Photo credit: Mona El Husseini


Sept. 29 to Nov. 24, 2021 — 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (every Wed.)
$90 with the support of *Emploi-Québec (or $355, non-eligible rate)
Open to artists of all disciplines
Capacity: 13 people — priority for full series attendance

By registering for a workshop, you agree to cancel your participation if you have symptoms or suspect you may have COVID-19. Please read the Participant Engagement before registering. Thank you!

This series of nine classes is an invitation to jump into the practice of four artists as they experiment with teaching methods : Lara Oundjian, Mona El Husseini and Maxine Segalowitz + Aurora Prelevic. It is a learning opportunity for both the participants and the teachers. Each session will be structured as a 90 minutes class, followed by a 30 minutes discussion led by the teachers to gather feedback and sensations on what has been discovered, felt, and understood throughout.

Lara Oundjian

Language of instruction: a mix of English and French

CONTENT // My movement improvisation practices are based on modulations of attention and touch (direct or at a distance). In this class series, we will do dance scores and exercises that offer us various frameworks of attention that let dances unfold. The class begins with warming up our proprioception and embodied awareness, borrowing tools from qi gong, BMC, CI, FM, aerobics and more. We will then engage in solo and group movement practices working from sensation, intuition, form and composition. Each class will be centered around a different score, created by myself or adapted by me from my dance lineage. We will playfully ride the scale from wacky to serious, and from sensitive to bold. Expect to work mostly in movement, with some writing, and optional sounding or speaking. 

ACCESSIBILITY // The content of the class will vary on the scale from gentle and contemplative to energetic and physical. The gentle material involves deep listening to one’s own internal movements, or to the movements of another participant. The energetic material may involve open form dancing to upbeat music, or aerobic movements such as jumping, rolling or lunging. Both deep introspection and dynamic exertion can be overstimulating to people based on their physical and emotional histories. Part of the interest of this class is for people to safely explore their physical, relational and creative limits. Therefore, participants are always encouraged to expand their limits whilst respecting their own boundaries and interests in relation to the proposals of the class. I can offer modifications for exercises, or participants can propose their own.

BIO // Lara Oundjian is an interdisciplinary dance artist based in Montréal/Tiotià:ke. She trained in contemporary dance, choreography, somatic practices and practiced-based theory in various contexts of Berlin, Stockholm and Montreal. She has presented her work in Montreal at the OFFTA, Tangente, and the Phenomena festival. Lara was a resident artist with the Third Floor at Usine C from 2019-2021 and at La Serre from 2020-2021. Her current solo and duo projects are collaborations in various constellations with Louise Michel Jackson, Nien Tzu Weng, and Maria Kefirova. Lara approaches dance as a practice of relationality, the body as dynamically entangled with its environment through attention and sensation. She researches practices of transmission between internal and external spaces. 

Mona El Husseini

Language of instruction: English
Questions can also be asked in: Arabic, French

CONTENT // I have been practicing a routine I call “Morning Questions” where I look at a structure in the human body and then I wonder in stillness and in motion. I trace the invisible thread that connects the diverse techniques that I have retained in my journey as a curious body such as The Axis Syllabus, Martial Arts, and Somatics. I would like to extend an invitation of collective wonder and movement in a play-based ground. We will depart from an image and improvise our individual pathways through sensation. The floor is a guiding companion to catch and sequentially propel us to a shared dance in space. This class features improvisation scores, creative tasks, and dance phrases.

ACCESSIBILITY // This class includes individual exploration in place and in space, coming together in movement as a group, and may include dance phrases that depart from a simple physical motif. This class leaves room for improvisation, interpretation, and creative expression. Some of the exercises will be on the floor lying down, while others will be in a vertical orientation (standing). We will use paper and pen, drawing and writing as creative tools that complement the movement practice. The energy of the class will likely depart from a tender tune in, followed by an active warm up that will prepare us to ride the following energy waves till the end of class. 

BIO // Mona El Husseini is an Egyptian-Canadian Contemporary Dance artist based in Montreal. She completed her professional dance education at the Cairo Contemporary Dance Center in Cairo, Egypt and studied International Business and Contemporary Dance at Concordia University. Mona is constantly pursuing opportunities that broaden her artistic diversity. In the creative process, she goes beyond the dance and traces the thread that connects the forms of art that she practices, some of which include: Martial Arts, Visual Arts, and Writing. She is an active member of the Axis Syllabus International Research Network and continues to follow research-based practices that nurture questioning and experimenting. Her current research is inspired by questions in pedagogy, agency, and accessibility in the field of movement. In un-layering questions of personal identity and heritage, Mona is interested in how stories are transmitted, shared, and told through generations. She finds the dance in the place where the inner and outer meet, in the encounter between the personal and the collective. 

Maxine Segalowitz + Aurora Prelevic

Language of instruction: a mix of English and French
Questions can also be asked in: Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian (BCMS)

CONTENT // Warmups and creative movement exercises drawn from contemporary & improvisational dance practices, performance art & clown, yoga & Qi Gong, & more. The focus of the class is on the interconnection between our sensorial selves — a physical and imaginative relationship — with the surrounding environment. Our priority is sharing accessible exercises with the intention to invite participants into a flow of adaptation that meets their bodies and experiences. Classes place our direct relationship with the elements and our lived environment at the forefront: a warm bath in the sun; a wind duet with a tree; a trampoline dance with the ground.  

ACCESSIBILITY // Aurora and Maxine share a vision of inviting participants into a flow of ongoing adaptation that meets their own bodies and experiences, desires and abilities. Every instruction is a suggestion, and we encourage everyone to prioritize their needs, within respectful relationships to the lived environment and other participants. Movement is improvisational, oriented towards scores and not phrases, focused on the individual’s experience, within group energies. Partnering exercises are sometimes proposed but always optional, with other equally valid options available. Centered on witnessing, they won’t include touch at any time. Instructions are verbal with some demonstrations where appropriate; we invite questions and vocal participation from students throughout the class, though this form of participation is not required. Please feel free to be in contact with us regarding any accessibility concerns and queries.

BIO // Maxine Segalowitz is a queer, Jewish, sex-work-positive, dance artist living in Tiotià:ke (Montréal), where she is a dancer, choreographer, clown, drag+cabaret performer, and stand-up sleeper. Maxine’s teaching experience comes from an intricate relationship with learning from inspiring teachers, mentors and friends, namely Angelique Wilkie, Neil Sochowsky, Kelly Keenan, Karen Fennell, Hanna Sybille Müller, Helen Simard, Hannah Harris-Sutro and Be Heintzman Hope. She grounds in the value of a supportive learning space, attention to detail and bringing it back to playfulness and curiosity for the game in everything. 

Aurora Prelević is a somatics teacher, writer, performance artist, and herbalist. As the first generation of her family born in Tiotià:ke/Montréal, she carries strong Yugoslav/Balkan roots. Her extensive background in yoga, meditation, contemporary improvisational dance, experimental movement practices, and other somatic forms informs her approach to movement as both ritual and performance, therapeutic and artistic. Aurora has been teaching for over ten years in her many homes of Montreal, Vancouver, New York, and Belgrade, holds an interdisciplinary MA from the New School for Social Research situated at the intersection of memory, performance, and gender studies, and lives with chronic pain and illness, which informs her approach to teaching, art making, and everyday existence.

Photo credit: Mona El Husseini, Lara Oundjian, Maxine Segalowitz, Aurora Prelević