Eventful encounters at the university – and in the sea!
Since 2013, the theatre division of the DEARTS (Departamento des Artes) at Brazil’s UFRN (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte) and the Music and Movement Education/Rhythmics division of the Department of Music and Movement Education/Rhythmics and Music Physiology at the mdw have maintained various forms of exchange programmes; they were interrupted by COVID but have now been resumed.
Although on previous occasions I had been accompanied by other colleagues from the mdw, in June 2022, on my fifth visit, I was alone. Until now, I had always known about half of the students from previous visits, but this time – after the long interruption – it was only a very few. I also had a new interpreter by my side – another thing for me to get accustomed to. I gave two lectures and held several workshops; the lectures were also part of a symposium that took place on the very first weekend of my stay. My topics for the lectures were: “Teaching Music and Movement Improvisation in the International Field: Challenges, Preparations and Experiences”, and “Exchange Austria and Brazil: Communication beyond Words”*. The topics of the workshops were: “Taking Roots to Fly” (Special improvisation techniques for body and voice to increase body awareness and different qualities of movement for practical work on stage) and “Points and Lines in Space – Improvisation and Movement for Artistic Creation”.
The workshops were very well – and voluntarily – attended, and afterwards, as always, I was especially touched when students asked me: “When are you coming back?” Yes, I would love to go back; teaching there brings me great joy, and I also have the impression that my course content is very useful for the professional practice there.
At the end of my stay, I planned to spend a short time at the sea as well, at a place where one can see dolphins. A number of kayaks were paddling and bobbing about in the bay expectantly. I was swimming and very much wanted to see these animals. What did I, a musician, do? I sang! After five minutes, a dolphin family – mother, father, and a small fin behind them – began swimming around me. Unfortunately, they were driven off again by the kayakers who paddled up for a look.
*Documentation of this longstanding cooperation (published at the end of 2019) is available at mailto: email@example.com