Multiple people, all masked, reaching and touching in alternative gravities, in trance dances on different planets, eyes closed. In the background runs the Starship Somatics dancevideo. One person is getting ready to dance under a cozy blanket.
Starship Somatics Sessions engage our bodymindspirits as portals, as trance-mobiles that honor pasts and jet us toward speculative futures, among the stars, in flux and transformation. These classes use improvised movement (inner and outer movement, as is accessible and appropriate to you), dream journeys, sounding, writing, and drawing as our transportation devices: firmly grounded in the sensory immediacy of our beds, sofas, floors and windows, and flying wide to honor ways of being of all kinds. All welcome, grounded in disability culture values.
Petra published a short essay about the practice with the The Hopkins Review: Starship Somatics: Disability Walking in Outer Space (in TRAVERSALS: a folio on walking, eds. Christine Hume & Anna Maria Hong, The Hopkins Review 16.3, 2023): https://hopkinsreview.com/features/traversals-a-folio-on-walking-starship-somatics
Two dancers, one on the ground with their hands as a silhouette visible, one on her scooter, against the background of a violet water scene, part of the Starship Somatics video projected large as dance background.
A number of dancers against the background of the dancevideo, reaching out, hand play, others in meditation, some on the ground, inner and outer movement.
How the Starship Somatics Project came about:
Development periods: dance retreats, July 2022 at the Ellis-Beauregard Artist Residency, Rockland, Maine (declined due to COVID), and at The Croft Dance Residency, August 2022, Up North, Michigan, with Stephanie Heit and Charli Brissey (creation of Starship Somatics: An Invitation, a dancevideo).
Discussions of Starship Somatics: at IFTR, the International Federation for Theatre Research, Iceland, as part of the Disability and Performance Working Group (June 2022), Sentient Performativities (UK, June 2022, online), Performance Studies international (July 2022), plenary presentation at ASTR New Orleans (November 2022).
Last week-long Starship Somatics: Speculative Embodiment, July 11-15 2022, through Movement Research (online), with guest artists Elisabeth Motley and Kayla Hamilton: https://movementresearch.org/event/16853
Initial development: Starship Somatics at Movement Research, NYC (virtual offering, MELT January 2022, MELT July 2021)
Turtle Disco classes since March 2021 onward - ongoing.
Audio glimpses of a sample session below: enjoy the space flight!
(general description of audio:
An audio meditation, put on a space suit for protection, feel the earth beneath your floor, touch it gently, enjoy our beauty, ground yourself. Then spin! In your body, in your mind, standing or sitting, around your sitzbones or in your imagination, gathering energy. A dance of spinning energy before LAUNCH! Dream, dance in the ecstasy of launch energy, dreaming another world. Go on a space travel jaunt together. We enjoy a ritual of entry into a starship. How does the starship, the kinship, the mothership, the lovership make you welcome? Experience the multiple ways in which the starship welcomes you, and your particular bodymindspirit. Drift over to the plant room of the starship. Enter and be welcomed among the plants. (every day, we visit with a different room in the starship). What plants welcome you? Here is your home soil. Can you smell it? Can you feel it? What land is it?
Recorded live during Movement Research MELT July 2021)
Up for more somatic work, in COVID times?
Here is a Memory Crystal exercise, an ecosomatic choreo-poem.
It is part of the University of California Santa Cruz's 3 Minutes Moving (3MM) Project. "3MM provides easy access to physical engagement with three-minute movement experiences presented by master teachers in dance, martial arts, and contemplative movement practices. These practices are for every body; no previous movement training is needed."
You can find the written description of the exercise at the Black Earth Institute's blog on COVID hopes.
Since the COVID pandemic started, I have so enjoyed re-connecting with a technique form I love: Skinner Releasing. Given Zoomy Somatics, I have been able to join sessions led by Julie Mayo, Yvonne Meier, Stephanie Skura, and more. That becomes my writing practice, too - and here is a poem that is a semi-finalist for Cid Pearlman's (home)Body poetry/performance project: Isolation/Skinner Releasing, more of my writing with spider senses, how I move inside my home outward, as 'portals open,' as 'synth riffs up doors to stars.'
And here is a link to an essay to performance work from the Before-Times, about the way we can think about somatics, movement and environments together - the pre-cursor to Starship Somatics.