There is deep inspiration and rigour in a practice of improvisation that posits vulnerability at its heart. Developing the skills to be able to care for, engage, respect and respond to that state of vulnerability in oneself, others and our environment gives life to improvisation that is powerful and transformative. Working from a place of interconnectedness can give us the resilience and skills to face into life’s complexities and challenges.
This is the work that Kirstie engenders through facilitated exercises, open time for play and exploration, movement scores, observations, discussion and humour. Much of the work is experienced through partnering and connection with others, balanced with solo time for processing and reflection. Weather-permitting we will also explore scores that take us outside.
Kirstie draws from her knowledge of Contact Improvisation, dance techniques, the Alexander technique, Aikido, meditation and her extensive experience of improvisation in performance. Her work explores the huge potential of the body’s response to the primal urge to move, inspired by the energy released through human interaction, physical challenge and playfully daring to go beyond inherent ideas of limitation.
Kirstie shares the movement practices and underlying philosophies she has developed over forty years of practicing dance improvisation, that have enabled her to negotiate life and most recently a life-threatening illness.
For safety, we would like to encourage everyone to take a Covid-19 lateral flow test before attending. The studio will also be well-ventilated even in colder weather – please bring extra layers for warmth. Siobhan Davies Studios current risk assessment and policy is available to read here.
Kirstie Simson (UK) has been a continuous explosion in the contemporary dance scene, bringing audiences into contact with the vitality of pure creation in moment after moment of virtuoso improvisation. Called “a force of nature” by the New York Times, she is an award-winning dancer and teacher who has “immeasurably enriched and expanded the boundaries of New Dance” according to Time Out Magazine, London. Kirstie is renowned today as an excellent teacher, a captivating performer and a leading light in the field of Dance Improvisation whose practice spans four decades. For the past thirteen years she has been a tenured professor in the Department of Dance at the University of Illinois.
In August 2020 Kirstie returned to her home base in Wales from where she continues to share her work internationally. She spent the last year immersed in the Welsh countryside, swimming in the rivers. Her work reflects this new focus as she explores the relevance of an artistic practice that can help us develop resilience in the face of catastrophe. Her new research considers how embodied intelligence will be advantageous as we undertake the momentous challenge to shift our consciousness from a human-centric perspective to a lived understanding that we are an integral part of life, from which an attitude of respect and care will naturally arise.
Kirstie is excited to be currently serving on the Academic Advisory Board for the Black Mountains College in Wales. BMC is a cutting-edge project – an academic/practice-based curriculum marrying the Arts and Sciences, designed to create an innovative degree course of planet-centric education towards building a better future which will launch in September 2022.