What is Kinship Workshop?
Kinship Workshops focus on our relationship to other forms of life including landscape, other animals, plants and people. This is done through body and movement practices that take place both indoors and outdoors. Through focusing on these connections, Kinship Workshop hopes to inspire active responses to concerns around environment, wildlife decline, consumption and climate change.
Workshops can be residential and non-residential – taking place in rural, wild and urban landscapes. Each day starts with a physical warm-up, a movement session and exercises to tune the senses. This may take place indoors or outdoors. The rest of the day is spent in the landscape with a variety of tasks and activities, and to share space with wild and/or free-roaming animals, plant-life, and ecosystems.
In residential workshops, cooking and domestic tasks are shared communally.

Who is Kinship for?
Kinship is for people who:

  • want to regenerate or enliven their relationship to nature, landscape and other animals in an experiential way.
  • are curious about body in landscape, movement, non human-centric environments and shared/ community experiences.

People often ask if the workshop is for dancers – because Tom and Katye have a background in contemporary dance practice. There are some activities which come from movement and somatic roots but absolutely no dance experience is needed to join a workshop… just an openness to explore and discover.

Accessibility, body condition, fitness
We are in the process of developing more inclusive practices both in workshops and here on the website. We launch our first online workshop in the 2021 programme called Kinship @ Home. For in person workshops, a certain level of physical fitness for studio work and outside activities such as hiking and working on uneven ground is helpful. However, no formal training is required to participate – only an interest in the subject and a willingness to explore. Participants are encouraged to take care of their own needs and remain in dialogue about any difficulties that may arise.

What does ‘kinship’ mean?

The first thing a Dutch friend asked me about the workshop was “what does ‘kinship’ mean?” I took it for granted that we all know! So I will try to define it…
From the dictionary definition:

kin·ship n. Relationship by nature, character, affinity or common origin.

When I think about the word ‘kin’, there is a feeling of connection to family and also to something ancestral that spans time, but with a common root. In time spent with animals and in nature, the feeling of kinship is there. And I like the word kinship because it doesn’t pin a particular meaning down. It suggests something you can feel but can’t necessarily define.

 – Tom

Kinship and Intersectionality 
The undefinable and indescribable feels important in these times, to know that we can’t know everything. It doesn’t all fit into boxes. There is a habitual groove of having to define things. That habit can give a sense of security or stability, but other animals and landscapes don’t do that, at least not in the same way. It feels important that our symbols and definitions don’t become dominant discourses that take greater president or importance over those that don’t categorise.
Kinship Workshop is, in a very ordinary way, about communing or ‘being with’. Spending time in landscapes and with other animals, it’s possible to commune with unknowable things. And that can be a very exciting practice.

Will we be dancing with animals?

Definitely not… Maybe it’s an understandable question as I have a background in dance practice, but I tend to think that dance as a performance art belongs in human culture.
In the workshop, we do share space with other animals – and perhaps that is a subtle dance of sorts. But I’m very careful about using that word in this context. Kinship treads a fine line to discover, from felt experience, what self-determination and agency is in order to find the right proximity and way of being that all parties feel at ease in. At the same time, great care is taken in the continued questioning of ethics in the work, which feels vital to me.

 – Tom

Any questions unanswered…?
Get in touch here.