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Dr. J'aime Morrison, Ph.D
Santa Monica, CA

JJ is a theatre director, choreographer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She is
a Professor of Movement at California State University, Northridge where she teaches dance, movement and somatic theory, and stages multi-disciplinary experimental productions. She holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and was a
Faculty Fulbright Scholar in Movement to Portugal. J’aime has taught Master Classes in Dance and Movement in Lisbon, Shanghai, Dublin, Belfast, London, Los Angeles and New York City.
With Mourning Surf, she turns her attention to grief and the body, specifically how grief is
expressed physically and how movement is an essential part of the grieving and healing process.
For the international organizations Hope for Widows and Camp Widow, J’aime developed a
series of expressive movement workshops offered via Zoom throughout the pandemic and she continues to build on this work by offering movement for grief workshops through Yoga Soup and PALMA Colectiva in Santa Barbara, Move Sanctuary in Ojai and Santa Monica Yoga in Santa Monica. She has facilitated grief movement on retreats with Waves of Grief and TwoCan Retreats as well as through UCLA’s Arts and Healing Initiative and Reimagine, as well as private coaching sessions. She has been interviewed for the Podcast, “Grief is a Sneaky Bitch”
and for the publication Seven Ponds. Her writing has been featured in Khôra and Sea Maven online magazines. After losing her beloved husband Jim to brain cancer in 2015, J’aime began working on a short film titled Upwell, which composes a visual intersection of body movements to translate her experience with grieving, illustrating the role of surfing and dance in her journey.
The film has been an Official Selection at numerous film festivals and won “Best Experimental Film” from The Santa Barbara International Fine Art Film Festival and the California International Shorts Film Festival. Upwell received the Audience Award from the Cannes International Short Film Festival.
Mourning Surf offers a safe space to explore the ebb and flow of grief through healing movement both in and out of the water. With the understanding that grief is a process and that the journey of mourning is not linear or finite, I engage movement as a meditation, as a mode of transformation and as a creative force for healing. I have termed what I teach in these workshops, “expressive movement,” because I am interested in what and how the body communicates, expresses and
transforms grief creatively from the inside out. As choreographer Marth Graham wrote, “The
body never lies,” and until we attend to the physical impact of grief, we cannot fully embrace and embody the future. Grief really does come in waves, and we must learn to ride them - join us as we learn to dance the waves...

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