the string of the body

by Agnieszka Rybak & Jakub Gontarski
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Struna Ciała ® / The String of the Body ®

Training and practice in themselves define and redefine what has been acquired and what is being acquired.

The perspective of the human – practitioner, the performative aspects of martial arts, sport, challenge, sources of performativity stage, contributing to dialogue and training tools.

The programme is the outcome of more than 20 years of practice within an extended platform of body work including gymnastics, sport, martial arts, dance, theatre and body therapy. In our work, we constantly develop our experiences and deepen the creative process by conducting intensive research in communication, adaptation, presence, relation, expression, potential and creativity. How that which is being acquired becomes embedded and a vital part of ourselves? In the process of training and adapting new data, we translate its meaning into the needs of the Human – the Warrior – the Performer. We train, explore and practise. How the body becomes an embodied story of what is already known and of what is not yet discovered and understood in us? How to awaken in us our foundations and the internal rules and principles?

We root and embed in us what is essential, we eliminate the inessential.

Rituals, martial arts and dance have been a part of human life and history since the dawn of time. The process of observation of, adaptation to and communication with nature and multiple phenomena in our surroundings have always determined our anatomy, psycho-physical functions and our unconsciousness and consciousness. Gradually, unpredictable natural processes and human interrelationships started to determine specific behaviours and interactions in the processes of symbiosis and correlation.

The String of the Body means:

● sessions aimed at deepening the practice of the essence of form and technique
● mobility and statics
● balance, imbalance, maintaining one’s balance
● strength and gentleness
● confidence and lack of confidence
● boundaries and boundary-crossing
● energy potential
● expressive potential
● expressive potential
● releasing the voice
● fatigue and relaxation

Practice topics:
– Visual-auditory-motor co-ordination
– Falls, flips, shock-absorption exercises, reversed positions
– Giving back weight, common centre, centrifugal force, grips, –
catching, intercepting, clinch, counterweight, following, points of resistance and support
– Discomfort and comfort zones
– Interactive games: strategy, tactics, cunning, agility

Expression and integration:
– Seeking authentic impulses and reactions
– Reading intentions and directing them
– Discovering bodily rhythm, tempo, dynamics
– Releasing creative dance expression; creativity − composition
– Conscious work to maintain tension in a relation
– Discovering bodily symbolism
– Training to release and strengthen the voice; traditional Afro-
Brazilian songs
– Body-emotion-mind integration
– Psychosomatic ways of reducing body tension, relax

Confrontation, reaction, decision making, risk, game, strategy, responsibility, presence, security, expression, inspiration and creativity.

About the Leaders:

Jakub Gontarski
Jakub Graduated from Wrocław-based 13 Stunt School. Physical recreation instructor specializing in self defense ( AZF- AWF Wrocław). Certified personal trainer and movement coach under the legendary Steve Maxwell (USA). He initiated The String of the Body and Martial Partnering workshop dedicated to exploring expression, presence, dramaturgy and creativity in martial arts within the path of Human – Warrior – Performer. Jakub travels to Brazil, where he documents his expeditions and takes active part in candomblé rituals. He has co-created many performances, including Animan – I Am That and Madhouse, and performs movement improvisations on stage to live music. Jakub trained in martial arts – Japanese judo and Brazilian capoeira – for many years in Brazil and in many European countries. He studied under eminent movement practitioners in Poland and internationally among others: Judo( Gwardia Wrocław i AZS- AWF Wrocław):Wacław Nosek, Rafał Kubacki, Wiesław Błach, Zbigniew Zamęcki. Capoeira among others: Mestre Cobra Mansa, Mestre Marinaldo, Mestre Fuampa, prof. Macaco, Mestre Boca Rica, Mestre Curio,Mestre Moraes. Brazylisjkie Jiu Jitsu: Nilton Fereira (“Gracie Barra do Bonfim” Salvador Bahia), Jakub Janiak(23 Evolution Fight Academy). Boxing: Bombardier Club Wrocław (Piotr Szypulski), Maciej Zegan(Zegan Boxing Club) and Gwardia Wrocław (Mariusz Cieślak and Grzegorz Strugała). Dancing: Milan Kozanek and Zuna Kozankova, Yaniv Minzter, Iwona Olszowska, David Lorenc, Sebastian Flegiel, Jacek Owczarek, Witold Jurewicz, Jozef Frucek, Dança do Afro e Contemporanea (Orixás e suas Ressignificações) with Jaguaracy Santos Mojegbe and Katia Ferreira Ramos (Salvador, Bahia). Theatre workshops the Grotowski Institute (Teatr Zar). His inspirations are: motor control, body mechanics, processes of integration and adaptation. He collaborates with the Grotowski Institute as part of the BodyConstitution research programme. Jakub is a co-organiser of the Cyrkulacje Festival in Wrocław and the Planet Kids project. He is President of the Momentum Association of Creative Initiatives. He worked for the Krzyżowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe, running workshops and creating choreographies and performances with an international group of young people. He also runs workshops with socially excluded youth in Wrocław, including as part of Thought in Motion, a project of the Institute of Music and Dance. He taught movement classes at Ente private kindergarten (European Cooperation Centre). Jakub plays Afro-Brazilian instruments, and is the author of a poetry book, Śmierć i odrodzenie (Death and Rebirth).

Agnieszka Rybak
Agnieszka teaches, moves and performs. She is a collaborator of the BodyConstitution program in Institute. Co – organizer of The String of the Body program. She has experience in the martial art of Capoeira, which she practised, among other places, in Brazil in 2008. She holds a scholarship of the Alternative Dance Academy in Poznań. She graduated from the Academy of New Dance and Improvisation and completed a number of instructor courses in the fields of therapy, dance and movement. She practises and improves her skills both in Poland and abroad.
She is a practitioner and teacher of the Hawaiian bodywork method Kino Mana and a practitioner of Thai Yoga Massage Sacred Dance of the Sunshine House School in Chiang Mai and of the Life Impression Bodywork method. She is a member of ECITE (European Contact Improvisation Teachers Exchange) as well as a co-creator of Wrocław’s contact improvisation milieu and of the Cyrkulacje festival (www.cyrkulacje.wroclaw.pl) and Planet Kids.

The String of the Body

Training and practice in themselves define and redefine what has been acquired and what is being acquired.
The perspective of the human - practitioner, the performative aspects of martial arts, sport, challenge, sources of performativity stage, contributing to dialogue and training tools.

The programme is the outcome of more than 15 years of practice within an extended platform of body work including gymnastics, sport, martial arts, dance, theatre and body therapy. In our work, we constantly develop our experiences and deepen the creative process by conducting intensive research in communication, adaptation, presence, relation, expression, potential and creativity.

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