Feature: Opening the Door

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Gill ClarkePhoto: Joel Chester Fildes _An intensive weekend focusing on alternative health and artistic practice through
dance, movement, sound and installation and opening doors between artistic practice
and both mainstream and alternative health practice.
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__*Lead by: Gill Clarke, Miranda Tufnell, Chris Crickmay and Sylvia Hallett * *Organisers: International Workshop Festival * *Dates: Sat 16 August 11am – 6pm, Sun 17 August 10am – 5pm * *Fee: £180 (£120 unwaged) * *Venue: Movingartsbase * *134 Liverpool Road * *Islington * *London N1 1LA *
More info: www.workshopfestival.co.uk

Image: Gill Clarke, photo by Joel Chester Fildes

The visual arts have made great inroads to our national healthcare system. Many a hospital corridor is lined with works of art which brings life to the environment, but the benefits that dance can bring are less well recognised. “Perhaps it’s because dance is so widely associated with sport – but the tools that dance has to offer in health practice aren’t only about excercise” says dance artist Gill Clarke, who is organising a unique intensive weekend course in August. Opening the Door is for anyone interested in developing the relationships between arts and wellbeing – from dance artists who want to explore using their skills in a healthcare setting to practicing health professionals, who might be in need of some creative nourishment to take to their demanding work role.

Gill Clarke, who is internationally known as a dance lecturer and was a founding member of the Siobhan Davies Dance Company, will be leading the weekend with Miranda Tufnell whose working life has been guided by an interest in the movement and language of the body, including dance performance, working as a cranio-sacral therapist and teaching Alexander technique. For many years she worked as an Alexander teacher within the NHS for a General Practice surgery and in 2000 her work expanded into an arts and health collaboration with dancer Tim Rubidge. Talking about the project she said “We worked in close dialogue with the health service to engage people isolated through chronic poor health with a creative arts practice across Cumbria and Northumberland. As one doctor said “when we are ill the body becomes the enemy”; we saw our role as ‘ambassadors for the body’.”

“The body is undervalued as part of the imaginative, creative process – this weekend will be about accessing and recognising the part that it plays”
says Clarke. “What we want to do is engage in a dialogue of practise and play. Visual artist Chris Crickmay and musician Sylvia Hallet will also be there to help to us to use a creative, playful experience to get to an intuitive state of mind.”

There are still afew places left on the course – if it sounds like it could be for you, contact International Workshop Festival quickly to reserve yours now.

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