th/fold as somatic/artistic practice

My colleague, dancer and multimedia artist Susan Sentler and I are going on our 8th year of collaboration on folding as somatic movement, art making and curation. Formerly called Human Origami (http://humanorigami.com), we now are calling our process THE FOLD as Somatic/Artistic Practice. We offer periodic workshops and are open to tailoring workshops for online residencies.  Our courses are geared to persons who share a kinship, correspondence with, or connectivity to, embodiment, including, (but not limited to) dance artists/educators, somatic movement arts teachers, visual- and multi-media artists, architects, teachers in the humanities or science and medicine, essentially those with an aesthetic willing to explore the unknown. We welcome persons interested in, or intersecting with, the arts to join us in exploring this living continuum of dimension and depth. Designed as a generative platform for sourcing creativity, our courses offer a space to transform playful exploration into deeply honed intimacy within art making. The starting point is the body – the somatic body in movement and stillness.  We create an environment that is a sensory rich landscape — an improvisational playing field of inner-to-outer body relationships. Exploration of macro- and micro-folding dynamics will uncover liminal thresholds of becoming – a portal for engaging with the unknown. Enfolding and unfolding patterns will give rise to a tactile imprint – a palimpsest for the emergence of new material. Other stimuli will be layered into the practice: visual images, paper/fabric play, video recording, photography, drawing, automatic writing, and journaling.  Exploring this multi-layered confluence of somatic materials will support the building of meta-skills for making your art of choice.




Susan Sentler

Susan Sentler, (she/her), is an independent artist rooted in the field of Dance/Performance working as educator/lecturer, maker/choreographer, researcher, director, curator, dramaturg and performer. She has practiced globally for over 30 years and began teaching in Higher Education since 1992, in early 2000’s meriting Senior Lecturer status from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. As performer, she danced with the original second company ‘The Ensemble’ of the Martha Graham Dance Company in the 1980’s and has returned to performing in the past 10 years with artists such as Tino Sehgal, Xavier le Roy, Dora Garcia and Jerome Bel. Susan’s practice is inter/trans-disciplinary, anchored by a honed expanded somatic relationship to image, interested in ‘dissolving the indexical’, yielding greater potential of sensorial materiality. She has an ongoing collaborative research rooted in concept of ‘the fold’ with colleague Dr Glenna Batson titled the f/old as somatic/artistic practice. Current publications include a chapter The Liquid Architecture of Bodily Folding for the DeGruyter issue Symbolism 2019 Special Focus: Beyond Mind and a co-authored publication Batson Human Origami: Uncovering meta-levels of corporeal embodiment through movement improvisation for Routledge. Another collaboration to note is that with musician, artist/coder and interdisciplinary scientific researcher Dr Jamie Forth in the continuing research project MMCC (mediated/movement/choreographic/collaboration). https://deck.sg/event/mmcc/, https://so-far.xyz/weekly/on-movement-rhythm-and-data. In 2013, she received an MACP (Masters in Creative Practice, Dance Professional Practice) from Trinity Laban in collaboration with Independent Dance, London/UK. Susan was on faculty from 2015 to 2020 at LASALLE College of the Arts Singapore expanding the somatic and creative environment. She created, organised and directed numerous cross/inter-disciplinary projects within the institution as well as in the artistic terrain of Singapore and beyond. Susan focuses on gallery/museum contexts creating/collaborating on ‘responses’ or ‘activations’ within exhibitions as well as durational installations orchestrating moving/still image, objects, sound and absence/presence of the performing body. She has worked with renown institutions such as the White Cube Gallery/UK, Whitechapel Gallery/UK, Hayward Gallery/UK, Museo del Tessuto/IT, National Gallery Singapore/SG, ArtScience Museum/SG, ICAS (Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore)/SG, NTU/CCA (Centre of Contemporary Art Singapore)/SG, and DECK/SG. Her work has been exhibited, screened and/or performed in the UK, USA, Europe, Israel, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Currently she is Head of Learning and Teaching at RAD (Royal Academy of Dance).


︎ shsentler@gmail.com
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Glenna Batson
For the last five decades, Glenna has worked at the intersection of dance, movement science and somatic education honing a trans-disciplinary approach to embodied cognition. Professor emeritus of physiotherapy, Glenna has drawn from multiple sources both within and outside of the academy as catalysts for teaching, research, advocacy, and artistic growth. Devoted to the art and science of movement, Glenna’s path required extensive travel, working in various trades from cocktail waitressing to belly dancing. Academic-, pedestrian- and exotic milieus all deserve a place in evolving a fresh vision within uni disciplinary silos. Glenna has lectured and mentored in higher education within dance, bodymind disciplines and neuro-rehabilitation. Her professional roles have included clinical (physical) therapist, somatic educator/practitioner, dance researcher, mentor and conference organizer. She currently teaches Somatics as faculty of dance at Peabody Institute for Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD USA), and is a guest dance educator at Duke University and University of Limerick. Clinical investigations offer fresh insights into integrative medicine, including dance improvisation for Parkinson’s, Alexander Technique & balance and mental imagery in stroke rehabilitation, research pathways underscoring mind-body methodologies. Written scholarship includes chief author of Body and Mind in Motion: Dance and Neuroscience in Conversation., a convergence of somatics, dance and neuroscience, and co-editor/contributor to Dance, Somatics and Spiritualities: Contemporary Sacred Narratives (2014). Glenna has had the joy of a 10-year collaboration with Susan Sentler honing a practice-based language on bodily folding. The two are at work a book, an interdisciplinary perspective,entitled: Embodied Practices in Art Making: The F/old (Intellect Books 2023). She is still dancing while aging and hopes her last bloom is the brightest.


︎ glenna@glennabatson.net
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© th/fold