Jos’ first experience of teaching came at 9 years old when he began to assist his teacher Cecilia Macfarlane with classes for younger children in Oxford Youth Dance and took his first tentative steps into dance pedagogy. In the years that followed he has learnt from some fantastic teachers in dance and his interest in the field of dance education has continued to be an important part of his practice.
Jos has been teaching for professional/vocational dancers since 2008 and in the years since has developed his own unique approach to it. The work can touch on many different elements of dance and performance but falls broadly into 3 categories: Physicology – Jos’ approach to technical training, Improvisation, and Creative Tools.
Physicology works with a combination of analysis and experimentation to develop a deeper understanding of the physical, psychological and evolutionary principals that effect human movement. The work looks at ways of deepening physical and intellectual understanding of how movement can work while also developing tools to handle some of the psychological factors that can hold us back in learning and in performing. These principals are then expanded through both fixed material and improvisation, building to richly detailed, technical and highly physically dance phrases. As the classes develop the emphasis turns to performativity and musicality while keeping a fun and high energy spirit of exploration.
Improvisation is largely a sharing of Jos’s own practice, and themes and approaches to moving and to improvisation on stage. In part this means Jos sharing tasks and principals, and it part it looks at how to develop new tasks to improvise with. This will also touch on what it means to think in front of an audience.
Creative tools is an exploration of ways of making material for stage performance. Exploring physical extremes and characterisation; this workshop will look at ways of creating scene ideas using theatrical and physical tools, and then on how to develop and refine those ideas. How does a dancer approach character, how does a character dance? We explore methods of generating material that play with the personality, image, and the strengths and weakness of the individual in the attempt to find unique and specialised material. Much of this work is inspired by Jos’ experience working with Peeping Tom.