Thalia is a dance artist and contact improvisation teacher from Cape Town, South Africa. She studied dance at the University of Cape Town and completed her Masters in Choreography at Rhodes University with a focus on improvisation practice. She has worked professionally with various South African theatre companies and has founded several dance platforms including, Underground Dance Theatre, New Dance Lab and Music Dance021.
Thalia has studied Contact Improvisation with Nancy Stark Smith, Lucia Walker and Jori Snell. She is interested in improvisation
technique and real-time composition as a teaching methodology and choreographic approach and has been following the work of Katie Duck and Julyen Hamilton. She collaborates frequently in
performance projects with dance artists and musicians, and has recently been involved in performing in dance productions for very young audiences.
Spider Webs and Gecko Legs
This workshop uses images from nature to explore different qualities of touch. Starting from hands-on work to communicate with different systems of the body, we will focus our attention on the type of touch that arises from being in tune with certain ‘minds’ of the body. Once finding clarity in how our hands can talk directly to the skin system, facial network, joint system and skeleton, we begin to explore the different characters of dances that arise from this. The spider web becomes a central image for understanding fascia and the three dimensional aspect of the body.
We will turn our skin into the legs of a gecko, allowing us to stick to each other and find balance and weight distribution through a multidirectional friction. Other useful images include - puffing out like a pigeon, grazing
like a cow, the tongue of the cat, vines climbing a tree, and a bird on the arm.
We will also experiment with tone and proximity, sometimes pressing deeply into the structure and shape of the bones, other times floating lightly on the silk of the skin. We will discover our ability to become like Velcro and massage deeply into the fascia, and sometimes we will dance by touching
only into the temperature or kinesphere of others.
The spider web also becomes and image for how we are all connected to a larger composition even when dancing alone or with only one partner. We will investigate with sending our eyes out into the environment, noticing what kind of visual stimulus we can receive and how this can influence our dancing.