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April 12, 2021 4:00–5:30 pm
Online
Special Topics

Mindfulness: Tai Chi, Photography and The Present Moment

Partnership with DukeCreate & DuWell

Taught by Phyllis B. Dooney & Dan Partridge

About the Workshop

Photography and mindfulness have a deep and enduring relationship. In photography, we are asked to be fully present, to call upon all of the senses and to respond with a single image. In Taijiquan (Tai Chi) we engage with several invigorating practices to relax, listen, and improve our awareness of self and surroundings. This 1.5 hour long workshop brings both Tai Chi and photography together and teaches us how to enrich our ability to surrender to, be fully awake in, and to capture the essence of the moment. We begin with Chi Gong exercises to bring us closer to defining ourselves and relaxing into stillness, from which we can listen, look, and act with increased precision and clarity. We take our cameras, with a new awareness, into our environment and culminate with a group share and discussion.

About the Instructor

Phyllis B. Dooney is a social documentary visual storyteller and educator. Phyllis was honored in 2019 as one of Photo District News (PDN’s) “30 New and Emerging Photographers.” In recognition of her ongoing project, “The Vertigo of Time,” she was a 1492/1619 American Aftermaths Grant 2021 finalist. Phyllis has an MFA from Duke University’s Experimental & Documentary Arts. Her work has appeared in Lightfield Festival, Click! Photography Festival, The Nasher Museum of Art, The New York Times Magazine, American Photo, The Atlantic, ESPN, The Washington Post, Bloomberg Businessweek, Prison Photography, The Oxford American and elsewhere. She attended Eddie Adams XXVII and was awarded first place for The Center’s Editor’s Choice Prize in 2015. She was a Screen Projects mentee, highlighted in the 4th annual New York Times portfolio review and a runner-up in British Journal of Photography’sBreakthrough Awards 2017. Her first photography book, published by Kehrer Verlag in 2017, “Gravity Is Stronger Here,” was awarded honorable mention by The Center for Documentary Studies’ Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize. Of her work, Phyllis says — I photograph family; because family tells secrets about the country.


Dan Partridge is a teacher at the Magic Tortoise Taijiquan School. He began his ongoing study of qigong and taijiquan at The Magic Tortoise Taijiquan School with Dr. Jay Dunbar in 2004. Since then he also studied for several years with Kathleen Cusick (Magic Tortoise), and Almanzo “LaoMa” Lamoureux (Black Bamboo Pavilion). Additionally, he has taken workshops that include study with Dr. John Painter, Wang Hai Jun, Rose Oliver, Dan Pasek, and Lisa B. O’Shea, among others. Dan practices Chen and Wu/Hao styles of taijiquan, the traditional 88-movement Yang “san shou” set, Magic Tortoise 3 Powers Taiji Heavy Ball, and other interactive related practices. His qigong studies include 18 Luohan Qigong, Animal Frolics, and Rising Lotus medical qigong. He currently teaches in Durham and works as the Production Director at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, a program of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

About the Location

This workshop will meet online via Zoom. See link at top of page.

About DukeCreate

DukeCreate is a series of free, hands-on arts workshops designed to help Duke students, staff, and faculty develop a variety of creative skills. Workshops are open to all skill levels and backgrounds. Most take place in the Duke Arts Annex or the Rubenstein Arts Center and are typically held weeknights 6-8pm.

Workshops are free to all Duke students and staff, with priority given to students. Class size is limited. Students must sign up in advance. Online enrollment for Duke staff opens on the day of the workshop. Staff can also show up 10 minutes prior to a workshop in case a slot becomes available. Walk-ins will only be accommodated on a space-available basis.

DukeCreate is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts (DukeArts) and University Center Activities and Events (UCAE).