The Tea Towel Dances presentation and workshop is part of the practice research project 'Dance Objects' (DO), which began in response to the adapted teaching and learning environments that emerged with the appearance of Covid-19 in March 2020. Building on the experiences of teaching online from my kitchen during lockdown, and informed by students’ testimonies, this research is critiqued through the reading of Silvia Federici’s Beyond the Periphery of the Skin (2020), drawing on her notion that “[f]rom dance we learn that matter is not stupid, it is not blind, it is not mechanical but has its rhythms, its language”. Tea Towel Dances was born from the necessity to activate and communicate sensitized and affective touch as an embodied and creative experience across a screen. One morning, facing a virtual room of students, each neatly compartmentalized into a compressed digital box that communicated a distorted picture of their actual lived space, in an act of spontaneity I reached for a tea towel and the flamenco class began. The rhythm and language that developed from playing with this linen cloth - sensing its folds, fall, and ability to flick or rest - energized our spaces and brought vitality to our practice. In these particular and varying circumstances for each student, I hoped that by facilitating responsiveness and spontaneity I was in some way celebrating what bell hooks refers to in her Teaching Community: a pedagogy of hope (2003) as the ability to go straight to the heart of the matter in order to create the best climate for learning. Attendees to this presentation and workshop are invited to bring a tea towel in order to participate in a Tea Towel Dances exploration as a way of questioning the merging experiences of domesticity, the moving body, and pedagogies of hope.
- Kitchen Dances
- Pedagogies of Hope