Ben Ash

Class Description | Morning Class | Monday 21 - Friday 25 May 2018
Research Lab 2018 - 2 July

Loose themes for practice
Contacting an embodied sense of resource, a state or experiential flavour that is present, grounded and ready, where a sense of a balance between doing and being is established, tasted and known as something to return to when I encounter myself searching.. whilst moving, whilst seeing / receiving the other, whilst being and stilling.
Acknowledging change and instability, the possibility of noticing one's rhythm in this, our journey of coming and going.
Staying open to things as they are, even when (and in particular) I become aware that I have been over-taken by the desire for an outcome.
Appreciating space to mirror internal space, choices and possibilities.
Appropriation as a way into engagement - borrow this, try it on and see how it becomes me, say yes to this.

What happens?
The content of the class may change or remain the same over the course of the week and could be a mix of experiential guided exploration and set material that takes us through riddles and conundrums via journeys in the space. We might work with an anatomical detail and see what's there for us if we open into the mind of, say the scapula.. how it is to be with that as a fulcrum for a while, what that gives us.. This might serve as both a template for embodiment and as resource for originating movement.

The class is underpinned by the attempt to nourish curiosity and direct openness towards what arises in the present moment of exploration, letting movement and gesture arise, be, and dissolve back into the state of potentiality. A kind of objectivity towards our subjectivity, we're with what's happening rather than subject to it, we have choice. A riddle - We may look at how available we can be to what's going on 'out there,' whilst being with what's going on 'for us', observing when that reaches an edge, seeing how we maybe make ourselves less available to what's going on 'out there' or 'for us', perhaps we distance ourselves, physically or energetically. Seeing how we react to familiar and foreign stimuli informs us about where we might soften habitual edges and patterns and move beyond their limitations. This could happen through a simple score or task, maybe using proximity and duration.

Research Lab 2018 - 2 July
Wayfaring Encounters
This research laboratory draws on notions of Wayfaring and Transport by Tim Ingold ‘Traveling is not a transactional activity between one place and another, but a way of being’.
Using a collection of life sized collapsible wooden Tripods, the intention is to explore the actions and gesture that occur as movement language whilst arranging and rearranging the objects along an unbroken pathway through which a mobile DIY self build puzzle will unfold.
The session will be a fluid combination of practical play/research and discussion:
Suppose the self and self in relationship are a DIY project we are constantly constructing, what do we build together, how do we compose the spaces and places we inhabit, how do we respond to each other?
What modes of being/doing co-arise through a relational ‘availability’ towards the dynamic presence of another, whilst grappling with the tripods and articulating a landscape in flux?


I am a dance artist, choreographer, and co-director of Dog Kennel Hill Project, and integrate somatic movement awareness in my clinical practice as a Craniosacral therapist. I work with people through the relational field, both within performance practice and as therapist, informing the drives and questions I have in both disciplines. As an independent performer I have collaborated with Rosemary Butcher, Charles Linehan, Rosemary Lee, Richard Alston, Siobhan Davies, Charlie Morrissey and Charlotte Spencer. I am fascinated by the clarity of focused intention and human endeavour that I perceive as revealed through the practice of ‘working with objects’, sometimes experienced as ‘tools’. They can be grasped, manipulated and given multiple purposes, yet often actually serve no utilitarian function other than concentrated activity in and of itself. I am currently exploring what is made possible through being present in relationships, by creating interactive situations and activities with materials that become frames for this.

Ben Ash