Slow Tempo

Taught by Peter Kyle and Scott Giguere

July 1319, 2014

Images from previous Slow Tempo workshops

Slow Tempo is an approach to physical performance that incorporates a slow movement practice with an improvisational sensibility. Taught by chor­eographer Peter Kyle and actor Scott Giguere, the Slow Tempo workshop combines the physical training method of Japanese theater director Shogo Ohta with contem­porary dance techniques with the goal of training individuals to appreciate the moment-to-moment fact of one’s “being here.”

Slow Tempo has broad application in all of the per­forming and creative arts, and provides opportunity for learning valuable life skills through contemplative practice. This work helps individuals develop:

  • Improved concentration,
  • Sensitivity to the totality of thought and motion,
  • Greater efficiency in use of the body,
  • Refined skills in composition and silent narrative.
Daily sessions begin with a thorough full-body warm-up, instruction in Slow Tempo technique, and structured improvisations allowing for free exploration of moving in extreme slowness where Ohta believed “we find fresh expression to defamiliarize our daily experienceto look again.” Throughout the week all participants will develop their own movement composition to be performed on the final day of the workshop.

Work time is balanced with ample personal time for reflection and contemplation, giving all participants opportunity to experience the richness of this location. The program is ideal for anyone interested in movement, performance and composition, regardless of age, experience or ability.

New for 2014

This year we will be introducing more detailed work in composition and improvisation using Slow Tempo techniques for returning workshop students or practitioners with equitable experience. These daily breakout sessions will focus on further use of improvisation in small groups and composition in other locations onsite, giving experienced students a chance to deepen their study of slow tempo in self-generated work.

Comments from previous Slow Tempo participants:

“The Slow Tempo work was astonishing! Any actor wanting to develop his or her sense of presence, economy, and immediacy in performance should explore this work.”
—Jonathan Becker, Actor, Director, Assistant Professor, Ball State University Theater Department

“Participating in Slow Tempo at Bearnstow was transformative. The balance of rigorous training, the natural beauty of Bearnstow, comaraderie and laughter made for a magical week. Peter Kyle’s teaching is clear and inviting, challenging and supportive.”
—Robin Gilmore, Director, Chesapeake Bay Alexander Studies (

“As a longtime dancer, dance educator, I believe Slow Tempo is a particularly valuable movement experience—generous in immediate, deeply personal lessons as well as enlightening in functional and biomechanical feedback. I recommend both the form and Peter Kyle’s teaching. Months after the workshop I still think about the work and experience the influence of it in my own dancing and choreography.”
—Lucy DuBose, MA, CMA, DTR

“In August I spent a week exploring performance in Slow Tempo in a camp by a lake in Maine. Time shifted perceptibly at Bearnstow that week and has stayed shifted every since. Rarely have I walked away from a workshop with such a sense of potential.”
—Carol Dilley, Director of Dance, Bates College

Peter Kyle is Artistic Director of Peter Kyle Dance in New York City. An accomplished choreographer, teacher, filmmaker, and critically acclaimed performer (Murray Louis & Nikolais Dance, Mark Morris Dance Group and Erick Hawkins Dance Company, among others), he first encountered Slow Tempo in 2000 while working on a production of Ohta’s Mizu No Eki, in Seattle. In 2002 he accompanied Pacific Performance Project/east to Japan to work with Mr. Ohta. He is among the first instructors in the United States to teach Mr. Ohta’s work. Peter is a highly regarded teacher of dance and movement for actors. He teaches currently at Sarah Lawrence College, Marymount Manhattan College and Bard College, and frequently conducts master classes, residencies and workshops throughout the United States and internationally. Peter holds an MFA in Dance from University of Washington and a BA in Dance and German Area Studies from Kenyon College.

For more information see

Download Peter Kyle’s CV (PDF).

Scott Giguere is a New Yorkbased actor and teacher, specializing in physical performance training techniques, which include the Suzuki Actor Training Method, Viewpoints, and Shogo Ohta’s Slow Tempo work. He has taught movement and acting on the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of Washington, Indiana UniversityBloomington, and Rutgers University. He is also a company member of Pacifica Performance Project east where he continues to work with Suzuki master teachers Steven Pearson and Robyn Hunt, in addition to his ongoing work with Peter Kyle Dance as a performer and as the theatrical advisor for the company. He has appeared in regional theatres across the U.S. and on international stages. Scott earned his M.F.A. in Acting from the University of Washington in Seattle and is a member of Actors Equity Association.