Embodied Arts Series Coming to Toronto this October

Come join us for an exploration and inquiry through movement.

  • Workshop, Saturday, October 8, 10 am -5 pm: “Your Life, Your Story, Your Dance” With Gennie Brukner, Henry Wai, Patricia Kambitsch and Vivek Patel. A Day of art making, dance making and life focusing through Authentic Movement, Contact Improvisation Dance, martial arts (Ninjitsu) and visual arts. We’ll ask the big questions: Who am I being in this body, in my relationships, in the world? What’s holding me back? For what am I willing to give my life? How might I move through my life with  presence, attention, and intention? $90-105  for the day. $75-90 for early registration (before Sept 24). Located in Toronto at the Lower Ossington Theatre, Light vegetarian lunch included.  Register with Patricia @ playthink.com or directly at http://yourlifeyourstoryyourdance.eventbrite.com.
  • Workshop, Saturday, October 15, 10 am – 4 pm: “Your Creation Story” a day of butoh, dance making, storytelling, creative writing, and visual art  At “What Next” 7-12 Fraser Ave.   With Maureen “MomoButoh” Freehilland Patricia Kambitsch. This workshop will enhance any performance, creative, healing and artistic practice by exercising imagination and increasing energy flow to reveal hidden gifts of the soul through the body. We will cultivate capacity for freedom of movement, powerful presence and transformation.  We will create a visual “score” for  movement  based on our individual stories of creation. The score, a work of visual art and creative writing in its own right, will guide the dance. The dance, in turn, will inform the visual and written pieces. Second day rehearsal and performance option: Members of the  Oct. 15 workshop will be invited to participate in performance and second day of workshop rehearsal on October 16. (For those choosing to continue on Sunday, this extends the workshop as a two-day experience, and quite a deal!) Light vegetarian lunch included. $90-105  for the day. $75-90 for early registration (before Oct. 1)
  • Performance, Sunday, October 16, 7 pm: “Creation Stories” an intimate performance and gallery show including members of the October 8 class at “What Next” 7-12 Fraser Ave. (PWYW, suggested $15, or free for attendees of Saturday’s workshop)
  • Dialogue and the Art of Butoh Tuesday. October 18, 6-9 pm, at OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street. Lambert Lounge.
    A guided, expressive experience in deep nonverbal dialogue informed by butoh and embodied experiential practices with  Maureen Freehill  and Patricia Kambitsch. We ask you to respond to potent questions:
    What is dialogue at its core? How might physical presence and deep empathy inform the design of our own lives as art and craft? How might simple performance reveal the collective wisdom of individuals and mindful groups? What else can physical presence and intentional movement teach us? Come with questions. Leave with a simple process that enables profound dialogue through movement, word and visual images.  $25, $20 students or PWYW at the door.

For registration and more information contact Patricia Kambitsch at  patricia@playthink.com

or call 416.799.6750 


BUTOH was founded by dancers Hijikata Tatsumi and Kazuo Ohno in the 1960’s. This originally Japanese avant-garde performance art utilized principles from traditional Japanese theater and contemporary dance, poetic imagery, meditation and theatrical improvisation to create a unique art form that now influences artists of all genres worldwide.

CONTACT IMPROVISATION dance supports us in being present, fully embodied and physically intelligent through movement exploration and deep listening in contact with another person. Contact Improvisation is a free play between two or more moving bodies. Practices includes following a physical point of contact and supporting and giving weight to a partner. Sometimes quiet and meditative, sometimes wild and athletic, it is a dance open to all bodies and enquiring minds.

AUTHENTIC MOVEMENT is a practice of embodied presence that will help you become deeply connected with yourself through the use of movement and sound in the presence of a witness. You will be invited to close your eyes and open up to your inner landscape of experience; then to move and sound spontaneously (which can include stillness and silence) out of this relatedness to yourself. Authentic movement can be great fun, deeply moving, and powerfully restorative.  It can help you to shake off the bindings of inhibitions and self-consciousness, whether inherited or self-imposed, and free you up to commune with your essential self.


MAUREEN FREEHILL MFA is a master of being moved & utilized by the forces of nature—with over 30 years experience performing & facilitating Embodied Arts. She is the Founder & Artistic Director of MomoButoh Dance Company, an international performance collective based in Seattle area (www.momobutoh.net); Founder & Builder of SOMA Pavi11ion: School for Embodied Arts in Nature on Whidbey Island, WA; DailyDance™ & LifeArt Mastery Mentor (www.lifeartmastery.com). Her work springs directly from teachings of Kazuo & Yoshito Ohno; with whom she lived, studied & performed for 5 years in Japan. Her training includes an MFA in Directing Asian Theater, Dance Therapy at Naropa U. featuring Anna Halprin & certificates in Transpersonal Hypnotherapy & Hatha Yoga Instruction (Shambava/Shoshoni Center). She developed an international network of over 700 butoh enthusiasts (www.butoh.ning.com) as well as a repertoire of over 500 DailyDance™ videos for YearOfButoh (www.dailydance.net). She tours internationally & as guest artist at leading university dance & theater programs including Duke U, U of AZ, Seattle U, Virginia CU, E. Carolina U. & others. Her major butoh performances include solo & group appearances at festivals from Chuncheon, Korea to Asheville, NC.; touring & performances with Kazuo & Yoshito Ohno, Harupin-Ha (Tamanos), Katsura Kan, Joan Laage & Diego Pinon. She loves to dialogue about Embodied Arts & is currently working on her first book “Keys to a Life of Dancing Freely.”


started dancing at the tender age of 44 and has been exploring a world of movement possibility and fun ever since.  He has learned with a variety of Contact Improvisation teachers including Nancy Stark Smith, one of the pioneers of Contact dance.  Henry delights in introducing Contact Improvisation to newcomers and has a particular enthusiasm for teaching people with little or no dance background.

GENNIE BRUKNER  trained for three years at the Authentic Movement Institute in Berkeley, California.  She also trained with Ruth Zaporah in Action Theatre, Emilie Conrad Doud in Continuum Movement, Charlotte Selver in Sensory Awareness and Nina Martin in Ensemble Improvisation.  Her work is always informed by her meditation practice.


has been co-creating interdisciplinary arts workshops and groups for over fifteen years. A visual artist, performer, and author, she experiences art as dialogue. Through her graphic recording visual facilitation practice, she harvests individual stories and meaningful conversations. (www.playthink.com). Patricia is a member of the Momobutoh Dance Company.


I’m so excited and inspired by our coming dance and arts series, Your Life, Your Story, Your Dance in October that I’ made a little book today explaining our intention.  Read more about the series that includes Butoh, Authentic Movement, Martial Arts, Contact Improvisation, dialogue, visual arts, written word, and performance here.

My butoh dance teacher, mentor, and coach, Maureen “MomoButoh” Freehill, is coming to Toronto this October.  I’m happy and honored to host her visit and to collaborate on a number of dance events while she’s here. Momo and the MomoButoh Dance Company have enriched my life and challenged me to deepen my daily dance practice to include multiple modes of art, writing, film, and public performance.

Save the dates. October 2011.  More details coming soon!

  • Workshop, Saturday, October 8 10 am -5 pm: “Your Life, Your Story, Your Dance” With Gennie Brukner, Henry Wai, and Vivek Patel. A Day of art making, dance making and life focusing through Authentic Movement, Contact Improvisation Dance, martial arts (Ninjutsu) and visual arts. $75-100 for the day the Lower Ossington Theatre, Light vegetarian lunch included.
  • Workshop, Saturday, October 15, 10 am – 4 pm: “Your Creation Story” a day of butoh, dance making, storytelling, creative writing, and visual art  At “What’s Next” 7-12 Fraser Ave.  $75-100 for the day. With Patricia Kambitsch and Maureen “MomoButoh” Freehill.  Light vegetarian lunch included. Members of the workshop will be invited to rehearsal and performance on October 16. (Making this a two day workshop, and quite a deal!)
  • Performance, Sunday, October 16, 7 pm: “Creation Stories” an intimate performance and gallery show including members of the October 8 class at “What’s Next” 7-12 Fraser Ave. ($15, or free for attendees of Saturday’s workshop)

For more information contact Patrica Kambitsch at 416.799.6750 

or email me at patricia @ playthink  .  com


“Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”

–Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

film by Dexter Ico

Posted: July 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

  1. As human beings, all are born free to dance. I have the right to dance. You have the right to dance.
  2. This body–your body, my body, the human body– is a dancer’s body. The right to dance shall not be limited by age, training, ethnicity, education, body size and shape, physical ability, or appearance.
  3. My right to dance in safety shall not be compromised. I lay the boundaries, call the shots, draw the line.
  4. I have the right to take risks, to grow, and to change.
  5. I have the right to feel what I feel, to explore what I feel, and to dance what I feel. I have the right to express even when I have no words for what I feel.
  6. When I dance I can be very, very sexy in many, many ways. Meanwhile, my dance doesn’t have to be sexy or even pretty. I don’t have to be appealing or attractive or pleasing to anyone.
  7. I have the right to dance by myself and with myself, to explore the depths of my own inner universes, to appreciate the rich complexity of my own experience, to discover and reinvent new selves within myself, to explore and expand the limits of my own perception, to deeply experience who I am, to feel my way through the vastness of the cosmos, to honor the wisdom of my own body in motion and in solitary stillness.
  8. I have the right to dance with others, to communicate, to learn and to teach, to nurture and be nurtured, to give and to take, to challenge and to be challenged, to be the mirror and to look into the mirror, to play and to work, to witness and to be witnessed, to bask in your light and to show off my brilliance.
  9. My brilliance also casts shadows, and my shadows have the right to dance, too.

10.  “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”—article Nineteen, Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  The medium is the body, and everyone includes you.


Related: Eiko + Koma Manifesto

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dancing with bones

Posted: June 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

My daughter Liz tells me that she dreamed she lived in a house of bamboo. In the dream, Liz’s Grandmother (my mother, no longer living) visited and told Liz that the house was not really made of bamboo, but was made of her bones. Mom told Liz she didn’t need to be afraid. Because the house was made of her bones, she’d would always be present and there for her.

Liz’s dream story stayed with me as I left from the city where I dance often with the lake and with nature where I find it.

When I visited the Pacific northwest (Washington, Vancouver Island) last month, I felt and saw my mother’s bones everywhere. I felt those bones in the red cedar, in the Douglas fir, in carvings in the museums, washed up on the beaches, and in my own body. (The older I get, the more I look like my mother and the more my hands and feet resemble the limbs and roots of a gnarly old tree.)

The rain forest is lovely, wet, and full of evidence that what appears to be dead is fertile, growing, very much alive.

The soil itself is clearly alive, and on more than one occasion the living dirt became my significant other dance partner. In my own practice I danced with the living giants (how could I ignore them?) and I also danced with the “dead” trees who nurse young new plants and critters and fungus and who knows what all else. As I danced I thought how nice it would be to belong here where the dead and the living support and nurse each other.

A message from my butoh teacher Momo reminded me “enjoy the nurse logs….they love you too.”

On the beach I found myself face to face and limb to limb with the bones of the Grandmothers, the trees, my significant others. During my dance, I found myself losing balance, struggling, stumbling and awkward before finally curling in their laps. I learned to be quiet and still and to let rare moments of sunshine bleach my bones.


I touch you
I see you
I smell you
I dance with you
I taste you

Your bones are my bones
Living in me now

As I live in you.
As I dance with you.

Thank you trees, thank you grandmothers, thank you Momma, Thank you Momo and all The Others.