A lab with dance artists Filipa Pereira-Stubbs, Cai Tomos and Miranda Tufnell sharing and exploring their work in dance and health and how they bridge with the worlds of hospitals, community and primary care. With extensive combined experience in navigating the changing landscape of medicine, ecology and society, they have developed profound understandings of the breadth and width of time and listening/ attention required to create, attend to and deliver this work through many challenges; with this lab they will chart the practices, principles and challenges of bringing the poetics of dance and the body into these settings. This life-affirming work is based on co-creation and underpinned by qualities of presence, empathy, intention and imagination.
Human mycelial networks draw on creativity, metaphor, imagination, curiosity and compassion – all essential tools in dance work. Through breath, sound, touch, play, story and improvisation we will share and explore the many issues that underlie working in health contexts. As practitioners, how do we meet our own and another’s vulnerability? How do we look after ourselves and prevent burnout when others’ needs feel overwhelming?
Saturday 3 December : 12 – 6pm
Sunday 4 December : 10am – 5pm
Monday 5 December : 10am – 5pm
This lab offers time and space to explore how we listen creatively to what another’s body is telling us, and how we can calibrate our responses in support of the images and stories that unfold, to awaken a ‘medicine’ from within. Each day will include extended practical sessions along with a sharing of stories from practice and discussion in small and larger groups. You can read more about each session below.
We imagine that some healthcare professionals will be most interested in joining Sunday afternoon and Monday sessions, in which case there is a separate ticket option that allows for this and for those with more limited availability.
A ticket for this lab includes entry to the talk with Lucinda Jarrett, Filipa Pereira-Stubbs, Cai Tomos and Miranda Tufnell on the evening of 4 December.
Our stories, myths and fairy tales are a kind of poetic code similar to our genetic code – and the body a spirit beacon as much as a chemical formula. – Seamus Heaney
This day is particularly oriented towards artists who work within this field of arts and health – a day of resourcing and nourishing in the company of others. Attending to our own creative imaginations and bodies is an essential part of being able to offer that to others. There will be opportunities to share stories and questions, and to be in dialogue not only through words but through our bodies and imaginations. Particular issues addressed: burn out, self-care, qualities of presence, a listening field, receiving and responding.
This session is again an opportunity to move but also to begin to reflect on the how the poetic, artistic, and clinical perspectives can intertwine. A dancer’s role is to seek out and strengthen the health in each person, where the medical framework is engaged primarily with symptoms and illness. The potency of listening, metaphor and story in changing the energy of the body.
This session is particularly to create a meeting ground for health professionals to practically experience the somatic field of movement and creativity. We will also share some films that illustrate what this work looks like in the clinical field. Films that speak to and highlight complexities and joys in the meeting of the artistic and clinical. There will again be space to share more stories that take us into the heart of this precious place – and the place of the poetic in healthcare.
A practical day following on from Sunday afternoon, looking in detail at the practice and principles that inform what we do and how we do it within clinical settings.
How do we take this work into clinical sessions where our own bodies must be the studio? How do we listen, receive and respond?
How do we meet people with very differing needs, and remain able to sense the spark of health in a gesture, or shifting of breath.
How can we refine the skills of tracking an emergent encounter whilst maintaining a spaciousness to meet what arises?
How do we take care of our ourselves within all of this?
Miranda Tufnell is a dance artist, writer, Alexander teacher and cranio-sacral therapist. She has been teaching and making performances for over 50 years. Her work, both as a performer and in health settings has been to explore the ways in which movement shapes our sense of meaning, language and perception. With Chris Crickmay she co-authored two handbooks on sourcing creative work entitled Body Space Image (1990) and A Widening Field (2004). She has worked extensively in the field of arts and health including part time (14 years) within the NHS for a GP surgery. Her most recent book, When I Open My Eyes – dance health imagination (2017), documents this work.
Filipa Pereira-Stubbs is a Cambridge based dance artist, dance teacher, and creative practitioner with 30 years’ experience in dance & health and in community arts. Filipa devises and delivers dance & health programmes, in the community, in clinical settings, in museums and galleries, and outdoors in Nature. Her projects, including ‘Dance for Health’ at Cambridge University Hospitals, and ‘Dance at the Museum’ (Fitzwilliam Museum) always hold inclusivity and integration of the arts at the core, finding inspiration in somatic practice and the process of improvisation & imagination, calibrating and bridging perceived cultural differences, age differences and health differences. Her work in the field of medicine seeks to create bridges between subjective, phenomenological perspectives of the body, and the larger naturalist and normative approaches to medicine, health and wellbeing. Bsc Sociology, MA DMT, Churchill Fellow.
Cai Tomos is an independent dance artist and Arts Psychotherapist. He has worked as a performer and maker. Over the last 15 years his work has centred around health and the role of dance and the creative arts for all. He is a resident artist at the Chelsea and Westminster hospital for the last seven years offering bespoke bedside dances and conversations with patients in Oncology, HIV and Older people wards.He has ran a movement group ( CAIN) in North Wales for over 10 years which has been a big part of his learning and development in dance with people who are older. He is an artist with Entelechy arts and co-facilitates Ambient Jam sessions for adults with PMLD in Antur Waunfawr In North Wales. He works as an arts therapist with particular attention to the role of the Imagination in health.