Category Archives: improvisation life

finding flow

DSC02776Capprichio

This weekend I had the pleasure and privilege of teaching an Embodied Equine Experiencing workshop with two lovely women from Toronto, both of whom equine facilitated educational programs in Ontario.. They had found me through my book, Our Horses, Ourselves: Discovering the Common Body.

The focus of the workshop was exploring how deepening and grounding our own movement practice can nourish and expand any aspect of our work with horses, whether competitive, therapeutic, or educational.  Both are students of Somatic Experiencing, the trauma recovery work of Dr. Peter Levine, so themes from that body-based work wove through the two days.

In much equine-related work, I observe that instructors and students are eager to, in the words of Linda Tellington-Jones, “turn on the lights” in the body and mind of the horse.  However, the lights in their own bodies are turned off.  Airlines instruct us to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first. The same thing applies to working with horses.  Awaken and enliven your own body first, and then take that illumination and awareness to the horse.

Yesterday we worked with connecting our own fluid bodies with the fluid body of the horse.  We are, after all 70% water.  The results of finding flow, and supporting fluid connection with our equine partners were stunning.  With Amadeo, we could feel the lack of fluidity through his lower legs and feet, and by bringing more softness into those parts of our own bodies, were able to feel a profound change as he released his braced contact with the ground.  Working with Capprichio was like pouring ourselves into a warm river.  Fluids joining fluids.

This is a different way of experiencing “body work.”  It is not about fixing or doing, but rther listening and joining.If you would like to learn more, you can contact me HERE.

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horses helping horses

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Here is some new information from our website about how I am working with horses, riders, and equine-centered organizations.

Horses Helping Horses is a program that uses performance and educational programming to raise awareness about compassionate, mindful equine practices rooted in the shared language of movement and touch. Paula Josa-Jones/Performance Works works with equine-centered organizations of all kinds to develop compassionate outreach programming that expresses the heart of the horse. Working with equine partners as both teachers and performers, we offer a wide range of programming options, including:

If you are interested in any of these possibilities, please Contact Paula.  

You can also make a DONATION to support this work — Your contribution helps us to make this work available to more equine-centered organizations.  Thank you!

 

 

 

riding: the horses, the river

IMG_3032Sanne, ridden by Brandi Rivera

I just posted a new page on my website, called THE HORSES.  I wanted to share a bit more information about my equine collaborators, Capprichio, Amadeo and Sanne. All three have worked with me in performances, and all three are my co-therapists in my Somatic Experiencing/equine therapy practice.  Each one is so unique, so clear in what they bring to a session or a dance.

As I wrote the page, I wondered, is this confusing?  I am sending out appeals for the INDIEGOGO campaign for RIVER/BODY, the dance that I am creating in the Housatonic River this summer.  Then I am posting about my equine work.  Soon I will be telling you about some solo performances coming up this summer, and announcing a book talk or a podcast.

I don’t feel the separation among these, but more and more feel the flow of connection among them and the way that they intersect and support each other. I can feel  how one led inevitably and naturally to the next, and then back again.

Many years ago I was privileged to take a 10-day Delicious Movement Workshop training with Eiko & Koma.  It changed forever the way I experience and understand movement.  During the workshop, Eiko said that she does not commute from her work to her daily life.  I realized that I did a lot of commuting and compartmentalizing, and separating.  In saying that, she helped me to find the deeper rhythms that underlie all that engages me.

Now, as I am expanding my private work, and entering the waters of a new dance, I am listening for the connections.  What is it to enter and hold the river of the horses’s movement and body within the banks of my own? How can I ride and be ridden by the river?  How can I support others’ capacity to connect with the deeper currents underneath that which seems to separate us?  What is this common body that we share?

DSC03869 dancer Amy Wynn in the Housatonic