Exploring Body Music with Evie & Keith

Innovative musicians and dancers with a quirky neo-trad soul, Evie Ladin and Keith Terry, will teach ‘Body Music’ at the Folk School this fall from October 9-13, 2024.

Evie & Keith throw down original folk songs and deep interpretations of old songs, with the kinetic thrill of percussive dance. Visit their website to watch videos of their performances.

Read our interview with Evie Ladin and learn more about Body Music. Interested in this class? Register today

JCCFS: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What’s your background in your medium? How did you get started?

EL: Keith Terry is a pioneer of contemporary Body Music – trained as a jazz drummer and encouraged by the older generation of tap dancers to pursue this medium, he is knowledgeable in many world rhythm systems, and loves getting people into better understanding of rhythm and time through this medium. Evie Ladin grew up clogging, playing banjo and singing Southern Appalachian songs in harmony with her sister. With her group MoToR/dance she overtly reconnects African-diasporapoly rhythms with Appalachian song. Together they created the International Body Music Festival, and are adept at bringing people of all ages into exploring music with their human instrument.

JCCFS: Tell us more about your class’s specific technique or process.

EL: Working easily with all levels of physicality and ability, we explore rhythmic understanding and dexterity from a variety of angles. We’ll look at traditional and contemporary approaches to exploring music and movement with your own instrument. Great for your brain and body, and a whole lot of fun!

JCCFS: What can students expect to leave your class with? 

EL: Students will gain a deeper understanding of time and timing, cultural styles and improvisation, while having fun moving in accessible and approachable ways. Allowing muscle memory to develop, pushing the boundaries of creative expression, and understanding music in a whole new way – very much not on the page.

Evie & Ketih performing

Evie performing with her group MoTor/Dance

Evie & Keith performing at Fall Festival

JCCFS: What is your favorite aspect or part of the Folk School?

EL: The Folk School is a gorgeous environment in which to dive deeper into any topic. The serenity of place, being fed and cared for and out of the car, the immersion, allows for the successful deep dive into any topic. We love this place.

JCCFS: Where do you draw inspiration from for your work?

EL: We are always bringing communities back to the essential nature of being human – making music and moving together in shared pulse. People have been creating music with their bodies since the dawn of time, and it helps to feel connected and creative. Evie’s background is specifically in Appalachian cultural arts, and she brings that to a variety of exercises – while Keith is a master oftime and groove. A great team.

JCCFS: Where can folks find you if they want to stay up to date on your work?

EL: On our website, you will find more videos of Terry and me performing and information about other events we participate in.

Watch this video of Evie performing with her dance group

Upcoming Class with Evie & Keith

Body Music: Exploring Musical Ideas with Your Human Instrument


October 7-12, 2024

Use the oldest instrument on the planet – the human body – to clap, slap, step, and vocalize your way through original and traditional rhythmic music. Explore Body Music practices from around the world, including their cultural and historical connections. Improve your timing, listening skills, coordination, rhythmic skills, and syncopation.

About Evie Ladin & Keith Terry

Evie Ladin is a percussive-dancer, choreographer, singer, songwriter, banjo player and square-dance caller with a lifetime of experience in traditional American cultural arts and intercultural music/dance performance and education. Her performances, recordings and teaching reconnect Appalachian arts with other African-Diaspora traditions. Evie is Executive Director of the International Body Music Festival, directs the moving choir MoToR/dance (whose dance-for-camera works have been shown in many film festivals) and is an ace freestyle flatfooter. After graduating from Brown University (BA: African Studies In Dance), she received both Fulbright and Watson Fellowships, studying music/dance in Eastern Nigeria. For 8 years, she toured nationally with the music/dance ensemble Rhythm In Shoes. Since landing in California in 2000, Evie has choreographed numerous works for and with partner Keith Terry and his intercultural, rhythm-based Crosspulse ensembles, performing from Lincoln Center, NY to SFJAZZ, from Brazil to Bali and many points in between.
Keith Terry was inspired by that generation of great US jazz tap dancers he was accompanying in the 1970’s so he stood up from behind his drums and dove head-on into Body Music (a term he coined) in 1978. He regularly travels the world, performing and teaching in a wide range of settings from villages in Bali to New York City’s Lincoln Center. Keith is a Guggenheim Fellow and the founding artistic director of both the Oakland, California based arts organization, Crosspulse, since 1979; and the International Body Music Festival (IBMF) – launched by Crosspulse in 2008 to explore the language of Body Music from culture to culture.The IBMF’s full festivals and MiniFests have been produced in the US, Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia, France, Canada, Italy, Greece and Ghana. Keith has produced more than a dozen recordings, dvds, and books for Crosspulse Media.
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