Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Pilates meets Improvisation at Bristol National Jam

I am exited about teaching two morning warm-up sessions at Bristol National Jam 2018 on 6th and 7th October. Dancers from the whole country will gather in Bristol coming weekend to practice and celebrate the form of Contact Improvisation.

In my class Pilates meets Improvisation (Stability & Mobility of Joints) I draw on the discipline of Pilates and the explorative nature of improvisation. In this slow and focused class we prepare our bodies for taking weight and moving with fluidity. No previous Pilates experience necessary. Individual guidance will be given within the group context.

I am intrigued by how my two passions (the Pilates system and movement improvisation) could meet and feed each other. To explore this interweaving of forms I use a teaching approach inspired by experiential anatomy facilitation.

Looking forward to sharing the floor with a group of dedicated practitioners and awesome teachers!

Friday, 27 October 2017

Research into Moving & Drawing

I am working on a new solo project that investigates the relationship between moving and drawing, well-being and performing.

So far I have explored the combination of dancing and drawing for personal development only, mainly in Tamalpa workshops but also in my home practice. I am now interested in the performative nature of this combination within the context of improvisation.

I created a private blog for this project, which is currently only visible to those who receive an invitation from me. The private blog is a crystallized form of my notebook, giving both clarity and value to parts of the performance making process. I also welcome it as an opportunity to bring the element of writing into the mix. I intend to publish it further along the way.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Movement Response to 'Melt'

On Friday 4th November Sara Easby's exhibition Melt opened at the Grant Bradley Gallery in Bristol. Sara's abstract paintings and drawings are a response to the moods and elements of Iceland.

The beautiful physicality of Sara's work – sometimes powerful, sometimes tender – inspired me to create a movement response. Using my own experiences of volcanic landscapes and Sara's paintings and drawings as resources, I performed a brief structured improvisation on the night. An ephemeral shift in the landscape of the gallery space ...

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Salt & Saturation (by K'lo Harris)

Last month provided me with completely new and exiting movement experiences - dancing on 30 kilograms of salt in Salt & Saturation (work in progress), a BA Dance project directed by K'lo Harris and performed at Bath Spa University. The project explored the role of somatic and evolutionary movement in ritual making and movement-induced states of mind. 

Monday, 16 June 2014

Pilates – New Adventures in 2014

I am pleased to announce that I have now qualified as a Pilates Matwork teacher at the Scott Studios. Classes coming up:

Beginners Mat Course
Thurs 8–9pm
17 July to 14 August (5 classes)
Bristol, St George at Bristol Movement Space 
Info & bookings via Bristol Movement Space

Other classes will start in the Autumn in Bristol areas Bishopston and Knowle. Until then, I leave you with this little exercise – to do or to lazily contemplate whilst sipping your Summer cocktails:

Teasers with Joseph Pilates

Thursday, 12 December 2013


I am currently training at the Scott Studios in beautiful Somerset to become a Pilates teacher. One of my lovely fellow trainees circulated this version of Hybrid-Pilates which I find most stimulating for the cold Winter months – I will practice with mulled wine and cider ...

Friday, 11 January 2013

Spring and Summer Workshops 2013

Body in Flow – Somatic movement explorations

Weekend 16 & 17 March
Jubilee Hall, Bedminster, Bristol
Costs £80 / £65 concs.

A workshop based on Movement Ritual, a set of natural and organic movement sequences developed by American dance pioneer Anna Halprin. We explore a variety of the primarily floor-based sequences and let them flow into creative dances, bringing attention to physical, emotional and imaginal levels of awareness. Movement experiences live on in drawings - drawings inspire movement (art materials provided).

"An inspiration to move, play, dance, enjoy and love my body. I developed a curiosity to find out what my body can do rather than getting stuck in what it can’t." Participant

Going Feral – Natural play days for grown ups 
in collaboration with Mel McCree & Lily Horseman

Time to breathe the fresh air, to leave everyday cares behind and get inspired in the great outdoors! More info on www.goingferal.org.uk 

Day workshop  
with Itta & Mel
Sun 28 April, 10:30-17:00
Woodlands near Bristol
Costs £40 / £30 concs.
Advance booking essential!

Intensive in the Lake District  
with Itta, Mel & Lily
Week 17-23 August
Rookhow Centre, private woodland and the surrounding Lake District National Park,www.rookhowcentre.co.uk
Costs £475 / £355 concs.
incl. camping / communal dormitories and delicious food

Immerse yourself in nature, disconnect from the demands of civilisation, let your instincts run feral and celebrate your creativity. Choose to playfully respond to the environment with making, creating, song, words, grooves, movement, mapping or questing. Enjoy open fire cooking, wild adventure and group experience as well as time to just ‘be’.

Seriously recommended to everyone wanting to deeply engage with their playful and creative side. Previous participants include people working in the arts, social engagement, therapies, education, outdoor learning, ecological practices and anyone who enjoys a wild stomp and howl in the woods under the light of the full moon.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

City Running Bristol

On the night of Friday 30 November I will take part in City Running Bristol. At a time when I am usually fast asleep, I will be researching a neglected part of the city with 29 other artists. Under the eyes of the audience we will play, gather, create and perform. The process seems as important as the outcome, an aspect I value very much. You can book a FREE ticket and enjoy the process between 9pm and 2am.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Lost in Broadmead

Last Sunday I met with Beth Porter, Mark Anthony Whiteford and Bart Jekiel for a multi-art improvisation session at DanceSpace, Bristol. Bart and I had explored movement and drawing before (see posts Burning Giraffe and Shared Imagination). Now Beth and Mark added soundscapes and more. Continuously improvising for 1.5 hrs, we wove sound, voice, movement and drawing into a wonderful web of surreal stories.

Moments I recall:
At the opposite end of time I feel a painful embrace long gone. A voice nagging inside ... longing ... losing. A dog searching for his bone. A woman with a hole in her belly, lost in Broadmead. He doesn't see, he doesn't care. A crow arrogantly judging. A scarf took a piece of neck away. Lines drawn on bodies. Bones tapping bones at the Police Station. No 75 bus taking them home.

Moments Bart drew:

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Dancing into unknown Forms of Leadership

I currently work as a freelance artist for Creativity Works, an organisation that commissioned artist Marina Sossi to lead the socially-engaged art and health project The Black Dog Residency. I wrote this article for The Black Dog Residency blog.

My name is Itta Howie. As part of the Creative Links project I offer Soul Dances – Movement and Imagery. I have led sessions before and after Marina’s residency, pausing during the time of the residency to give the black dog more space to roam.

In each of my sessions we let movement experiences flow into drawings. Below are the titles I gave my drawings from the last five weeks: 

Beginning to know one another

Cell bodies landing

Birds messing about

Let’s see what happens


Looking at the titles I see a process. It’s partially a familiar process I go through every time I work with a group. But in sessions four and five something unfamiliar happened to me: shifting, questioning, relaxing, doubting, wanting, needing, allowing, tightening, losing it – a legacy of the Black Dog Residency?

The journeys with the black dog are not over. They meander through my sessions. I notice a shift in participants’ desires. How do I respond to these? 

Somehow the last session was all about tortoises. So here it is, me as a chameleon-tortoise in the middle of a session, trying to adapt, to take on the many colours swirling around me, feeling for what’s needed, putting out spikes to protect me. I shared these feelings with the group – suddenly all of us were connected on the same ‘horizontal plane’ with our emotions, questions and doubts.

At the time I felt exhausted, challenged and desperate. Now it feels like a good starting point for a new journey:

How can I go with the flow of what happens within the group and also take responsibility for what’s happening?

How can I inspire with my art form and creative processes and also give room to the processes unfolding within the group?

How can I combine ‘holding’ with ‘letting go’?