‘Be you when you dance’

Contemporary dancer Harriet Roberts believes it is important to let the body dictate you while dancing.

Published: 07th April 2018 06:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th April 2018 06:43 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Contemporary dancer Harriet Roberts believes it is important to let the body dictate you while dancing.Harriet Roberts who trained in London, in contemporary style of dancing and spends her time globe-trotting, will be touching base in Bengaluru this weekend. She will train fellow dance enthusiasts as a part of her ‘Making and Breaking form’ workshop. She brings to the table, her specialisations in Contact Improvisation and Japan based dance form Butoh.

Speaking to City Express, she says,” This workshop is a mix of technique and improvisation. I focus more on sensation of movement and how it feels for the individual. I am not interested in people dancing like me or others next to them. If we can find an authentic connection to our body, we reach a meditative state.”
She intends to go about the workshop through the use of release-based techniques, choreographed-sequences and improvisations.

“A dancer must attempt to find ease in moving his or her body, releasing unnecessary muscular tension and paying attention to where effort needs to come from. We will approach the body from a somatic standpoint, basing our exploration on sensing and feeling rather than the aesthetics of it,” Roberts explains.
While the underlying philosophy to her style seems advance, she says she is ready to teach anyone who attends her class.

“I will make a judgement based on the audience. As it is being held at Meeraqi studio, I would assume that lot of the participants will be dancers who go for regular classes. However, I can’t really anticipate and will go with the flow,” says the trainer, who has conducted classes in Israel and India.As the tile of her class reads ‘making and breaking form’, the aim is to find a unique movement that will help one to develop their own material.

“From this place we will then start to break form through improvisation. It encompasses how to feel, move and listen intuitively to the body. We have to allow the body to become the dictator rather than us performing steps told to us by the rest of the world,” she adds.

The two day weekend workshop will include contact improvisation, a partner based dance form using principles of touch, momentum and shared point of contact. Harriet traces the roots of the style to 1920s America, when Ballet was popular, followed by which dancers broke away from the technique, creating variations like modern, post modern and finally contemporary dance including contact improvisation.
Having travelled extensively, the dancer finds it a rythm to her life in the nomadic lifestyle she leads. She feels the need to keep moving and not be stuck to a single base.

“ When I came to Bengaluru last year, the dance scene was completely different. So much has changed in a year. People in the city are growing, they want more. So many more studios have sprung up and there is a craving for Contemporary dance,” she notes. Dance enthusiasts can enroll for her workshop to be held
on April 6 and 7, from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm at Meeraqi Studio.

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