Projects in Motion, May3-7,2018

Projects in Motion: Exploring Functional Movement as Creative Practice

A workshop intensive with Axis Syllabus teacher Ruth Douthwright and Ashlea Watkin

$400 includes tuition, all meals, dormitory or camping, transportation on Lasqueti to the ferry.

Retreat Description:

PROJECTS IN MOTION is an ongoing collaboration between Ruth Douthwright and Ashlea Watkin – a platform for movement research, education and artistic practice.

Acknowledging the moving body as living landscape requires adaptation and innovation when applying movement principles. Functional movement necessitates a creative approach in practice in order to respect individual physicality and diverse training aims.

Ashlea and Ruth are informed by many movement modalities with a shared interest in experiential and theoretical research for functional dynamics applied to dancing, sports, yoga, fitness and everyday pedestrian practices of walking, sitting, standing etc.


Arrive on Thursday, May3rd on either the 230 or 530 ferries from French Creek. You will be met with a limo and brought to the studio.

Friday May 4 – Sunday May 6
9:30 – 11:00 Ruth (Axis Syllabus)
11:00 – 11:30 SNACK
11:30 – 1:00 Ashlea (Axis Syllabus)
1:00 – 4:00 LUNCH
4:00 – 5:30 Ruth & Ashlea (Projects in Motion)
5:30 – 7:30 DINNER
7:30 – 8:30 Friday Ashlea / Saturday Free Time / Sunday Ruth (Folk Dance) May 4 – Sunday May 6

Departure is on Monday, May7th on either the 8am or 11am ferries from Lasqueti. You will be brought to the ferry from the studio. Only a light snack and hot liquid is available before the 8am ferry.

Class Descriptions

Axis Syllabus (Ruth)

This practice uses spirals, undulations and looping movement cycles, applied and practiced through dance and athleticism. The objective is to propose practical methods for moving dynamically while developing coordinated movement reactions. Rather than centering on aesthetic choices, it asks the question: how can we support, move with and listen to the moving body?

Axis Syllabus(Ashlea)

These classes are rooted in a practice of sensing the architectural integrity of our bodies in dynamic movement. Anatomic principles will be offered to delve into physical propositions that will include floor and standing work within varied explorations of repetition, partnering, and choreography. We will problem solve through challenges, ride on moments of joy, and tune into physical prowess.

Projects in Motion (Ruth & Ashlea)

In this workshop we will investigate principles of movement found in rolling, crawling, standing, walking and dancing. Utilizing creative practices in listening, sensitivity, and innovation to improve and refine alignment for dynamic movement situations. You can expect guided improvisation, repeating loops and bits of phrase work.

Dancing Folk (Ruth)

In this workshop we will practice a wide range of rhythms, steps, gestures and spatial formations bridging stories of origin and folklore to the intention and motivation of the dances. Created and re-created by and for folks who love to dance, these dances continue to evolve, blurring the lines between traditional and contemporary. This class is a lovely way to be in community, simply dancing together while practicing functional coordinations, kinetic rhythmic forces and dynamic efficiency.

Receptive Responses (Ashlea)

We will begin with a discussion centred around understandings of mechanoreceptors and the nervous system. Partner and group based propositions will then offer an opportunity to explore how various types of touch are given, received, and processed in the body – eliciting a response and opportunity to engage in a shared movement practice rooted in respect and trust.


Ruth Douthwright is a dance artist and movement educator. For over a decade Ruth has been a teacher of the Axis Syllabus, offering individual and group movement workshops and dance trainings, and is a guest teacher in Dance and Movement Research Projects internationally. She is a graduate from École de danse contemporaine de Montréal, with parallel studies in Body Mind Centering, Continuum and Voice. Continued studies include Laban UK, Min Tanaka, The Body Weather Farm and Noh Theatre – Kyoto Arts Centre. Ongoing research and performance projects with Ecological Bodying – Kevin O’Connor. Ruth is a London Artist in Residence working as an educator and mentor and performs with PDA.


Ashlea Watkin is a movement educator certified by the Axis Syllabus International Research Community and registered Occupational Therapist (MSc.OT). She has collaborated with many Canadian based choreographers including: Tania Alvarado, Marie Béland, Heidi Bunting, Nicolas Cantin, Dorian Nuskind-Oder, Sasha Kleinplatz, and Dana Michel. She has been presented by Tangente and Studio 303, as well as supported by Mains d’oeuvres in France. Ashlea has taught and facilitated movement workshops in Brussels, Edmonton, Montreal, and Quebec City. Recently re-located to Vancouver Island, her work investigates the translation of scientific perspectives and theory with dynamic movement practices that aspire to promote health by fostering resilient bodies and opportunities for social/environmental connectedness. Ashlea is an advocate for local community building and projects centred around Universal Accessibility. She is in the process of working on a project initiated by Pain BC that is aimed at facilitating affordable access to movement practices for persons living with chronic pain.

To register: Go to ‘Contact Us’ on the right side of this page and send us an email. You should be replied to within 24hrs.

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