This piece profiles Tom Koch, a Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (SFDI) 2014 Teaching Artist.

There’s real artistry in Tom Koch’s understanding of the body’s mechanics and interrelationships.

Koch started out as an actor, singer and dancer and moved to New York to pursue performance, but after a severe injury, he found his calling in the Alexander Technique. Certified by the American Center for the Alexander Technique in 1987, he is an expert in the application of the Alexander Technique to the specific demands of dance. Koch has worked extensively with dancers and dance companies across Europe and America, including William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt, The Forsythe Company and Nederlands Dans Theater. A celebrated master teacher, he influenced Anouk Van Dijk in her development of Countertechnique, and continues to teach at Van Dijk’s annual Countertechnique intensive, drawing dancers from all over the world.

In his blog, Koch vows that anyone—dancer or not—can benefit from the Alexander Technique, whether it’s for more “freedom and expression as a dancer” or “a more balanced state [from which] to weigh out options before making a decision.” Check out this video of Koch at work.

Students extol Koch for his warmth, humor and his particular insight into the field of dance. According to fellow 2014 SFDI Teaching Artist Michael Schumacher, “I have learned more about movement from Tom Koch than from any of my dance teachers.” Performance maker Katie Duck says: “[Koch’s] lessons…have become the main focus for how I can continue to be a professional dance artist in my middle age. More importantly the lessons have given me a consistent method for keeping fit and clear minded.”

Koch runs his own private practice, The BodySmarts Studio, in Amsterdam, and co-founded the collaborative performance ensemble Group Schwuppdiwupp with Vitor Garcia and Schumacher. Koch also served as a dramaturge and movement consultant for Ballet Frankfurt’s “Blender Head” and Ivana Muller’s “While We Were Holding It Together,” among others.

Come take advantage of this rare opportunity to study in the U.S. with this legendary practitioner of Alexander Technique at the international Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (SFDI)!

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