PaperGuts is a Movement+Performance Studies immersion consisting of experiments designed to activate mythologies & fictions through expression with the critical body* and working with multiple ways to transfer them into reality. Collective and solo exercises will be explored, stirred, fantasized, dug up from the depths of consciousness to create authentic, personal, global and abyssal histories of each individual through live arts.

[Reviving mythologies & fictions is a tool of survival. It is to take culture into our hands, share personal stories and become vulnerable bodies composed of blood, guts: temporal beasts.]

The workshop is designed to amplify the relationship with the body as a tool of innovation/ingenuity. The Body/The Researcher in motion will unearth hidden material through sensory play, practice release into the reality of temporality, falling into the delights of storytelling, replenishing antiquated perceptions, and nurturing a freshness of intuitive insight.

[This is a radical politic to emphasize the importance of the most basic thing we have, our own bodies. And the temporality of them. It is to create a collective knowledge of the importance of this modality. Performance is a vehicle for a public body dialogue. Somatic awareness as the landscape of the body as narrator. These stories celebrated and acted through these bodies cultivate a new method of shared communication. What language does it speak?]

The curriculum provides concrete experiences in improvisational movement, performance development, the collaborative process, confidence in performative expression, development of independent work and simple costume design. The methodology favors questions and experiments.

[We will work with humor, impossible questions, emotions, imaginary / real stories, absurdity, neutrality, playfulness, temporality.]

Each participant will dive into the creation of an informal performance. A module for costume making will be practiced in the workshop, to accompany each piece. The performances will be shown on the final day.

The participants will come away with a completed individual performance work, embodied performance practice tools, performance development tools, enlarged confidence in being seen, fresh methods for everyday creative engagement, questions to further their personal/artistic/vocational inquiries, experience in designing and creating costume, and an entirely original shared language with a collection of humans.

*[Critical body is acting through the emotional intuitive state of the body. It is a movement away from over-utilizing critical thinking/language/facts and towards towards using improvisation/emotion/body as the primary method of moving through the world/working through solutions. Emotion over of thought, body over of mind. Not nullifying the importance of the latter (thought/mind), but shifting the dialogue to the former (emotion/body)to emphasize use of our whole body intelligence.]



This course is designed for the artist, entrepreneur, teacher, health and wellness practitioner, or any-body who desires to work with their own physicality as an instrument of inspiration, deepening into their own process of self-discovery and confidence. No experience necessary.

Where: Sessions will occur in a secret location within Burlington, VT chosen by the instructor.

When: Sunday August 19th to Sunday August 26. Time of day TBD by participants.

What you will get from this course:

  • Seven, three hour Movement Performance workshops •including a module for effective costume prop design and creation•

  • A completed individual Performance Work and Final Showing

  • Resources for further study + creative exploration






Course Format + Outline:  

The course consists of seven 3 hour immersive movement/performance workshops lead by Mia Pinheiro.It culminates with a showing of each students individual performance.

Example of workshop day:

  1. Warmup: Body Discovery Improvisation: "Take a look at your hand. Suppose you'd never seen one before. Notice the slight hollow on the inside, the lines around the bumps. I wonder what it can do. Can it walk? fly? jamble? Come on hand, try to ripple, spurt, stiffen quiver, clench, point...Let it go; go on get rid of it. Throw it away, I mean really throw it away. You have lots of other parts. Get all your body parts talking to each other at once, babbling away, now STOP. Let your whole body speak as one. Make one simple statement and end. " -from the Intimate Act of Choreography.

  2. Collective Movement Practice: Flocking With Synchronized Movement. The person in front is the leader of movement, the flock is synchronizing with the movement of the person in front. Leadership shifts when facing shifts. So, if the leader turns to the left so does everyone else, and whoever is now at the front begins to move as the flock leader.  

  3. Stream of Consciousness Composting: Write, write, write until the edges of your hidden dreams pour out onto the paper. We are discovering the meat for your live art, we are writing the mythologies.    

  4. Solo Performance Study: StoryDance. Spontaneously make up a story talking and dancing simultaneously from the prompt you are given. Each person’s prompt will be completely unique, so each StoryDance is fresh. Let the story flow from you. Don’t get caught up in trying to keep logic, loosen your hold. Prompt examples: My mother said every persimmon has a sun inside…, He raises both hands to touch the cloth and begins to…, Some slow evenings when the light hangs late and stubborn….

  5. Fifteen minute break. 

  6. Collective Performance Study: Absurd Environments. Choose a partner. Choose an object from the pile. Together gather onto the performance space, first just observing the item in stillness, when you feel like you have dropped all of your previous context and erased your memory of ever having seen one before- begin by working together to explore the objects function/meanings/possibilities in a improvised performance.


Mia Pinheiro is an artist/performer/facilitator who is from the New Bedford MA, lived in VT for many years and spent the major part of her last year studying and making art in Mexico. She has also recently travelled and studied movement practices, physical theater and visual arts in Texas and New Orleans. In March 2018, she created the immersive fantasy Feast of Fictions while in the residency The Lab Program at Pandeo DF in Mexico City. She completed an intensive study with the choreographer Deborah Hay and was a cast member of the Royal Frog Ballet Surrealist Cabaret Autumn 2017 after teaching the intensive summer course The Body Ensouled: Intimacy of Place and Insight of Motion with Temenos VT.  In 2017 she embarked on a  research sabbatical in Mexico studying movement and choreography, with a focus on relationships and personal creative process. She has created a variety of collaborative movement pieces with unique location including the Winooski River, New City Gallerie, The Light Club Lamp Shop, The Hive, The Attic, Museu Contemporaneo Arte Oaxaca and Bosque Ciudad de Mexico. She has received a degree in contemporary dance and movement studies through the University of Vermont and has with studied with wide variety of talented choreographers including Erika Senft-Miller, Claire Byrne and Hannah Dennison. She is an alumni of Temenos Vermont's Course Creative Concept Development: Art as Alchemy by Estefania Puerta. She has supplemented her studies through the completion of many workshops: 'Siente' at CASA San Augustin Etla in Oaxaca, MX by Laura Rios and Linda Austin, 'Figure/Ground' at Shelburne Farms Breeding Barn by Hannah Dennison, 'Taller Danza Africana' at AfrOaxaquena, MX by Karim Keita and 'MELT' at Movement Research, NY by Vicky Schick. She has been creative consultant for Temenos Vermont, assisting in the development of community programs and arts initiatives .  She has been a dancer in three professional works in Vermont and countless other incredible pieces by local artists. She has often found herself as a assistant stage director, choreographer or roving performance artist. 

Mia has a great desire to share her in depth studies of this unique form of body-expression with all who want to learn, for she believes it is a certain kind of medicine. A potent concoction for intuitive action. She holds 'play' and 'celebration' as necessary antidotes to the heaviness of our current socio-politic; and knows these gatherings-these collaborations- will nibble away at the magic cookie of humans remembering the wild-selves.  


Tuition:  COMING SOON, scholarships available!

Scholarship:   VSAC Non-Degree Grants Available to Cover PartialTuition.