Double Skin/Double Mind (DS/DM) is a dance method developed by Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten to discover the sensitivity of the body through four basic principles: Breathing, Jumping, Expanding and Reducing. This awareness of the possibilities that the body can generate is necessary when creating new choreographic material. Because of this, the DS/DM method is the basis of every individual performance by Greco and Scholten. The DS/DM method is offered as a masterclass, a training or a workshop to both amateurs and professionals. Experiencing the DS/DM method can lead to a new physical and mental awareness in which intention and form coincide. DS/DM also provides insight into the artistic work of the two choreographers. Photo@ Kirk Donaldson
During her studies at the University of Michigan in the United States, former ICKamsterdam dancer Kelly Hirina has been doing research on new pedagogical approaches to developing artistry for dance students in higher education. As a Double Skin/Double Mind(DS/DM) teacher, Hirina was inspired to investigate how this method stimulates immense qualitative improvement in dancers. The research incorporated a study of fascia, the body’s connective tissue. Looking into the effects the practice has on this tissue and system, she recognized the training as a sensory method which supports the latest research of our body as a tensegrity system rather than mechanical system.
The research also focused on flow, the psychological theory of optimal experience, developed by Mihaly Chikszentmihalyi. The practice of DS/DM, similar to flow, has the possibility for a heightened concentration in which the dancer is stimulated both mentally and physically. The balance of skill and challenge for each individual, adjustable to the dancer within the practice, shifts the individual into a focused state, becoming aware and present in the moment and task at hand. This stimulates not only motivation but sustained engagement as the training is continuous and requires this enduring focus.
Hirina and ten undergraduate dance students from the university trained two times weekly in DS/DM. During this process of eight months, there was incredible growth of the dancers recognized by the Professors of the program in the final performance of circumpunct on April 27th, 2019, choreographed by Hirina. During the research, Hirina applied achievement goal theory to her work with the dancers, encouraging them to see the importance of process-oriented goals while working in a product-oriented environment. DS/DM was the center of this work. It is the perfect training to help dancers learn about practice as research and process-oriented methods.
Photo: Kirk Donaldson
Photo @ Bas de Brouwer
This physical box filled with tools to feel, hear, watch and smell is intended for use by dance teachers. The tools offered help them in stimulating their pupils to move and to dance on the basis of sensorial input and provide them with something to hold on to when teaching classes that are aimed primarily at generating movement material from an awareness of the connection between body and mind.
Sensorium – toolkit for dance is inspired by the artistic vision of the professional choreographic practice of Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten. The toolkit offers dance teachers and students a natural grip on the practice of cultivating creativity in movement through sensorial stimuli. The toolkit combines the creative (generating movement by playful means) and the rational (analysis and processing of suggested options) and so offers a multifaceted view of what dance education can be: learning about oneself, the own body and the relationship with its surroundings through creativity and discovery, whilst analysis and processing come into play along with the physical experience.
Kelly incorporates this Sensorium Toolbox in her dance composition/choreography classes. She finds that the students are quickly surprised by the material that they create while being led through exercises that encourage students to create from the concept of an intuitive body.
Photo@ Bas de Brouwer
Copyright © 2017 Kelly Hirina, Dancer, Teacher, Choreographer - All Rights Reserved
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