A B O U T
Dance, Somatics, and Dance Movement Therapy:
Somanaut (pronounced "so-ma-naught") Dance is where I house my somatic movement dance education, therapy, and choreographic explorations. For me, the three are inextricably linked processes, which grow from the same soil.
Choreography and Performance Practice:
Brain, meet body; body, meet brain. This place of meeting is the fertile ground from which I grow the work I create as Somanaut Dance. My works begin with these dialogues which balance brain and body, thought and felt explorations, intellectual processes and lived experiences. The result is thoughtful, contemporary work that is process-driven and somatically informed. Through the use of democratic approaches and collaborative co-creation, I honor many bodies and many voices in my process. My dancers’ autonomy is central in the creation of my work; from their lived and felt expressions, I abstract their individual vocabularies. I collage the resulting subtle shifts, layering meaning and movement to create spacious and contemplative landscapes. Within the conceptual frameworks of my dance, I offer inter-relational spaces for regaining play, wellness, and moments of support. I urge my audiences to think and feel simultaneously. In my process, I attempt to kinaesthetically problem-solve, to find our bodies’ answers to our minds’ inquiries. I like to ask the juicy questions, zealously embodying the inquisition, whether the answers exist or not.
Somatic Movement Dance Education:
Somanaut dance is a place to explore the intersection between embodied somatic movement and dance. I am dedicated to free and innovative exploration of the living body through meditative and creative deep, internal listening and movement, and strive to create a sense of greater awareness, spaciousness, support, and positive well-being through movement practices.
Dance Movement Therapy:
Dance movement therapy (DMT) is a form of creative/expressive arts therapy. It draws on traditional psychotherapy frameworks while offering the healing properties of dance and movement. Using a range of tools (including talking, movement, embodied awareness, and others), Dance Movement Therapists invite clients to experience different ways of moving and being in their bodies. DMTs believe what we experience psychologically is also experienced in our bodies, and vice versa. As we experience new physical experiences, we also experience mental and emotional changes.
And since it incorporates non-verbal expression, it can be particularly useful for people who find it difficult to talk about their experiences and emotions, or for those with disabilities that mean language is a less accessible form of communication. But it is used in many populations and research supports that is beneficial for anyone with a body! For, as Elizabeth Behnke says, “There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if we can only come to our senses and feel it.”
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/FOUNDER: REBECCA WEBER
Becca Weber, PhD, MFA, MA, RSME/RSMT/RSDE, THE, FHEA is always asking questions. Usually, these investigate the places where the body meets the brain--where dance, somatic practices, and science intersect. Weber is a lecturer in Dance Studies and Programme Director for the Masters in Dance Movement Therapy degree at the University of Auckland. She is an ISMETA-registered somatic movement/dance educator and somatic movement therapist, whose PhD in Dance Psychology from Coventry University was funded by the Leverhulme Trust. As co-director of Project Trans(m)it and director of Somanaut Dance, Weber’s choreography has been presented internationally. Associate editor for Dance, Movement, and Spiritualities, Weber’s research interests include: somatics, wellness, creativity, dance psychology, digital technologies, choreography and interdisciplinary creative practices, and pedagogy. www.somanautdance.com | www.projecttransmit.com
Weber is a Registered Somatic Movement Educator (ISMETA) and holds an MFA in Dance and a Teaching in Higher Education Certification from Temple University as well as a Master’s degree with Distinction in Dance & Somatic Well-Being from the University of Central Lancashire and completed a postgraduate diploma and advanced clinical practicum in Dance Movement Therapy from Dance and Arts Therapy NZ. She has led undergraduate and postgraduate dance courses internationally at University of East London, Coventry University, Temple University, Richard Stockton University, Trinity Laban Conservatoire, Bird College Conservatoire, University of Central Lancashire, Drexel University, as well as community, schools, and private contexts.
As founder and director of Somanaut Dance, her choreography has been presented in Philadelphia, New York, Georgia, Delaware, Canada, the UK, and New Zealand. She has performed for many independent choreographers, including Eun Jung Choi (DaDa Dance), Katherine Keifer Stark (The Naked Stark), Ellie Goudie-Averill (Stone Depot Dance Lab), Colleen Hooper Performance Projects, Michael T. Roberts, Danielle Greene, Meredith Steinberg, Venus Dance Company, and others, and was a performing member and rehearsal director for INVISIBLE RIVER. Weber was an Artist-in-Residence at Mascher Space Co-op, and her work has been supported by Creative New Zealand, Dance USA, Dance/UP, the World Dance Alliance Americas, Decoda, C-DaRE, Temple University's Boyer College of Music and Dance, Mascher Space Co-Op, The Iron Factory, Women In Motion, Coventry University's Centre for Global Engagement, the Rebecca Skelton Fund, and the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.
Her research has been published widely in peer-reviewed journals and anthologies--including but not limited to research published in IEEEVR; Research in Dance Education; Body, Space, and Tehnology; the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices; Dance, Movement and Spiritualities; and the anthology, Dance, Somatics and Spiritualities: Contemporary Sacred Narratives, for which she served as co-editor. She is a co-director for Project Trans(m)it, an Associate Editor for the journal Dance, Movement, and Spiritualities, board member at Carolina Dancer Wellness, and former Communications Director, Social Media Manager, Editorial Board Member, editor, and writer/critic at thINKingDANCE.net.
You can view Becca's full CV here.