March 22, 2015

Blind mom, my former boss and dear friend from California

March 13, 2015

The Heart--A Sexy Dragon

February 5, 2015

the body poetik at International Somatechnics Conference this April

As part of a cohort of fellow bodyworkers/performers/artists, I have been invited to present at a conference hosted by the Center for Critical Studies of the Body at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The university in Tucson is now the international home to the Somatechnics Research Network (formerly based in Sweden). 

Here is the very compelling call-to-dialogue-and-explore for this year's conference:

To be open means having the capacity for connection and curiosity, and willing to be receptive to otherness and difference. Openness is an engagement with processes of becoming, to be in anticipation of future states without predetermined ends. To be in the open is to be exposed and vulnerable under conditions of necessity and possibility, of risk and danger. Open is ontological, an ethical stance, an imperative: it demands of us to open borders, detention centers, and prisons, to open our eyes and our hearts, our senses and our awareness. Invitations are openings, as this one is: Let us come together and open ourselves to the embodied experience of our messy entanglements, fraught alliances and fuzzy boundaries with each other and with the Earth. And let us do it in Tucson.

The tension and interplay between self, other, and being open is a fundamental part of the art/ services the body poetik offers. I am so excited to converse, experiment, and play with like-minded others in Tucson and bring new ideas back to my local practice here in Florida!

For more info about the event, go to CCSB.

December 26, 2014

the body poetik residency at alternative school for girls

Just before the holidays, I completed a 10-week residency with girls, ages 12 - 16, at PACE in Pinellas Park. PACE is a nonprofit, alternative school for girls who may have ended up in the corrections system due to truancy or behavioral issues at the regular public schools they were attending.

PACE is only partially funded by the Pinellas county school board. Much of the operations budget has to come from private donors. A fundraiser was planned for November, in which the girls would perform a spoken word poem that told a collective tale about the ways in which many girls come to PACE. It was a difficult piece, full of metaphors about social injustice, and graphic details about addiction, rape, and domestic violence.

I used thebodypoetik techniques with the girls to bring their imagination, empathy, and shared experiences to the script. We played physical improv, group bonding, and vocalization
games to help them relate to and really own their individual parts in the performance.

The event went well, with more than 200 donors in attendance.  More importantly, the girls had fun being fitted with microphones and greeting the donors along the spiral staircase. They spoke their lines with calm confidence and each girl had her own specific flare. They also got to witness the way their words brought about action. Almost $10,000 was pledged immediately after the performance..

Our last class want back to basics--the simple pleasure of connecting to a nurturing, natural state.  Girls read from their journals. We talked about explicit rap lyrics, we rapped a bit, boredom and wanting to be good. We compared notes on the care of guinea pigs and bunnies. One girl talked about accidentally landing on a manatee after she dove into a local river...her concern for the creature, and her horror at it's slimy, barnacled skin.

In the end, we made feet starfish for our goodbye selfie.

Luckily, VSA Florida has given thebodypoetik a  spring residency to return and work with the girls at PACE. This time, we will focus on performing our every day experiences through voice and movement. Each girl will have a solo There will be poetry, performance art and many stars!

November 20, 2014

Betty Dodson on Orgasms as a path to self-knowledge and awareness

One of my clients is a senior citizen who had a decades' long letter-writing friendship with Betty Dodson. Today, he trudged 7 blocks from his parking space to my apartment with boxes full of books by Dodson and others--he donated his collection to The Body Poetik! As for Dodson, she is a world-renowned sex educator and pro-sex feminist who started educating women in the early 60's. So honored that R. brought a little Betty into my studio!

Here, Betty (who is now in her mid-80's and has a live in 20-something Russian lover) talks about Knowing Thyself, owning your solo orgasm.

Not sure how to own it, do it, say it, ask for it, stop putting off pleasure? The Body Poetik can help!

October 17, 2014

Longing to bring a little of Naropa University in Boulder CO to the Tampa Bay Area

I want to bring a little of what is offered at Naropa University in Boulder, CO to the Tampa Bay Area.

A Buddhist-founded, beatnik-run, environmentally conscious, transformation-based, waking-up-to-the-present liberal arts learning community. My collaborators and I were part of a conference in which poets, performers,  and thinkers featuring presenters on mothering, dirt, trash, and radical ways of being in touch with the body.

My current focus with the body poetik is liberated sensuality/sexuality and creative expression consulting. However, the current of what I offer runs through death, aging, disability, motherhood, man-formation, brain differences, and more. 

Here we are, at Naropa. Lisa Gil and other attendees, being sewn together by a gossamer thread, at The Sewing Is Writing panel. The metallic thread, which ran through some clothing item attached to the body of every audience member--it pulsated. We looked at the slides of brain scans belonging to the presenter's mother (the mom having dementia and having been a professionals seamstress) and the presenter's daughter (a young crafter in her own right). I have not been happier in a long time--being, literally, threaded together with other people.

Sheila Black and Violet Juno--using strange, awkward fashionista wings; asking students to draw their bodies in response to ortho-horror stories. Who are we? In our little bodies, one moment at a time? Who can we be?

My body as comma, as the comma intersecting holding and moving the line of someone else's spine. As drawn by Violet Juno, while I presented.

Here is Denise Leto (recent winner of the Room of One's Own award) and I, crashed out in the campus meditation room, taking a break from the intensity of beautiful writers, performers, seekers. We laid on the zen practice floor and ate donuts and checked the baseball scores. This is necessary. This is the body-as-artist practice. My donut, not seen here.

Neese and I are now starting realize that the vocalizing I do for her when she performs her work (she has a disability that affects her vocal cords) is an art of body attunement itself. Do you have a voice difference, body difference, and want to take your art/health/spiritual practice further through collaboration?

Be in touch with me! Also, I am going to be looking to venues like Studio 620, The Venture Compound, and University of Tampa to start offering performance art at the intersection of bodywork and participatory poetics.

Happy Autumn, season of incubating seeds!