Catherine Hawkins

My award from The Rebecca Skelton Fund, in addition to support from the Lisa Ullmann Travelling Scholarship Fund and the ‘small things’ From Where You Are project, funded by the National Lottery through Awards for All made it possible for me to attract funding from the Arts Council, funded by the National Lottery through Grants for the Arts. This  funding, made it possible for me to travel to, and stay in New York City for four weeks to attend class, mostly twice a day with Susan Klein and other teachers of the Klein Technique Faculty, at Dance New Amsterdam and Barbara Mahler at Movement Research in Manhattan. I am also currently attending until May 2010 Helen Poynors, Walk of Life training in non-stylised and environmental movement.

I used my award to pay for the cost of attending over thirty classes during the four weeks and could therefore fund the most intensive period of researching this technique I have ever experienced. I also had the un-expected opportunity to attend a special Sunday afternoon workshop with Susan Klein, during which she discussed the principles that underlie her research into having dancers reach their full potential.

During the four weeks I took technique class with Susan Klein and Barbara Mahler, which aims to put into practice the principles of this technique. I found this a huge challenge as my movement practice is focused on improvisation and exploring non-stylised movement. Yet these sessions provided very beneficial learning, about my body and mind response to suddenly being asked to put principles into practice. I already feel that this four-week intensive has changed my movement practice. I feel a new consciousness in my mind and body. I have had the time to experience breakthroughs in the letting-go of old patterns in action and thinking.

This experience has re-enforced my commitment to this technique, even though it is a challenge to research work not readily available. Yet this is also a commitment to process, continual learning and change that I am already feeling in my creative work, moving in environments and in my work with others including dance students at Edge Hill University, patients at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and learning disabled adults. My body seems more ready, it is continuing a process of listening and responding to challenging situations with what seems a heightened consciousness of itself, myself.

Many thanks for your support.

Catherine Hawkins