Experiential Workshops led by Dana Salisbury
Touch and the subtlety of communication through haptic experience (touch accompanied by motion) are central to our lives and well-being. Person-to-person touch is never neutral and its interpretation is multi-layered, mysterious and individual. With greater attention to the quality and content of touch, we become more sensate, permeable and open to experience. Communication becomes deeper, more immediate and rewarding.
Tools of Perception: Whole-Body-Seeing
Using movement as the primary investigative tool, these workshops explore touch, sound, sight, smell, kinesthesia (sensations generated by the movement of the body itself), equilibrium, language, interpretation, memory and imagination. The workshops look at discovery, object recognition, spatial orientation, navigation and mapping. They range in length from two hour introductory sessions to intensives.
--For Everyone: An introduction to sensory awareness, these workshops playfully explore our less used senses.
--Performers: Workshops focus on using sensory awareness to extend conceptual, choreographic and performative vocabularies.
--Teachers: Workshops explore simple movement exercises to help students refine their powers of observation and articulate more clearly what they observe. Because movement communicates through metaphor, it is an ideal tool for translating experience into language.
--Architects and Designers: Workshops offer ways of considering the roles of sensory, kinesthetic, proprioceptive and haptic experience in the creation of new environments.
--Scientists and others interested in cognition: A way to explore first-hand the layering of right and left brain functions.
--Caregivers: Workshops offer greater sensory awareness and sensitization to the needs of other, fresh ways of responding and creating healing environments.
Sensualization: Embodied Sensory Imagination
First offered at the Art Beyond Sight Conference, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY “Sensualization” embodies a scenario by placing it in the body’s imagination. Drawing on the senses and sense memory, “sensualization” (a word coined by Salisbury, analogous to “visualization”) describes the elements in a scene or image through all the senses except sight. Listeners are guided to imagine full physical engagement with an environment, real or fictive, using interior sensation to explore and interpret external information. The medium for understanding is the body. To gain access to information that can only be gathered visually, sensualizations permit the observer to imagine moving about the presumed space and interacting with the environment.
Derived from Salisbury’s work as a visual artist and choreographer, sensualization captures the essence of experience before it is translated into language. The workshops open with an experiential primer on embodying the senses. Following that warm-up, participants are guided through several sensualizations. Finally the group creates a sensualization and explores the uses of this process. Sensualization is a valuable process and tool, it
--offers a shared language of experience when describing physical situations or works of art to the blind or visually impaired.
--opens new ways for museum curators, educators, docents and art lovers to engage with works of art.
--engenders greater sensory awareness and respect for observation, language and multi-modal thinking and has applications in classrooms, cultural centers and corporate settings.
--generates rich source material for artists in all disciplines, most notably choreographers.
For a bibiography and glossary of terms related to this work, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org