As a teacher, Nuria Bowart has vision. She sees her students' potential, even in moments when we don't. She sees the unique dynamics and particular physics of our frame. She adjusts her technique based on the particular questions that our body's habits, tensions, stresses and experience present.
Before working with Nuria I could not replicate the pathways and choreography that had been shown to me in large workshops. I could not find the elegant spirals, turns, soft falls and rising lifts in my body. Nuria helped me understand the importance of sequencing, of working from the spine, of finding initiations from the various masses of the torso, such as the pelvis, the rib cage, and the cranium. Even when I returned home to North Carolina she continued to track my progress and guide my learning through video and text. She is at once incredibly masterful and gently accessible. Her focus and care brings out the excellence in her students.
-- Aaron Birk
Nuria is a certified teacher of the Axis Syllabus, a body of biomechanical and physical knowledge compiled by an international research community initiated by Frey Faust. Nuria began her studies of the Axis Syllabus in 2009 with Kira Kirsch. The work of the Axis Syllabus quickly became the place where she could connect her love of anatomy and healing through movement, with her path as a mover and performer(for more info please visit axissyllabus.org).
The Axis Syllabus offers a highly progressive and sophisticated understanding of the form and structure of the body, emphasizing the roles of fascia and tensegrity, as facilitators of skillful movement. The Axis Syllabus provides a way to understand dynamic movement, and to see healthy pathways and choices that are available within a structure that has parameters and design elements. The Axis Syllabus offers ways to facilitate the cultivation of self awareness within dynamic motion. It provides details about human motion that help to support sustainable movement patterns.
Selected class titles & descriptions
All classes can be facilitated in longer or shorter formats.
We are improvising our lives: Fundamentals
Life provides the opportunities to listen and respond to cues and impulses every day. This class will look at the art of listening within a partner dynamic, and within oneself. We will take a look at impulses and the relationship of lead and follow to moving together. Curiosity, responsibility and kindness are important qualities to cultivate for improvising. In this class we will play games in partners and in groups, we will study some biomechanics of support and leadership, and look at the dynamics of power that we create and participate in while moving together. This class is an opportunity to look at ones own patterns and to try on new ones. Concepts of Push and Pull, form and freedom will be adressed. This class will be useful for all levels but focused on beginners.
CI and Capoeira
Contact Improvisation is often seen as an art of improvisational partner dance; where touching is allowed with all parts of the body, where weight can be shared, and roles of leader and follower are fluid. Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial Art. A game of expression, strategy, playfulness and danger. If Capoeira is a game of negative space, than CI must be a dance of “positive space”. In this class we will look at moving through the negative space that is present in a dance. We will practice going over, under, though and around. We will also look at spiraling ramps used in capoeira, opportunities to ride the momentum (whether solo or in partnership). This class will include learning some basic partner flips that are common to Capoeira, and very useful as tools in CI. This class will focus on skills of moving in contact, out of contact, and in and out of the floor.
The C-Stars will be Falling: Managing accelerated pathways through the floor
Falling allows for us to harness our potential energy. Take a ride on the force of gravity. This class will elaborate on the concept of chronological architecture as it relates to moving in and out of the floor in dynamic ways. Both arms and legs are useful to propel, absorb and pivot around. Acceleration happens, and can be ridden. In this class we will practice riding this bodyform through the energy of a fall. Using some basic movement patterns, such as C-Star, offered through the Axis Syllabus, to help us to better understand useful mechanics for falling. While in this class, the main partner will be the floor, we will be practicing many of the patterns in partners and groups.
Chronological Architecture: Logical progressions in and out of the floor
This class is designed to present the basic concepts of landing and launching pads as is defined within the Axis Syllabus. The Axis Syllabus is a body of research relevant to dynamic movement. This class will provide a clear mapping of soft tissue logic for entering and exiting a surface, wether it be a floor or another moving body. We will also practice some spiraling pathways useful for greater ease while changing levels. Tired of all those bruises from that hard floor when you land? Come and practice alternatives.
Counterspirals from the Universal Center
Today we are constantly hearing about core support and stabilization, but what exactly is “the core” and where does the support come from? This class is designed to look at where the legs and arms meet, the anatomical center: a core for sure. We will study the biomechanical structures in and around T-12, and how to both respect and utilize their design. This area of support can facilitate versatility, complexity and free play. Be prepared for counter rotations and undulations of rhythmic proportions. This workshop will apply to those who love to express and dance with their body and discover ways to repattern movement that honors the complexity of our skeleton. Applicable to manual therapists, trainers, and anyone who moves.
I am my own Amusement Ride
How do we ride the momentum we generate from falling? How is angular momentum a conservation force? How do the shapes of our bones and the pathways of our tissues interact with gravity? What does tension have to do with force?
Detailing the kinesphere that we are, and the physical laws that we inhabit, we can learn to ride the opportunities of the design that lies within. Class includes the introduction of concepts, and then exercises, games and movements to practice and help us to understand what we are learning.
This class is an opportunity to look at the body through the lens of anatomical science. Anatomy can be very useful, but it is not the ultimate way to understand the body and human movement. We will learn and practice the language of Anatomy, while playfully exploring what it suggests for movement. Images, games and partner work will be a few of the tools we will use. The Axis Syllabus: a lexicon of human movement, will be our main resource for learning.
This body is more than we can fathom, but in this class we will engage in looking, feeling and learning about what we are.
Looking into the body I find myself repeating the words of Jaap van der Wal: “The body is a living performance in time.” The deeper I go with my studies the more I can perceive the multidimensional fabric that is the body. A series of sacs tethered to trunks that move in the wind, carrying their water and subjected to the forces of the physical universe of which we are a part. A production line of possibilities with prerecorded intentions.
The body needs metaphors of ecology not technology to define it. We are organisms, multiple environments interacting. We are the fractal expression of the larger ecosystem of which we are a part. It is evident that we are made up of relationships in movement.
Movement is the mechanism through which we become. It is the way that we inhabit space and time. It is our story, and our message. Creation funnels through the process of thought, word and deed. But movement is necessary for each of those phases to exist. Movement is the trajectory of energy. Form is the consequence of movement, and the servant to it.