Vera Shelkina
somatic dance artist
Vera Shchelkina is a somatic dance artist, student (somatic movement educator at Somatic Academy Berlin, choreography master student at HZT), teacher (of many professional and non-professional dance and performance programs), curator (of a year-long educational program about contemporary dance for deaf people in GES-2).

My main works and projects (solo and in collaboration) are: “CO-TOUCH”, “The Imposture Lab”, “SMRTъ”, “Vibrant matter”, “Unplanting the seeds of hatred” etc.

About her lab

Decolonize it.
(everything we know about our bodies - and how to stop knowing it)

I'm a person who grew up in Russia and has been living in Berlin for more than a year now. During this year, everything has managed to change in my body, from cultural patterns of thinking and behaviour to body image and health norms. Everything has changed: what I can or want to know and do, who I can be, how I should and shouldn't dance etc.

Our familial, linguistic, cultural conditioning is woven into us so tightly that we sometimes can't tell the where certain movement and thought patterns are coming from, when and where did we start knowing all of that about our bodies.

But everything we know about the body started somewhere at some point. Someone observed it, wrote it down, systematised it, named it, decided it was the norm. All knowledge was created by someone who had their own optics and their own ideas about the world.

It is important for me to remember this.
That everything I know about my body is someone else’s knowledge.

In this class, we're going to be looking at:
- who created the knowledge of the body and its behaviour
- for what purpose
- what it consists of
- how it relates to the living body
- and how this particular knowledge affects my body and my perception

Our topics for decolonizing knowledge will be:
- Language
- Gender
- Health
- Body
- Dance

How exactly will we work?
Through somatics, movement, dance, and performative tasks, we will explore how our bodies are biased in their manifestation and movement, and how we can shake up these patterns, detach them from the soma, start playing with them.

Why do I call it a laboratory?
I really want these sessions to become co-inquiry, co-creation, co-facilitation.
One body can only do so much. Many bodies can do so much more.

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