Voice: The Soul's Messenger
Dancing Voice/Singing Body
Voice as Practice
Meredith Monk typically teaches one weekend workshop each year during the late Spring/early Summer, either at the Omega Institute or at the Zen Mountain Monastery, both located in upstate New York. Occasionally she will also teach in conjunction with a performance at a university or through a presenter, which is often the case when performing in Europe.
Meredith will be co-teaching with Ensemble member Ellen Fisher at the Atelier de Paris from May 28th through June 1st. For more information and to register, visit atelierdeparis.org.
We offer biannual workshops with members of the Vocal Ensemble, who are all master teachers and have been working with Meredith on average for thirty years.
Friday-Sunday, February 15-17, 2013
With Janis Brenner, Allison Easter, Katie Geissinger, Lanny Harrison, Paul Langland and Workshop Coordinator, Pablo Vela*
Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble consists of some of the finest and most adventurous singer/performers active in new music theater. Reflecting diverse backgrounds and interdisciplinary approaches to performance, members past and present share Monk’s process for creating work. Beginning with breathing techniques and a detailed vocal and movement warm-up, participants work with the voice and body as multifaceted instruments for exploring range, timbre, gesture, resonance, character, landscape and rhythm. The work aims to uncover the fundamentals of performance as a vehicle for spiritual transformation. Selected pieces from Monk’s repertoire will also be taught.
*Please note, Meredith Monk does not teach during this program offered by The House Foundation.
To find a balance of structure and spontaneity, freedom and form.
To begin to build the “feel” of an ensemble, both in rehearsal and performance.
To provide a springboard from which participants can discover and develop a personal viewpoint and means of expression.
The workshop is open to all levels of performance experience.
Participants should wear clothing and shoes allowing for ease of movement.
14 Students Maximum
For a registration form, click here. Please complete and mail registration form by February 1, 2013. Acceptance into the workshop is on a first-come, first-served basis. Preference will be given to students able to attend all three days.
|Full Workshop (Three Days): $350|
|Single Day: $130|
AM Session: 11:00-1:30
PM Session 2:30-5:00
Friday, February 15
AM Pablo Vela
PM Katie Geissinger
Saturday, February 16
AM Janis Brenner
PM Allison Easter
Sunday, February 17
AM Paul Langland
PM Lanny Harrison
Allison Easter will focus on movement integrated with singing; a movement warm up influenced by Laban/Bartenieff work and Irene Dowd, to improve clarity, strength and expressiveness in the body, singing in rounds. The session will include Monk repertory and creative work influenced by Quarry and A Celebration Service.
Katie Geissinger will lead an extensive vocal warm-up, exploring relaxation, breathing, flexibility, ease of production, and expressivity. The session will focus on canoning, hocketing, and voice and movement exercises, incorporating selections from Monk’s vocal repertoire.
Janis Brenner’s session will include a brief physical warm-up, and a vocal warm-up with the teaching of a song to be sung in "round" and then with movement. This will lead into movement/voice integration through structured improvisations and character development.
Paul Langland will lead a dance and sound warm-up leading into deeply connective improvisations. The warm-up will be influenced by principles from Contact Improvisation and Allan Wayne Work. The workshop will then include a selection of Monk repertory which has song and movement.
Lanny Harrison will focus on shape-shifting and transforming characters in changing landscapes and environments within solo, duo and trio forms, working predominately from a movement base. She will also touch on how Shambhala Buddhist practice can inform all theater work.
Pablo Vela’s class will be devoted to Composition. Form in three-dimensional space: vertical, horizontal, diagonal, curved, straight. Content and Meaning: movement/stillness, near/far, tight/loose, up/down, flat/full; and, last but not least, Style.
Janis Brenner is an award-winning dancer/choreographer/singer/teacher and is Artistic Director of Janis Brenner & Dancers in N.Y. She has toured in 33 countries and is recognized as a "singular performer" with a multifaceted artistic range receiving numerous honors/grants from the US State Dept., The Trust for Mutual Understanding, Asian Cultural Council, The Fund for US Artists, UNESCO, for tours in Indonesia, Senegal, Taiwan, Russia, etc. Janis joined Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble in 1990 for ATLAS, receiving a group "Bessie" award for The Politics of Quiet in 1997. She performs an acclaimed suite from Monk's Songs from the Hill in concert and in 2009, revived Monk's seminal 1964 solo Break for JB&D's NY season at Joyce SoHo. Her classes/workshops in technique, improvisation, choreography, repertory and voice have been taught throughout the world. She is currently on the faculty at Juilliard serving as Choreographic Mentor and Creative Process instructor, as well as creating and touring with JB&D. www.janisbrenner.com
Allison Easter has worked with Meredith Monk since the 1985 revival of Quarry. As a member of Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble, she has sung on recordings, toured the US, Europe, Asia, received a “Bessie” Award for her work in The Politics Of Quiet, and directed the chorus of Quarry in the 2003 Spoleto Festival. She was the first American woman to appear in the Off-Broadway percussion sensation STOMP. She played Vengeance in Will Pomerantz’s A Tale Of Two Cities, Jerri Lewis in Tony Zertuche’s Anchors, Ms. Porgy in the feature Vacuums, Anita Chambers on Law & Order, and danced with Susan Marshall and Company receiving a special mention in The Village Voice. She has produced and directed original works at Ensemble Studio Theatre, the NY Fringe Festival, and has taught dance and performance at Bennington College, Naropa Institute, Marymount Manhattan College, Sarah Lawrence and NYU-Tisch. She currently teaches modern dance at Pace University in downtown NYC.
Katie Geissinger has been performing with Meredith Monk since 1990, at festivals and venues worldwide, in concert, and in pieces such as ATLAS, The Politics of Quiet (for which she is a Bessie recipient), mercy, the Grammy-nominated impermanence, and Songs of Ascension. She premiered Bang on a Can’s OBIE award-winning The Carbon Copy Building and performed in the second world tour of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson's Einstein on the Beach, which was revived in concert at Carnegie Hall. Other Carnegie Hall appearances include Bach’s Magnificat with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Witch in Honegger’s Le Roi David, and Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar. Katie has also appeared in Jonathan Miller’s staged productions of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at BAM, and in John Tavener’s The Veil of the Temple at Lincoln Center. Her Broadway credits include Baz Luhrmann’s production of La Boheme and Coram Boy, and Off-Broadway she has appeared in many Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. She has premiered many new music theater pieces, including Mark Mulcahy and Ben Katchor’s The Rosenbach Company and Philip Miller’s The Hottentot Venus at MASSMoCA. In January she will premiere Monk’s newest work, On Behalf of Nature, at UCLA. Katie's teaching experience ranges from choral work in Estonia and San Francisco to workshops at Naropa, Bang on a Can's new music institute at MASSMoCA, Oberlin, ETW at NYU, Berklee, the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, and LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.
Lanny Harrison has been a member of The House since 1969, playing many leading roles in Monk’s productions including recent performances of mercy and Quarry. Since 1966 she has performed in Off-Broadway musicals, films, theatrical duets and her own one-woman shows, which have toured internationally. She teaches theater at the Gallatin division of NYU, an ongoing workshop at the New York Shambhala Center & intergenerational workshops at West Kortright Centre in upstate NY. She is a certified meditation instructor, and taught at Naropa University for many years. Since 2000 she has been a member of the Shambhala Arts team at the ALIA Institute in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and has practiced Tibetan Buddhism as a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche since 1973. She and Ms. Monk last co-taught a workshop with Acharya Judy Lief at the Shambhala Meditation Center of New York in March 2011.
In a career spanning nearly 40 years, Paul Langland has built an international reputation as a pioneering dance teacher and innovator, choreographer and performer. His career highlights include: creating Allan Wayne Work, the teaching and choreographic system based on the work of American dancer Allan Wayne; being an original member of Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble; being central to establishing Contact Improvisation in New York through performances, teaching, and event organizing; being a collaborator and performer with Mary Overlie when she developed the Six Viewpoints; and presenting his choreography and teaching world-wide. With Meredith Monk he was in such original productions as Quarry, The Travelogue Series, Recent Ruins, Specimen Days, Ellis Island (film), Dolmen Music, Turtle Dreams, and others. He has also worked with several other legendary directors and choreographers including Steve Paxton, Ping Chong, Simone Forti, and David Gordon. His groundbreaking performances and creative works have contributed substantially to the vibrancy of New York’s dance scene. Mr. Langland is a recognized authority on contemporary dance, frequently referenced in leading books and articles, and broadcast dance interviews. He has also authored several articles in dance publications. He is an Associate Arts Professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Department of Drama, Undergraduate, Experimental Theatre Wing.
Pablo Vela has been a member of Meredith Monk/The House since 1975, appearing in theater productions such as Quarry and Specimen Days and on film in Book of Days and Ellis Island. He was also Associate Director of Monk's opera ATLAS, American Archeology #1, and The Politics of Quiet. He received his theater training at Yale University and, in addition, studied with Viola Spolin (improvisation) and Jacques Lecoq (masks and mime). His work as performer/director/teacher has been presented throughout the United States and Canada as well as in Europe and Central America. Vela has created a series of memorable cabaret performances in New York City. The 11th Hour Lounge and Particular People (1 & 2) were performed in Manhattan, the latter at La MaMa ETC. WB Club WB (a tribute to film noir) and das MAX cabaret (inspired by the paintings of Max Beckmann) were presented at the fabled BACA Downtown in Brooklyn. Cocktail Cabaret, his latest creation, was shown at The Club/La MaMa. In the past, Vela has taught at institutions such as the Dell’Arte School in California and Denmark’s National Theater School. At the present time he teaches at the Trinity College/La MaMa Urban Arts Semester in NYC.