K.J. Holmes: Combining Disciplines for Creative Performance

August 4 – August 10, 2024

 (title contributed by Ruth Grauert)

This creative residency is a return to community.  Community of dance and landscape, learning more together about our personal natures within the natural setting of beautiful Bearnstow.  It is a renewal and a recharge.

The workshop itself brings together decades of dance and improvisation, somatic research, theater of the body and vocal practices. It will offer students the opportunity to discover the innate wisdom of the body as source and towards creative performance. Basic anatomy and phys­iology expand our range of choice and the quality of movement and voice and enable us to make the in­visible visible. Our investigations will include the ex­ternal space, time and place, using the environ­ment of Bearnstow as the landscape of the imagi­nation. 

Through improvisation and composition we will explore musicality and phrasing, how the senses influence and motivate our movement choices, and how we craft time and space. We will explore and work in all of Bearnstow—forest, lake, paths, cabins, weather. There will be time each day for an early morning yoga class, group sessions, and individual time for exploring and developing material. And there will be time to wander in the wonder of Bearnstow for research and relaxation. Each student will keep a journal of activities, experiences, observations, and thoughts that will be a blueprint for the making of work that will be informally shared with one another at the end of the workshop.

The time at Bearnstow will be very much about the unfolding of each participant’s imagination and the shaping and crafting of it as we engage within community and all that is the nature of Bearnstow.

K.J. Holmes, independent dance artist, singer, poet, actor and teacher based in Brook­lyn, N.Y., has helped to define, first as a student and now as a teacher and performer, many contemporary improvisational practices, studying Ideokinesis with Andre Bernard and colla­borating with forerunners Simone Forti, Karen Nelson, Lisa Nelson and Image Lab and Steve Paxton. K.J. is a student of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen and Body Mind Centering® since 1990, including the certification program 1995–99; a graduate of the William Esper Studio, Meisner acting with master teacher Terry Knickerbocker; a certified yoga teacher through Satya Yoga with Sondra Loring; and a certified Ayurvedic practitioner through Dr. Naina Marballi and Ayurveda’s World, NYC. 

    A sought-after teacher of improvisation and somatic approaches to dance, theater and voice, K.J. has traveled nationally and internationally teaching and per­forming at universities, festivals and venues that range from theaters to site-specific locations to living rooms.  She is currently adjunct faculty at NYU/Experimen­tal Theatre Wing (2001-present),teaches through Movement Research since 1986 (A.I.R 2012–14) and the School for Contemporary Dance and Thought, as well as leading sessions and study groups in Yoga and Ayurveda remotely.  She led Art as Experience events at MoMA 2019-20, and worked closely with Simone Forti in reconstructing her Dance Constructions there.

    K.J. has performed in and collaborated in the works of filmmaker Matthew Barney, poet Julie Carr, drummer Jeremy Carlstedt, cellist Juan Ignacio Ferreras, trumpeter Roy Campbell, Jr., choreographers Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People and Xavier LeRoy, dance artist Karinne Keithley Seyers, among many others including being featured in music artist Mitski’s video Bug Like an Angel.   She recently began a new process under the mentorship of composer/instrumentalist Henry Threadgill, Blu/print – directing and conducting an ensemble of dancers and musicians exploring origin and source, continuing her passion of avant jazz, dance, theater and poetics.

 K.J. is committed to creating dance/theater as  an attempt to find solace, artistic expression and sustainable life practices regarding climate change and the challenging political world.  She believes her teaching is not separate from her art making, and brings all her practices together in an alchemy of experiential life and living.

Contact kjhlms@gmail.com for more information

Get more logistical details about Bearnstow’s workshops.