Myriam Gourfink Workshop Description
Body work 1 hour 30 minutes

Sat, August 23, 2014 at 3:00pm
FREE Admission (Suggested Donation: $10)
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Myriam Gourfink has used breath as the basis of movement ever since her first solo Beith (1996), when she was inspired to research the internal necessity that produces movement. The breathing techniques in energy yoga (western yoga in the Tibetan Tilopa-Naropa-Marpa tradition) and the private research carried out by her teacher Gianna Dupont on the genital tract formed the basis of her experimentation. In practice it means “letting go” by promoting work with balance as well as stimulating the deep muscles of the body within the three diaphragms: pelvic, thoracic and cranial.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF TECHNIQUES

BREATHING TECHNIQUE:
We can distinguish between abdominal, thoracic and sub-clavicular breathing: we speak of three breathing stages or energy sources. Most breathing is carried out through the nostrils, often very gently and silently. The nasal turbinate bones are divided into three zones – the inferior, middle and superior turbinate bones – and these correspond to the three breathing stages. We also learn how to separate the right and left nostrils.

TECHNIQUES FOR CONTRACTING AND DISSOCIATING THE ZONES OF THE PELVIC, THORACIC AND CRANIAL DIAPHRAGMS:

  • Sahajali mudra, for women, involves progressively contracting the lips of the genitalia, the vagina, then the neck of the uterus
  • Vajroli mudra, for men, involves contracting the glans, the penis and the prostate region
  • Aswini mudra involves successively contracting the two rings of muscle around the anus
  • working inwards
  • Mula bandha involves contracting the perineum region located between the genitalia and the anus
  • Uddiyana bandha involves gently drawing in the abdomen towards the spinal column, at the same time raising and opening the ribs
  • Jalandhara bandha involves closing the thoracic opening at the base of the neck, the chin coming to rest gently on the throat
  • Bandha traya is the simultaneous practice of the three preceding bandhas
  • Additionally, a technique called mula bandha “physique” involves contracting all of the perineum which is different from the more precise mula bandha contraction described above.

CONCENTRATION TECHNIQUE:
Concentration is focused on points, surfaces, volumes, lines and spirals, within the body space or in the space outside it; it circulates, connecting one space to the other, and it creates geometric shapes in movement.

Most of the concentration consists of mental effort and indriyas, i.e. the refinement and extension of our five basic senses. There are ten pairs of indriyas based on the five senses. Five indriyas related to left side and five related to the right. For example, for the eyes there is a pair of indiryas, one for the left and one for the right. These are further differentiated into indriyas of action (five pairs), when an observer is observing the observed, and indriyas of information (five pairs), going from the observed to the observer.

The breathing exercises taught by Gianna Dupont combine the location of the breath, the shifting of concentration and the introduction of mudras and bandhas.

APPLYING THESE TECHNIQUES IN MYRIAM GOURFINK’S CHOREOGRAPHIC WORK
These techniques share characteristics with improvised movement and naturally encouraged me to explore my own combinations of locating the breath and using mudras and bandhas, but above all they led me to use concentration to construct my own geometric shapes in movement. Guided by my breath, my sense of balance became extremely precise and I developed a very acute awareness of the space, as if I could sense every particle of air. My dancing became very slow, very deep and existed in a continuum of time.

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