itta howie - movement artist
soul traffic dark hobby


I am a Bristol-based movement artist specializing in cross-disciplinary improvisation and site-specific performance.

I work with non-stylised movement material generated from somatic movement explorations. The term ‘soma’ refers to the body as perceived from within. Somatic movement derives from inner sensations, not from codified dance styles. It cultivates deep sensory awareness and vitality, facilitating very personal creative expression. Evoked images and emotions find embodiment in abstract, grotesque or narrative dances. I explore this approach in performances and contexts of socially-engaged projects and educational workshops.

Improvisation means the spontaneous response to impulses from inside and outside the body. The practice of improvisation requires a heightened awareness of the present moment – its multiplicity of opportunities and offerings – and the ability to make spontaneous but informed choices. It could be regarded as the practice of life and at the same time as training for mindful ‘response-able’ living. I use principles of improvisation in workshops and performances, collaborating with artists from various disciplines. Often I create scores that frame, guide and focus improvisation – a devising process one could name ‘scoreography’.

My site-specific work takes place in urban and natural environments. It is a response to given elements such as terrain, plants, architecture, usage and sound. Through in-depth kinaesthetic exploration of the site unforeseen associations and images arise that are shaped into performance material. The site is recognized as a central player in the work. The pieces created take on various forms, from performances for invited audiences and public interventions to participatory one-to-one activities and mail-out performance scores.

I grew up in Germany where I graduated with a BA Visual Communication in 1995.
I rediscovered my interest in the moving body when training with German Expressionist dancer Ursula Wagner, Hanover. After moving to the UK in 2001, I intensified my dance studies. Most significant to my practice is the training in non-stylised movement with Helen Poynor, UK and Anna Halprin, US. Further influences come from somatic practices, release-based contemporary dance, contact improvisation and Butoh. In 2010 I completed an MA Choreography (Distinction) at Dartington College of Arts. In 2014 I qualified as a Matwork Pilates teacher at the Scott Studio, Somerset.