Contemplative Series: An interview with guest artist, Stephanie Turner

I recently spoke with Steph Turner of Turner Moving Company about her upcoming workshop in the Contemplative Series at Three Stone Studio. She will be teaching Resilience on Saturday, April 27 from 1:00 – 4:00pm.

PS: Tell me a little about your teaching of contact improvisation and what you’ll be offering in your workshop, Resilience…

ST: When I think about my teaching of contact improvisation, there are three basic ingredients: our own body in real time, other bodies, and physics. Just with the complexity of one’s own decisions, other people’s decisions, and the physical circumstances that exist in any given moment, you already have a lot going on. Something I try to do is find a balance within that dynamic and it often begins with simple movement tasks in relation to those three things.

 PS: What does physics mean for you?

 ST: Physics is gravity, momentum, torque, inertia—these are names we’ve given to physical forces that seem to govern our motion—the things we can expect to happen. For me, in dance, physics and the floor are my constant partners. Physics is something I’m playing with all the time. At the same time, as I prepare a class, I’m planning the movement prompts with a secondary process in mind; the movement is a catalyst for inner transformations.

PS: Do you mostly work with experienced dancers or can anyone can step into this and get something out of it?

ST: Absolutely, this is for anyone. The ideas at work here can be practiced at any level of skill.  It’s a welcome challenge, as a teacher, to develop many physical pathways in to the same idea.

PS: Can you say more about the contemplative elements of your teaching and what you mean by movement as “a catalyst for inner transformation”?

ST: The practice over the course of a class involves a kind of peeling back the layers of the physical task in order to insert new ways of looking at what’s happening in our selves in relation to moving with others and in relation to the physics of it all. Integrating new ways of seeing the task creates new opportunities, a wider range of choice. In the process, we discover new resources to go back into the movement, re-entering the experience freshly.

What I’m trying to help people do is dilate time a little so there’s a space, an opening for other options aside from following the first instinct.  Part of the beauty of movement practices is that they almost inherently help us develop resilience, because we’re strengthening our capacity to be responsive and flexible moment by moment.

For more information and registration email: info [at] threestonestudio [dot] org


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