Sandra Paola Lopez Ramirez

Sandra Paola Lopez Ramirez – Bio


Edition:

Sandra was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia where she began her dance training at a young age. She moved to the US to pursue a BFA in Dance Performance with minors in Psychology and Religious Studies. She has performed in the US, Colombia, Brazil, Cyprus and France and has worked to promote dance education and community development through the arts in the US and Colombia. In 2013 she was awarded a Masters in Aesthetic Education from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed a certificate program at the East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy in New York City. She is currently a Visiting Lecturer in the Dance Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and continues to build in2improv a collaboration with musician and composer Dr. Chris Reyman where the concepts of ensemble improvisation and interdisciplinary education as tools to foster human development and community building are explored in performance and educational contexts.

Ensemble Improvisation as a Developmental Tool


Edition: 2014 Vol. 11 Nos. 3-4

Keywords
contact improvisation, social therapeutics method, collectively creating, community building, group work, kinaesthetic listening

Sandra describes her personal and professional journey with dance and ensemble group improvisation, through reference to her teachers, her training at East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy (ESI) in New York and the formation of her own practice offering her work in performance and educational settings. The significant transforming and healing capacities that improvisation has given the author, as well as it’s scope for community building through the Social Therapeutic Method are explored. A collectively created moment shared with other dancers is amplified to exemplify how performers listen, respond, negotiate and make decisions leads into discussion of how the activity of building and creating the group is what is therapeutic. The expansion of the work through classes, performances and workshops internationally concludes the article, along with a final vignette reinforcing the importance of ‘kinaesthetic listening’ as experienced by one workshop participant. (pp 28-31)

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