David Lakein: Ensemble Improvisation Practise: “The play of Presence in Performance”

*Lingering in Sensation : The Theater of Intimacy*

The diligence of sustaining a state, the practice of absorbing emotion, the discipline of persisting in thought demands physicality, imagination and an intimate collaboration with spacetime.

This intensive outing takes the above statement as both a challenging point of departure and a comforting place of arrival. Our research into the performer-audience relationship in theatrical scenarios dives into questions about duration, intensity, texture and dynamic, among other compositional considerations—all toward revealing insights into these central questions:

What is the narrative potential of distinct sensations?
How do layers of intimacy create emerging storylines?

David Lakein

David Lakein (Berlin/Chicago) is an interdisciplinary artist, choreographer-director, educator-facilitator, organizer and writer, who collaborates extensively with other artists from diverse backgrounds and performs-researches-teaches across the United States & Europe and around the world. His work swirls around the borders between dance, theater, cabaret, performance art and social scenarios, often incorporating installation and video elements. Whether completely set or entirely improvised, a solo performance or community gathering, on stage or in the back bushes, the work often includes a significant degree of interactivity—inviting and provoking participation from the viewing-listening-reading audience. Lakein embraces and confronts the tensions between the ordinary and sublime, situating his performative creations on the edges between the profoundly serious and ridiculously silly, especially in the intersections of daily life, metaphysics and spirituality. His practice is built on a foundation of image-making, improvisational scores and dramaturgical devising, and strongly influenced by books & bars, stand-up & standing-around and meaning & mystery.

Lakein is a well-respected teacher and facilitator known for his inquisitive nature and dedication to a rigorous (un)learning process that embraces generous discipline and intelligent laziness. He has over twenty years experience with physical, performing and performance arts, and with somatic movement arts (body-mind-centering, alexander technique, etc), martial arts (aikido, qi gong, etc) and meditation practices. Whether facilitating students in workshops and performance projects or bringing artists together in laboratories or festivals, he is committed to dialogue as a creative act and research as a transformational encounter.

Lakein studied philosophy & literature, and acting & directing in the United States, trained as a dancer, choreographer and performer in Berlin, Amsterdam and San Francisco, and studied visual arts in Chicago; he holds a BA from Wesleyan University, a BFA from the School for New Dance Development Amsterdam School for the Arts, and an MFA in Studio Arts from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago.