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The Core of Expression — 5 Days

5 Days w/ Satu Palokangas


Hours per day

10:00 – 16:00

5 hours, 2.5 hours Somatics/Laban, 2.5 hours Improvisation/Action Theater, 1 hour lunch break


Workshop Structure

Day 1: The Evolutionary Spine: fish/mammal/human spine evolution; alignment, observation process, learning to see the subtleties of the body’s expression;

Day 2: The Specifics of the Spine: hands on work with the cervical, thoracic and lumbar sections of the spine, exploring the specific movement potentials of each area, discovering the habitual use of our spine; the emotional content of the body, how spinal rearrangement affects mood, practice of shifting frames

Day 3: Pelvic Floor & Gut: examining the pelvic floor as the bridge between the upper and the lower bodies, working with the inner animal and its tail; linking the musculature of the pelvis/lower mouth with the throat/vocal cord/upper mouth, vocalizing from the gut and bowels

Day 4: The Feet: finding the stability and mobility of the body’s expressive nature from the base; standing, walking, dancing, direct connection of arches from feet to brain

Day 5: The Wings: integration of all components towards a fully expressive body; spatial work, taking space, taking flight in improvisation



Through the LABAN & SOMATICS WORK and ACTION THEATER™ you will explore how movement influences your perceptions and abilities to act in the world. Studying the subtle articulations that stem from the core body — the spine and the pelvic floor most specifically — you will refine your body instrument and gain further awareness of the interrelations between your body and the mind. The focus of this work is to notice more deeply the choices you are making at the bodily level and how those unconscious choices are reflected in your thoughts and actions. Turning light to these places you begin to sense more options. Your ability to respond creatively, rather than out of habit, to the environment around you, increases many fold.


ACTION THEATER™ is a map towards increasing one’s awareness and meeting the incredible variety of personal phenomena. Working solo and in groups, participants are lead through improvisation exercises. The exercises are simple, playful and challenging. These exercises develop your capacity to stay in the present moment and fine-tune your perception. They awaken feelings, thoughts, and memories; draw out your imagination, intuition and encourage creative expression. The exercises renew your ability to play and gain new personal insights.


COMBINING ACTION THEATER™ WITH LABAN Movement Analysis and Somatics work you will shine further awareness into your inner worlds, enabling a more spontaneous and conscious expression. In creating specific limitations on areas of action and response, this workshop allows you to open to the unknown, breaking free of fear and embracing the unfamiliar.


DURING THIS TRAINING, students will work alone and with others in physical & vocal exercises. These explorations quiet the conceptual mind and hone awareness. Other exercises strengthen and expand skills of performance: movement, voice, composition, listening and relationship.  Students increase their ability to hold and express emotion, enliven imagination, and recover lost personal material. Every exercise enlightens the relationship between intention, awareness and action as well as engaging the heart and mind.


THE WORKSHOP is suitable for everyone interested in body-based improvisation who wishes to enhance and refine their expressive imagination and develop vocal, verbal and physical performance skills; dancers, actors, dance/movement therapists, teachers, etc.



STEN RUDSTRØM has worked for over 25 years with Ruth Zaporah, developer of the improvisational performance training process Action Theater™. Widely respected teacher/performer throughout the United States and Europe, his workshops are high-energy, articulate and promote stronger performance skills. He is a a graduate of the Naropa Institute, MFA Creative Writing, and The California Institute of the Arts, MFA Live Art/Performance. www.stenrudstrom.com, www.actiontheater.com


SATU PALOKANGAS is a performer, educator and a somatic movement therapist whose work is rooted in Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis, ecology, embodied anatomy, bodywork and dance. Intrigued by change, her work is both subtle and fierce, and guides students into meeting the many parts of themselves, challenging and fine-tuning their perceptions of reality. Satu regularly teaches at the Theater Academy of Finland and in dance institutions and festivals around Europe. She is a graduate of Moving On Center, and studied under Carol Swann, Martha Eddy and Peggy Hackney, and holds an MA Performance Studies from Theater Academy of Finland.