Dance professor teaching self-developed methodology in Italy

Indiana University Bloomington contemporary dance professor Elizabeth Shea is spending a few weeks in Italy this summer, where she’s teaching a dance workshop based on a self-developed mind-body connection methodology.

She’s teaching at Dance Italia, a three-week workshop that includes technique, repertory and improvisation courses as well as a class on “gaga,” a movement language that started in Israel and has since drawn international attention. The workshop began July 1 and wraps up July 19.

Lucy's Bones choreography

Shea choreographed “Lucy’s Bones,” pictured here.

Shea is teaching a one-week course based on her “Somatics Laboratory” technique, which combines mental practice — such as visualization — with muscle awareness.

“My graduate degree is in the acquisition of motor skills and performance, and so I’ve been able to use my knowledge to create a methodology that’s based in science and experience,” Shea said. “It’s about that relationship, that symbiosis, between the mind and the body.”

While overseas, Shea will also be presenting a paper in Rome at the University of Rome Foro Italico about her work with choreography and motion capture.

Elizabeth Shea

Elizabeth Shea

She just returned from a stint as a guest artist at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, where she set a piece of choreography titled “Lucy’s Bones” that was performed in Tel Aviv. And that visit came close on the heels of her 2011 choreography debut at the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where former Paul Taylor dancer Constance Dinapoli performed Shea’s seminal work “These Hands” with Karen Reedy Dance.

Shea’s choreography featuring real-time video tracking, “The Nature of Human,” was performed by the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble during its 2011-2012 season. And last year, Shea premiered “Between the Sun and the Moon,” which uses visuals created from motion captured movement. She has also served on the faculty and as a guest artist at many American universities, dance companies and dance schools; was an artist-in-residence for the state of Florida; and has taught internationally.

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