user avatarKerstin Kussmaul Eligible Member // Teacher
user avatarAndrea Boll Eligible Member // Teacher
user avatarAnne Garrigues Eligible Member // Teacher
user avatarJuliette Dürrleman Eligible Member // Teacher
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IDOCs » The Ultimate Phrase: Research in the LEAP Teaching Residency
In our 2 LEAP Teaching Residencies 2014 - Andrea Boll, Anne Garrigues, Juliette Dürrleman, Kerstin Kussmaul, Sabina Holzer, Simon Wehrli - we explored and discussed "ultimate phrases".

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We did not define what we meant be an "ultimate phrase". There seemed to be an implicit understanding among us that we were thinking of "ultimate" in the meaning of "last" - as a "derivate" of a practice. In our spring 2014 meeting in Zürich we gave us the task to explor "ultimate phrases" individually until our next meeting. In December 2014 in Grenoble we shared and discussed what we had came up with. Here you will find Kerstin's interpretation of this sharing,  including pictures and videos.


Parcours - Juliette Dürrleman

Juliette proposes a "parcours" she developped in her class with teenagers. There are two different parts, each containing variations. To do this, one alternates between the two parts - 3 rolls on the floor and 3 "wall - asanas" from Juliette's Iyengar practice.
Juliette's stresses the importance of careful transitions - getting up from the rolls to go to the wall and back from the wall to the floor. She works with everyone individually on the asanas, this is possible as everyone has a different timing.
This parcours is a good set up if there is limited space (or many participants).
-> see Video  - juliette parcoursmoment

Roll 1:
Initiate from the tailbone (when the front side is on the floor) and from the hip bones (when the back side is on the floor). Switch directions in the center of the space.
-> see Video - juliette roll1tailinitation2

Asana 1:
Lean on the wall, the back of the foot one foot length apart from the wall. Roll the pelsiv on your legs so that the sitsbones have good contact with the wall. Press the sitsbones into the wall, bend the upper body and press the hands into the floor, while the arms press back the shoulders into the back.

-> see Video - juliettefoldinghipjoint

Roll 2:
Top of the head and tailbone find each other so the center closes in. Switch directions of head and tail in the center of the space.
-> see Video - juliette roll2headtailbone

Asana 2:
Downward dog, where the thumbs and index fingers touch the wall while the pelvis moves and rolls backwards onto the legs. The shoulders and upper arms rotate to the outside and create space in the upper back and neck.

Roll 3:
Start on the back , arms on the floor, move with the back arm to the front arm (in direction of the roll), once you are on your belly, take both arms in a swift move over the head (on the floor) to the back. Start again. Switch directions in the center of the space.
-> see Video - julietteroll3armsinitiation

Asana 3:
Lay down with your feets pressing into the wall. Take one leg up with a belt, pressing the foot in the belt. Make sure the hip of the leg pressing into the belt does not rotate the hip towards the ribcage, but rather think both sitsbones to the wall.


Principles of movement - Andrea Boll

Andrea proposes 3 principles of movement together with some movement ideas, which then can be integrated either in set material or in improvisation. So these principles would become elements of an ultimate phrases. Quite some of this work refers back to her experience with low trapezes.

1. principle: Transferring weight by rolling on the floor (hands and feet, hip etc)...
...using "fleshy pillows", not the bones, to create a certain muscle tone in the body: Using the image of "blowing up the muscle pillows" in a kind of resistance stretch, which Andrea calls "isotonic power".

2. principle: Tailbone - head connection  along with shoulders / sitsbones /heels
-> see Video  - andrea tailboneheadconnection
...bringing the sitsbones to the heels when getting up, not vice versa
-> see Video  - andrea sitsbonesheels
...keeping the center axis - for example sitting down on one sitsbone spiralling.
...Aikido knee forward movement: Pointy knees, keep weight on back leg. Lateral initiation takes weight off your pine.
-> see Video - andrea aikidokneeforward
...Showering movement spiral
...Extending into different directions into the floor by connecting the top of the head to the pubic. Concentrating on points of connections helps knowing where you are in spirals, when spatial orientation is impossible.
-> see Video  - andrea extensionheadpubicbone

3. principle:
Extending and taking the energy back (like boxing) - arms and legs. keep a good centered hipjoint. Think invward rotation first, then a slight turnout when the heel meets the sitsbone
...both with arms and legs


Soccer for Dancers - Kerstin Kussmaul

The starting point is the question what unites somatic approaches and "formal approaches", a common denominator. Kerstin's thesis is that the work with reflexes and instincts underlies both. So she searched for an idea / concept that would emphasize these underlying principles. Out came soccer - plays and tricks with a soccer ball, alone with a a partner and in a group. An important element is rhythm - represented by the continuous relationship with music.

This series evokes a kind of (explosive) power that is not often trained in dance, can un-tire, and create a single-minded focus.

1) Prep exercise: ball control - Play the ball against a wall to the rhythm of the music, one leg at a time. Change legs. (Balancing one leg)  -> see Video - kerstin ballcontrol1

2) Lead the ball through space, playing the ball between your feet. Make a circle around another person. (Jumps, coordination left & right, weight shift) -> see Video  - kerstin leadingball

3) Leg gestures: Rolling the ball towards you and away from you. Left - right, front - back.  Combine & improvise with these options (tendues, weight shift, reaches into space). -> see Video - kerstin leggestures

4) Pass the ball back and forth to a partner. Change feet. Include a turn (Peripheral and focused vision, balance, turns) -> see Video - kerstin partnerturn

5) Throw jump catch - Throw the ball high into air, jump so you catch the ball at the highest point possible. (A complex goalie exercise! Quick space & time coordination, jumping)

6) Pass the ball throwing to a partner while moving through space (spatial orientation, coordination upper/lower body)

7) Rise & catch: Lay down and quickly rise upon the signal of your partner to catch the ball either left or right (Reflexes coordinating eyes, ears, trunk muscles, arms) -> see Video - kerstin riseandcatch

8) Pass the ball sitting down and in downward dog with your partner (Reconciliation of space/body perception)
-> see Video - kerstin passupsidedown

9) A group score combining most of the exercises before (group dynamics, decision making in complex situations, movement integration) -> see Video  - kerstin score


Navel radiation (an ultimate phrase for beginners) - Anne Garrigues

Anne presents this as a result of the work with the group of beginners she currently teaches. The concept of navel radiation is part of BMC, and is an underlaying foundation for movement as it marks the time before the transition from a state of being into a state of doing. It is a very early developmental movement pattern.
Anne emphasizes to cultivate softness not only in the bones but also in the digestive system. The reason why the fluids and organs are so essential: Anne describes it as the unconscious place, where all the movement is - the aliveness. The tone of the organs do support the tone of the muscles.
It will take about 1 hour to find the experience!

- Initiation / "condensation" from navel to navel , while laying on the fron of the body , allowing a different tone. "Retracting tonus" with a soft focus on organs and fluids. Anne invites to "going to the back hole of your navel and letting it condense you".

- Initiation from navel to periphery . in the fluid and organ system - still more allowing than doing.

- Initiation from the periphery in relation to the navel-Initiation from the periphery to space, thus arriving at expansion.

-> see Video - Anne drawingnavelradiation
-> see Video - Anne demonstrating navelradiation
-> see Video  - Anne navelradiationexplainging


Looking for a sequence of "first-postions" - Sabina Holzer

This approach was initally inspired by working with a group of young woman, who had some experience in hip-hop, street dance, cheerleading, but not in contemporary dance. Some of them, no experience in dance at all.

I was looking for basic movements, through which the body gets basic information, which can be developed further through time and experience. They movement should also be open and refer or represent a certain style, but rather engage the proproceptive senses and awareness.

I created a sequence to go through. As it was the easiest to focus and add to the forms different music to be inspired.
I called „our yoga". As a way to start a class, start sharing.

- Starting on the floor. Feeling how you ly, feel the surface of the floor beneath you. Feel the support.
- Connect with your breathing. Bring your knees up in constructive rest.
- Breath in lengthen through the sittingbones. Open your chest and bring the top of the tailbone to the floor - probably arching the back. With breathing out curve the sacrum and bring the navel gently to the spine. Serval times.
- Shift the weight from left to right. Again in connection with your breathing.
- Lengthen one leg. With the other leg, push against the floor, so that you turn over to the belly. While doing that bring your arms over the head. Ly on the belly and fell your surface touching. Release the weight. Open into a x. Embrace the world.
- Cross the arms over your head and turn back on your back, leaving the upper leg (the leg with which you pushed before) on the side, so that you end up in a spiral. Open arms to the side. Turn your head away form the leg to the hand opposite.
- Restart the turn with the crossed leg, initiating by the foot. Roll over the belly, on the back, continue rolling, but bend on one side, and bring your knees close to the body, that you end in a position bending over the knees.
- Bring the weight forward on all four. Wave the weight in all directions and let it flow through the body.
- Bring the weight on one side, straitghten the leg of the other side and make a half turn by swinging the leg, so that you end up in an easy crossed legs seat.
- Bring the forward - dive through that easy seat and straighten your legs in a diagonal position, supported by the arms. Pelvis off the floor (in the beginning, bring the pelvis down and look first up and the over your shoulders, left or right). Bring the weight over you feet and walk your hands to the feet.
- Slowly start rolling up vertebral by vertebra. Keep your knees bended and keep the directing forward, so that at a ceratain point this pull makes you waving up your spine, arms circle through the back. Coming into vertical postion, spreading weight on and through your feet.
- Swing the arms and upper body forwards.
- Swing the arms to the sdes.
- Open one arm and turn around.
- Kick ball cange.
- Open one leg into 2nd position.
- Bring your weight to one side. From this side push through the pelvis, sequencing through the spine to the other side. Arms and hand are also pushing the air on this side away. Back on forward with arms from one side to the other.
- From this weight shift raise one arm with a soft feast and bring the opposite leg into a easier 2nd position.
- Let the arm drop down to the oposite hip, while bringing the other arm up and letting it drop to the other hip. Serveral times.
- From this drop, cross your armson the side of your chest . Bend the opposite leg to go down to the floor.
- Roll over your sitting bones into easy sit. Raise through the crown of your head.
- Bring your leg on the inside of this seat, so that the heel is touching the ground and push against the ground. Support this push with the opposite arm pushing on the floor aswell. Swing your leg for an easy jump eiter landing softly on your knees or standing (we do this especially when we go the first time trough the sequence very slow).
- Go into another diagonal to jump through your arms legs in front of you.
- Roll down to your back, over your head, opening on one side, to come lying on the belly. Fold over one side to come up into sitting. Knees close to the body. Swing around one circle.
- Find a way lying down in the right direction on the back to do the other side.

I highlightend the words which are essential terms / actions / attitudes for contemporairy dance for me.

 -> see Video - Sabina phrase for teenage girls


Letting go in the right moment - Simon Wehrli

How to let go in the right moment? is a practice that Simon is interested in. He describes it as the "place between form and formless" - meaning alternating principles of movement with trusting gravity and moments of letting go. He says "What it comes down to is just being", and to understand form as a container - or as a reason to move...

-> see Video  - Simon alignment





andrea aikidokneeforward
andrea extensionheadpubicbone
andrea tailboneheadconnection
andrea sitsbonesheels
Anne drawingnavelradiation
Anne demonstrating navelradiation
Anne navelradiationexplainging
juliette roll1tailinitation2
juliette parcoursmoment
juliette roll2headtailbone
kerstin ballcontrol1
kerstin leadingball
kerstin partnerturn
kerstin riseandcatch
kerstin score
kerstin passupsidedown
kerstin leggestures
Simon alignment
Sabina phrase for teenage girls

asana1lean on wall
asana3laying down
Right click on the link(s) and choose "download linked file as", to specify the target download folder on your computer
Playable Media (Audios/Videos which are already playable above)
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[type: flvjuliette roll1tailinitation2
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[type: flvkerstin ballcontrol1
[type: flvkerstin leadingball
[type: flvkerstin partnerturn
[type: flvkerstin riseandcatch
[type: flvkerstin score
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[type: flvkerstin leggestures
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