Moving Modes of Encounter with Alexandra Baybutt (2022)

Alexandra Baybutt’s interests lie in how artist-facilitators respond to the challenges of unanticipated encounters in the flow of teaching or creative facilitation. It is often in these moments where the ethics of encounter jolts questions that can be approached as embodied, processual, affirmative. And in these moments ‘Equity, Diversity and Inclusion policies’ can get practiced or re-made.

This workshop/forum exchange provided an opportunity for artist-teachers to share experiences and strategies from different dance/movement teaching and facilitating contexts e.g. professional, community, higher education, one-to-one, long-term groups, one-off workshops, collaborative projects etc, and to reflect upon the challenges and surprises of encounters and consider future tactics.

As facilitators often working without institutional continuity and working solo, such occasions are up to you to hold. In that courtyard of a space between the end of the session and going on your way, a lot of feeling gathers and considerations bounce. Teaching and facilitating, especially freelance, can be a bit lonely. This almost imperceptible work about our ability to respond, or what Emily Beausoleil would call ‘response-ability’, does not always get a chance to be synthesized, processed or celebrated. Questions abound:

What could I have done differently? Was that the most ethical way to ensure what happened didn’t make anything or anyone worse, left out, considered, cared for? What could have been set up differently?

This workshop was part of Baybutt’s wider project undertaken at the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) at University College London (UCL). This interdisciplinary research project responds to a residual gap between body and mind that endures in academic practice and institutional presence in subtle and not so subtle ways affecting power dynamics and inequalities. Holding this workshop exchange at UCL meant encountering the affective properties of place and space, and considering further how we respond to what we perceive.

The workshop engaged in whole and small-group discussions, exploration of movement tasks and the creation of improvisational scores. Below is further material related to this session which you are welcome to explore.

Learn More:

Video document: Research excerpt: Moving the modes of encounter: Embodying (in)equalities in the University (UCL, IAS, 2022)

Think piece/article by Ali Baybutt : Off-set Centres: Embodying the University by Alexandra Baybutt