Arts for Health


Main Image Credit: Leon Bach


An opportunity to develop your artistic or somatic practice through the dissemination of embodied research, allowing a critical consideration of your practice through the perspective of different lenses, collaborative 'gifting' and radical care.

IR Practitioner Labs are of great continual benefit to professional arts for health and social change practitioners, teachers and performers as well as those who are in artistic or somatic practice training.

Image Credit: Tiago Gambogi. Andrea Maciel performing at Siobhan Davies Lab.

Practitioner Labs apply current Embodied Research, enabling our community to benefit from co-sharing as well as from expert masterclasses, workshops, residencies and symposium with renowned practitioner-scholars, directors and master teachers.

It can feel a bit daunting at first being in a Lab with a group of practitioners from very different artistic training, backgrounds and cultures.  Embodied research however provides the possibility for dialogue between practices or ‘Gifting’ through the application of new methodologies for collaboration.  As a member of a Practitioner Lab you will discover the benefits of Gifting, always giving, always receiving and thereby experiencing a seamless melding of both.

Image Credit: Alex Boyd. Co-teaching with Andrea Maciel at UC Davis (Theatre & Dance)

There is a culture to Practitioner Labs that is necessary to allow and enable the cohesion, equality and reciprocity of Gifting that is based on learning to let go of ego and developing interpersonal norms of listening, attunement, allowing, giving-space, availability, mutual respect and similar. It is magical to work without the pressure of production, to take the time and care to nurture such norms and foreground the ‘personal’ as paramount for cultivating practice, performance and professional sustainment.

Image Credit: Alex Boyd. Co-teaching with Andrea Maciel at UC Davis (Theatre

In the words of practitioners who have experienced our Practitioner and Creative Labs, IR provides:

“a home”

“a performative healing space”

“a non-judgemental place to cultivate our inner voice and be in tune with inner values”

Intercultural Roots is applying and developing embodied research through the individual work of it’s Directors, Trustees and Advisors and also through partnership with research groups including for example the IFTR Embodied Research Working Group (International Federation for Theatre Research) and the Cross Pollination group.

Feedback from previous Practitioner Labs has included an immense surprise from professional artists about how much they have learned through experiencing other practices and meeting diverse practitioners and, in effect, looking at themselves and their work through the lens of another person-practice. More affective feedback includes the sense of care and support found within Intercultural Roots and its emphasis on the health, wellbeing and ethical values artists require in order to be sustainable. All too often it can feel lonely when passing from training to become a professional artist, somatic bodyworker or teacher. Our Practitioner Labs are a source of community as well as being a resource for practice based continuing professional development.

Credit: Alex Boyd.   Practitioner: Otavio Avancini

Externally evaluated feedback describes IR as a “non-empty space”, “a space that allows things to happen” where practitioners can exercise authorship and co-authorship in a ‘hollow’ and ‘gifting’ dynamic of “becoming together”. IR promotes a collective body, manifesting a co-operative consciousness that is non-neutral, where the collective ascertains its core ethical principles while supporting the agency of the empowered individual within the political environment in an organically consultative way. From one perspective IR’s Practitioner Labs and Creative Labs contribute to create a non-linear microcosm in which horizontal principles of becoming together are bringing new values to our existence, and, from another perspective, mirrors the dynamic of the macro that is currently facing an important stage of geo-political expansion and growth.

Please contact us if you would like to join our next Practitioner Labs.