Openings workshop — Call for particpants

Openings

An international workshop in the performing arts 
to develop creative relationships and performance situations
through dramatic play and improvisation

opening, definition: an aperture or a gap, especially one allowing access.

Openings is a process-oriented workshop, an experimental journey of diverse cultures,
languages, and artistic backgrounds.  

The workshop has three main goals:

First, we aim to share and to further develop improvisational performance practices based in contemporary variations of (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner (IwIP) with workshop participants. Second, we would like to generate new collaborative connections among performers based in Finland who may not know each other and who have not yet worked together. Third, we aim to provide the artist community with a means of supporting performative well-being by providing an encouraging space to play, study, and create together.

The workshop invites the participation of people with a foreign background who are interested in the performing arts and who live in Finland. Applicants need not be professional artists.

The workshop is organized and produced by Kulttuuriyhdistys Culture Current ry, a Helsinki-based arts and education non-for-profit organization.  

It is offered at no cost to participants.  

The working language is English, but participants will also have the opportunity to work in the language(s) of their choice, usually their native tongue(s). 

Application deadline: February 4, 2022, 23.59 (Helsinki time)

Interviews with selected applicants: February 10-11, 2022

Final decision to selected applicants: February 18, 2022

Workshop begins: March 1, 2022. Workshop ends: May 27, 2022

Time commitment for participants: 6-12 hours a week during daytime hours (9AM-5PM).

Contact

alexander [at] culturecurrent.org

+358 404 110 706

Kulttuuriyhdistys Culture Current ry

www.culturecurrent.org

Support for this project 

This project is made possible by the generous financial support of the Arts Council Finland, Finnish Cultural Foundation, Helsinki City, and The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland.  

For more detailed information about the project and how to apply, please scroll down.

Openings 

An international workshop in the performing arts 
to develop creative relationships and performance situations
through dramatic play and improvisation

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
From “Go to the Limits of Your Longing” by Rainer Maria Rilke

Detailed Project Information

Goals

Through Openings, Culture Current and the working group would like to:

1) Open up a dialogue for developing performance and creative practices

We would like to open up and to share (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner (IwIP) and the practices we have developed through it with people who are interested in performing and improvisational practices.  We also hope to work with people who are curious about IwIP’s principles, values, and methods.  At the same time, we hope participants will bring some perspective to our work. We would like to develop our practices in collaboration with participants. Also, we are curious about how workshop participants’ own practices, values, and experiences can enrich and influence our improvisational performance methodologies…and perhaps enrich influence their own practices. 

2) Enable intercultural dialogue and exchange and promote inclusion and participation of cultural minorities in Finnish life and culture

Through this workshop, we would like to enable intercultural dialogue and artistic collaboration among various linguistic and cultural communities in Finland. We would like to share our own cultures and languages – our many selves – and be enriched by other cultures and languages. 

We understand that foreign background artists are often confronted with particular challenges in pursuing their professional work and personal development. We hope that this workshop will open up future opportunities for foreign-background people living in Finland to participate in and contribute to Finnish cultural life.

3) Provide the community with a means of supporting performative well-being, play, have fun

The pressure to produce, usually at a fast pace, can sap artistic and existential energies and lead to burn-out. We need ways to maintain and to support performative well-being. In this workshop, we aim to create an encouraging, creative space without the pressure of having to produce art.   

Our motivations for the Openings workshop

Since 2013, Kulttuuriyhdistys Culture Current ry has organized numerous courses and performances in Helsinki and throughout Finland. Our association’s purpose is to organize and implement educational, cultural, and artistic activities that create and promote empathetic, critical, and mutual interaction between different individuals, groups and ideas on topical themes.  You can read more about Culture Current goals and values here.

Content of the Workshop

The workshop consists of two parts.

Part 1

An intensive introduction to IwIP for workshop participants who have not studied the discipline before. These sessions will be led by Alexander and other members of the working group. For more information about IwIP, see below.

Part 2   

Strand 1: Participants will continue to study IwIP with Alexander and other members of the working group.

Strand 2: Participants and the working group will meet together for two sessions per week to explore different variations of IwIP and methods and practices derived from IwIP.  One session per week will be lead by Alex. It will explore various individual, pair, and group improvisational exercises developed from IwIP.  The second weekly session will be led by other members of the working group.  These will explore improvisational practices in the fields of acting, performing, dance, and writing. 

Working Methods

Our primary working methods are based in contemporary variations of (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner that have been developed in Finland, and practices developed from IwIP in various fields. We will also discuss, write, play games, etc. Participants will be invited to share their own cultures, languages, and artistic practice through the work we do together. 

Workshop Timetable*

*The timetable will be finalized by the end of January/early February.  Participants should count with 6-12 hours a week in 3-7 hour sessions sometime between 9AM-5PM. The final week will have one evening demo.

Part 1 – Weeks 9-12

We will meet two days a week. Each day we will have a 3-hour IwIP session. 

Part 2 – Weeks 13-21

We will meet two days a week.  On one day, we will meet for a 3-hour IwIP session in the morning, have a lunchbreak, and then continue with a 4-hour group workshop session in the afternoon.  The other day, we will meet for 4-hour group workshop session in the afternoon.

Workshop size and make-up

The maximum group size is 13-14, including the core working-group.  We will be accepting between 8-9 participants. Our aim is to have a diverse group, especially in terms of culture, language, and profession.

Workshop languages

The working language is English, but participants will also have the opportunity to work in the language(s) of their choice, usually their native tongue(s). 

Cost

The workshop is offered at no cost to participants. Participants need to provide their own meals, snacks, and appropriate clothing for physical work.

Take with you to every session

Comfortable clothing for movement work.  Plain clothing, preferably dark with no large visuals, logos, text, etc. Shirt should be short-sleeved (no sleeves passed your elbows, please).  If you have long hair, please tie/pin your hair back completely so it does not hang in your face (no hanging bangs, please). Water bottle. Pen and notebook.  Face mask.

COVID-19 Note

We kindly request that only people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 participate in the workshop.

Core working-group

The core working-group consists of long-time IwIP practitioners, teachers, and researchers who have developed IwIP through their artistic, pedagogical, and research work.  We are active professionals in our fields.

Malin Kivelä: performer, writer

Alexander Komlosi (workshop leader, artistic director): actor, teacher, researcher

Cecilia Paul: actor

Hanna Raiskinmäki: actor, singer, teacher

Jenni-Elina von Bagh: choreographer, dancer

Project manager

Diego Ginartes

Dramaturgical and directorial feedback group for workshop (based on availability) includes: Mikaela Hasán, Otso Huopaniemi, Eeva Muilu, Riku Saastamoinen, Milja Sarkola

Main Organizer 

Openings is organized and produced by Culture Current, an arts and education non-for-profit organization based in Helsinki, Finland. 

Support for this project 

This project is made possible by the generous financial support from Arts Council Finland, Finnish Cultural Foundation, Helsinki City, and The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland.  

Partner

Our project partners include DuvTeatern, Globe Art Point, Restart.

Applying

Application deadline: February 4, 2022, 23.59 (Helsinki time)

Invitations to selected applicants sent: February 8, 2022

Interviews with selected applicants: February 10-11, 2022

Final decision to selected applicants: February 18, 2022

Application: Please send your CV along with answers to the following questions to:

alexander [at] culturecurrent.org. The CV and answers must be in English.

Application questions:

  1. Please give a short snap­shot of who you are and what you do (max 1 page). Please state your Eng­lish lan­guage level.
  2. We would like par­tic­i­pants who can attend most (90%) of the work­shop ses­sions. Can you com­mit to the work­shop timetable?  (max 1 sentence)
  3. Work­shop par­tic­i­pants need not be pro­fes­sion­al artists or per­form­ers. How­ev­er, it is impor­tant that par­tic­i­pants are inter­est­ed in per­form­ing. Also, they need to be will­ing and ready to work in an exper­i­men­tal way through impro­vi­sa­tion. What expe­ri­ence do you have per­form­ing? What are some of the chal­lenges you face when per­form­ing?  What does per­form­ing give you? Are you inter­est­ed in explor­ing new ways of per­form­ing? Why? (max 1 page)
  4. As a solo impro­vi­sa­tion­al prac­tice, IwIP involves exper­i­ment­ing (per­form­ing) on stage alone. It also involves self-reflec­tion and a com­mit­ment to prac­tic­ing open­ness, and com­mu­ni­cat­ing per­son­al ques­tions in a pub­lic sit­u­a­tion. How do you feel about this kind of work? (max 1 page)
  5. What do you think you may get out of par­tic­i­pat­ing in this work­shop? (max 1 paragraph)
  6. How do you think you could con­tribute to this work­shop? (max 1 paragraph)
  7. As a work­ing group, we believe in cre­at­ing a work­ing atmos­phere based in respect, coop­er­a­tion, active encour­age­ment. We are com­mit­ted to resolv­ing con­flicts through mutu­al under­stand­ing and dia­logue. What val­ues do you think are impor­tant in group process­es like this?  What expe­ri­ence do you have with work­ing with peo­ple of dif­fer­ent cul­tures, lan­guages, and view­points? (max 1 paragraph)

For information Inter)acting with the Inner Partner, please see below.

 About (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner 

Our primary working methods are based in contemporary variations of (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner (IwIP) that have been developed in Finland.   Following, is some background on IwIP.

IwIP is a solo improvisational discipline. It is open to all interested in exploring performing through their selves, and exploring their selves through performing in a spirit of dialogue and partnership. It is not just for actors, nor is it an acting method. It is a methodology of performative research and training. IwIP is studied by a wide-range of people who are interested in acting, performing, self-development, self-understanding, creativity, and dramatic play, among other themes and questions they discover along the way.

A dialogical approach to the person based in empathetic group dynamics and grounded in our social ecology…

IwIP is rooted in an understanding of the performing person as a constellation of perspectives or different “partners.” As we explore how these partners interact with each other through dramatic play in a performance situation, we experience and learn about ourselves as performing, creative people. We may discover playful performance, new performing possibilities, individual curiosities, and personal and artistic questions. We are also likely to discover difficult questions, conflicting themes, and ways we relate to ourselves that are less than fruitful. Those who pursue IwIP tend to be willing, interested, and need to explore and play out the different ways our selves relate to each other through dramatic play.

Studying dialogical dramatic principles and improvisational approaches that support us in various performance situations…

IwIP explores principles and practices that enable us to develop existing artistic forms and create new ones. We study how to be creative partners to ourselves and to others in our particular performance situation and social ecology. We learn dialogical dramatic play principles and improvisational approaches to advance our personal performing capabilities and learn performance skills. We propose and practice how to transform what we perform and how we perform. This can support us in creating fruitful performance situations in a spirit of partnership. 

Some of the themes and questions IwIP explores include:

Who I am when I perform

When I perform, who am I being? Who am I not being yet?  

How I am when I perform

How do I feel?  Am I calm?  Frightened?  Am I stiff and tense?  Am I relaxed and responsive?  How am I thinking?  Am I critical and judgmental? Am I open and accepting?  What is my well-being like when I perform on stage and how does this connect to my well-being in other performance situations?

How I perform

What are the qualities of my performing?  How are my voice and body expressive? Do I rush? Do I give myself time?  How do I get in my own way?  How do I support myself? How do I listen to myself? How do I avoid and take risks?  What new actions could I risk and why? How does the way I act affect myself, others, and our shared situations?   

What I perform

What offers to do I give myself and others?  What offers do other partners give to me? How can I interact through them to create new shared meanings and possibility?

A Brief History of IwIP

IwIP was originally created at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague by professor Ivan Vyskočil, a renown Czech actor, writer, pedagogue and researcher. In Finland, IwIP has been taught, researched, developed, and applied in the professional artistic community for almost fifteen years. Originally introduced by Milja Sarkola and Eeva Muilu through their performance work, Alexander Komlosi has led its pedagogical and artistic develop in collaboration with artists and other professionals in the field since 2012. He has taught courses and at the Theatre Academy (University of Arts Helsinki), University of Tampere (NÄTY), Aalto University, professional theatres, and as part of Culture Current’s non-for-profit educational and artistic work. A research grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation allowed him to develop IwIP’s pedagogy at the Performing Arts Research Center (TUTKE) at the University of Arts Helsinki (2017-8) with students and long-time IwIP practitioners.

IwIP is an open and opening methodology, so members of the IwIP community have developed its pedagogy and artistic applications in their own unique ways in the fields like acting, dance, choreography, performance, research, and pedagogy.