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Shannon Stewart

What if dance class was a community ritual to practice embodied survival strategies? What if technique wasn’t specific to body type, geography, and background? What if the way to change patterns was by way of “radical YES!” instead of “no,” “not that,” “try again,” or “try harder”?

My approach to a daily physical practice is to offer a journey into a state of fuller presence and attuned embodiment. My classes are geared toward preparing artists for the complexity of daily creative work - balancing the focus on body and mind with energetics, relational intelligence, non-linearity and overall somatic availability.

Class starts with simple warm up exercises articulating the spine, tuning into sensations, and going in and out of the floor. We will then combine more philosophically complex material, engaging the imagination, working with endurance, focus, and flowing between form and open improvisation. My aim is to invite physical challenge through playful propositions and only introduce more heady material when we are in a state of embodied readiness.

Shannon Stewart is a choreographic artist who is based in New Orleans (US) but spends a lot of time Berlin as a core mentor of ROAR Berlin. Her company Screaming Traps makes queer, feminist interdisciplinary work for theatres, galleries, parades, bars, and wherever you might like to invite them. For Shannon, the body’s participation in everyday life, social systems, and how we know ourselves is an opportunity for choreographic research. Simultaneously, the practice of dance rituals is a potential for un-training, retraining, making and unmaking. She’s proposed an open source method called Body Based Theory Practice and presented this research in dance symposiums in the US and Europe. Her work has been presented in theatres, bars, parades, river banks, living rooms, film screens, galleries, and in obscure places on the internet. She has a Masters of Fine Arts from Tulane University in Interdisciplinary Dance Performance and a BA in Urban Design from the University of Washington.