TO BE WITH - Health & WELLth Festival 2022

Arts for Social Change

TO BE WITH - Health & WELLth Festival 2022
Working groups - Classes - Performance Sharing - Party


28 – 30 October 2022, Open House Hackney, London

Address: 5 Prince Edward Rd, London E9 5LX

Open Call for free attendance

by Application Only!




Plenary Session Free of Charge Zoom Registration

We are inviting artists, researchers and practitioners to apply for a 3 day practice-as-research symposium looking at the art of "To Be With" through a prismatic lens of artistic and somatic language and discourse.

The second edition of the Health & WELLth Festival is bringing to discussion what it is "To Be With" as an investigative dispositive for embodied research practice. Our provocation invites artists and researchers from Performance, Theatre, Dance, Somatics, Eco Art, Activism and Music to critical inquiry about the quality of presence, connection and transformation behind the action of 'being with' as opposed 'to be for' or 'to be against'.

What are the emancipatory consequences of embracing the connectivity of our presences to reconfigure inter-relational dynamics as practitioners?

Is it possible to consider the power of "To Be With" as a methodological shift much more aligned to the challenges of art making in a contemporary world? And how this new paradigm can offer possibilities of escaping the hierarchal, hegemonic model while reinforcing radical care and supportive companionships.

Are we brave enough To be With what it is necessary in our life at the present moment?

This year's Health & WELLth Festival will adopt an internal embodied practice-as-research format and will be fashioned through a prism of five Working Groups and a Hybrid Plenary Session all looking towards the theme of "To Be With":


Free of charge attendance (by application) Includes:

5 Working Groups + Plenary Session

+ Practice-as-Research Workshop

+ Ceremonial Meal

+ Evening Hangouts

Working Group 1

Art and Activism: the power of narrative as a transformative tool.

Date: 28th of October 2022 - 10:00-13:00 GMT

Presenters: Dr. Almiro Andrade, Dr. Patrick Campbell, Manuela Albrecht, Manuela Benini (Chair)

Working Group 1 bring important embody practices research on Voice work, theatre, somatic dance and performance looking at different ways to subvert the narratives of power.


Can we speak the same language? - finding outlets for collaborative approaches to performance and performative languages through practical exercises based on Forum Theatre approaches. Dr. ALMIRO ANDRADE is a Black Queer Latinx actor, director, playwright, dramaturg, educationist and theatre translator,Lecturer in Contemporary Acting and Associate Lecturer in Dramaturgy and Performance for Film and Television at University of the Arts London.

The narratives of the voice, emotional patterns and decolonisation  (Dr. Patrick Campbell -Senior lecturer in Contemporary Theatre at Manchester University, Theatre Laboratory investigator)

Collective dialogues where micro-politics will be explored from within the body and in relation to other bodies through the lens of the Viewpoints Technique. (Manuela Albrecht - Movement Artist and Facilitator - MFA student at Trinity Laban - Dance Creative Practice)

Working Group 2

ECO Art: nature, city and belongings

Date: 28th of October 2022 - 14:00-17:00 GMT

Presenters: Dr. Andrea Maciel, Dr. Jacek Ludwig Scarso, Manuela Benini, (Chair) Andrea Maciel  

Art and ‘Publicness’ - (Dr. Jacek Ludwig Scarso is Reader in Art and Performance at London Metropolitan University)

City’s Body Writing - the relationship between body and city through catalytic mechanisms . (Dr. Andrea Maciel Performer, Dancer and Scholar and Artistic Director for Intercultural Roots)

"Art and Publicness" This participatory presentation explores the role of "publicness" in art-making. Whilst the definition of public art is one that continues to be discussed and reframed, its loose principles may provide a useful lens to creatively interrogate how our practice may foster new dialogues with the outside world and with each other.

City's Body Writing - This proposal examines  how urban interventions may be understood as catalysis of the city social tissue. My proposal is that the artistic investigation of public spaces engenders new narratives’ in which the daily life conflicts of the city are re-written in an expanded participatory political dimension.   

Red Dress - The Red Dress Project is a performance and photography project created by artist and activist Manuela Benini. Acting as a catalyst to absorb the energy of the landscape, Manuela reclaims public spaces, dancing and responding to the environments with movement often that the camera fails to capture.

Working Group 3

Arts of The Body: somatic and social change.

Date: 29th of October 2022 - 10:00-13:00 GMT

Presenters: Dr. Thomas Kampe, Fabiene Formosa , Julia Pond (Chair)

This working group session offers three approaches to how personal and social transformation might co-develop through critical practices of embodiment.


Dialogues: Embodied Research through The Feldenkrais Method. (Dr. Thomas Kampe,  Professor of Somatic Performance & Education at Bath Spa University)

Embodied storytelling and the ecological entanglements of distress: practice-led research of mad experience in a time of crisis. (Fabienne Formosa-PhD candidate with the Visual Cultures department at Goldsmiths College)

Doing politics through the body. Through a series of improvisational tasks, which are appropriate for any body, the session playfully explores the relationship between our internal assumptions and orientations and external outcomes. (Julia Pond -  performer, teacher, facilitator and researcher with an eclectic background including professional dance life, an MA in International Relations)

Working Group 4

Arts of Listening: sound and Meditation

Date: 29th of October 2022 - 14:00-17:00 GMT

Presenters: Dylan Bolles, Jon Peter (Chair), Will Crawford

In this three-part practical session, expect to find a space to come to stillness, connecting outwards in silence to create a place from which to move, sound and listen together.


A participatory workshop focused on strategies for improvisation and the underlying social relationships and skills they foster by (Dylan Bolles - composer, performer and educator)

Starting from centring and engaging the body and breath, we will use Listening Meditation as a way to connect as one group, and then use this Deeply Listening connection as a starting point to explore some of Pauline Oliveros’ democratic and fun text scores. (by Jon Peter - community artist, using voice, breath, music, movement and improvisation to connect people to each other and their own creativity)

Connect to yourself, connect to your surroundings, connect to our community, connect through music. Within this section we shall explore how music can act as our group guide to meditation. By Will Crawford

Working Group 5

Dance: Choreographies of Being With

Date: 30 October 2022 - 10:00-13:00 GMT

Presenters: Irene Friodilino, Tiago Gambogi, Julia Testas, Lizzy Tan (chair)

'Choreogrpahies of Being With’ brings together four artist-researchers who share their movement methodologies for ‘being with’ through ‘Transitory Architecture,’ an intersection of choreography and architecture; ‘The third bank of the river,’ dance enquiry-workshop; Passing Through and Flying low techniques, and methods for working with objects as partners. 


Transitory Architecture’ (Irene Fiodilino)

The third bank of the river’ (Tiago Gambogi)

Passing Through and Flying Low Techniques’ (Julia Testas)

Object and Scene’ (Lizzy Tan)


SUNDAY 30 October, 2pm – 6pm     TO BE WITH Plenary Session (Hybrid)

Free attendance via Zoom

If you are unable to attend in person, you are invited to register, free of charge, to attend the 4-hour plenary session on Sunday 30 October 2pm - 6pm UK Time. Details below.

Plenary Session Zoom Registration

Schedule 28 - 30 Oct.

As we confirm the Working Group presenters, further information will be added to this programme schedule.
Friday 28 October:
9am Doors open
10am – 1pm     Working Group 1 - Art and Activism: the power of narrative as a transformative tool

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2pm – 5pm     Working Group 2 - Eco Art: nature, cities and belongings
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6pm – 8pm     Practice-as-Research - Bartenieff-Laban Qigong Dance
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8pm – 11pm     Hangout 1: music, talk, drinks and nibbles
Saturday 29 October:
9am Doors open

10am – 1pm     Working Group 3 - Arts of The Body: somatic and social change
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2pm – 5pm     Working Group 4 - Arts of Listening: sound and meditation
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6pm – 7.30pm     Hangout 2: music, talk, drinks and nibbles
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7.30pm – 9pm     TO BE WITH Ceremonial Meal: food, music, drink and dance
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9pm - 11pm     Band & Dancing & Bar


Sunday 30 October:
9am Doors open
10am – 1pm     Working Group 5 - Dance: Choreographies of being with
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2pm – 6pm     TO BE WITH Plenary Session (Hybrid)
(HYBRID - Zoom registration available here)
Coordination: Drs. Alex Boyd & Andrea Maciel with each Working Group Coordinator
2.00pm - 2.30pm
Working Group 1 - Art and Activism
2.30pm - 3.00pm
Working Group 2 - Eco Art
3.00pm - 3.30pm
Working Group 3 - Arts of the body
3.30pm - 4.00pm     <break>
4.00pm - 4.30pm
Working Group 4 - Arts of Listening
4.30pm - 5.00pm
Working Group 5 - Dance
5.00pm - 6.00pm
Discussion. Practice and launch of Open Call 'Growing Intercultural Roots in Communities'
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6pm – 8.30pm     Hangout 3: music, talk, drinks and food

This video is a synopsis of Intercultural Roots 'Metamorphosis: Difference' performance sharing on 24 Sept 2022.


Our annual Health & WELLth Festival integrates health and social wellbeing through a plethora of initiatives that include artistic, creative, cultural, somatic and critical care programs running throughout the year. The principles of interconnectivity, sustainability and collaboration create the framework behind all the initiatives of this project. Health & WELLth expands the concept of health across transdisciplinary practices while promoting dialogue between the many layers of social life through educational and artistic 'creative wellbeing' events. 

Now one of Intercultural Roots umbrella projects, Health & WELLth was initially designed in 2019 to be a series of creative labs, workshops, performance sharing and mental health awareness training culminating in a festival which was postponed in April 2020 because of the pandemic. The previous Health & WELLth Festival 'Navigating the Unknown' was held online in May 2021.

Acknowledgements of Support

Intercultural Roots is grateful to our community who have supported this event through our Crowdfunder campaign and also the National Emergencies Trust: Local Action Fund who match funded donations raised. Our core team at Intercultural Roots is also currently being supported by funding from the National Lottery Community Fund and Big Issue Invest through the Social Enterprise Support Fund. This project is called 'Growing Intercultural Roots in Communities' and, during the Health & WELLth Festival we will be launching an Open Call for artistic, creative, somatic and professional support.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to our Crowdfunder campaign.