Chris Aiken is a leading international teacher and performer of dance improvisation and contact improvisation. His work has evolved through years of making dance performances which bridge real-time composition, perceptual tuning and aesthetic design. His perceptually based approach blends the ecological study of human beings and their environments with the study of the poetic imagination from a diverse array of aesthetic and somatic viewpoints. Chris’ work has been influenced by collaborators such as Angie Hauser, Andrew Harwood, Peter Bingham, Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith and Kirstie Simson, as well as extensive study of the Alexander Technique, fascia research, neuroscience, and ideokinesis. He has won numerous awards for his work including a Guggenheim Fellowship and is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Smith College and the Five College Dance Department in Northampton, MA.
Class Description: An Eco-Poetic Approach to Improvisation
In this class students will learn to blend ecological awareness with their technical craft and poetic imagination. To orient one’s actions ecologically is to understand the principles and contexts that underlie our actions–how perception, movement, intention and the development of skill relate to one another. To orient poetically, as a dancer, is to explore the process of bringing into form our imagination in such a way as to inspire reverie, both in ourselves and our audiences.