Week 3 PRACTICES: Raha Behnam + Abby Crain
Embodied Agency as Radical Praxis
January 21-25, 1:30-3:30pm
Open Source Forms is a multifaceted experiential practice of image based and hands on movement work that is designed to unlock patterns of holding as a means through which to un-trammel and liberate the moving dynamism and flexible embodied intelligence of its practitioners. It is transparent and intentional in its refusal to adopt traditional methods of dance pedagogy and instead place the individual, eccentric experience of each student at the center of the work. In this class, we posit and explore the political implications of a practice like OSF. The experience of an embodied self is constructed by social, systemic and often oppressive forces. If holding patterns are ways that oppression and trauma live in the body, then letting go of these patterns can allow us to recover our whole selves, our human brilliance, and our capacity to think clearly about a situation. In this workshop, Abby and Raha engage in a teaching conversation within and around OSF as a technique of potential liberation, while also holding it accountable to questions about access, practice, language, and aesthetics. Together as a class we engage in these questions as we practice and research the form as a means through which to access the marvelously powerful and unstoppable resources of our whole selves.
Raha Behnam is an Iranian-born, Canadian-raised, US-based artist; a first-generation immigrant to occupied Indigenous territory. She is the daughter of Persian cultural workers, Darab Behnam Shabahang and Mahvash Vatankhahi. Her performance work has been presented at Danspace Project (Food for Thought), The Wild Project (the CURRENT SESSIONS), the Knockdown Center (Sunday Service), Performance Studies international 2017 conference (Hamburg), FRESH Festival (San Francisco), and Figure One Gallery (Illinois). She has performed in the works of Abby Crain, Tino Seghal, and Jessie Young, as well as performed for Pearson/Widrig Dance Company, and DEVIATED THEATRE. Raha is concerned with systems and practices for collective healing, and engaged in liberation work through community-based counseling. She holds a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning and Bachelor’s degrees in Dance and Anthropology. She is currently working towards teacher certification in Open Source Forms (OSF) lead by Stephanie Skura and is an active member of Movement Research’s Artists of Color Council.
Abby Crain is a Houston Born, new England raised teacher, performer and dancemaker currently based in the California Bay Area. Teaching credits include Movement Research NYC, Mills College, NYU, Ponderosa Tanzland, Beloit College, Liverpool University, and an annual summer retreat with Sara Shelton Mann called Drop Your City Armor. She has performed extensively nationally and internationally primarily with Miguel Gutierrez (NYC) and Sara Shelton Mann (SF). Her own solo and collaborative work has been seen in places such as NYC, LA Portland, Berlin, Liverpool, Cork and Chicago. She was certified to teach OSF by Stephanie Skura in 2013 and has been teaching at the FRESH Festival since 2011. Her current work centers around non-human and ecological affinity, eco-somatic research, radical pedagogy, and unpacking her own cultural subjectivity. She has two children, ages 10 and 14.
January 21-25, 1:30-3:30pm
1 Practices Workshop – $125 | 4 Practices for $450 | 8 for $800 | 12 for $1100 | 13 for $1150
Pricing for 1 Day Weekend Workshops: $65
Photo by Robbie Sweeny: Abby Crain