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The 6th International Freedom & Focus Conference: "Breathing is Meaning" Call For Workshop Proposals
Conference Public Dates: July 30 - August 2
TREMS ONLY dates July 29 and August 3.

Call for Proposals closes: 15 December 2019
Registration opens: 15 January 2020
Members notified of successful proposals by February 1, 2020.*

* If notification is needed prior to February 1, 2020 Please contact one of the two Workshop directors listed below.

Toi Whakaari
Te Whaea: National Dance and Drama Centre
11 Hutchison Road
Wellington 6021
New Zealand


Fitzmaurice Voicework® (FV) uses a variety of physical approaches to voice training and principles of voice exploration rooted in a somatic awareness of “what is”.

First held in 2011, The Freedom & Focus International Conference of Fitzmaurice Voicework® provides a forum for practical explorations of FV that advance its application and widen its influence.
This introduction provides a framework for understanding the contribution of workshop presenters at Freedom and Focus, articulates the goals and values regarding the teaching of Fitzmaurice Voicework at the conference, and gives some information about logistics and the practicalities of being a presenter.


The approach originated by Catherine Fitzmaurice is central to our work. The name of this conference points to two primary aspects of Fitzmaurice Voicework - destructuring and restructuring. Freedom of the autonomic breath underlies our capacity for focused vocal communication. Developing the capacity for Play – the third aspect of Fitzmaurice Voicework – is the main purpose of both destructuring and restructuring (Freedom and Focus). Workshop presenters at this conference must take this basic relationship of Freedom and Focus into account and strive to reveal it in the Play of their teaching. Some FV tools—such as modified yoga positions, tremors, manual interventions, muscular isolations, “focus line”—need to show up in your work in some form.

It is important to provide continuity for participants. Workshop presenters should be aware of what is being taught in the fundamentals sessions led by Catherine, Saul and/or other lead teachers. Workshops presenters are encouraged to articulate specifically what aspects of de-/re-structuring are being invoked in their session. Care must be taken to ensure these terms are being used with consistency throughout the conference.

Additionally, workshop presenters are asked to model the work as they teach it. As a presenter, your workshop is enhanced with breath that is alive in the moment as well as a voice that is structured efficiently when communicating with participants.

Finally, a deep investigation of the moment is facilitated when presenter and participants are invited to acknowledge what is really happening. A commitment to “teach what is in front of you” allows learning and research to proceed with compassion and a connection to the realities present in the room.


It feels appropriate to return to “Breathing Is Meaning” as a theme, as we invite workshops that incorporate the fundamentals of FV and look to the roots of the work.

Workshops at “Freedom and Focus” can explore specific aspects of FV deeply or can explore a synthesis of FV with other techniques. It is, of course, possible to employ one or both of these approaches in a single session. As you prepare to teach at Freedom & Focus, it may be helpful to consider which approaches will predominate in your session and the ways in which you can help prepare participants to experience your material.

A deep exploration of one or two aspects of the work and/or play that arise out of FV can provide valuable perspective and insight while deepening an individual’s experience of FV as a whole. Please note that some participants attending the conference may have only completed a limited number of hours (6-10) of any kind of Fitzmaurice Voicework® training before these workshops take place.

Another workshop approach is the exploration of new and/or previously underexplored applications of FV. This can be accomplished by bringing FV into dialogue with other traditions, techniques, and contexts. Ideally, something new emerges that becomes part of the wisdom and knowledge of the community. The useful synergies between FV and other related modalities are virtually endless.

Synthesis is by nature experimental. Attempts at synthesis are often as valuable as achieving it. Workshops seeking synthesis at Freedom & Focus must be more than just a compare and contrast of FV with another approach. And they must also be more than just a presentation of another technique without an investigation of possible synthesis. Curiosity and an enhanced experience of the value of FV can be the touchstones that guide you as you develop workshops exploring synthesis.

Workshop Directors 2020:
Holly Holsinger
Drew Kahl

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