HA! Workshops

14 June 2016

Presenting a workshop in “Spontaneous Creativity” always scares me a bit. Firstly, there is no plan. The plan only presents itself as the workshop “unfolds” and eats itself up as it happens. Secondly, each group is a fresh gathering of individuals about to open themselves in ways they do not normally do. How to contain this? My role is to facilitate, not to instruct. In fact, it is not even to facilitate. It is to be. To be to breathe to flow and go where you go and be there for all who swims along. and sometimes against. HA!.. Perhaps the best way to describe these workshops is to say that it is the HA!Man Show extended, opened up for others to join in. So i am there with my usual setup of cello, keyboard, accompaniments, microphones and.. well, for a workshop we can include writing and drawing materials and more instruments. And an open space to move around. So, unless the workshop is for a specialized group, like a choir, instrumentalists or drama group, we play with a range of mediums of expression and i make sure each and everyone in the group gets some space and time to express him or herself, often with my musical accompaniment, and always with NOTHING as a starting point.

As i said, i do not instruct, direct or manipulate someone’s act. The only (and very important thing) i put forward is a frame. You cannot be free and flowing without boundaries. The boundary can be a time limit, a medium of expression, a mood, a character, a space. And also the limit of being together - playing and flowing within an ensemble or group, calling on the senses to be alert, on the expressions to be accessible. A HA!Man workshop draws you to being a whole, to bring forth something you did not expect within a certain frame. And to share it, however raw, silly or profound (and it is often surprisingly profound). Participants walk away confused, challenged, inspired, changed. You cannot stay neutral. But i can also not define a specific outcome. A HA! workshop remains a rare opportunity to willingly walk into the space where the unknown is trusted and the sources of being creative is confronted head-on.

Apart from the many schools that saw the HA!Man over almost two decades with Spontaneous Creativity workshops, the community organizations and adult groupings, these are some examples of more prominent institutions: LG Corporation Headquarters (Seoul), Soka University (Los Angeles), University of the Free State, Sahmyook University (Seoul), the Mandela Youth Heritage Center, Camphill Farm Community for the disabled, Statsfµngslet Midtjylland Prison (Denmark), Pollsmoor Prison(Cape Town), Lady Grey Arts Academy, the Drakensberg Boys Choir and the Beau Soleil Music School (Cape Town)