Bodystudy is an open method, based on exploration and improvisation tasks. As everybody is his/her own guide and observer this method is the same profitable for professional dancers and non-professionals. It can support meticulous exploration as well as justing having fun in moving your body.
It works with the focus on somatic observation and creative exploration. It can break habitual patterns of movement, trains different movement qualities and at the same time strengthens physical and mental endurance. The method is focused on principles and deep inner perception, to get a profound understanding of yourself, the connections in your body and every new movement.
By exploring your own body through inner images, imagination and by physical observation tasks you can explore the unfamiliar and surprise yourself in every moment. The music serves as a source of inspiration and at the same time trains us in its precise handling.
The continuously changing instructions create a space of experience, where you can gain new physical and mental insights.
Use Bodystudy for …
- Warm up
- Relax/ Cool down
- getting inspired
- connecting a Group: Contact &Joy
- finding new ways
- coming over patterns
- finding new physical qualities and principal
- finding the individual in the general
- learning and getting inspired from music
- extending your tools and possibilities to have them in crucial moments for use
With Bodystudy you can train …
- to work with inner pictures and imagination
- to perceive deeper layers and levels of music (beyond the obvious) to transfer these on your body
- to let yourself fully in without breaking physical or emotional borders or just adjust to others or even denying yourself
- increase your presence through conscious acting and focus
Basic rules for Bodystudy
- Don’t let yourself distract from anything through this hour (don’t drink, don’t go to toilet, don’t interrupt for nothing, no pause). Prepare to keep up with this (switch off your phone, go to toilet, organize your clothes, etc.).
- If you don’t understand the instructions, copy what you see (in case that you doing it in a group; try to understand the rules/task by copy and observing your doing. If you only have the words to understand or even can’t copy, take what you get and make your own task out of it: what makes sende, what arouse your curiosity? It can something different as meant, but have clarity in your own instruction. Don’t just move uncouseliy.
- Keep in mind: You are not DANCING and you don’t have to LOOOK GOOD or beautiful. We move to increase our skills and options to move. It is research and observation.
- Move with open eyes. As this a preparation to perform and to train inner awareness and presence in the outside to the same time.
- If you are moving in group, use copying others and getting inspired from how people move around you to extend your repertoire. I
- Never stop, don’t fall out of the tasks. Continue in your pace and possibilities. In case you are out of breath, have insurances or are not capable to do something; adapt, but don’s skip it. Go to your personal limits, but also don’t stay under your limits 🙂
- Accept the current state and move from there.
- The tasks build up by adding different layers or going deeper in to more levels to then same time. See, how much you can add and how much you can keep by continuing the new details. If you are overwhelmed, make a decision which parts you skip and continue with your set focus. Don’t be frustrated, if you make the task easier. It is just a current snap shot and you are in the process to develop new skills.
- Which instructions are on autopilot and which are in focus. Can you come back to the autopilot ones in focus again? How do you choose focus? Play with being challenged and being overwhelmed and move you through with curiosity and joy.
Here you find Playlists on Spotify and descriptions for doing Bodystudy yourself at home or with friends. You just need approx. 4 m2 (or of course more) to do it.
!! Enjoy moving your body !!
Playlists for Bodystudy
- Eye movement: try out all directions, up/ down, far/close, bows, circles, spots, jumps, zick-zack, … Then let the head and neck move together with the eyes, the eyes pull and mush the movement of the head and neck.
- Eyes movement are bringing the body in movement, also into the room
- Knee and hip joints: what movement is possible, sutra combinations are interesting ? On spot and into space.
- Give you an impulse of swing and see how far the energy goes, how the energy can spread into the body. Realize the change of active part to passive part. When is the energy used up? Where comes the new impulse from?
- 5 points: big toes, middle fingers and top of the head. In-between: create sculptures of transforming and morphing tension.
- The body brings itself into movement by sliding, nudging, carrying, guiding, throwing. Not only hands, try to use all possible parts of the body to do that. Start with hands and arms to understand the idea.
- Focus on elbows and knees and the principal and pushing out of the floor and sinking into the floor.
- Combine the quality of floating and keeping balance, on spot and into space.
- The two parts of he lung are in duet with the sternum.
- wring different parts of the body. Wander from part to part, bring parts in opposite wringing, wring into the body and reach out n wringing quality.
- Indexfinger and sternum move together. Interpret the coquettish mood of the music.
- Your whole body is full of butterflies. How can you walk?
- Touch yourself and let your body cuddle into your own touch.
- Give your body impulses: direction, qualities, inspirations and follow/ answer with your body.
- Give with different parts of your body weight to other parts of your body. Stay with the weight and let the other part come towards it.
- Swing your body in all variations, combinations and intensities. Also while walking.
- Sink in a bit (knees, pelvis in different combinations and variations, but always falling into the floor). Start walking/shifting from right/ left and stretch and reach out from different parts of the foot (toes, heels, edges, joint). Later also with both sides to the same time. It can go until knee and hip joints. Vary all possible combinations to bring you into space and movement, but never loose the bending position. All the upcoming movement comes only from the feet.
- Push yourself out of the floor, light-footed, little light jumps. Little swings with your lower legs, but not to the end, stop very early and soft. Fast feet, ease. After a while you can transfer this quality also to your upper leg.
- Let your body partially or fully sink into the floor, then align from the very bottom of the body up to the top by chain reaction (no breaks, no blocks).
- Quality 1: Bumblebees in your arms move them and draw patterns into space/ air; quality 2: your legs are a swimming noodle and fold with little resistance shapes into space. Later: combine both.
- Movement of shoulders and pelvis bring your spine into movement.
- Use your gaze and the movement of your eyes and wander with the eyes to spot in the space. then catch this spot with your body. If you have this principle create shapes and figures with your gaze (head cn her, but it’s mainly eyes) and play with that: trace it with your whole body or body parts, catch them and bring them somewhere else in the space. Catch and use them by manipulating them, transform them (flatten, enlarge, fold, tilt over). You can embed your body in the shape/figure and act with that from there. Dance a duet with it.
- Balance: always only on one leg. With focus on the free leg and pelvis creating in slow movement a statue, hold for a bit and transform soft and slowly to the next statue. Change legs once after a while.
- Hands brush over the whole body surface, from top to toe, also bottom of the foot. The body follows naturally and receives with all attention your touch and realize the sensations that arise and let the body react if it wants:
- Flat hands with weight and without letting space in-between hands and body
- Flat hands very soft with air, but still touching the body the whip time.
- Flat hands, but not touching the body at all, but feeling the energy that is moved by the hands.
- Choose a point in your body as a fixed base and choose a body part to reach out as far as possible. Go up to the maximum and let go. Then choose another fix point and another part to continue. After a while you make the reach out as your max to the new base. With this points work you through your whole body.
- Hopping from one leg to the other and swing lower leg in different directions, use different combinations of right/left, same side and rhythm. Observe the effect of the rest of your body. Later on include the arms in a natural way to the leg movement.
- Wring body parts: choose a starting point and wring until the maximum to the next body block, then let go. You can help with your hands by manipulating your wringing part. After a while wring to the next body block and continue to overcome the block by swiping to the next body part. You can challenge yourself by manipulating parts by fixing them with body parts (e. g. step on your foot, that it can’t move further) or by using limitation from outside (floor, wall, pillars) to fix parts and wring from there. You can build it up from single parts, up to 2 different parts to the same time and end with full body wringing.
- Bend your knees all the time, let your feet work: your foot joints and the different directions of your foot edges, foot points, toes, heels, instep bring your body to move. The movements from the lower parts give natural effects to the upper part and the pelvis. But this parts does’t lead or start movements by itself. The pelvis and the knees are relaxed all the time.
- Hands leading the movement of the rib cage: start with one hand. Let it move, also very detailed and the rib cage follows exactly in direction, timing, quality, size, tense, energy. After a while you can use 2 hands leading the movement together to the same time. Then split the hand and let the rib cage follow one hand after the other in different directions and qualities. After a while turn it around and let the rib cage lead your hands.
- Imagine your body as a feather, that is moved by an imagined puppet master. Be very clear, from which point the puppet master pulls up and which part of your body. The puppet master plays with holding parts, while others are also pulled up, let parts down in stages and creates rhythm. First its one part after the other. After a while two parts can be pulled to the same time. The puppet master plays with different and freaky combinations and creates also chains of movement. At the end he plays with your whole body in movement.
- Play between two leading points: pelvis and head. Play with small and big moment, being on spot and coming into space.
- Imagine yourself in a soap bubble: check out the limits, that let it grow to the maximum (depending on your body size) by cuddling into the limitation and widen it softly. Implement your body in different shapes into the bubble like a slow moving statue. When you reached the maximum the bubble cuddles itself into your body. You are shrimping together slowly and is therefore limiting your space and possibility to move. But you continue withe the idea of shaping your body in the bubble. Feel the contact between you and the bubble and the difference of widening it and being limited by it.
- Butt on the floor, upper body and legs up. Move your legs in all imaginable directions by curving, swinging, flapping, stretching, guiding, pushing, pulling, giving accents, turning, throwing out, … and bring your whole body in movement by this, also into the space. But be clear in only led by your legs.
- Imagine having ping pong balls into your body. Throw different balls in different directions of your body. At first it stops at the limit of your body shell. Feel the drive, energy and tempo of the balls and what happens if all this power stops at your skin. After a while let the body come into a logical movement by continuing the energy and direction of the ball, bringing your body into space. Later imagine that you throw out the balls out of different parts of your body into the space.
- Breath in (4 beats), breath out (4 beats): your body follows naturally the breath by the principal of opening and closing, become wide and tide. Use parts or use the whole body. Also open your backside.
- Create lines in your body to stretch. You can use counter tension, leaning or even use the floor or the wall to find different lines to stretch.
- Unfold you body like a just finished butterfly unfold itself from the cocoon. Widen, reaching in softness and fluffiness. Shake it out softly from the different joints.
- Shoulders, hip joints and knees are dancing in dialogue.
- Hands and feet on the floor, your center is up and leads the movement. Explore between hands/ feet far away from each other, very close and everything in between. Center can face down to the floor and up to the ceiling.
- Push your center with help of hands on the floor either wide into the space or up high to the ceiling. Legs kann lead the center in different directions. Use the momentum to fly and slide easily through the air as long as possible. Play with twists of the center.
- Pick fictive things out of the air and put them into different parts of your body. What happens there?
- Hold yourself on just one leg and play with the rest of your body around. The leg can be stretched, bended/ foot can be flat or pointed, upper body can be up or up side down. Create sculptures and hold it, then change the forms many times. Change leg.
- Move into different kinds of arch. Rib cage up, chin up. Make the arch shape bigger by starting the arch from your hips/ center, from your knees, from your foot joints, with pointed toes, play withe the level of arch. Symmetrie, asymmetric, leaning right and left. Different combinations of arch lines: stretch, bended, different focus, different line.
- Lean and fall into the space: follow different lines within your body. How to start? How to stop? How do you change directions? What brings you to stop and change direction?
- Impulses created with all possible parts of your body leading away from your body. You can create chains within your body and play with time and rhythm. Then collapse in your body and start the next impulse chain.
- Play with expanses in your body. This can be physical parts or created by space in-between the physical parts. This expanses are leaning against imaginary areas in the air. You are hold by them. Nestle yourself into it in different alignments into space.
- Stand upright with your arms raised. Breath slowly. With every breath out you release your body a little bit more. Lead yourself into a small package on the floor by using slow motion. Step by step come more in relaxation state. Be aware, where you still has to hold. Some positions have a lot of tension and need a lot of support. Relax into it. Then lead yourself from the package to a flat lying position on the floor, all the weight goes into the floor.
- Investigate the connection and cooperation of ankle, knee and hip joints: first on spot, later by stepping through the space. Both legs to the same time and standing on one leg, forwards, backwards, sidewards, symmetrical and asymmetrical.
- Print and draw with imagined water color on your feet patterns and structures on the floor: use different parts of your foot to print, play with weight, surface structure ⟶ imagine preciously how the print would look like depending on your physical action. Slide, slip, circle, brush and create a drawing on the whole floor in the space. Use toe, instep, edge, heel, point, different toes. Play therefore with distance, direction, shape.
- Keep the idea of drawing a wate cooler picture on the floor, but now the foot brush is guided by your arms (pushing, swinging, pulling) and the feet follow by letting the impulses through the whole body towards the feet.
- Move your organs and imagine, that they are connected with a line with your legs, so that the legs follow their movement as reaction from pushing, pulling, stretching, squeezing, counter-tension of your organs.
- Feathers around you: catch them and throw up gain, let they slide over your body. Use the whole body and all imaginable parts of it to nudge it very soft into the space in different directions. Accompany some for a while, let them dance on your body.
- Soft but high jumps, soft ankles: both legs to o the same time, on one leg, changing legs. Back and forth, right, left, cross, play with distance.
- Reach out into space with different parts of your body. Root parts of your body in the floor or in the air.
- Shoulders: softly up/ drop down with all the weight. Up/ down, rolling forwards/ backwards, moving in opposite. Later include also your head in the movement. Then: shoulders bring rib cage in all possible positions and directions: extend, stretch, squeeze, twist.
- Lift your rib cage, spread your arms, keep this position. All the rest of your body hangs with ease on your rib cage ⟶ imagine, everything float into the air, even though of course you are standing on your legs. Remember the joint connection from the first task and let your downer side play and dance with the idea of joint cooperation. After the break in the music: become earthier. Slowly, step by step let sink the rib cage and arms. The rib cage guide the movement of the legs. Later keep the guiding of the rib cage, keep the ease, keep the floating, but become smaller and smaller with the rib cage movement until it’s not visible anymore, but still feelable for you and active legs.
- Imagine you move yourself through mercury, it’s everywhere around you in every single crack of your body. It gives you a little weight all the time, so you need continuously a little resistance to stand against it and move your body. Move in medium slow motion into space and through space, feel the resistance all the time, never stop, you are continuity, be aware of your full shape and how it looks like in the mid of mercury.
- All possible top points and edge points of your body dab softly dots into the air.
- Imagine yourself in the middle of steam. Bathe into it. Mov the steam, breath steam in and let it move you from inside, breath it out and move the steam around you with your breath. You form the steam and the steam forms you.
- Move by using amble, move while not mixing right and left side very precise. In all other aspects you are free. How can you move into space, within your body?
- Dust wiping with different body parts. Find different quality of wiping dust. Apply them on different body parts and use the space around you. Use your imagination to create different things to wipe the dust off.
- Bodyparts transport other body body parts, like: the hand transports your upper leg. The hand transports your lower arm. The instep of your right foot transports your sole of your left foot. Your shoulder transports your ear. Your hip bone transports your elbow. Your sternum transports your little finger. Your feast transports your gut.
- Use the plane quality of sliding. Slide with your whole body into the space on the floor as well as only slide with different parts of your body into the space, also in the air. Using the quality of sliding also within your body. Slide from upper part to lower, from right to left or set 2 points and slide in between. You can also experiment with combinations of these possibilities.
- Jump: Start with both feet parallel and experiment then with: distance and placing of the feet, shift weight, bending knees, hip joins to create different shapes and dis balance. Then use Alos your center to give different directions and turns in your jumps.
- Move with guiding point in your body. Only one specific part per time gives the direction of the movement while the rest of the body just follows. Name precisely every change of your guiding point. You can either decide the change and name it our realize your unconscious change and name it then. Don’t cheat. If you have quick changes, be quick in naming!
- Pick something from the air and put in into a part of your body. This body part moves with this „thing/s“ inside. It can either stay there or wander/move within your body. This „things“ can be anything and the reaction within your body aligns to that, it could be e. g. an iron bar you put inside your spine, a wooden block, you put into your center, a thunderbolt that brings the energy into your arm and from there it will be transfer to other body parts or a bunch of butterflies you put in your right shoulder and from there they travel through your body and linger at some parts.
- Keep balance in postures: Both feet on point or only one foot (point or flat) on floor. Create postures and hold it. If you have a good balance challenge yourself by slightly moving to dangerous postures. You can increase, move your center in the same posture, bring parts out of balance. Play and don’t be afraid of falling.
- Lie down on the floor with your back and let you move only by using your legs. The rest of the body can follow passively. E. g. sliding, swinging, pushing, pilling, use your joint, let gravity work, use run-up.
- Dance a trio with your two hip joints and your nose.
- Use all techniques and quality from this session so far, pure as well as in combinations. Be conscious about what you use and how you combine them.
- Collect energy from the earth, from high up and the air around you and bring it into your body by rubbing it in, sliding it from up to down or from down to up or massaging it in. Assure that you provide in every single part pf your body some energy.
- Let impulses come from all possible parts of/ in your body and follow the consequences of the the impulse. Don’t do more than it has as consequence and don’t do more than the energy carried. Also don’t do less, means, don’t stop the consequences.
- Reaching out and stretch. Hold strichtet in all possible and impossible positions/ postures/ shapes.
- Play with the principal of turn in and turn out with all your joints.
- Your center and head are working together to bring you wide into space and to move on all 3 levels (floor/ medium/ standing).
- Play with your legs by jumping, circling, swinging, using your center helps for that.
- Move forward in a row from A to B and and with a pose. Use whatever to make your row and aiming the goal. Never repeat the same movement. Use also walking backwards, sidewards, alle level. Play with attitude, characters, personalities to catch up a lot of variants.
- Stand in a bubble in the size of your reach. Draw the inside of the bubble while using your arms, hands, fingers, elbows and all kinds and parts as paint brush. Use a big variety of techniques: panting, brushing, hurling, dabbing, striking, pushing, throwing, rubbing, circling. Dots, sparkles, surfaces, shapes, lines, etc.
- Feasts and heels are working together to make the body move in-between and into the space.
- Use all tasks you used so far today and play with them. Be aware and clear about what technique/ principal you are using right now. Play also with very fast changes. Adapt the techniques and principals also to different spaces or different parts of the body, combine them. Be always precise and clear about what you are doing. To become ore precise and getting more clarity you can speak out, what you are doing.
Additional for groups or train with a buddy:
Partner A is doing the exercise and Partner B names the technique/ principal. Play song number 9 a second time and change roles. Here you get great feedback, how precise you are.
- Walk slowly to the beat. Feel precisely how the foot is rolling over the floor, takes off and comes back. Which parts of he foot have contact. Feel all the nuances. Play with backwards and sidewards. Than align the rest of the body by slowly integrate all the joints from the lowest to the upper parts and the center, the shoulder girdle, the head. Stand still, aligned, open.
- Shaking, start with let fall of your center, fixed feet on the floor, later use arms in different directions.
- Push your loosen arms and legs into the space in all different directions, be gentle and soft and centered with your upper body.
- twist and wring: explore this quality in all parts of your body as well es the passing from one part to the other, when you reached the limit. Play around with full body, body sections, body parts and all direction. Into the floor, towards the ceiling, into the air and within the body.
- Catch the walking rhythm of the music and play with all kinds of direction change:
- half, quarter, full turn
- lead by one foot, 2 feet
- forwards, backwards, sidewards, circles
- jumping, sliding, stepping, throwing, …
- streichet or bindend knees
- suddenly, surprisingly, planned
- kick/ impulses and follow
- Circles: draw circles with all possible and impossible parts of your body (also inside parts) in all possible aspects, all sizes, all levels/obliqueness/ pitches. Combine different circles in contrary aspects. Let all circles be smooth, perfectly round and without interruption in your execution process.
- Floor level & low level: use only your center and your legs to switch between that 2 levels. Use gravity, swing, leading, pushing for roles, jumps and smoothly coming up and down. Don’t use hands, are, head on the floor at all. It’s correspondences from your center and your legs.
- Imagine your own world of geometric drawings and objects (2-/3-dimensional). They are all around you and you can also be inside of them. You can touch the to push you or to move them, you can use them to lean on them, lay on them (—> imagine that they really carry your weight, that changes your physical ability). You can dance a duet with moving objects. The objets/ drawings can change shape and size: either you manipulate them or use them as fix or movable surrounding you have to adapt.
- How moves a bored, lazy and des-interested body? Use also face and gestures.
- Up and down all levels with full mission of your center. All impulses come from your center and lead you continually up and down. You can jump, slide, fall, using gravity and off-balance, fly. You van use arms/ hands on the floor and arme/ legs/head to support the changes of levels.
- reach & let go: reach out with one body part until the final end (not give up before), then release and let the escaping energy reacting fully out, but not more. Reach out with an anchor in the floor or within your body. Or have 2 points as anchor within your body or floor and body. The reaching can go into the air in all directions or take place between 2 spots in your body.
- Full power and fun in twisting up and down and jumping. Be creative with your legs and arms, flying legs, moving arms. If you dance within a group, have duets with different partners.
- Start in standing and deconstruct little by little your body until you lie on the floor (belly or back). Meanwhile you stop in positions where you feel tense or pain, on positions to stretch or on positions you want to give more space. Help pit with your breath leading in this parts.