RODRIGO ESTEVA [Original member of Pearson/Widrig Dance Theater (NYC), graduate of Nikolais/Louis Dance Lab and Trisha Brown School of NYC] and MIRAH MORIARTY [Masters of Fine Arts from Hollins University/Berlin, BA from Goddard College and graduate of SNDO/EDDC Amsterdam] are internationally traveled teachers specializing in Improvisation, Contemporary Technique and Site-Specific Performance. They are the co-founders of Ook'ot International Dance Festival. Their classes are grounded in over thirty years of in-depth study and research with renowned Professors and teachers in Release Technique, Improvisation, Shiatsu/Acupressure Therapy (Certified), Yoga/Meditation (Certified), Site-specific performance, acrobatics, dances of the African diaspora and Somatic study.  Rodrigo and Mirah have taught at universities, festivals and programs throughout the United States, Mexico, and Peru as well as in Canada and Europe including Middlebury College (VT), Universidad IberoAmericana (Mexico City), Bard College (NY), UC Berkeley (CA).  [See their complete curriculum here.] They currently offer classes for K-12 youth, intergenerational movers and professional dancers.


Contemporary Technique

The body is an instrument that can be fine-tuned in order to access one's movement voice and sensitize our kinesthetic perception. Dances arise from the stories that are held in our bodies; collective memories, experiences, ancestry, and inner mythic worlds. Technique helps us to know ourselves and, at the same time, challenge those perspectives, creating paths towards unexplored potential. This comprehensive training includes work on the floor, self-acupressure, and challenging movement sequences. 

Rodrigo Esteva has over 20 years of studies and extensive, in-depth experience (in hospitals, at Levi Strauss and many others) as a CAMT certified Shiatsu Therapist with a focus on Traditional Medicine.  He offers participants tools for the location of tsubos (Acupressure points) that, when held, stimulate our natural capacity to heal. The class includes pressure points for anxiety, depression, protection and more, as well as poetic translations of the points, to deepen our experience of Self. 

ACTIVATING INSTINCTS: Improvisation and Composition

Rodrigo Esteva and Mirah Moriarty have studied and performed Improvisation over the last thirty+ years with renowned teachers in the field. Improvisation is a skill that is cultivated to partner with each moment with a receptive and instinctual body. This class focuses on challenging physical investigations that break open our ability to listen to the mythical inner world, the environment and each other. Participants explore ways to enter states of transformative action through breath, directives, awareness and clarity of purpose.


Site-Specific Dance

Site-specific dance has been a significant aspect of Rodrigo Esteva and Mirah Moriarty's training over the last 30 years. They have created original performances in spaces such as abandoned boats on the shores of Nayarit, an old Acacia tree at the edge of an endangered public shoreline, to following the path of an urban creek. They draw on their experience with a focus on re-wilding our physical nature while strengthening our instincts, sense of wonder and deepening our experiential relationship with the body and place. With the senses activated, we listen and respond to the environment with the body as our vessel for communication. The participants are guided to find the truth in the body as they move through dream states and greater awareness.


Interdisciplinary Performance


Mirah and Rodrigo have directed 20 original group and duet works and participated in the creative process of renowned interdisciplinary artists including, as members of Pearson Widrig Dance Theater (NYC) and Axis Dance (Oakland). This course is an invitation for students' to excavate their own voice through the creation of an interdisciplinary performance which could include: dance, music, video, spoken word/personal story, costumes and lighting. Participants explore different approaches to the creative process and are encouraged to discover or deepen their own artistic pathway through research and self-reflection. At the end of the course, there is an informal sharing with constructive feedback.