Decolonizing Embodiment: an intersectional approach to Dance Movement Therapy with Ahmad Baba
Our bodies stand as witnessing sites of our life long compiled experiences, although everybody is a body, our bodily experiences differ due to gender, race, class, ability and sexual orientation. These intersectional aspects are stored in our flesh and bones, becoming the stories we tell about and present our bodies in the world. Oppressions experienced by Queer and Trans* bodies, specifically of color, shape who they are, and when body-centered practices and somatics sets the white, heterosexual, abled, male body as the standard to measure all “ other “ bodies, the embodiment experience(s) of marginalized communities are targets for being stereotyped, considered aggressive and always approached through a colonial lens. In this workshop we will process, using dance and movement interventions, how can we decolonize the “one” embodiment experience, bringing forward the stories our bodies hold within, and how we can embody the resilience we developed, through the layers of oppression; from micro aggressions to racism, from resistance to empowerment, so we can find our ways back to our body(s) through an intersectional approach to dance movement therapy.
The workshops will last one and a half hour including an opening circle, several interventions and a closure/reflection round ending the session. You don't need to have dance experience. These workshops are a priority for QTBIPOC individuals, and everybody else is welcome if they understand the space they are attending and their position in it.
Bring your body, and wear comfortable clothes.
Ahmad Baba (He/Him)
is an interdisciplinary social artist, currently a dance movement therapist (M.A) in the making, investigating intersectionality in arts therapies, gender body politics and mental health for marginalized communities. Since 2016 he is conceptualizing, performing and developing projects that are based on pragmatic critical collective practices and workshops, with QTBIPOC groups and artists, focusing on alternative narratives for identity(s) and a different approach to experiences of oppression(s), that communities of color face in western societies.
11:00 - 12:30 CET
Sensuality of Breath with Kai Ehrhardt
One physical phenomenon that is always with us it the breath. Yet, hardly we commune with it. If we do connect then it is mostly to support, enhance or optimize something else - we hardly ever relate to it as something pleasurable in and of itself. This partnering workshop aims to give a glimpse into a vast and rich universe of experience that breath provides a door to.
Kai is a breath therapist based on Prof. Ilse Middendorf's work, a Continuum teacher, holds the German Heilpraktiker license for psychotherapy and co-founded the Somatic Academy of Berlin. He created Authentic Eros - Explorations for Men & For and Beyond all Genders and curates the STRETCH and the BODY IQ festivals. In 2016 he initiated a new Community Center in Berlin called Village. He believes that the conscious body and the reclaiming of Eros are crucial elements in our evolution toward an integral way of life. Kai teaches since 2002 in Europe and in the US.
11:00 - 12:30 CET
Erotic Self Regulation with Pawel Dudus
This workshop offers a mindful exploration of arousal and erotic states within your body. Learning to navigate and make use of these states is the foundation of sexual health and well-being. We're going to practice response flexibility as well as staying present with arising sensations and emotions during your solo erotic practice. Microskills shared in this workshop will support you in increasing the awareness of erotic sensations throughout your body and support you in your erotic-self-regulation.
Pawel Dudus *gender expansive free spirited person * local PleasureCareBear * plant whisperer * erotic dancer for plants * choreographer * sexological bodyworker in training * personal assistant for people with disabilities * future pleasure oracle *allergic to textile*Queer Leo and Leo rising. Miau. * Pawel is a co-creator of SKINSHIP_a touch base place for Kinship.
11:00 - 12:30 CET
Exploring and meditating on the seven chakras in the queer context with Sanjay Kumar.
We will explore together each of the seven major chakras, their meaning, significance and impact in our queer lives. We will spend some time in mindfulness practice through guided meditation on each of the chakras. The workshop will involve sharing from the heart, from the wealth of our individual experiences, listen to and learn from each other's wisdom, on how we might achieve alignment and balance of these chakras.
Sanjay is a Psychotherapist with a private practice working internationally in UK, Canada and India. Has have worked over the years with gay/bi/queer men individually and in groups, in person and online. Sanjay also runs workshops for queer men in India providing a space for exploration, healing, growth and community building.
11:00 - 12:00 CET
Contact Improv with Tchivett
We will be gently tuning into awareness of our body, senses, flow movement and aliveness through a somatic approach. With guided tasks and games we’ll explore the spontaneous dance emerging from physical contact and interaction with one another. We’ll gradually create an open space for improvised movement, touch, intimacy and expression. We’ll become artistic collaborators, researching with our body, communicating through the skin, giving and receiving weight and intentions, creating together.
Tchivett has been a performer, dance maker and improviser since 2011 and completed their Choreography Masters in Berlin in 2018. Their performance and choreographic practice combine sculptural, somatic and drag elements. They have a background in cotemporary dance, performance art and martial arts, and they regularly teach butoh and contact improvisation.
They also took part in various dance research and performance collectives with a focus on queer culture, feminist politics and self-organization.
13:00 - 14:30 CET
BodyFlow - A Taster with Maevon Canter
BodyFlow is a full body massage created by Andy Saich, normally given and received unclothed and including genital touch. However, it is not an erotic massage as such. The emphasis is on acceptance, nurturing, appreciation and holding rather than on erotic arousal. This taster session will include an overview of the massage and its particular way of holding space and maintaining boundaries, after which we will learn and practice some of the floor based positions.
Maevon has pursued an informal exploration of spirituality and movement for over 30 years. He has studied Fine Art and The Alexander Technique and calls himself a Radical Faerie. In 2009 Maevon began studying somatic practices with Authentic Eros and certified as a Sacred Intimate in the Body Electric tradition. He learnt BodyFlow massage from its creator Andy Saich and sees it as the perfect way to bring together the wisdom of touch with spirituality and sexuality.
13:00 - 14:30 CET
Layers of Intimacy with Sanjay Kumar & Shyam Pillai
This workshop facilitates an exploration of ourselves and the way we function in our relationships using a model and theory put forward by Ann Ladd: Layers of Personality. We will take time through sharing and exercises to understand each of these layers and how they influence the way we relate with ourselves and others as queer men.
Sanjay and Shyam are both Psychotherapists from different integrative models, each having their own respective private practices working internationally in UK, Canada and India. Both have worked over the years with gay/bi/queer men individually and in groups, in person and online. Sanjay and Shyam also run workshops together for queer men in India providing a space for exploration, healing, growth and community building.
13:00 - 14:30 CET
Gratitude as an Anticapitalist Practice with Jo Koppe.
Drawing from the wealth of our personal experience, as well as from indigenous practices and from adrienne maree brown’s “Pleasure Activism”, let’s take a deep dive into the politics of gratitude and fulfillment. (How) could individual and collective practices of gratitude support our liberation? ... Are you satisfiable? Can you imagine being satisfied?
Jo Koppe is on an ongoing journey of weaving, integrating and sharing a variety of different experiences, practices and perspectives. He has a background in dance as well as in Sociology and Gender studies. He has worked as a performer and dramaturg, in social justice education, as a tantra masseur, as a personal assistant for differently abled people, and in end of life care. He has been initiated into the “natural religion of being trans” and thus “almost automatically being a witch” (says Anohni).
13:00 - 14:30 CET
#wearevillage with Kai Ehrhardt, Eric Le Rouge, Thomas Schallhart, Christo Tee and Hanna Lidman.
Looking back at 5 years Village.Berlin - the home of Stretch Festival, the member e.V., Authentic Eros, Instinct Art and Queer Matters e.V. - the pandemic has ushered us into an internal reinvention process. Find out where we are going and if there are aspects of our vision that inspire you to get involved no matter if you are in Berlin or elsewhere in the world.
16:00 - 17:00 CET
Naked Voices with Shlomi Moto Wagner
Put your hand on your throat and say “Ahh”, can you feel your voice? Good! This is the starting point of this session that focuses on the voice. We will explore our vibrating bodies and how it translates into the communication of our emotions and desires. Let’s sing together with body and sensory expansions to elevate our interconnection and harmonize our beings in space together. The outcome of the workshop will be a fun queer healing choir.
Shlomi Moto Wagner is a Berlin-based Israeli opera singer and interdisciplinary performer. Sang as a soloist with orchestras worldwide and as a member of the Opera Studio of the New Israeli Opera. Since moving to Berlin in 2012 he works with various opera ensembles and experimental theatre-makers. Founder of the House of Mazeltov, a drag performance group researching the performative aspects of the voice, gender, tradition and identity. In 2017 he presented his performance “Glitter Salvation” in Berlin.
16:00 - 17:30 CET
Queer Fundamental Love with Dr. Renee McCoy
This colloquium will explore how religious/spiritual beliefs and practices have historically influenced active engagement in love, intimacy, empathy and compassion for queer persons. It will examine influences on queer life and experiences as well as the positive and negative impacts of spiritual beliefs and practices on self-esteem and relationships in the past and today? How do we reconcile negative feelings that have prevented self-acceptance, authenticity, positivity and realizing greatest, power and possibilities as Queer persons?
Renee McCoy is ceramic artist, medical anthropologist, activist, spiritual leader and writer living and making art in Seattle, WA. She has a lifelong commitment to issues of spirituality and social justice among LGBTQ persons and to confronting systems that use spirituality to diminish and weaken queer persons. She uses clay to remain spiritually and culturally grounded. She has a doctorate in anthropology, focusing on global health issues, marginalized groups, community organization, HIV/AIDS and spirituality.
16:00 - 17:30 CET
Catwalk Energy with Jay Barry Matthews
Catwalking is a fun way to explore, express and expand ourselves using the body. We will make space to express whatever energy you desire; masculine, nonbinary, feminine, silly, sexy. This is a high energy movement practice to pumping music. Pound the runway in groups and be witnessed solo. Wearing heels is optional, bring your own or some shoes will be available to use. This is about queer power, community, expression and cultivating pure joy.
Jay Barry Matthews is an accomplished artist, costume designer and drag queen. Having worked across the world from the biggest movies, festivals and concerts to small remote charity projects they found passion in life again from creating queer community workshops that aim to give people a space to express themselves freely and authentically. Matthews hosts Catwalk events across Tempelhofer Feld runway in Berlin to cultivate joy in activism making it more sustainable and enjoyable.
16:00 - 17:30 CET
Genital Meditation with Julian Martin
In most of our sexual activities, we increase excitement in a short time from zero to 100%. With this partner exercise using genital touch we examine what happens if we stay consciously in the range between 20 and 80% over a longer period of time. What happens in our body? Are there any wishes coming up? How can I influence my arousal by breathing?
Julian originally studied acting, singing and dance before he discovered his passion for massage and bodywork. He regularly organises and leads courses for men and weekend workshops in Zürich under the title of “Men Bodywork”. The main areas of work are breath, voice, movement, touch, self-acceptance and the discovery and expression of your own needs as the key to a free and fulfilling (sex) life.
18:00 - 19:30 CET
Cuddle Party with Lucas Brock and Axel Nielsen
A cuddle party is a great possibility to exchange nourishing and healing platonic touch. Many of us experienced touch deprivation during the pandemic in some way. Consensual platonic touch however is a basic human need and essential for our well being. Our aim is to co-create a container in which we can explore and play saf(er)ly and enjoy being together with a cuddly and non-sexual energy. This workshop embraces slowing down, softness, curiosity and learning.
Axel Nielsen is a body worker, massage therapist and embodied coach working in Berlin and Copenhagen.
Lukas Brock is a social worker, blogger and cuddle practitioner based in Berlin.
18:00 - 19:30 CET
Embodied Creative Writing with Mads (Stine) Ananda Lodahl
With a playful, body-positive and curious approach we will use the body to get deeper into the process of creative writing. And we will use creative writing to explore our bodies.
Through a series of facilitated exercises we will connect embodiment (body sensations, emotions, muscles, blood flow, breath...) and creative writing (rhymes, words, phrases...). Explore passion, desire, any and all parts of your body. No experience needed in either writing or embodiment. All levels welcome.
Mads (Stine) Ananda Lodahl is a Danish writer, bodyworker and lecturer. He has published several books of both fiction and non-fiction. He works as a massage and MindBody therapist and has been doing workshops for all kinds of people for the last 15 years. Queer/trans rights, healing, and culture are the connective threads that weave all of his work together.
18:00 - 19:30 CET
Toward Our Queer Truths with Tony Whitfield
For many queer people, coming out is a critical act of liberation and self-preservation as well as a model of truth-telling as an essential mechanism in creating the authentic life we want to live. Sometimes painful and fraught with contradictions, honesty, as a practice, can be difficult to achieve and demands, often, that we transcend internal and external constraints created by shame and fear. In this workshop we will explore telling our truths as a daily activity that facilitates our physical, mental and spiritual flourishing as individuals in our public and private lives.
Tony Whitfield is an artist, designer, educator and writer who has recently relocated to Detroit after decades in New York City where he pursued a multifaceted creative practice in the contexts of academia, arts administration, curating, government and design production. His work which has been shown in galleries and museums in the US and abroad, centers on the development of narratives through the exploration of material culture manifested in images, evidence, artifacts and heirlooms.
18:00 - 19:30 CET
Lost at Sea with Puddles and Sunny (blood n guts love machine)
Puddles the Pelican is a broken, scrappy, one-eyed bird, who lives on a cruise ship at the end of time. A survivor of the Deep Horizon Oil Spill, Puddles, squawks, moans, and tells stories of love and loss to keep the cruise ship passengers awake as they sail towards a howl – blind, eternal, and empty – on a sea that is no longer blue, but a rusted dark orange. Choking on bits of tar, flailing, all-fantastic Puddles quacks: “Once a glorious bird, now covered in oil. Which one of you bitches has a match?”
Jeremy Wade is the queen in service of Puddles the Pelican, “This bird has me working like a dog,” says he/him. Disruption, Excess, Hyper Vulnerability – Wade coming from NYC has made a name for himself as an extreme performer and performance maker. His works, also incorporating curation and social practice, are disturbing and thought-provoking: they revolve around queer and feminist strategies of world making, relational ethics of care, zombie subjectivity, the violence of social norms and a difficult hope for the complicated now. This practice runs through the body and is always entailing an intense socio-political critique.
20:00 - 21:00 CET
The list of facilitators and the program of Stretch Festival for Gay, Bi, Trans & Queer Men are subject to last-minute changes.