Wednesday, November 27, 2013

InterPlay with a group of fabulous kids in Beverley

While artist-in-residence at Beverley WA I did an InterPlay Workshop for the kids. I really enjoyed and they were so responsive. I will definitely be planning more of these!

This one is  'shape and stillness'  on a very hot day!

A 'one hand solo dance' in honour of their Mums.

Using two hand dancing and making connections.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

InterPlay 4 Kids Coming Soon!

So far we only had four kids booked in for todays workshop and the organisers were apologising to me for so few attendees. Then there were eight. That was okay as I had 12 candles. The workshop was set to start at 12:30 today.  By 11.o'clock the numbers had doubled to sixteen children, aged from 3-11. I needed to buy more supplies quickly. All the shops in Beverley close at 12:30! I think I also needed a stiff drink!

I used teach kids everyday but I took a break because I wasn't giving any of my own creative work the time and attention it needed so, as you can imagine I was a bit anxious about today. So anxious I gobbled down some nuts for lunch and gave myself a bad stomach cramp. I decided I was being stupid getting all wound up, so I spent about 10 min in prayer just letting all my anxiety go.  I was organised, so all I needed to do now was enjoy myself and that I did! I have to say, I think I had the 16 most beautiful kids in the world. Thank you God! They were just gorgeous and a real pleasure to teach. Their parents can be very proud!

We started off with an hour of InterPlay on the Beverley Platform which is actually a performance stage. perfect! Also, it was still in the shade. 30 degrees in the midday sun in Beverley is not very comfortable. This was a first for me. I had never done InterPlay with kids before, except a little with my three grandchildren.So this was a new experience for me. Oh! my goodness. I have been missing out! They were so responsive and creative and really got into it. With my adults there are so many layers to sift through before I can tap into the playful, creative and free spirited inner child. I know it took me a long time when I first started InterPlay, but wow-with these kids it was right there. I had so much fun leading them. I realised then and there, I must seriously look into offering InterPlay 4 Kids. Maybe that's why I haven't been able to get any adults involved on a regular basis- I'm meant to be teaching children! Anyway I'll look into finding a venue and planning something in the New Year. I couldn't take any photos of the InterPlay session because I was too busy leading but my friend Jenny was clicking away and I can't wait to see some of the action shots of those inspiring kids! I'll post them soon.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

InterPlay Leaders Gathering 2013 in Melbourne


                                              A wonderful group of human be-comings! 

As always with InterPlay, this weekend was full of creative, stimulating, thought provoking, listening, communicating,energy filled, peace filled, connecting, re-connecting, skin-on-skin, huggy, snugly, strengthening, mind expanding, heart-felt, I am enough, belly aching laughter, knowing, remembering, child-like, reflective, interactive, gathering, holding, honouring, acknowledging, caring, loving, tummy-filling-with-tasty-food, grass -between the toes, sun-on-skin, stretching within, resting and stillness and so many more delicious moments that it is impossible to name them all here!

Thank you to all who made the weekend happen. Thank you for offering so much stillness. She is crying out in this busy, fast paced, stress-filled, mixed up, muddled up world in which we live. It was soul-satisfying to come home to stillness in our heart, mind and most importantly our too often neglected body. have done it again!

Monday, September 16, 2013

InterPlay at YouthCare Staff Retreat

It was great to lead two separate groups of 10 participants in InterPlay on a Retreat near the town of Rockingham.  The largest groups I've ever taught for InterPlay in WA and a good mix of male-female attendees.

This group was one off but I am praying for a regular monthly group to start up and continue growing from there. I could only offer the group a taste of InterPlay in a 45min session!

I forgot to hand out evaluation forms, stupid mistake, and all the information that I printed up to hand out, all came back home with me!
From the verbal feedback (that I remember at least) they said they loved it so much and wanted to know where they could they go to learn more! No!... not really. That's just me dreaming!

One of the youth leaders who works in Esperance (8hrs away) said she would like to learn more so I will need to get onto my mentor about that. A number of participants commented on how they went back to their childhood while moving, where they felt free to play and dance and make a noise! One male was really touched when he thought of his loved ones as we lay down on the floor and did a ONE HAND SOLO dance on behalf of a loved one. Some had never thought to put some music on, lay down and dance with one hand. We had some fun with an exercise in collaboration - THE CIRCLE STORY. I appreciated another man who was a natural at GIBBERISH and I was able to translate his made up story. We had some playful fun in a wonderful venue. A chance to access our own body wisdom through movement, play, and non -verbal connection.

Thank you to my friend Pam for organising the two groups and thank you to each participant for dipping your toes into the wonderful world of INTERPLAY.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Contact Improvisation Workshops


October 27th 

9-3pm/ $60 

Chrissie Parrots Arts (CPA)

 Please register via email to secure your spot.

Inline image 2

Workshop description: 'Momentum and Dynamic' 

We see amazing CI dances, wild and quick, bodies flying through all levels. One base for these kind of dances is the precision and commitment in the physical touch. Slowlyness, trust and the ability to listen is the starting point for eventually higher speeds. We will work on elasticity in the touch, in the connections within the body and between the two bodies sharing the dance. This will enable us to communicate changes of speed and direction in (almost) any moment with an inner sense of calmness and ease. From there acceleration is just a tiny step - slowing down is the bigger one. 
On an anatomical level we will focus on the myo-fascia web and the joints. 

*A basic understanding of CI is extremely helpful to follow this workshop. 

Underscore Practice: September 14th 

The Underscore is a framework that guides movers through many phases of physical and metaphorical states, internal and external, from slow and introspective to energetic and wild. This sharing is considered to be a combination of serious play and/or embodied critical thought.

We (try) to hold an underscore every (seems to be second) month.

King Street Art Centre (KSAC) Studio 3

10-1pm / $10

We ask for committment to the full 3 hour practice.

Enquires about the underscore please contact Fuchsia or myself

Sunday, August 4, 2013

InterPlay and a Cup of Tea!

InterPlay goes ahead at DADAA in Midland. DADAA works across Western Australia  to enhance the social inclusion and wellbeing of people with disability or mental illness through participation in the arts.

We have had an introduction session and we are about to go into our second week of the term. 
With this group I am taking a very different approach to a regular InterPlay group, not that any InterPlay groups are 'regular'. We take it very slowly, with plenty of simple, repetitive movements and instructions. It is a joy to see the participants follow some of my movements and improvise some of their own. It is good to see these participants having fun and laughing. I am challenged as never before to be flexible with what I have planned while continually adjusting and improvising to match the abilities and confidence of the participants. I am really enjoying our cup of tea stop for 15 mins in the middle of our two hour session...that's different!

We are all different shapes and sizes and abilities at our InterPlay groups. 
These are little figurines and critters that I'm collecting from second hand stores for Sand Play Therapy. 

Your Body Knows What It Needs

We are stiff and breathless 
Everyday we sacrifice our body 
to the exploits of the mind and work
Let us relax and let our muscles soften
from the holding pattern

Simple movements clear away the mental clutter
help you to feel more present 
in the here and now
More relaxed
more peaceful and lighter
Creaky bones moisten into languid expressions
small breaths get deeper
Your body knows what it needs
Excerpts from 'The Art of Dance as a Spiritual Practice' by Cynthia Winton - Henry

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

InterPlay Group in Perth WA

InterPlay Group starting up again...Yaay!

If you want to join an InterPlay class, checkout our web page: 

Contact  0412 223 469


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sorry I keep changing my template!

Hopefully my blogs, especially this one will have a recognisable blogger face soon. I just don't like any of the template choices they have on offer. Maybe I'm too fussy!

Connected by our Conscious Awareness

Almost a week ago now since I found myself with about 18 other contact improvisation dancers as we moved in harmony (well most of the time we did) together for about 3 hours as we followed Nancy Stark-Smith's 'Underscore'.

It was very special to share these moments in one of the WAPA dance studios in Mt Lawley, near Perth WA. We joined with about 50 other countries who were dancing at the same time all around the world.

It was like praying together but it did not matter what spiritual tradition you were in, as each group of CI Dancers in each country were connected by our conscious awareness of each other as we danced and also stood in silence at the beginning of the underscore and at the end.

Wonderful group of people we have here in Perth and such a joy to join with them, even though I am relatively new to contact and as always, I took great pleasure in observing the improvisation and skill of transferring weight with their bodies...lots of fun!

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Global Underscore

Will be taking part in The Global Underscore this Sunday night. Should have mentioned it a week ago and you could have come with me... 
                    Date: Sunday 23rd June
Time: 9pm- 1am
Venue: WAAPA*

What is the Global Underscore? The Global Underscore is a simultaneous practice of the Underscore around the world (read below for a little more info of the Underscore).

                   The Underscore

The Underscore is a long-form dance improvisation structure developed by Nancy Stark Smith. It has been evolving since 1990 and is practiced all over the globe.

The Underscore is a vehicle for incorporating Contact Improvisation into a broader arena of improvisational dance practice; for developing greater ease dancing in spherical space—alone and with others; and for integrating kinesthetic and compositional concerns while improvising. It allows for a full spectrum of energetic and physical expressions, embodying a range of forms and changing states. Its practice is familiar yet unpredictable.

The practice—usually between 3 and 4 hours—progresses through a broad range of dynamic states, including long periods of very small, private, and quiet internal activity and other times of higher energy and interactive dancing.
There are 20+ phases of the score—each with a name and a graphic symbol—which create a general map for the dancers. Within that frame, dancers are free to create their own movements, dynamics, and relationships—with themselves, each other, the group, the music, and the environment. Each Underscore is unique, providing rich and often inspiring experiences of the human and artistic phenomena of dance improvisation.

The GLOBAL UNDERSCORE is an annual event in which the Underscore is practiced simultaneously for a 4 hour period by people all over world near the summer solstice (northern hemisphere). In 2012, there were 70+ sites. Claire Filmon proposed the event to Nancy in 2000 from a desire to connect dancers all around the planet to dance and to compose together in the moment and organized it until 2010.

To participate in an Underscore, one should have some experience with Contact Improvisation and attend a talk-through of the Underscore (Perth will do this at 9pm), which often takes about an hour.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Starting up InterPlay in Midland

Found out this week that the board for InterPlay Australia Inc. approved $500 to fund my regional new initiative with DADAA an established group, who provide access to arts and culture for people with disability or a mental illness. 

 I am very excited to be leading this project and the fact that I have a beautiful space provided by DADAA in Midland to teach in and about 10 participants will be selected by DADAA to attend. I will teach a 2hr x 8 wk Introduction to Interplay working incrementally through the forms and tools that make up InterPlay. My goal is that the participants will become a cohesive group, become a little more active, and enjoy simply playing with improvised movement, story telling, singing and stillness that make up the sessions.

I have no idea how these participants will respond but I hope and pray that they will benefit and get great enjoyment from it, so much as they will want to continue after the 8 week course. That would be very satisfying to me but we'll just have to see!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Body Tales

I just discovered 'Body Tales' on the web. Very much like InterPlay.

— Olivia Corson, Body Tales founder says:

    "With humans, stories matter. Stories weave the fabric, sometimes whole, sometimes torn, of every family and culture. When we move and speak our embodied stories, and they are received and valued, we reclaim our humanity."

More about Olivia Corson

Friday, April 5, 2013

Developing New Initiatives for InterPlay

I have been really-really busy these last few weeks, approaching as many groups as I can with the offer of an InterPlay project as a new initiative funded by InterPlay Australia. The deadline was today but it had been extended for another week so I was hoping I would hear back from an interested party soon.

Just today DADAA Inc. ( Providing access to arts and culture for people with disability or a mental illness) contacted me to say they are very interested. Yaay! I had a little dance around the room before I knuckled down at the computer to put together a proposal for the Board of InterPlay Australia Inc. and now I await notification from the Secretary of the Board about the outcome of my application.

I will be so happy if I am successful with this application as the funds will give me the opportunity to work with groups of adults with a mental illness, physical and intellectual disabilities, Aquired Brain Injury and/or who are aged. They will be mixed gender, age, ethnicity and social background. These people would not usually be exposed to InterPlay out in the community. 
After my fitness training this morning, I have been on the computer all day today I feel nothing like a 'movement artist' and more like a...let me see...a heavy, stiff, creaking old door. That's the best image I can muster up at the end of the day!

I'll get back to this my dreams!

DADAA works across Western Australia  to enhance the social inclusion and wellbeing of people with disability or mental illness through participation in the arts.

Community arts and cultural development (CACD) is a model of arts and health that aims to facilitate the social inclusion of people living with a disability or a mental illness, or who experience other forms of social, political or economic disadvantage. 

DADAA works through a model of local and cross-sector partnerships that bring arts and health together in a way that effectively responds to the needs of communities. DADAA also works actively in state and national audience development, disability advocacy, and research and evaluation.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


InterPlay meets monthly
St Johns Lutheran Church Hall
16 Aberdeen Street
Perth WA

Next meeting 6.30 - 8.30 Wednesday 27 March 2013

Contact: Janet 0412 223 469 or email


Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Dance of Life

Jeane Myers  is a favourite artist of mine. Probably because I am trying to achieve similar results as her in my own artwork. Her statement about her work struck a chord in me. It was as though I was reading about the movements within InterPlay and Improvised Dance. It reminded me how interconnected my experience of dance and movement are with how I paint.  Abstract or impressionistic dancing figures often appear in my artwork.
At present my work reflects two ideas - points of connection and mapping. 'Points of connection' are created by the everyday momentary connections we make such as hands touching, whispers in the ear, stepping into a hot bath, first taste of our favorite food, etc. Each moment causes a sensation and then passes. Much of my work is about that moment of contact.

Mapping is about my love of the idea of connecting the dots in our lives. All the lines intersecting and then the path veers, loops, ends, starts again somewhere else. We go forward and backward, we stand still, we sink, we stumble, we fall, - this action or lack of it, intrigues me. These two interests drive my current work.

Jeane Myers 2012

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Better Late Than Never

Found this post in my drafts. Not sure if it was published but I want to keep it for the record so I'll post it today!

5th January 2013

Wow! It took only 5 days back from holidays and I had an overwhelming feeling that my head was about to explode.

Then followed a continuing stream of physical ailments from dental trauma to an irritating cough that interrupted every second word I said. Now 3 weeks later I am finding my feet again...

I have just come to the end of a life transforming four day contact Improvisation dance retreat. My first ever!
It has been strenuous taking the full weight of other bodies, learning to roll and spiral and balance and lean.
I haven't done a somersault or handstand in 40 years so I was really stretching myself.
We were right by the beach and we shared morning and evening meditations and swimming.
The 30 people attending were such lovely people to be around, open, playful, interesting, having a connection to the earth and to God.

 I came away feeling exhausted but with a renewed strength and resilience in body.

A Different Focus

It seems over the latter years I have spent much time and energy on strengthening my emotional and spiritual life and less time and energy on caring for my physical body.

After all my drama with my failed attempt at the 'couch to 5k run' which led to hundreds of dollars on x-rays, physiotherapy and acupuncture to fix up the damage that would return soon as I started to exercise again. I put on an extra couple of kilo's and sunk into an attitude of post-menopausal post fifty-four, past use-by date depression.

Thank God for the recent dance retreat I participated in, where I proved to myself that I am strong and resilient. Thank God too, for the joy in finding a fantastic, inexpensive, well qualified, beautiful person/fitness instructor who is taking me through a rehabilitation program to get all my muscles and joints back in alignment and strengthened so I can eventually jog without pain. I'm seeing positive results already. Best of all, in the summer these sessions are conducted just a short walk down the road from my place in a beautiful park shaded with trees.

I am taking time out to swim regularly. I also attend a Contact Improvisation dance twice a week that is incredibly strengthening while at the same time having so much fun. InterPlay continues once a month but I find when I am leading I don't get as much movement in as those participating.

I'm finding it helpful to tell myself "My body is strong" or "I have the strength " instead of all the negative stuff I was telling myself around my fitness.. I try to stand taller and allow my inner core to stabilise me rather than collapsing into myself and moaning. Anyway, it is hard work but I am happy with the activities I'm doing and I am bound to see some long term changes for the better.