Folkwang

Body Awareness Teaching Programme

“An individual’s conscious awareness of their physical body is an indispensable aspect of study on their path to innovative artistic excellence”
- N. Kevan

Every human being’s consciousness and physical body are programmed by nature to work together in harmony to create upright posture, walking, self-perception, life energy and an ability to move freely and with perfect coordination. Yet these two basic elements of the human organism often seem „separated“ from each other. This condition of inner separation limits personal development and artistic excellence, yet this state can be replaced by the natural forces of inner connectedness simply by becoming more aware of the body and how it wants to function. This kind of natural strength gives a person a lively and reliable sense of their body.

It seems to many people that the body does not want to do what the head plans and intends to do! The back hurts, their thoughts are uneasy, the breathing shallow, the knees are painful, the neck and shoulders feel stiff, the hands shake and they cannot control their voice as they wish. These experiences are in no way unusual even among gifted young people, particularly at a university of arts where the students need the very best personal conditions for their future vocation and for the continuing development of their creative potential.

Many young artists, pedagogues and scientists come up against the „limits“ of their physical bodies during their studies. But very often the problem is not created by their body at all but by their unconscious physical habits,  and by their lack of awareness how they can use their body more naturally which means in a healthy and constructive way.

One of the aims of the Folkwang University of Arts and the vision and task of the Body Awareness Workgroup is to raise attention for the necessity to improve the level of body awareness by offering a regular and diverse teaching programme for all students.

For the last fifteen years all students of the Folkwang University of Arts can learn the natural and conscious use of their body. That is not to be found everywhere in the European landscape of Arts Education and because of this Folkwang is becoming known as a pioneer of an interdisciplinary and intercultural approach to Body Awareness Teaching.

Working together every student from all undergraduate and postgraduate study courses can gain extensive skills in Body Awareness, independent of whether they are studying Photography, Dance, Design, Composition, Theatre Directing, Teaching, Voice, Acting, Instrumental Performance, Jazz, Choir Directing or Physical Theatre. The positive and long term results can be applied in every aspect of their studies and the value of theses courses have proved to be indispensable.

The Body Awareness Teaching Programme covers different areas of learning, and the aims and contents of the courses are varied:

  • Support can be found through the skills of Body Awareness which are stage presence, natural posture and movement and clarity of gesture, for the application of an individual’s creative and artistic impulses both for performing and for teaching.
  • Raising a student’s self-awareness and the ability to be in control of their mind-body unity during different study tasks, particularly in their own main subject of study.
  • Training a personal psychophysical balance to reduce or avoid stress in every day activities, both in their professional studies and in their personal lives.
  • Students are given concrete and well-founded material through which they can improve their own ability to take care of themselves and at the same time intensify the individuality of their artistic development.
  • Support will be offered which will help regulate health issues related to body awareness. This can prevent or reduce injury and discomfort.
  • Body and Spatial Awareness can be practiced in a group to create a shared “field” for interdisciplinary and intercultural performance work.

These skills are taught in a number of courses offered weekly by teachers who are not only qualified and experienced in their particular body awareness methods, but they each have an artistic background ­- many of them still performing world wide.

At present we offer the following courses:

  • Movement and Awareness - from Stillness into Movement | Prof. Nadia Kevan
  • Pilates for Everyone | Eun-Sik Park
  • The Inspired Body | Torsten Konrad
  • F. M. Alexander Technique (Group and individual lessons) | Torsten Konrad
  • Hatha-Yoga | Thomas Schäfer
  • The Feldenkrais Method (weekend course) | Jean-Christophe Pellerin
  • Body Awareness/Alexander Technique with your Music Instrument (weekend course) | Asa Mori und Anna Kopperschmidt

You will find more details about all the courses in the Folkwang Organizer.

Body Awareness at the Folkwang also offers lectures, performances and symposions open to the general public.

Prof. Nadia Kevan is chair  and one of the founding members of the Body Awareness Workgroup at the Folkwang University of Arts. Prof. Kevan is responsible for the courses of study offered and can be contacted for information or support in all questions around Body Awareness at the Folkwang.

“Body Awareness refers to the physicality of a presence of mind, a phenomenon which everyone can experience and each of us should attain, an ability to be present in a way which others can feel and which make other feel. Body awareness is an integrate part of the very process of an individual’s conscious development particularly for people in artistic and artistic-teaching vocations.”

- Prof. Dr. Josef Fellsches, Founding member of the Body Awareness Work Group

Es werden zur Zeit folgende Kurse angeboten:

  • Bewegung und Bewusstsein - von der Ruhe zur Bewegung | Prof.’in Nadia Kevan
  • Pilates für Alle | Eun-Sik Park
  • Der Inspirierte Körper | Torsten Konrad
  • F. M. Alexander-Technik (Gruppenunterricht und Einzelunterricht) | Torsten Konrad
  • Hatha-Yoga | Thomas Schäfer
  • Feldenkrais-Methode (Blockseminar) | Jean-Christophe Pellerin
  • Körperbewusstsein/Alexander-Technik mit Musikinstrument (Blockseminar) | Asa Mori und Anna Kopperschmidt

Das aktuelle Lehrangebot finden Sie im Folkwang Organizer unter Optionale Studien.

Neben dem Lehrangebot werden auch Vorträge, Symposien und Aufführungen veranstaltet.

Prof. Nadia Kevan ist Vorsitzende und Mitbegründerin des Forums Körperbewusstsein. Frau Kevan ist verantwortlich für das Lehrangebot und ist Ansprechpartnerin für Fragen rund um Körperbewusstsein an der Folkwang Universität der Künste.

,,Körperbewusstsein meint ganz allgemein körperliche Geistesgegenwart, ein Phänomen, das jede/r erfahren kann und erreichen soll, als Präsenz, die jemand spürt und spüren lässt. Besonders für Menschen in künstlerischen und künstlerisch-pädagogischen Berufen gehört Körperbewusstsein zur Selbstkultur, so wie der Anspruch und die Arbeit an sich selbst "

- Prof. Dr. Josef Fellsches, Mitbegründer des Forums Körperbewusstsein