The Embodied Garden
How can we develop deeper empathy and understanding of our more-than-human communities? Is it possible to de-centre human perspectives through our embodied experience when consciously inviting multifarious perspectives to our relational fields? Can embodied knowledges bring about more nuanced interconnectedness between our social selves and our local/global ecologies?
The Embodied Garden will bring somatic and ecological dance practices into conversation with wider research questions exploring our more-than-human relations, decolonising embodied approaches, and steered by feminist and queer methodologies. Drawing upon a wide variety of techniques – including Body Weather dance training and somatic practices – to attune our sensory focus, imagination, and emotional resonance, we will refine and define ways towards embodied attentiveness to our interconnectedness with environments.
The workshop will include walking, working outdoors, and studio-based research, both collectively and alone, as well as time for discussion and inquiry. Through the course, we will expand our perceptions, giving space and time to daily practices for deeper listening as a means to converse in an empathic and embodied way to our wider ecologies.
We will frame our group activity in relation to the Schloss Pillnitz botanical garden and its surroundings – with the goal of collectively responding, designing, and facilitating a walking journey within the site. Incorporating our shared interests, questions, and approaches to how we experience the garden ecologies from wider more-than-human perspectives, the walk will be shared with the public in the frame of a final performance.
Simone Kenyon (UK) is a Scottish based artist and movement practitioner. Her transdisciplinary practice embraces the complex interrelationships of movement, people, and place. Her approach and practice works with ideas of expanded choreographies; encompassing dance and performance, ecologies and the more- than-human, cultural geographies, and walking arts. Her work often considers our haptic and sensory perceptions of our environments; working with modes of attention, embodied knowledge, and somatic sensitivity to frame participant experiences and approaches to performance making.
Her acclaimed project Into the Mountain explores the physical, cultural, and social entanglements with mountainous environments. A research project spanning seven years and with a year-long programme of curated events, culminated in a place-relational performance experience within the Cairngorms Mountains in North East Scotland.
Kenyon often works with other practitioners and specialists, including her longstanding collaboration with dance artist Neil Callaghan. Her work has been shown within and for specific sites in the UK, for numerous performance festivals and venues including Somerset House, The Hayward Gallery, and Sadlers Wells in London among others and within Europe and Asia.
She is currently resident Artist in Moray (AIM) 2021 – 2023 with Dance North, in the Highlands of Scotland.Through engaging with elements of radical mycology and citizen science she will develop choreographic work through relating and learning from fungal ecologies.