Maker and teacher Helen Poynor speaks about her Walk of Life work, tracing her artistic journey from training with Anna Halprin in the 1970s to establishing her base in Devon and working with practice and performance in the natural environment and in galleries. She touches on tidal environments, land and body meeting in notions like slippage and grounding, spirituality, feminism, what rigour looks like in non-stylised work, and how Suprapto Suryodarmo influenced her work.
In Helen’s words:
My intention in this Crossing Borders session is to offer some verbal and visual images of this continually evolving practice, including some of the underlying principles of the work and my current preoccupations; opening a window onto this moving landscape at a particular moment in time and hopefully providing the ground for a fruitful and perhaps ongoing exchange between those present.
This talk was part of Crossing Borders 2014 and was presented in partnership with London Contemporary Dance School.
Helen Poynor is an independent movement artist, director and teacher known for her work in natural environments, site-specific performance and cross art-form collaborations. She runs the Walk of Life Training and Public Workshop Programme on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site in East Devon and West Dorset. Helen is a mentor for many established and emerging dancers and performers.
Early intensive training with Anna Halprin at the San Francisco Dancers Workshop and with Suprapto Suryodarmo (Java) served as the foundation for her unique approach to non-stylised movement and performance practice. She is a guest Associate Teacher for Tamalpa UK and is recognised by Suprapto as a teacher. A Visiting Professor of Performance at Coventry University she is a registered Dance Movement Therapist (ADMP UK) and Somatic Movement Therapist (ISMETA) working with individuals in private practice.
Recent collaborations include: Coat – the turning and returning of the tide: film with Hilary Kneale and Vicky Vergou and In Memoriam: film with Annie Pfingst (work in progress). Publications include:‘Landscapes of Loss: moving and mourning’, Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices 2013 (Vol 5 No 2) and ‘Body Body’in Embodied Lives (Triarchy Press 2014).
As published in 2014.