Into The Mountain – Workshops and Events

Into The Mountain, workshops and events imageImage: Simone Kenyon

Supporting phase one of Into The Mountain, Simone Kenyon and invited artists and speakers delivered a series of talks and workshops for diverse audiences. To keep up to date with developments in the Into The Mountain project and see upcoming events, visit the dedicated website at www.intothemountain.co.uk. Previous workshops and events are listed below.


Erlend Clouston talk
Scottish Sculpture Workshop
11 September 2018

Thanks to everyone who joined us for an intimate talk with Erlend Clouston, Nan Shepherd’s long-term friend and literary executor. Supporting research for Into the Mountain, Erlend discussed his memories of Nan, her life and influences followed by questions and conversation over soup. This talk can be heard via the Into The Mountain commonplace book.

Something Moves Between
SSW Public Talks programme 2018
28 June 2018

Simone’s talk introduced elements of her ongoing research and the Into the Mountain project. The talk included an introduction to Simone’s previous work, the influence of Nan Shepherds prose, The Living Mountain and the future activity for the development of the project. Discussion over food and drink continued afterwards.

Women in the Mountains
Moray Walking Festival
Friday 15 June, 2018

An evening talk about the influence of Nan Shepherd’s book, The Living Mountain on the project approach, ideas and methodologies. Simone was joined by Anna Fleming, Cairngorms National Park Education and Inclusion Officer and Academic) and George Jaramillo, architect and heritage specialist, with interests in rural landscape, industrial material culture, and ruins to discuss Shepherd’s close relationship with the hills and nature, as well as exploring women’s views, thoughts and relationship of the Scottish landscape. Followed by an open discussion and conversation.

Performing Mountains Conference
Leeds University
22 – 24 March 2018

Title of Paper: Performing gender through the mountains: women’s experience of mountaineering through site-specific dance making. Simone Kenyon. 

According to Pomfret and Doran (2015), mountain tourism has developed in such a way because the history and development of mountaineering was born out of asserting masculine traits of heroisim, escaping domestic life and the pioneering attitudes of the colonial era. Women’s experience of mountaineering therefore begins with the male gaze that has constructed (and therefore instructed) our interpretation of landscapes. Simone’s presentation began with considering the implications of this idea in relation to her dance and mountaineering practices.

Performing Mountains Symposium was a two-day event providing a space for climbers, artists, festival programmers, outdoor enthusiasts and academics to join together in exploring the rich terrain of mountain culture. This event examined the role that mountain culture plays in our understanding through our varied translations of mountain environments.

Curated by Professor Jonathan Pitches and Dr David Shearing.


Moving Between: sensing body and environment
Professional Development Workshop for professional dancers, led by Simone Kenyon
Saturday 20 October — Sunday 21 October

“ What more there is lies within the mountain. Something moves between it and me. Place and a mind may interpenetrate till the nature of both is altered.”
Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain.

Join Simone Kenyon to explore the practices, training and research she has developed over the past 5 years in creating her new project, Into The Mountain. Informed by Nan Shepherd’s prose and her invitation to come to know a place through sensory and embodied encounter, Into The Mountain is a performative expedition that attempts an unearthing of movement and bodily knowledge of the Cairngorms mountain range.

This 1-day workshop will introduce some of Simone’s approaches to making movement work in relation to outdoor environments. After an overnight stay in Glenfeshie Hostel, Sunday will begin with studio-based physical work drawing upon Body Weather and somatic practices, aiming to tune our sensory, embodied focus through touch-based and imagination-led improvisation. This refining of gentle attentiveness to human and non-human connectivity will frame the afternoon work outdoors around the Glenfeshie area. The workshop includes studio based training in Body Weather practices and sharing of the research and writing that has informed Simone’s most recent project, as well as time spent working outdoors utilising some of these key principles that have influenced her work more broadly.

This workshop is also an opportunity to engage with the artist and practices mentioned before considering participating in a 5 day workshop in spring 2019 organised by Dance North.

With Dance North Scotland at Glenfeshie Hostel, Kincraig, Inverness-shire, PH21 1NH
Tickets for this workshop cost £50 and can be booked via the Dance North Scotland website.

Embodied Environments – Moray OWL Group Professional Development Workshop
Moray Outdoor and Woodland Learning (OWL)
Led by Simone Kenyon
20 October 2018

Simone will be working with Moray OWL group to deliver a practical workshop exploring how their members can incorporate movement, sensory and perception activities into their outdoor learning practices and how this can be used to support embodied experiences of outdoor places.

Open to Moray OWL group members.

Sensory workshops with primary and secondary schools across Aberdeenshire
Simone Kenyon and Jo Hellier
Throughout June 2018

Over eight sessions Simone Kenyon and Jo Hellier collaborated with a range of primary and secondary schools in Aberdeenshire and Cairngorms National Parks Education and Inclusion Officer Anna Fleming to facilitate workshops that focused on introducing Nan Shepherd’s work within the context of mountaineering and nature literature. Through this introductory lens they went on to work with numerous collaborative exercises that encouraged sensory exploration of outdoor spaces that incorporated all the senses.

These workshops form the basis for an Into The Mountain resource pack for schools, parents and children to encourage and champion sensory observation and exploration of outdoor spaces. This pack will be available from spring 2019.


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