COUNTERTECHNIQUE: WORKING WITH AN EVER-CHANGING BODY
by Anouk van Dijk
About the workshop:
This workshop with Anouk van Dijk will introduce Countertechnique, the movement system she developed over the past 25 years to provide dancers with applied tools for a versatile dance practice in the 21st century – focusing on the process of incorporating information into action. This ten-day workshop consists daily of three parts: a Countertechnique class, a Practical Tools session, and after lunch we will look at how Countertechnique tools can be implemented in the creative process.
Since work environments differ from project to project, from moment to moment, as performers we need strategies to respond, adapt and remain versatile during rehearsals and performance seasons. Countertechnique offers specific tools and tasks to make training and dancing easier, more fun and more sustainable. Practical knowledge about the relation between gravity, energy, space and the body, and how thought, observation and sensations are related, promote a pro-active relationship to dancing and performing. With a clear set of tasks and tools, and the free choice to implement these whenever most suited, dancers make their own choices whilst training, dancing and performing.
This workshop is most suitable for professional dance artists who like to dance, work physically, and want to continue doing this for a long time. Dancers new to Countertechnique and those who would like to deepen their practice, are all welcome. We will be working within codified exercises and explore different aspects of task-based improvisation as we generate new movement material and choreographed situations.
Anouk van Dijk is a choreographer, director and the creator of the movement system, Countertechnique. From 2012 – 2019, she was the Artistic Director of renowned contemporary dance company Chunky Move in Melbourne, Australia. Currently Anouk van Dijk works as a freelance choreographer internationally and is the Founder and Artistic Director of Countertechnique.
Between 1999 – 2012, Van Dijk ran for her own Amsterdam-based company, anoukvandijk dc, dedicated to creating work that sought to provide an insight into the many facets of the human experience through the lens of contemporary dance. During her tenure of Artistic Director of Chunky Move in Melbourne, Australia, she created a series of large scale productions, amongst others An Act of Now (2012), Complexity of Belonging (2014, with Falk Richter), Depth of Field (2015), Rule of Thirds (2016), Common Ground (2018). She has collaborated across disciplines with artists such as Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore), Theun Mosk (Netherlands), Marg Horwell (Australia), Ian Strange (US/Australia) and most notably created 7 large-scale works together with German writer/director Falk Richter, amongst others TRUST (Schaubuehne Berlin) and RAUSCH (Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf). Since 2019, Van Dijk has worked internationally as a free-lance choreographer, and created amongst others Distant Matter (Staatsballett Berlin), TOUCH (collaboration with Falk Richter, Munich Kammerspiele), and Out of the Blue (Skanes Dansteater, Malmö Opera).
Central to the foundation of Anouk van Dijk’s artistic work has been Countertechnique, the movement system she developed to provide dancers with applied tools for versatile dance practice in the 21st century – focusing on the process of incorporating information into action. Anouk has worked with dancers around the world, and teaches internationally between Europe, USA, Australia and Asia. Currently, Countertechnique has 52 certified teachers around the world and the method holds a prominent place in the publication Dance Techniques 2010, co-written by Prof. Dr. Gerald Siegmund and Anouk van Dijk.
Monday till Friday
November 13th till 24th
10:00 – 11:45 Countertechnique Class
12:00 – 13:00 Practical Tools session
14:30 – 17:30 Creative Workshop with Anouk
Registration fee of 150 € (as part of the 600 €)
From 10:00 till 11:45 it will be possible to join the Counter Technique as an open class. No registration or reservation is needed, but make sure to come early as there are limited spots. The cost per class is 20 €.
Participants are accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis.
If you’d really like to participate but are unable to join both weeks, please let us know your exact availability so we can consider you for the waitinglist (email@example.com).
WHAT IS COUNTERTECHNIQUE?
Countertechnique was developed by Anouk van Dijk over the course of 25 years, with the wish to continue moving and dancing in a safe, inspired and creative way. Countertechnique provides tools for body and mind to deal with the demanding dance practice of the 21st century. It is a movement system to help the dancer think about the dancing body, focusing on the process of incorporating information into action. Within a clear structure of exercises, the Countertechnique class thoroughly prepares the body for rehearsal and performance, enabling dancers to move bigger, more fluidly and more spatially, while becoming stronger and more flexible.
The Countertechnique movement method offers dancers a clear set of tasks and tools, to lower stress and tension while you simultaneously build strength and coordination with an increased range of motion. In the Countertechnique class, mind and body are not trained separately from one another, but always in conjunction, implementing simple ideas into layered complexity. Countertechnique tools offer an alternative way of thinking about the organization of the body, where ‘core’ or ‘centre’, are no longer pursued as ideals. Information is systematically presented, so it can be understood, organised and retrieved.
Dancers who study Countertechnique become more pro-actively involved in their own ongoing development as artists, by consciously making choices whilst dancing, enabling a more sustainable relationship to the creative process. The task-oriented approach of Countertechnique allows dancers to make clear choices whilst moving, dancing and performing.
DANCERS ON COUNTERTECHNIQUE
“You can apply Countertechnique as much and/or as little as you want to whatever movement you are executing, be it technical or non-technical. It is current, it is now, and it is developing alongside us as humans. Countertechnique allows me to execute movement with ease and efficiency that I may have taken years to figure out… and I’d much rather not figure it out with trial and error through injuries. The career is too fleeting to sit on the sidelines!”
James Vu Anh Pham (OperaBallet Vlaanderen, Akram Khan, Chunky Move/Anouk van Dijk, Eastman, Madonna Celebration Tour)
“Whereas previously I had felt burned out as a dancer and had struggled with the boredom of training, Countertechnique has given me so much joy and endless curiosity towards dancing again. I really appreciate how teachers help dancers address their issues for the purpose of their whole career, rather than just fixing form at that moment.”
Ema Yuasa (Eastman, Damien Jalet, independent dance artist and choreographer)
“As a young dancer, I prioritized effort over efficiency, and placed unrealistic demands on my energy as a performer. I am glad to have met Anouk when I did – Countertechnique has empowered my body and mind, and improved the communication between them. It has given me greater versatility in the rehearsal room and a more sustainable approach to class.”