The world moves fast, even when a crisis locks you down, and it's easy to get swept up in the tidal wave. Iso-somatic Sessions is a series of short meditations led by some of Australia’s best movement practitioners, designed to be taken with headphones on, in your own time, in the comfort of your own home.
The sessions take inspiration from a breadth of restorative movement practices from across the world (Yoga, Feldenkrais, Qigong, Ideokinesis), all designed to help you uncover a deeper connection to your own body.
This series is our gift to you, we promise you will feel better for taking the time out to listen to and follow these generous practitioners.
The meditations can be purchased for a minimum fee of $1.35, this represents the cost of $1 + tax and fees and is similar to the price of an iTunes track. To show appreciation for the artists who made them, we encourage you to pay what you can. All funds raised through the purchase of these meditations goes to the artists who made them and to us, Dance Makers Collective, to reinvest in programs for our communities.
Composer and Artist Liaison: Matt Cornell
Body in place meditation is a way to embody an acknowledgment of country and connect with ourselves (body mind and spirit), and the environment through meditation.
For the duration of the meditation, one will move through the following three parts:
For this meditation it may be helpful to have the following items:
Jasmin is a contemporary dancer, choreographer and director, a Tagalaka Aboriginal woman with Irish, Chinese and Hungarian ancestry.
Jasmin spent 12 years with Bangarra Dance Theatre, performing numerous lead roles such as 'Patyegarang', in which critics described her performance as “powerfully engaging, fluent dexterity” (Sydney Morning Herald). She choreographed one major work for the company, ‘MACQ’, on the 1816 Appin Massacres under Governor Macquarie which toured Australian capital cities, regional Australia and Germany. In 2012 Jasmin was nominated for an Australian Dance award for ‘Best Female Contemporary Dancer’, and her work ‘MACQ’ was nominated for a Helpmann Award for best dance work as a part of ‘OUR Land People Stories’ in 2017, and in 2018 received a Helpmann for Best Regional Touring Program.
Other works include: ‘No Remittance’ for Legs On The Wall and ‘Choice Cut’ for Yirramboi festival, which was presented at Toronto’s Fall For Dance North Festival, 2019.
Jasmin will premier her first full length work “The Complication of Lyrebirds” in 2020 at Campbelltown Arts Centre. This work was also supported by The Australia Council for the Arts in conjunction with CAC and Native Earth Theatre Company, Toronto.
In 2020 Jasmin will create works for: NAISDA Dance College, Sydney Dance Company’s PPY program, and Catapult Dance.
Her work is passionate, political and has been described as “surreal and highly evocative” (The Australian).
I see my body as an intricately sophisticated collection of systems, all interacting and responding all at once to the infinite world around me. To take a moment to return back to the body, and listen to its nuance is a gift and pleasure. I wish for this meditation to bring you closer to the aliveness of your body. For it to nourish your imagination and to remind you of the small parts that often go unnoticed. Step inside this story with me. You are the main character, the love interest, the drama, the inspirational montage and the scenery.
Niharika is a contemporary dancer based in Naarm/Melbourne, and describes her practice to be suspended between multiple roles of collaborator, performer, maker and Senior Countertechnique teacher. Between 2012-2018 she performed extensively with Chunky Move, under the artistic direction of Anouk van Dijk. Throughout this time into the present, Niharika continues to work with various artists who predominantly create devised dance or theatre works. Some of these artists include Prue Lang, Belarus Free Theatre, Joel Bray, Daniel Schlusser, Steven Nicolazzo, Rachel Arianne Ogle and Pippa Samaya. Alongside this, Niharika has created sound for multiple dance projects and recently collaborated with Pippa Samaya to make three films during an Asialink residency in Kolkata. Ultimately, Niharika loves dancing and the magic potential of an ever changing body.
Bringing our attention back to our breath, the body and using visualisation techniques from her hometown backyard on Darumbal country; Katina takes us through a guided meditation to connect to our heart, acknowledging the lands that we are on and connecting spirit to the sky.
Step outside, find a comfortable seat and stay cosy as we go on this journey together to ground ourselves for the days ahead.
Katina Olsen, Wakka Wakka Kombumerri choreographer, is a founding member of Dance Makers Collective and has worked throughout Australia, Canada, UK, USA and Europe with Atamira, Sydney Dance Company, Stalker Theatre, Expressions, Bangarra, Erth, GUTS, Martin del Amo, Victoria Hunt, Narelle Benjamin, Francis Rings, Vicki Van Hout, Force Majeure, Erth and Wesley Enoch.
Her choreographic highlights include Mother’s Cry for Sydney Dance Company’s New Breed 2018, movement direction for the ABC series Cleverman 2 and the Malthouse production Walking into the Bigness and presented her solo namu nunar and a sunrise meditation at Supercell Festival 2020.
In 2017 Katina choreographed Min Min for QUT’s graduating year and worked with Digi Youth Arts on Unsettle in collaboration with the Queensland Museum.
This meditation takes inspiration from Yoga Nidra, the Feldenkrais Method as well as meditation teachers Tara Brach, Joseph Goldstein and Ram Dass.
Positioned for the duration either laying down or in constructive rest, this meditation leads the practitioner into experiencing the ‘sensational’ duality of heaviness and lightness in the body simultaneously. With an overarching focus on dissociating with the thinking mind and coming home to the sensing body, this practice reminds us of impermanence and finds presence through noticing the comings and goings of sound, sensation and breath.
Jenni is a contemporary dancer, teacher, assistant rehearsal director and choreographer. Since graduating from WAAPA in 2010 she has performed extensively throughout Australia and the world with companies and independent artists including; Sue Peacock, Aimee Smith, Isabella Stone, Rhiannon Newton, Dance Makers Collective, Leigh Warren & Dancers, Tasdance and Dancenorth.
As a choreographer and a teacher Jenni is enthralled by duality and delights in using comparison and contrast as a frame for learning and creating. Jenni’s practice oscillates between and is influenced by; contemporary dance, improvisation, yoga, Feldenkrais performance art, installation and audience interaction.
In Navel Radiation* all of our six limbs (head, tail, arms, and legs) flow inward and outward via the navel. They also integrate with each other through our navel centre as a six-limbed Seastar. The movement can be initiated centrally from the navel or distally from the ends of the limbs. Developmentally, this initially emerges in the oceanic womb.
With a sense of curiosity and inquiry we will explore internal movement and awareness of breathing as a foundation for external movement. The body cells are informing the brain as well as the brain informing the cells. Orientation occurs around our navel center before it is established around our spine and vertical axis. *one of the Basic Neurocellular Patterns in Body-Mind Centering (BMCsm), founded by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen.
Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal lives and works in Yaegl Country, Clarence Valley NSW. She is an award-winning dancer, choreographer and teacher with 20 years of international study, performance and touring experience. Born in Australia she is a direct descendent of Kangjeng Sultan Hamengku Buwana, the first Sultan of Yogyakarta Java 1755. Her ancestry also extends from the ancient Javan Temple of Borobudur 800AD, mixed with Scottish and Viking heritage. Jade is an Associate Artist at Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA) and also works with regional NSW Culturally and Linguistically Diverse organizations such as Outback Theatre for Young People (OTYP), Rekindling the Spirit and Beyond Empathy (BE). Jade is studying Body-Mind Centering (BMCsm), toward gaining a Somatic Movement Educator certification.
Yin yoga is a nourishing, nurturing and restorative practice. It requires restful awareness as you relax your body into a series of poses supported by the floor and props. With each pose held for up to 5 minutes, the process stimulates the circulation of fluids and energy through your body which is prominently felt when you release and rest in stillness.
Wear warm comfortable clothing and set up on a blanket or mat. Gather any props like pillows, cushions, blocks/books.
This meditative practice has helped me to connect with my body, to learn from it and care for it deeply and ongoing.
Marnie is an independent dancer and has performed extensively nationally and internationally. She has worked for Branch Nebula, Shaun Parker & Company, Chunky Move (Gideon Obarzanek), Force Majeure, Marrugeku, Antony Hamilton, Narelle Benjamin, Martin Del Amo, Sydney Theatre Company, Kristina Chan, Nigel Jamison, Garry Stewart, Jason Pitt, Bernadette Walong, Dean Walsh and Liz Lea. Marnie’s choreographic credits include projects for Tasdance, QL2, Ev & Bow, Synergy Percussion, Catapult Flipside Dance and Blacktown Arts Centre. Marnie is a founding member of Dance Makers Collective. As a yoga teacher Marnie has almost 500 hours of training and teaches dance and yoga for numerous studios and institutions including Australian College for Physical Education (ACPE) and NIDA.
How do we access togetherness in times of separateness? How can we be in physical solitude but connected through energetic solidarity with our community? This guided somatic meditation looks at ways memory can bring us back into alignment with those who we cannot be with during these times, it offers various ways we can access both memory and the voices within our bodies to find a place of care, nurture and empowerment. This meditation is guided by Bhenji Ra, mother of the house of Sle, accompanied by the voices of her daughters and community.
Bhenji Ra is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice combines dance, choreography, video and installation. Her work is often concerned with the dissection of cultural theory and identity, centralizing her own personal histories as a tool to reframe performance. With an emphasis on occupation and at times collective action, her work plays with the multiplicities of spectacle while offering strategies to disrupt normativity and western dance convention. Collaboration is key to her work as she regularly accesses her own community as an essential critical voice.
A three part guided meditation.
Led as a lying down meditation but could also be explored as a somatic experiencing movement meditation.
Gabriel is an Australian-Malaysian man, an independent artist and a founding member of MakeShift Dance Collective. As a professional dancer and a yoga teacher, Gabe draws on over 10 years of movement research and teaching experience and believes deeply in the power of movement, yoga and meditation as tools for change; physically, mentally and emotionally. He is passionate about the healing and subtle powers of Yoga. Gabe aims to guide people to have the confidence to create their own yoga practice, to take responsibility for their physical and mental health, and to continually investigate, interrogate and question.
This somatic meditation is an invitation to unfold your body and mind in a gentle persuasion. Think of a movement whisper celebrating the potential energy of the day, yet nurturing the stillness. This guided body reflection will allow you to travel through imaginative pathways, and engage in subtle sensations. A call to the mind and body to let go and release.
Brianna Kell is a dancer, choreographer and educator.
Kell has choreographed works ‘Narcifixion’ with Anton, ‘The Wave Beneath Us’ on the students of VCA, 'Fly by Night' in collaboration with ABC radio producer Mike Williams, ‘Observation’ for DirtyFeet, ‘Flow’ for InMotion, ‘The Void’, and ‘Heaven Metal’.
Kell has danced and toured with companies The Farm, Co3, Tasdance, Limosani Projekts, DirtyFeet, and Murmuration.
Brianna has been in residence at TheFarm, Critical Path, Sydney University, and a TRIP resident at Tasdance.
Brianna Kell is inspired by the gift of spontaneity and sharing her knowledge of the moving body with all who are curious.
This session includes a guided breath meditation followed by an introduction to the practice of yin yoga. With the purpose to ground and cultivate your energy, Melanie will lead you through a simple breath awareness technique connecting you deeper into the felt sense of the body.
Props will be required for the yin practice that follows. This can be pillows, bolsters, blankets – anything that can cushion and add support for your body to surrender into. Through passive holds, yin focuses on disengaging muscles to access the deeper connective tissues and joints of the body; an opportunity to dive deeper into your internal landscape for a brief moment in time.
Melanie Palomares is a Sydney-based Independent Dancer, Performer, Secondary Dance Teacher and Yoga facilitator, and is a founding member of Dance Makers Collective. Trained in Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Prenatal/Postnatal and Yin Yoga styles, Melanie predominantly specialises in teaching Vinyasa Flow and Yin yoga. She was first introduced to yoga over a decade ago and, whilst it was initially to condition the body for dance, it very quickly became a holistic approach to life and wellbeing. The purpose of this session is to create a calm and grounding space to become more attuned to your body and breath, settling beneath the chaos and noise.
Osteogenuine is a somatic practice, focusing on movement that is authentically generated from the body, in particular the skeletal system. In this meditation we will be focusing on building a relationship to and awareness of our bodies through imagery and taking notice of the feedback we receive through sensation.
In this meditation, we will be exploring what it is to sink into and move from a position of comfort, which will be relative to the state and condition of your body.
Please wear comfortable clothing suitable to move in. This mediation can be performed sitting or lying down, on the floor, chair, sofa, or even in your bed.
Please gather any cushions, pillows, block or other props that will best support your body for the most comfort.
Matt Shilcock is a South Australian based Contemporary Dance Artist. As the current Associate Artist of Australian Dance Theatre, Matt continues to develop his pedagogical practice, Osteogenuine, studying the anatomy and physics of dance, cross-applying that knowledge to his studies in holistic remedies and alchemy.
Matt has been performing professionally since 2009 and has since professionally engaged with companies across Australia including Murmuration Dance Theatre, No Strings Attached Theatre for Disability, Restless Dance Theatre, Kaldor Public Arts, and internationally with Kaaos Company (FL), Wilman Dance Company (FL), Mass Box (China), Touch Compass (NZ), Full Radius (USA), Candoco (UK), Independence (UK), FreeWill Theatre (HK) and the Van L Dance Company (UK).
Deep guided listening: Take a moment to find a comfortable, quiet and warm space. You will be guided through a centring practise to calm your mind and give attention to your body. Held in a space of listening and receiving we are taking time to understand the subtle fluctuations and differences that transform an experience from superficial to deep.
Through the Deep Listening practice you are invited to move in the present moment, taking movement and decisions without judgement. Allow yourself to be with your whole body, as if looking at an entire painting rather than a specific detail of it. Invite your body to be light and soft.
Sound Composition: James Hogan
Rosslyn Wythes’ artistic practice encompasses performance, choreography, improvisation, teaching and water colouring. She is a yoga teacher and practises vipassana meditation and Feldenkrais. She is a graduate of WAAPA (where she received the Finely Award) and the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (Austria). She is a founding member of Dance Makers Collective. She has had the pleasure of working with Australian and European choreographers Jos Baker, La Fura Dels Baus, Rob McCredie, Carlee Mellow, Matthew Morris, Sue Peacock, Rakesh Sukesh, Tanya Voges, Flatline Collective, DirtyFeet, Anything Is Valid Dance Theatre and Ultima Vez.
Anya in her guided practice will share with you a gathering Qi exercise taught to her by her teacher Yuan Tze the founder of Yuan Gong Qigong. This is a simple but very effective and beautiful exercise to relax and gather Qi (which is similar to the Western word energy). You can find out more about Yuan Gong Qigong at https://renxueinternational.org/
Anya is a contemporary dancer, dance-film maker and one of Dance Makers Collective’s founding members. She was born and raised in Sydney and now lives in country South Australia.
Over her career she has performed for Australia’s Sam Chester, Dean Walsh, Sara Black, Simone O’Brien, Caleb Lewis, Sue Healey, and the internationally renowned Kohzensha Butoh Company Artistic Director Yukio Waguri. She has also worked with Kate Champion’s Force Majeure, aerial dance company Strings Attached and intercultural dance-theatre company Marrugeku as part of research series Burrbgaja Yalirra.
Outside of her skills as dancer and choreographer, Anya also creates dance-film, screening at national and international festivals. She is also a qualified Ren Xue Qigong teacher.
Matt is compelled to move, mostly by music, (and gravity). This is the practice that he will share through this session. Getting into your body, to get out of your head. Escapism as framework that facilitates epiphany. Iteration and the enriching of how we can know something through the act of moving with/in it. The music is composed by Matt Cornell, produced by Matt Cornell and Tilman Robinson, and mixed by Tilman Robinson. Matt’s artistic agenda, across all mediums, is to move you. Towards, joy, towards love, towards empowerment through skill and familiarity with your own body and towards intimate, non-spoken, shared experience. AKA, we’re going to dance together to music.
Matt Cornell is an Asia-Pacific based choreographer who grew up in Darwin, on Larrakia land. His work interrogates how we embody systems – social, cultural, political, or technological – and in turn how these systems embody us by forming communities and informing identities. Across and between forms including dancing, performance, sound composition, writing, podcasting, and curation, passing through contexts including theatres, galleries, public spaces, and online. With the core notion of creating sacred spaces, pivotal events, and transcendent experiences amongst which we can come together, to share something that might give rise to deeper ways to know ourselves and each other and the stories at our foundation. That we may get better at living together. Matt is a founding member of Dance Makers Collective. http://MattCornell.com