Friday, October 13, 2017

Body Shift Elements Teacher Profile: Lauren Tietz and Tuning Scores

Originally written and posted October 10, 2017 by Olivia O'Hare on the Body Shift blog. Reposted with permission. Photos courtesy of Amber Ortega.

In order to enhance our practice of moving together this month we have invited guest artist, Lauren Tietz, to our Elements class to teach movement from a somewhat different perspective. She will offer an exploration of Lisa Nelson’s Tuning Scores which, similar to the DanceAbility method, uses more open directives to allow freedom to move in ways that feel good to your body no matter what your abilities or experience level are.

Tuning Scores are a fascinating mosaic of movement and performance discoveries originated by Lisa Nelson. Tuning Scores reveal the basic elements of action, by attuning to the rich details of composition, behavior, and communication, altogether. The games are a multisensorial and kaleidoscopic set of practices that are wildly fun to do. Through the specificity of solo movement warm ups, group dancing, and verbal cues, tuning lays out an approach for performance research that can change how you make, perceive, and do in any creative medium.

Tuning Scores are an intriguing way to investigate fundamental elements of performance, movement behavior, and communication, altogether. The explorations illuminate how we compose perception through action; in other words, we learn how what we see is inextricably linked to how we see, through our multisensorial layers of observation. In “tuning,” we practice together, using both movement and verbal calls. Through these, we communicate our desires, our imagination, and our memory, in a shared image space. And with this material, we compose live art, together.

Margit Galanter and Lauren Tietz during Margit’s 2017 Tuning Scores workshop

Lauren is delighted by the poetics of the everyday- holding hands in public, the color of beet borscht, the dull circular sound of feet against a dry limestone creek bed. She is intrigued with the experience of small, daily things and the cumulative impressions they make on the human body over time. Her work seeks to expose, through movement, sound and image, a certain immediacy of vulnerability and intimacy.

Lauren is a dancer, somatic movement educator, craniosacral therapist, Pilates instructor and filmmaker based in Austin. As an artist and healing arts practitioner she loves to uncover the intelligence of the body, its nuance, poetry and wise council. She savors this relationship of body to language, inner to outer. She believes the body’s expression of movement is our birthright and it is with delight that she shares this work with people of all ages, backgrounds or experience level.

Photo taken during Margit Galenter’s 2017 Tuning Scores workshop

So be sure to join us for this month's special edition of our bimonthly Elements class every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month (this month it will be October 14th and 28th) from 2:30-4:30pm at Town Lake YMCA in the large group exercise room on the first floor.

No gym membership is required to attend. Open to adults age 16 and up; all abilities and experience levels. No registration necessary and fee for class is on a sliding scale from $5-$20, cash or check accepted. See you at the Y!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Another Day of Art at Moody Gardens

I know you have missed me and my blog entries. This is Lynn here at VSA Texas. My most favorite activity is a spectacular event called Art in the Gardens, which is our annual outdoor hands-on festival for kids of all ages with disabilities, held at the famous Moody Gardens® in Galveston. A week ago today was our sixth annual Art in the Gardens festival, and this year’s theme was “Stars of the Sea” in celebration of Moody Gardens' newly refurbished Aquarium. It was a bright sunny day with high humidity, but the water was beautiful and the breeze was blowing. Perfect day. April and I got there early and set up our art activities. Then volunteers started rolling in, and the first performers arrived and began drumming to get us all in the mood for a good time.

The Moody Gardens complex from the water: a white tent pavilion and 3 large glass pyramids with hotel behind
(Courtesy of Moody Gardens)

In case you didn't know, Moody Gardens began in the mid-1980s with a horse barn, a riding arena with a hippotherapy riding program for people with head injuries, and an extraordinary vision to create an island tourist destination. Today Moody Gardens is one of the premier educational and leisure facilities in the Southwest. It also provides horticultural therapy, education and employment for persons with a wide range of physical and emotional disabilities.

Even though Hurricane Harvey battered southeastern Texas just a month earlier, arts organizations in the area rallied and came out to provide art activities for more than 400 attendees. Among the activities were great jellyfish cutouts with the Junior League of Galveston County, paper plate fishbowl making with The Kids Club of UTM School of Nursing, decorating king and queen crowns with Galveston Arts Center, and making “Stars of the Sea” headbands with Moody Gardens. A man in a shark suit could also be spotted visiting with all the kids and bringing friendly shark smiles everywhere.

The shark man complete with a green button-up shirt in a crowd of kids

Chalk drawing (below) was also a big hit for everyone. In most cases, we connected big plastic apparatuses with chalk to kids' wheelchairs to facilitate making their own chalk art. Other kids would run around excitedly pushing the chalk apparatuses like old lawn mowers. All the kids seemed to head straight for that activity as they entered the tented pavilion.

Kids traverse the colorful, chalk-covered concrete floor of the pavilion. Note the chalk drawing apparatus.

Lots of great performers were also present to entertain our folks. Joy of Djembe Drumming started off the morning with lots of drumming, and a conga line slowly formed. Later, the wonderful Down Syndrome Association of Houston rocked the floor with “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll” (seen in the video below).

video

Texas A&M University at Galveston Two Steps followed that up with their country western thang, which was fabulous. Afterwards we ate lunch with all the volunteers provided by Moody Gardens, then cleared away all our sea gear, shook hands, hugged, and said “yeah! another great year” and the kids danced and sang and swayed and enjoyed going to the Aquarium Pyramid compliments of Moody Gardens. Thank you Galveston and Moody Gardens for participating and providing another great day for all the kids, parents, and teachers. Looking forward to next year’s theme!