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Tucked away in the rolling hills of rural Brandenburg, Germany, a few kilometres away from the border with Poland, surrounded by golden fields and sun-dappled woods, is the small village of Stolzenhagen.
In the village, occupying the buildings of a renovated nineteenth-century former farmhouse, is Ponderosa — a place for art, performance, music, dance, yoga, countryside living, cosmic rituals, conceptual weirdness, and more.
Every summer, at Ponderosa, there is P.O.R.C.H. — a sustained and immersive program dedicated to body-based art-making of all kinds.
And in 2020, P.O.R.C.H. will finally become multi-national, with three modules: two in Stolzenhagen, Germany, and one in the Living Forest, Lake Arenal, Costa Rica! The full details are below.
Imagining new possibilities
P.O.R.C.H. is an immersive training program, dedicated to body-based art-making. It happens in three modules, in June, July, and August. But it is no ordinary training program — it is an intense, artistic, somatic, social, and performative incitement — a catalyst for transforming lives, an engine for offering new perspectives, a gazing-ball for imagining new possibilities.
P.O.R.C.H. stands for Ponderosa Ongoing Research and Collaborative Happenings, and it is one of the long-term events that occurs at Ponderosa — it has been happening every summer here for the last decade. It is a program where creative minds and bodies stretch their limits, where potential is realised, where connections are nurtured, and where internationally-renowned facilitators, practitioners, teachers, and visiting artists offer an intense creative experience to all who wish to deepen their commitment to their work and life.
Nourished by the surroundings, inspired by the activities (both local and in nearby Berlin), in an atmosphere of febrile collaborative potential, P.O.R.C.H. is a place where nobody leaves unchanged.
And P.O.R.C.H. 2019 is happening right now, and P.O.R.C.H. 2020 is on the horizon! Offering transformative possibilities to all aspiring professionals of art, dance, physical practices, improvisation, choreographic movement, performance, and collaborative art.
P.O.R.C.H. 2019 faculty include Kathleen Hermesdorf, Stephanie Maher, Peter Pleyer, Maria F. Scaroni, and Joy Mariama Smith.
Over the course of three summer modules — the Physical Module, the Gardenbody Module, and the Synthesis Module — P.O.R.C.H. 2019 will fill the summer with life-altering rainbows of artistic possibility.
And P.O.R.C.H. 2020 shimmers in the distance beyond. Read on for more...
P.O.R.C.H. 2020 modules
26. January–16. February, 2020:
P.O.R.C.H. Exchange Module
Focusing on improvisation and shared social practices
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
Early-bird deadline: 15. November, 2019
With Stephanie Maher and Kathleen Hermesdorf. More details soon...
P.O.R.C.H. Improvisation Module
Focusing on improvisational practices and performance
Early-bird deadline: 15. April, 2020
With Kathleen Hermesdorf and Peter Pleyer. More details soon...
P.O.R.C.H. Synthesis Module
Focusing on dramaturgy and choreographic practices
Early-bird deadline: 15. May, 2020
With Stephanie Maher, Maria F. Scaroni, Yoav Admoni, Peter Pleyer, and Robert Steijn. More details soon...
P.O.R.C.H. 2019 modules
16. June–13. July, 2019:
P.O.R.C.H. Physical Module
Focusing on improvisation and physical practices
Early-bird deadline: 7. April
The P.O.R.C.H. Physical Module, facilitated by Kathleen Hermesdorf, will focus on physical practices, bodily training, and the possibilities of improvisation.
21. July—10. August, 2019:
P.O.R.C.H. Gardenbody Module
Focusing on somatic and land-based practices
Early-bird deadline: 15. April
The P.O.R.C.H. Gardenbody Module, facilitated by Shelley Etkin and Stephanie Maher, will be oriented around the interrelation of body, group, and landscape.
12.–30. August, 2019:
P.O.R.C.H. Synthesis Module
Focusing on performance and choreographic practices
Early-bird deadline: 15. May
The P.O.R.C.H. Synthesis Module, facilitated by Stephanie Maher, Peter Pleyer, Maria F. Scaroni, and Yoav Admoni, will explore the potential of performance and choreography.
And, of course, we also strongly encourage you to consider the P.O.R.C.H. Three-in-one Summer Package — all three modules, combined — for a full season of personal and aesthetic renewal and metamorphosis, in a collaborative atmosphere.
P.O.R.C.H. concept and artistic direction
The artistic direction of P.O.R.C.H. is based around a commitment to mutual exchange between creative professionals and an ongoing engagement in the fields of dance and related forms. Our goal is to facilitate a multi-disciplinary artistic international meeting place, discourse, and platform by cultivating and facilitating an ongoing, growing network of practitioners, creators and educators for future collaborative projects and programs.
P.O.R.C.H. honors the wisdom and experience of our inter-generational mentor program and inspires participants to learn communally and independently. The interactive process at the heart of P.O.R.C.H. offers opportunities for friendship, mentorship, collaboration, and assisted access into the contemporary art scenes of Berlin and San Francisco.
P.O.R.C.H. international network
P.O.R.C.H. has been transforming minds and bodies from around the world since 2010. The network of past and present participants and faculty allows for many possibilities, projects, collaborations, and friendships to be created and explored.
P.O.R.C.H. grew out of artistic experiments and communities in Berlin and San Francisco, and P.O.R.C.H. participants are introduced to the performance, dance, sound, and art scenes in these places and elsewhere that have created and sustain the program. Foremost among these ongoing threads of connection are the P.O.R.C.H. Extended series of self-organised performance events that have happened in Berlin, New York, Tel Aviv, Stolzenhagen and elsewhere.
This international network represents an inspiring possible future network of connection for all P.O.R.C.H. participants.
How to apply
If you feel that you are ready to jump into the artistic transformation that P.O.R.C.H. allows, you can apply by email for either one, two, or all three modules. Reductions in costs are available for participants who commit to undertaking the full Three-in-one summer package. We highly recommend committing to as long a stay at P.O.R.C.H. as is possible, for an expansive range of body-based techniques and compositional forms, to enliven your work as an artist, performer, improviser, or teacher. All details of costs and available funding and support are provided here.
To ensure that participants receive individual and unique mentoring, consideration, and feedback, places in all modules are strictly limited, and we recommend applying early.
To apply, please send a current Curriculum Vitae and an accompanying letter of interest, which outlines your reasons for feeling that you are well-suited to participating in PO.R.C.H. 2019, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are also welcome to email us with a provisional enquiry before a full application — it’s ok to ask us things, or to get a feel for whether or not P.O.R.C.H. is right for you. Get in touch!