In this first week we will cover the basics of weight sharing and simple patterns movement to create a common vocabulary as a point of departure for the group, drawing on concepts from release technique, yoga, Alexander technique, Material for the Spine, and developmental movement.


After graduating from University of California, San Diego with a degree in Biochemistry in 1997, Andrew Wass replaced the chem lab with the dance studio. By experimenting with aleatoric processes, he finds that movement reveals an inherent awkwardness, a humor that echoes our own vulnerabilities. He formalizes the coincidental and emphasizes the conscious processes of composition that are the generative source of much of his works. Andrew works by creating a defined, almost crystalline palette in order to generate a myriad of possibilities. The possibilities are reduced and concentrated in the moments of execution and reception. Vital to his development has been the phrase. The content lies in the structure(Impro:110) and combining the methods learned in the laboratory with performative practices.

His performance work has been shown in San Diego, LA, San Francisco, Marfa, Tokyo, Tijuana, New York, and Seattle. Teaching has taken him to festivals and universities in Japan, Germany and throughout the United States. He has performed in work by Nancy Stark Smith, Mary Overlie, Jess Curtis, Nina Martin, among others. A member of the performance groups Non Fiction and Lower Left he is a graduate of the MA program of Solo/Dance/Authorship at the Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum für Tanz in Berlin.

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The Opening Week serves as a space to welcome all participants to the program, to your own bodily experience, to an embodied sense of Self that will be the safe ground from which to work during the 3 months. More often than not our expectations (towards ourselves, towards the 'other') can impede us to fully see what we can learn from an experience. Through gentle - yet deep - somatic work we will invite our bodies, minds and souls to the present moment, to create a safe and inclusive space to meet each other, being aware which preconceived assumptions we are carrying with us in the common space. This week is an invitation to meet, see, hear, feel, smell, taste, imagine. It's a space to start a visionary collective engine.

The lens which will guide us through the week is that of Synesthesia. 
A synesthetic experience takes place every time the information gathered through one organ of perception (ear, eye, skin, mouth, nose) triggers an involuntary sensorial impression by free-association in another perceptive pathway. The phenomenon of synesthesia can serve as a conceptual catalyst to reveal the non-linear dynamics underlying a creative process and how creativity and learning are deeply rooted in the sensing body. 

Each day we will investigate a specific sense and its inner and outer modes of functioning and exchanging information with the environment (touching/propriocepting, seeing/imagining, hearing/ audiating). We will approach each sense through a sequence of analytical exercises followed by right-brain experiential journeys and group feedback. By taking time to perceive with each sense and investigate the web-like relationships between different perceptive pathways, we can tune the body to the complexity around it, inhabiting spaces of ambiguity and developing sensitivity to subtle impulses. The week will end on the last day with a Synesthetic Journey where all the work done will converge into a multi-sensorial framed exploration in partnerships with aid of 'sensorial objects'.


Alessio Castellacci is a performer, teacher and sound composer based in Berlin.
He has a B.A. in Developmental Psychology at the Univ. La Sapienza/Rome and a B.A. in experimental choreography at the Dance Maker Dep., Artez Institute/Arnhem). His artistic research focuses on voice embodiment, improvised performance and sound design. As a self taught electronic music composer, he found himself always swinging between the polarities of sound and movement disciplines: feeling the lack of physicality in most of traditional music studies, and the lack of sensitivity toward sound and breath nuances in most of dance techniques. Out of this double affair, ten years ago he started connecting the two worlds, developing a pedagogical approach for voice & movement improvisation based on principles of somatic work, sound design, breath work and synesthetic perception.  

Alessio is currently focusing on the research of pedagogic methodologies, working as well as a sound composer for dance shows and as a coordinator of educational and performance formats. From 2012 to 2017 he has curated and co-organized with Claudia Dietrich the SMASH Berlin program, facilitating a community of 40 teachers and 200 participants during the 10 editions of the program. Since 2016 he is the coordinator of the educational program The World is Sound, in which he shares his method The Synesthetic Voice together with voice artists Irena Tomažin, Robert Liethoff and Corinne Castelli. In December 2017 he initiated with choreographer Jule Flierl From Breath to Matter, a performance series hosted by Kunst Haus Kule Berlin in which different artists are invited to share work around the topic of vocal dance and the political implications of voicing. 

As a performer, sound composer and voice coach Alessio has collaborated with (a.o.) Dani Brown, M.F. Scaroni, H.Min Kim, Sasha Waltz Kinder Tanz Company, Peter Pleyer, Jeremy Wade, Jule Flierl, Irena Tomažin, Moss Beynon Juckes, Tino Sehgal, Morgan Nardi, Piccoli Production, Fingersix Collective, Kareth Schaffer, Davide Sportelli, Zwoisy Mears-Clarke, Ru Chen/Cloud Gate Company. He is part of the sound art duo Morphield with ambient composer Kryshe, and produces in his spare time downtempo music under the moniker of Gaia Waves.



Photography:  Alin Nehemia, Paula Onet, Alessio Castellacci, Manuel Miethe, Elmacita Riza