In all of our trainings, classes, and community work, we engage a process of unlearning the systems of oppression that live in our interpersonal relationships and within our individual bodies. Loom Ensemble training seeks to unravel body shame, and shake loose the default culture’s twisted definitions of “beauty” or “strength.” We practice unwinding conventional gender roles, the body-shame industrial complex, and extractive / dominator attitudes towards the earth, all through the embodied practice of voice and movement. From this place we can begin to make art that helps heal our world, performances that are vulnerable and human.
Since Loom’s inception, our work has been grounded in ongoing training as a part of the creative process. As a result, our Teaching Residencies are sourced in the richness of ongoing research, embodied knowledge, and experiential expertise–not some hypothetical or theoretical concept.
Click below to read class descriptions from the menu workshops we regularly teach, for college-age or above.
Loom’s signature workshop series, combining dance, song, and physical theater. In this workshop students learn to work and move within a group, practice leading and following, and develop keen kinesthetic response. Loom creates “devised theater,” meaning performers are up on their feet creating the material themselves. Participants are guided through the process of creating their own characters, spoken lines, movement and even song.
This class is great for both beginning and experienced dancers, and will leave you feeling creative, healthy, and inspired. Class begins with a technique based warm-up with an emphasis on strength, flexibility, and balance. Then we do a series of exercises to build specific dance skills and an ability to move freely. We’ll end by learning a contemporary phrase, practicing full-body movement and dynamic performing.
In this class series, we will develop the basic skills of contemporary partnering and lifting. This is the baseline for creating / performing contemporary duo or trio work. We will use ideas from Contact Improvisation, Physical Theater, and Partner Acrobatics to create a blend of techniques that allow dancers to move freely with each other. We will develop physical listening skills, anatomical knowledge of lifting, and work on strength, flexibility, and grace.
Whether or not your choose to think about it, we are performing throughout our lives–in offices and classrooms, with strangers and beloveds. Regardless of when or where, embodiment tells the story. So, when we turn towards creating performance, vivid imagination moves into and through the body. We practice the rigorous craft of wildly playful communication. A full body exploration of what it means to be fully human, and the performance practice of sharing that fullness of experience with an audience. Great for performers, and anyone studying the human condition.
Speech and song mean vibrations travel from from inside you to inside me–that’s a lot of responsibility to take on. Learn to use your voice for speaking, singing, and full expression, as part of the body and through embodied imagination. Through a series of vocal exercises, group improvisations, and simple songs we begin to open the voice to a natural, relaxed, and clear sound. Participants will leave with a better understanding of healthy projection, a broader range of pitch and volume, and a feeling that finding our voices is a fun and important part of life.
Contact Improvisation is an open-ended exploration of the kinaesthetic possibilities of bodies moving through contact. Sometimes wild and athletic, sometimes quiet and meditative, it is a form open to all bodies and enquiring minds. Loom Ensemble trains in Contact Improvisation in order to better understand the physical laws that govern motion—gravity, momentum, inertia. Through this practice the body learns to release excess muscular tension and abandon a certain quality of willfulness to experience the natural flow of movement. Practice includes rolling, falling, being upside down, following a physical point of contact, supporting and giving weight to a partner. Classes are often taught in combination with an Open Jam.
Artistic Directors Neva Cockrell and Raphael Sacks work regularly as Teaching Artists, most recently at American Dance Festival; Oberlin College Dance Department; Rensselaer (RPI) Experimental Media and Perfroming Arts (EMPAC) Program; The American University of Sharjah, Theater Department; and in open community workshops offered alongside their ongoing tour performances across the US and Internationally.