlds are intertwined. Our movement and perception exercises will focus on breath, sense awareness, images of our organs, feedback from our surroundings, and will expand beyond normative physicality within public space — making our bodies all eyes, participatory eyes in the city.

The workshop will take place outdoors in the False Creek flats. The False Creek flats are a layered region, rich with history and ‘potential’ – uncovered waterways, numerous development plans, historic residents, industrial uses, and dead spaces. It is one of the only areas in Vancouver that does not have an overly determined, cohesive identity. How is such urban complexity situated in our body? What might happen when we intertwine both the interstitial spaces of the city and our bodies? As you state, “culture, for good or bad, is an active ingredient in the construction and shaping of the contemporary city”.  A deep exploration of our physicality will help us embody modes of unlearning our assumed relationship to our city. This work acknowledges the history of the land we reside on, and looks to complicate our daily relationships with space in order to reconcile the dislocations we experience.

We are both members of, and gain deep inspiration from working with Dance Troupe Practice (Vancouver); a self-organized and non-hierarchical dance collaborative that is open to anyone interested in exploring life and creativity through movement. This workshop grows from our latest project Unlearning Weekender 2 and is inspired by the work of DTP, Catherine Grau, Anna Halprin, Helen Walkley and Tannis Hugil.

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