Asaf Bachrach(Fr/Is)+Matthieu Gaudeau
Tel Aviv Workshop 
Meso-somatics 
 
We Are All Lichens







“Les choses et les pensées poussent ou grandissent par milieu, et c'est là qu'il faut s'installer, c'est toujours là que ça se plie.”  
“Things and thoughts grow  through the ‘milieu’,  and that's where you have to settle, it's always there where it folds”
(Gilles Deleuze, Pourparlers 1972-1990)  
 
In French, the word milieu, [mi (‘middle’)- lieu (‘place’)] means both ‘middle’ (of a line, a distance, a portion, a volume) and environment or surroundings; this is what allows Gilles Deleuze to invite us to “start from the ‘milieu’” and to rethink the dynamics of the centers from which more or less implicit hierarchies arise, political organizations, the experience of ‘territory’ (haptic / optical) and finally or firstly the question of the individual (closed on itself or as a ‘milieu’, entity formed by symbioses of various types). 
 
The French philosophers Ferhat Taylan and Baptiste Morizot invite us to think about mesopolitics and mesoethics. Taylan understands “Mesopolitics”  as the “ensemble of knowledge and techniques geared to governing human beings by planning their environment (milieu)”. Morizot suggests an ethical framework that, like mesopolitics, puts the ‘milieu’ in the center, “mesoethics is a diplomatic relationship with oneself which consists in reorientating one's interior life, without ordering it, simply by transforming the living environment ”.
 
In this workshop we would like to co-elaborate, through contact improvisation, a meso-somatic intuition. A somatics that starts in the ‘middle’ (milieu). A somatics whose ‘technique’  is essentially  oblique, or non-direct (touch, anatomic visualization, movement induction…), that recognizes that the shortest path to the self goes through the milieu.
 
Mesosomatics invites us to rethink traditional models of pedagogical transmission (in dance, bodywork and beyond). Knowledge is not ‘contained’ within the individual, ready to be transmitted to another, but is in the milieu, in the middle. Teaching as an encounter in the milieu/middle, through which learning happens.
 
This trans-somatic exploration will draw on Contact Improvisation (and in particular Steve Paxton), Feldenkrais movement explorations, BMC imagery, Alexander technique‘s attention training and Rolfing semiotics and touch work.
We will try to touch the untouchable, reach the unreachable, focus on what is inherently fuzzy: the  mesosoma, the ‘ècart’ (French: gap, interval, space between) between the ventral and the dorsal, between ‘me’ and ‘you’, between ‘me’ and ‘myself.
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Asaf Bachrach

 

Asaf has been practicing contact improvisation (CI) as well as other types of improvisation techniques (Butoh, tuning score...) since 1994. He Studied in Tel Aviv, New York, Paris and Boston. Among his most influential professors are Steve Paxton, Kirsty Simson, Lisa Nelson and Min Tanaka. Since 2000, he has taught in Europe, in the USA, in Buenos Aires and in

Israel. In 2012, he organized an international conference in Paris around CI and ‘mindfulness’ (http://mindthepoint.wordpress.com/). Since 2016 he is a certified Rolfing® practitioner, a student of Hubert Godard. Asaf has been co-leading with

Matthieu Gaudeau, since 2013 of the bodylab and the F.A.R nomadic somatics school, a

trans-somatic (Feldenkrais, Alexander, Rolfing and CI) experiential research group. Asaf is a practicing cognitive neuroscientist (PhD 2008, MIT) at the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique). His research topics include  language  (syntax, language comprehension…)  and dance (performance, spectating, joint improvisation, new technologies,  labodanse.org). He has organized a number of in-disciplinary events around dance, improvisation and cognition bringing together scientists, movement practitioners, anthropologists and philosophers. He is a member for the new ArTec graduate program in the university Paris 8 where he is taking part in shaping the recherche-creation program.

Matthieu Gaudeau


Actor-Dancer-Teacher of the Alexander Technique. He worked as an actoir from 1997-2015 with theatre companies and collectives. Between 2004 and 2006, he co-directed the collective "La Gouttière" in which he developed a work of performative theater-dance and writing.

He trained in the Alexander Technique between 2009 and 2013 and so began to rethink his teaching and pedagogy based on the principles of inhibition and directed attention.

He is passionate about the organization of human gesture and the relationship between attention and posture. From 2013 to 2016, he worked at the Etimoë center with people suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Since 2014, he has been involved in the ICI and ICrEA project (dance and neuroscience project, CNRS); as a founding member he has played a central role in the development of experimental protocols around attention and joint attention. In addition, he is co-organizer of the Rencontres Internationales de Contact Improvisation in Paris since 2014.
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