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Workshops


ARCOS has held a series of 17 workshops since 2012. In recent years, ARCOS has invited guest artists to introduce alternative movement and creative modalities to workshop participants, such as Sidra Bell’s MODULE and Practice Progress’ UNtensive. These workshop curricula are designed to inspire a radical reimagining of the practice and role of movement artists in contemporary society, whose sensitivity toward embodied labor is essential in awakening everyone to the value of our bodies, at a time when technologies and social systems consistently work to devalue them. For current information about upcoming workshops, sign up for our email newsletter or follow us on social media.



How must apocalypse transform us?
4th Annual Practice Progress UNtensive: Apocalyptic Imagining - June 20-23, 2024

A 4-day virtual creative gathering for movers, teachers, artists, organizers, and anyone who wants to gather safely and get free.



In partnership with ARCOS Dance and University of Texas at Austin


The UNtensive: Apocalyptic Imagining is led by Kai Hazelwood and Sarah Ashkin, embodied anti-racism co-facilitators of Practice Progress, and a community of renowned guest artists. In homage to the creative legacies of BIPOC and more-than-human beings who have survived and shape-shifted through multiple apocalypses, this year’s Practice Progress UNtensive invites us to a portal party to embrace the end of this world.

The UNtensive is a place of radical imagining, an online gathering of anti-racist futurist movers, and its existence in the virtual world has always been political. It has allowed us to gather, share knowledge, celebrate, rage, and still care for each other by keeping each other safe. As we move into the fifth year of the COVID-19 pandemic, join us and claim the virtual as a site of end times creativity; let’s continue to move imaginatively and intimately across the screen and world.


Anti-Racisting for the Apocalypse, 9–11am Pacific Daylight Time / 12–2pm Eastern Daylight Time

This series uses creative embodied practice to build transformative anti-racist skills for the apocalypse and takes place in two race-based affinity zoom spaces. Registration is required for the full 4-day workshop.

  Sessions + facilitator information:

 BIPOC Communal Rest Circle: Shedding Playgroup
 Kai Hazelwood (she/her)
 

︎ Sarah Annie Navarrete

Kai Hazelwood is a multi award winning transdisciplinary Disabled, Black, and queer artist. She has guest lectured and facilitated at universities and art institutions across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Kai is also the founder of Good Trouble Makers, a practice driven arts collaborative celebrating queer identities and centering disabled and chronically ill QTBIPOC. Kai and Good Trouble Makers’ collaborations have been covered by 21 media outlets including The Advocate, and have been supported by The City of Los Angeles’ Cultural Affairs Department, California Institute of Contemporary Arts, Pieter Performance Space, The California Arts Council and DAS Graduate School.

Kai co-founded and is a lead facilitator of Practice Progress, a consultancy addressing structural, professional, and interpersonal white supremacy through body based learning institutions, and individuals including MASSMoCA, Gibney Dance, Ohio State Dance Department, University of Texas, Austin Dance Department, and CalArts.

Her first published piece titled: I’m Breaking Up With Dance, I Can’t Heal In The Same Relationship That Hurt Me was published in Issue 5 of Imagining: A Journal published by Gibney Dance and edited by Eva Yaa Asantewaa. Kai’s upcoming piece: On Grief At The End of The World is for a special issue of Performance Philosophy.

Inspired by the perpetual transformation of snakes and creatures who shed their skin, Shedding Playgroup is an adventure for your inner child. Shedding reminds us to lower the stakes, to play rather than try to control how to develop techniques for liberation, inspired by our Snakecestors. Shedding Playgroup weaves curiosity and play, rest, pleasure, and community into learning how to survive an apocalypse, be it personal, societal, or global. Drawing on the wisdom of authors like Resmaa Menakem (My Grandmother’s Hands) and adrienne marie brown (Pleasure Activism), participants will be guided through rest experiences, play with ways to care for their nervous systems, and slow dancing with snakes: a lesson in slowing down from our Snakecestors. 


 White Working Group: More-than-Human Listening
 Sarah Ashkin (she/her)
 

︎ Sarah Annie Navarrete


Sarah Ashkin’s (she/her) work tarries at the intersection of critical whiteness studies, site specific performance, and reparations pedagogies. She is the co-director of GROUND SERIES dance and social justice collective and a co-founder of Practice Progress, a body-based anti-racism facilitation platform. As a dedicated dance maker, educator, and organizer, Sarah uses dance as a multipurpose tool to dismantle and build our world for the better. Sarah holds a Masters in Dance, Politics and Sociology from the University of Roehampton, London and is a current doctoral student in Performance Studies at University of California, Davis.

This working group’s focus is to enliven our awareness of race and racism as it lives in our bodies, relationships, and communities. Our embodied work together will focus on listening and moving our whiteness with support from our more-than-human teachers like plants, objects, and time. We will use movement, mindfulness, ritual, drawing, reading, and conversation to actively and creatively practice anti-racisting for end times.



Creative End-of-Worlding, 12–1:30pm Pacific Daylight Time / 3–4:30pm Eastern Daylight Time

If this world is ending, what skills, what creativity do we need to shapeshift into a new world? Led by a group of guest artists, we will play, create, and explore what we need at the end of this world and birth of the next.

  Sessions + facilitator information:

 Nothing is right, write?
 Rebecca Fitton (she/they)
  Image of Rebecca Fitton, a mixed race Asian American person with cropped brown hair and almond shaped brown eyes. They are wearing a grass green vest and three gold hoop earrings.

︎ Sarah Annie Navarrete

Rebecca Fitton is from many places and peoples. She nurtures community through movement, conversation, and food, and strives to equally prioritize her multifaceted roles as an artist, administrator, and advocate. Fitton works as Co-Director/Director of Operations and Development for Bridge Live Arts and as the Director of Studio Rawls for artist Will Rawls. She has been an artist-in-residence at Center, LEIMAY/CAVE, EMERGENYC, and The Croft. Their writing has been published by Triskelion Arts, Emergency Index, In Dance, The Dancer-Citizen, Etudes, Critical Correspondence, and Dance Research Journal. As an access practitioner, she creates audio description for experimental dance and performance artists. They hold a BFA in Dance from Florida State University and an MA in Performance as Public Practice from the University of Texas at Austin.

This workshop is an invitation to joyfully write about our artistic work, without expectation or a final destination. Artists often find themselves without time in their schedules to write about their practice except when working on grant applications restricted by word counts and external expectations/requirements. In this workshop, join Fitton in crafting your radical writing world. This workshop seeks to celebrate slowness, unfinished sentences and lingering questions. Fitton will lead participants through a series of creative and untraditional world-building activities and writing prompts. Writing is optional.

 IN FLUX — FLUX IT!
 Eva Yaa Asantewaa (she/her)
  Eva Yaa Asantewaa, a Black woman, faces the camera with golden light on her face. Her hair is close-cropped (nearly bald). She has large brown eyes and a closed smile with subtle lip gloss. Her earrings feature dangling, wire-wrapped crystal cubes.

︎ D. Feller

Eva Yaa Asantewaa is a veteran writer, editor, curator, and community educator. She won the 2017 Bessie Award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance. Since 1976, she has contributed dance criticism and journalism to Dance Magazine, The Village Voice, SoHo Weekly News, Gay City News, her arts blog, InfiniteBody, and other publications and podcasts. In 2016, for Danspace Project’s Lost and Found platform, Ms. Yaa Asantewaa created the skeleton architecture, or the future of our worlds, an evening of group improvisation featuring 21 Black women and gender-nonconforming performers, a cast that won a 2017 Bessie for Outstanding Performer. As a member of the 2024 cohort for Queer|Art's mentorship program, she works with her mentee, Mexican Indigenous writer/performer Katherine Bahena-Benítez. Ms. Yaa Asantewaa maintains a private practice in Tarot based in animistic mediumship and facilitates a monthly Zoom Séance gathering. She is a native New Yorker of Barbadian immigrant heritage and makes her home in the East Village/Lenapehoking.

For the past few unsettling years, many of us have experienced fear, anxiety, fogginess, irritability, and a sense of overwhelm as we transition through uncertain space between old and new worlds. What does it mean to participate with our whole selves in this time of flux, reshaping ourselves, our relationships, communities, nation, and world? Using simple gestures and imagery, let’s meet this challenge and make playful magick inspired by our ancestors and those for whom we prepare a new dawn.

 Spillin’ the Tea
 Dr. Alex Christmas (she/her)
 Image of Dr. Alesondra (Alex) Christmas, a Black woman with a deep brown round face, medium-length hair locks, and black rimmed glasses.

︎ Robb McCormick

Dr. Alesondra (Alex) Christmas earned her PhD in Dance Studies through the Department of Dance at The Ohio State University. Her dissertation research focused on the navigations of Racial Battle Fatigue in Black women dance educators at Predominantly White Institutions. Christmas’ academic scholarship uplifts the thought, labor, and creative practices of Black women in dance. Christmas infuses Black Feminist and social justice praxis into her creative processes as a dance dramaturg and academic courses in a movement toward collective liberation. She has designed and implemented “Anti-Racism in the Arts: The Basics” and “Anti-Racism & Social Justice in Dance,” which are free courses available to the public through OSU Scarlet Canvas.

This workshop will be a tea party for the death of respectability politics. We will discuss how aspects of respectability politics and white supremacist ideas of professionalism surface in our corners of the dance field. We will reimagine new ways to divest from these dominant paradigms and reimagine new futures.

 Grief, shadow, and the transformative power of stuckness
 Rajni Shah (they/them)
 Photo of Rajni from the chest up, wearing a silky brown shirt and holding two yellow roses. Rajni looks wistfully to the side, in a cliched romantic pose. They have a shadow of a moustache and short black hair. On their forehead is a dash of dark red, not quite a bindi or traditional pitiya but evoking their Indian heritage.

Rajni Shah’s practice is focused on listening and gathering as creative and political acts. They are queer, quiet, trans non-binary and a feminist killjoy. At the time of writing this biography they work as a tutor and researcher at the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (AHK). They are also currently studying Processwork.

This workshop will invite us to go deep inside to visit our stuckness. We will play, dream, and share from that place together. Expect quiet dialogue, drawing, movement, and the unfolding of a shared moment.

 Love letters at the end of the world
 Keegan James Sarmiento Kloer (he/him)
Image of Keegan James Sarmiento Kloer, a man wearing a green hoodie and blue ball cap, smiles in front of a log cabin.
Keegan James Sarmiento Kloer stands firmly with the Palestinian people as they resist apartheid, land theft, and genocide, and in their struggle for national liberation and self determination. Keegan is a farmer @farmofsong, a student of history and change @redantcollective, a communist, a musician, and a proud Burqueño. He is giddy and honored to work, dance, and play with Miles Tokunow once again. He loves soccer, flowers, Albuquerque, glimmers, pulling turnips from the ground, and the smell of winter.

 Miles Tokunow (any pronouns)
Black and white tintype photograph of Miles, Black person with a mustache, hoop nose ring, and dreadlocks worn down to his shoulders. He is wearing a crew neck sweatshirt.

︎ Mariano Ulibarri

Miles Tokunow (any pronouns) is a multimedia storyteller. He is an artist, organizer, and educator. He is a dancer, musician, writer, zine maker and film editor. He is a proud member of the Ground Series Dance Collective.  His most recent projects include “Stages of Tectonic Blackness” a multi-pronged durational performance work exploring the coterminality of Blackness and geology. Miles' work is often about the layers of history and culture within identity. Miles’ art practice is about exploring, searching (yearning) for new meanings and stories by deconstructing the ones that already exist, informed by his life as a transracial adoptee. He often explores the Black radical tradition through movement and theory. He is an Afro-Futurist and interrogates the historical, spiritual and tangible relationship of body to land. Miles believes in magic, laughter, constellations, socialism and beauty in small things.

This session is an hour-long asynchronous audio piece that explores the way we relate; make and remake meaning; lose and gain language; and love at the end of the world. Keegan and Miles have produced a listening experience, part meditation, part score that encourages diving into the aforementioned themes in any space you choose. This offering is our love letter to you for the end of the world.


One-on-Ones in the Practice Progress Soft Office, 2:30–3:15pm, 3:30–4:15pm Pacific Daylight Time, 5:30–6:15pm, 6:30–7:15pm Eastern Daylight Time

For those who register for the full UNtensive (see below), Kai Hazelwood and Sarah Ashkin will offer 10 first-come, first-served slots for 45-minute one-on-ones in the virtual Practice Progress Soft Office. Come in your cozy clothes, with snacks, from bed, however allows you to feel softly supported! These intimate sessions can be used to support participants in their personal inquiries as artists, students, teachers, organizers, with a primary goal of sweet soft community time. 

Limited slots available June 20–24. Please register early to participate.


Registration


There are two registration options:

1. Full UNtensive (8 sessions):
All series: Anti-Racisting for the Apocalypse and Creative End-of-Worlding. Includes first-come, first-served one-on-ones with Kai Hazelwood and Sarah Ashkin.
2. Half UNtensive (4 sessions):
Participants join the first series only, Anti-Racisting for the Apocalypse (offered in race-based affinity spaces)

Payment


When we spend money, it is always an opportunity to practice our values. We invite you to do so when paying for the UNtensive! Please select the payment tier that best aligns with your financial and structural reality:

Solidarity: $500 full / $250 half Commit your resources to materially support the UNtensive, and to increase accessibility to the experience by funding those in need of supported and pay-what-you-can registration.

Sustaining: $350 full / $175 half  Invest in the experience an amount that reflects the minimum cost per participant to the partner organizations offering the UNtensive.

Supported: $150 full / $75 half 
Demonstrate your dedication to participating with a portion of the minimum required cost per participant, supported by those contributing at sustaining and solidarity tiers.

Pay-What-You-Can
We are offering a limited number of pay-what-you-can registrations, because you are of value and we want you to join us whether you can afford to contribute financially or not. There is no application. If you’re asking for one of these, we trust and believe that you need it, and we will distribute them on a first-come, first-served basis.

NOTE: Some things to consider when choosing an option: Are you or are you not housing secure? Are you or are you not Disabled? Are you or are you not a citizen or have another status regarding immigration? Do you or do you not benefit from intergenerational wealth? Do you or do you not walk through the world with white privilege?

After completing the application and indicating your registration option and payment tier and method, you will receive a payment request at the email address that you list, in order to finalize your space in the UNtensive.


Application


Please complete and submit the form below to register for the UNtensive. 


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Portal motion graphic by Ben Randall





This project has been financed in part by the City of Austin’s Elevate Grant Program.