A Curious Invasion

They are irrepressible creative spirits bringing a remarkable level of invention and infectious spirit to all of their interactions.
— Laura Faure, Director, Bates Dance Festival

World renowned master teachers of sentient technique, inspired improvisation, and inventive choreography, as guest artists Pearson and Widrig guide their students in exploring new ways of dancing, and discovering and structuring their unique voices and vision. Numerous college residencies over the last 17 years include the Bates Dance Festival, New York University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Wesleyan University, University of Wisconsin Madison, Oberlin, Antioch, and Hunter Colleges, as well as arts centers throughout Europe, Latin America, Asia, and New Zealand.

Dance is… the urgency of moving and the vitality of stillness… energy made visible… the science of enlivening each cell of the body… embodying the sensibility of time… decentralizing intelligence… listening to the unknown, deepening breath and inner space, surrendering oneself to momentum… eating up outer space, refining intuition and musicality, relishing dynamic possibilities… readying body, mind and spirit for ANYTHING… tectonic shifts, seismic tension, volcanic eruptions… distilled presence, exhilarating expansion… partnering floor, space, people… pure joy, surprise, risk taking, appetite, moving, life… the art of motion.

We use improvisation as an essential path to finding a more sentient technique and a more vibrant performing presence; a sharper capacity to identify the "conversation" one is having with another or with oneself; structures that investigate the new and revitalize the familiar; ways to break down habitual patterns of thinking, feeling, and moving; an increased ability to play with weight shift, breath, momentum, rhythm, space, time, design, sensation, and memory; choreographic skills that melt resistance and stimulate ideas and discipline; a unique performance style that arises from a conscious body, a curious mind, and an open heart.

Do you like to create but have difficulty getting started? Have you started countless pieces but have trouble finishing them? In daily assignments beginning from highly structured improvisations, this class will explore how to begin, how to continue, how the mind helps, how the mind hinders, how to feel/know the "yes" when body, mind and heart are alive and in agreement, how to keep working when the "yes" doesn’t come, how the where affects what you do, how what you hear affects what you see. Through solo, duet, and group forms, we will explore different ways of unearthing and structuring the voices waiting to be heard through movement, ideas, sensation, deep feeling and memory. Movement, music, words, objects, and environments of all kinds will be explored.

Moving out of the class room, participants focus on finding forms and structures that deepen the feeling of the energy, space, time, memories, history, and dreams of a "place". The group will explore how to create choreography that awakens and sensitizes both performers and audience to their environment. Habitual assumptions of what art is, of where art happens, and of who responds are broken wide open. What at first appears out of place falls into place in exhilarating shifts of perception. Working with the space as an active partner, we listen to what is asking to be framed in each particular site.

Through structured improvisations, choreography, and written assignments, we will explore the power of words and their relationship to movement, space, rhythm, phrasing, mystery, humor, surprise, suspense, and revelation. What has more impact if left unsaid? What is the effect of adding music to your mix? What would happen if you sped up your movement and slowed down your text? Each day we will work with a new idea in solo, duet, and group forms. Participants will practice giving feedback as well as listening - to an idea, a feeling, another person; to what interests them, moves them, motivates them and inspires them.


Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig take participants on an exhilarating journey of dance to music by Baaba Maal, Duke Ellington, and Mexico’s Los Panchos. Discover the artist/performer within through simple writing exercises that instantly create dance theater texts. Class begins with an accessible in-depth warm-up where fear and hesitation are replaced with the pure delight of fully committing to each moment. Wear loose clothing and be prepared for an adventure. Open to the fearful and fearless of all ages and persuasions.