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Philip Bussmann
© Philip Bussmann
CoachingProject: August 2-6 2010

Nicole Peisl & Alva NOË

Being Present / Making Present

Consciousness is a skilful activity of exploring and achieving contact with the world around us. This workshop starts with the idea that the study of consciousness – the cultivation of new degrees of awareness, and also the theoretical investigation of the nature of human experience – can open up resources for compositional, artistic practices. At the same time we believe that composition can be a tool for investigating consciousness itself and so can make a contribution to philosophy and cognitive science. We will examine transformations from not seeing to seeing, from seeing to seeing more, from not understanding to understanding, from not knowing to knowing, from knowing to knowing differently. It is our hope that philosophy and cognitive science, on the one hand, and composition practices, on the other, can illuminate the nature of consciousness and also each other as practices.

Bodily and intellectual skills open up the world for perceptual consciousness. But they also provide the basis for action and so for decision making. Decision making – deciding what to do – is an important aspect of compositional practice. In this Coaching Project we will look at the ways fundamental facts about perceptual consciousness enable, and also constrain, the practice of composition. Perceptual consciousness concerns achieving contact with the environment in which we live; compositional practice concerns the creation of a theatrical environment.

The instructors – a philosopher/cognitive scientist and a dancer/body researcher – will use their respective knowledge to guide participants in the Coaching Project through a series of exercises, discussions, investigations and experiments (making use not only of body exercises, but also of reading, writing, drawing and speech).

In addition to participants with a background in performance – theoretical or practical – we hope to attract a diverse range of interested and engaged participants, from the sciences, or from other walks of life. We are interested in process; in particular the process of drawing at once on both art and theory practices, and also other forms of knowledge and understanding, in order to develop compositional practice and better understand our nature as human beings.

Nicole Peisl
Nicole Peisl is a member of the WILLIAM FORSYTHE COMPANY. She is teaching at the IDA (Institute for Dance Arts) at the Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität in Linz (Austria). Additionally she is expanding her knowledge about movement and body work through Cranio Sacral Therapy. In collaboration with the Tanzlabor 21/ Tanzplan Deutschland she has created two performances with young people at the Herder School in Frankfurt in 2007/2008.

Between 2000-2004, Nicole Peisl worked as a dancer of the Ballett Frankfurt for the choreographer William Forsythe. Between 2004-2006 she worked as a freelancer for the FORSYTHE COMPANY, the DAGHDHA DANCE COMPANY in Limerick and the EPISODE COLLECTIVE.
She taught at the Dance Academy in Rotterdam, and worked as a guest teacher at the School for Performing Arts and Music in Frankfurt and the University in Limerick for the master program Dance and Performance.

Nicole Peisl's education has always been focused on visual arts and dance. Since 1994 she is working as freelance dancer, choreographer (since 1996) and teacher (1997).

Alva Noë
Alva Noë is a writer and a philosopher who works on the nature of mind and human experience. He is the author of Action in Perception (The MIT Press, 2004) and Out of Our Heads (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2009). He is now at work on a book about art and human nature. Alva Noë is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California Berkeley, where he is also a member of the Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences and the Center for New Media. In addition, he is philosopher-in-residence with The Forsythe Company. He was born in New York City in 1964.
ArtistBio: Nicole Peisl
ArtistBio: Alva NOË


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