“Creative Presence in the Art of Folding”
Brenda Pugh McCutchen, M.F.A.
Author of Teaching Dance as Art in Education,
(Human Kinetics, 2006) and creative force behind DanceCurriculuomDesigns.com
July 2, 2018
What I want to share with you is how the simplest of ideas can become profound when put into motion in one’s body-space and time. All that is needed is an organic idea and the creative nudge to explore it in terms of movement and the self.
This creative idea—simply FOLDING—is an organic invitation to explore the wonders of the body instrument and to let it go where the body-mind finds to take it. Folding can be explored for hours to deepen the connection to the self. Folding can be experimented with for years to find the special kinds of artistic expression that are unique to your body. You don’t have to be able-bodied to do so. It can be a gentle exploration in place, through different levels in space, changing body parts and directions, changing the speed with which you feel like moving. It can be a deepening of the self in harmony with the concept of folding which we began in the womb and continue to experience as a part of daily life without being conscious of it. This is an invitation to bring a simple idea, like folding, to the conscious level in motion.
In addition to a gentle movement exploration, it can become a more extensive exploration in folding while experimenting being supported by different parts of the body, folding parts of one’s external space, traveling through space, involving pieces of fabric or clothing or elastics or ribbons hanging from the ceiling.
A dancer or an artist in any field can take the idea of folding and generate an art piece, a site-specific piece, a work that uses props, liquids, other dancers, art objects that fold, people in the audience to fold with, or organic projections of swirling water that folds and spins, or being in water to fold and swirl as an extension of the folding movement.
Each of us has an organic body with a pre-disposition to fold. Take the ideas below from the improvisatory project in the gallery in Durham that was enriching and which produced such satisfying, organic explorations and experimentations. I offer it to you as a joyful exploration to engage in–with great appreciation to the artist and scientist Glenna Batson who not only is an amazing artist herself, but who has a profound ability to inspire others to find out what the body so naturally does and take it the next level of “human origami”, the art of folding. In the spirit of joy and creativity, may she inspire you to explore your own body as an instrument of expression through these ideas below.
-2016 Flyer Shared with Participants in the Workshop-
Human Origami – from Movement to Art
Workshop led by
Glenna Batson, Movement Muse
Jude Casseday, Soundscapes
THE CARRACK ART GALLERY – 111 West Parish Street –
Downtown Durham, NC, USA
Sunday March 27th
Folds – both in nature and in art – inform us about surface, depth and texture. This workshop offers an experience in the mysteries of body folding as inspiration for making art. Folds speak of the paradoxes between boundaries and limitlessness. Folding shapes us from conception into old age. It is our biological history of becoming, one that reveals our potential to create, morph, and evolve – one of many concepts that spills over into art making.
In the first segment of the class, Glenna will guide you through a moving meditation towards a deeper sense of embodiment. You’ll improvise on simple variations on simple themes of body folding. Jude will create a soundscape that also will feed the moving imagination. From this immersive field of embodied awareness, we’ll harvest the fruits of our imagination and indulge in art making of choice – drawing/painting, paper sculpture, choreography, music/sound, writing, whatever! We’ll have a big roll of paper on hand and some drawing implements. Please also bring your notebooks or materials of choice, and the willingness to sustain your focus as you fall through the rabbit hole into a world of creativity.
Glenna Batson is an independent movement educator with nearly four decades of teaching experience in somatically informed movement education. At 67 years young, she remains inspired by many inroads to embodied knowledge – contemplative to expressive, artistic to scientific. She lives in Durham. http://glennabatson.com
With over thirty years experience in theatre and music arts, Jude Casseday (sound artist/musician) offers soundscapes and music for parties, gatherings, film and dance. Jude writes about her life and work in the blog “Jude’s Soundlings (did you hear that?)” at WordPress.com. Examples of her sound work can be found at https://soundcloud.com/dejacusse/tracks
Photos by multi-media artist and dancer Susan Sentler.