Body Weather is a physical training method and philosophy developed by Japanese dancer Min Tanaka, which engages in rigorous investigation of the body in relation to its environment. Perhaps the most well-known of Body Weather practices is ‘MB’. This acronym is ambiguous, meaning either/ and Mind-Body, Muscle-Bone or Music-Body. This is like a dancers’ version of aerobics: a series of exercises sourced from international folk dances and sport, traveling across space, to music. This training increases cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, co-ordination and tests and extends the body’s capacity to multi-task. Body Weather is the method underpinning the work of site-specific performance group Environmental Performance Authority (EPA), a group formed in Melbourne in 2013. The open training sessions will include an MB workout and short improvisational activity. The ‘open’ bit means that EPA artist Gretel Taylor (or another member of the group) will lead the sessions and also participate in the training. Participants can work at their own level, though some fitness is recommended. Dance experience is not necessary.
Gretel Taylor participated in Min Tanaka’s intensive Body Weather workshops in Japan in 1999 and 2000. Since then, Body Weather training has informed her dance practice and she has taught it as part of Performance Studies units at Victoria University, Monash and RMIT as well as through her independent BodyPlaceProject workshops at many venues, including Dancehouse and outdoor locations.