Invited speakers/movers

Myriam Gourfink
Patrick Haggard
Eva Karczag
Bigna Lenggenhager
Erik Myin
Lisa Nelson
Steve Paxton
Aaron Schurger

Myriam Gourfink‘s agenda revolves around a radical subjection of the constrained dancing/moving body to other, stretched time frames (slowness as resistance), other interacting spaces (sensors and micro-movements) and other invented idioms (post-Laban in the digital era). This notion of (re)composition, but also of notation of contemporary movement is the core of the choreographer’s approach. Gourfink is closely associated with composer/sound sculptor Kasper T.Toeplitz, equally concerned with making spectator-listeners push back their perceptual boundaries. this ongoing exploration redefines the deepest parts of our inner lives.

Patrick Haggard leads a research group investigating bodily awareness and voluntary action at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London.  He is generally interested in the relation between brain activity and subjective experience.  His previous collaborations with the dance world have included studying the brain bases of dance observation and dance aesthetics, and the nature of proprioceptive expertise.

Eva Karczag is an independent dance artist. For the past four decades she has practiced, taught, and advocated explorative methods of dance making. She performs solo and collaborative work internationally, and was a member of the Trisha Brown Dance Company (1979-85). Recent performances include improvised durational performance/installations with visual artist Chris Crickmay and composer Sylvia Hallett; Red Thread, a longterm collaborative performance project with Lisa Kraus and Vicky Shick; and Slapping Legs and Stepping Out, a collaborative duet with Gaby Agis. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree (Dance Research Fellow) from Bennington College, VT, USA, and is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. Her performance work and her teaching are informed by dance improvisation and mindful body practices.

Bigna Lenggenhager is a trained neuropsychologist who is investigating multisensory mechanisms underlying the bodily self both in healthy participants and in neurological and psychiatric patients. To do so, she is using various methods including behavioural experiments, virtual reality and brain imaging methods. After studying psychology, psychopathology and neurophysiology at the University of Zurich, she completed her PhD at the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience (Prof. Olaf Blanke) at EPFL Lausanne. She then moved with a fellowship of the Swiss National Science Foundation to Rome, working together with Prof. Aglioti at Sapienza University on the bodily self in spinal cord injured patients. At the moment she is conducting a research project with at-risk for psychosis and depersonalization patients at the University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of the University of Bern.

Erik Myin works in the philosophy of cognitive science. He is interested in how we think about mental phenomena, ranging from color perception to memory. Often in a collaborative fashion, both with scientists and philosophers, he has published on these areas in philosophical, interdisciplinary and scientific journals and book collections. With fellow philosopher Daniel Hutto, he is co-authoring “Radicalizing Enactivism. Basic Minds without Content, appearing with MIT Press.

Lisa Nelson is a dance-maker, improvisational performer, and collaborative artist who has been exploring the role of the senses in the performance and observation of movement since the early ’70s. Stemming from her work with video and dance, she developed an approach to spontaneous composition and performance she calls Tuning Scores. She performs, teaches and creates dances in diverse spaces on many continents, and maintains long-term collaborations with other artists, including Steve Paxton, Daniel Lepkoff, Scott Smith, and Image Lab–a Tuning Score performance ensemble. She has co-edited Contact Quarterly dance and improvisation journal since 1977. She lives in Vermont in the U.S.

Steve Paxton has researched the fiction of cultured dance and the ‘truth’ of improvisation for 45 years.  He lives on a farm, and he has received grants from Change, Inc., the Foundation for Performance Arts, John D. Rockefeller Fund, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has been awarded two NY Bessie Awards, and is a contributing editor to Contact Quarterly Dance Journal. He was one of the founders of the Judson Dance Theater, Grand Union, Contact Improvisation, Touchdown Dance for the visually disabled (UK), and began his career studying modern dance techniques, ballet, Aikido, Tai Chi Chuan, and Vipassana meditation. He performed with the Merce Cunningham Dance Co. from 1961-65. He lectures, performs, choreographs and teaches primarily in the USA and Europe.  In 2008, he and Lisa Nelson performed ‘Night Stand’ in Spain, and he published a DVD  with ContreDanse in Brussels, ‘Material for the Spine’.  In 2009 he re-choreographed ‘Ave Nue’ (1985) in Amsterdam, and toured Japan, including ‘Night Stand’ in Tokyo. With Contredanse of Brussels, he, Florence Corin and Baptiste Andrien have developed the Phantom Exhibition, a multi-image room of meditations on Material for the Spine, featured in the Super Bodies Triennale in Hasselt, Belgium, 2012.

Aaron Shurger was awarded a PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience from Princeton University in 2009, where he worked with Jonathan D. Cohen and Anne Treisman. After that he joined the research team of Stanislas Dehaene (INSERM U992) at NeuroSpin, where he is currently a Marie Curie post-doctoral fellow. Schurger’s research focuses on the neural signatures of subjective experience and the neural antecedents of self-initiated movement, both from a dynamical systems perspective. Schurger’s recent work on the role of spontaneous “background” brain activity in self-initiated movement may have implications for gametheory, certain sports, and artistic improvisation.

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