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Walking in Witness: Fall as Prelude

Walking in Witness: Fall as Prelude
New Event Date: December 5, 1 - 3 pm: How do we move freely into life in the presence of death? Join us for this meditative walk and movement exploration in Oakland's renowned Mountain View Cemetery.

Regretfully we had to postpone our October event due to air quality. NEW DATE: December 5, 1 - 3 pm. Please email us for details:

Led by teaching artist Greacian Goeke and psychologist Kaethe Weingarten, long-time dance collaborators, this experiential workshop grows out of our ongoing project, Walking in Witness to Life and Loss.

In this session we will explore metaphors embedded within the season we are living, Fall, to discern how the organic processes of slowing and shedding can lighten us as we move further into the darkness of what comes next. Often we feel silenced in the face of death or imminent endings, such as the close of the year, but we are alive and we can still move. We will incorporate natural materials collected on site to further our expression and response to the meanings of Fall.

We have been meeting in Mountain View Cemetery for the past four years to explore the vitality of movement and sensory experience in concert with the awareness of death. Conceived as a place to honor the dead, the cemetery nonetheless teems with vital motion. In this multi-layered environment, we use movement to guide us where language stymies us. We encourage attendees to investigate their relationship to these interwoven themes in a safe and timeless space of facilitated movement and reflection.

We will walk to several evocative locations over level or slightly sloping terrain (some stairs) and then explore and share our responses through collage, movement and witnessing. No dance experience necessary. Open to all ages and abilities.

Kaethe Weingarten, Ph.D.

Kaethe (pronounced Kay-tah) is founder and director of The Witnessing Project, a nonprofit organization that consults to individuals, families, and communities locally, nationally, and internationally to transform passive witnessing of violence and violation into effective action.

She was an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry from 1981-2017 and a faculty member of the Family Institute of Cambridge where she founded and directed the Program in Families, Trauma and Resilience. She has published six books and over 100 articles and essays.

Her book, Common Shock: Witnessing Violence Every Day--How We Are Harmed, How We Can Heal, won the 2004 Nautilus Award for Social Change. Dr. Weingarten has given over 300 presentations and been a keynote speaker at numerous local, national and international conferences. She serves on the editorial boards of five journals. In 2002 she was awarded the highest honor of the American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA), the award for Distinguished Contribution to Family Theory and Practice. She directs AFTA’s Witness to Witness Program, a project pairing AFTA members with providers helping migrants, asylum seekers and refugees with legal, social and medical issues.

Since 2015, she has collaborated with Greacian on a number of dance and choreography projects though their ongoing Walking in Witness partnership, five of which have been awarded grants for choreography with elder dancers applying a witnessing model in public spaces.

Greacian Goeke.

An interdisciplinary teaching artist since 1989, Greacian nurtures creative expression of all ages in schools and health communities, senior residences, memory care programs and colleges. Her collaborative performances have included large-scale umbrella dances, junk percussion, gesture drawing and blues, and visual art improvisation, in projects for the (Goldman) Institute on Aging, Recology, Center for Elders Independence, Stagebridge and local museums, parks and gardens.

Greacian is also the Orff Schulwerk Movement and Music Specialist at Mills College Children’s School. She is among the early adapters of the Orff approach for the creative well-being of older adults, as embodied in her elder dance ensemble, Impromptu No Tutu. She received the Community-Engaged Practice Award from California College of the Arts for this work.

She founded Impromptu No Tutu in 2008 to show the world what dance in later life can be. As the resident ensemble of Albany Senior Center, No Tutu models healthy aging in community and bring the joy of participatory dance and music to all ages.

Greacian holds an M.F.A. in Performance/Film/Video from California College of Arts and Crafts (1990) and a B.A. in English from Cornell University (1976). She received a Level III Certificate in Orff Schulwerk through Mills College in 1999.

Greacian and Kaethe have facilitated two previous Remagine workshops and recently collaborated with Impromptu No Tutu on “Resilience is Us” at the Albany Bulb Dance Festival. Last fall Walking in Witness offered an interactive performance, “Home is Where,” in collaboration with the Oakland Museum of California.


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