Therme Art Program


Therme Art, in partnership with Factory International on the occasion of Manchester International Festival 2023, facilitated a school workshop led by dancer Lizzie Sells and artistic footballer Heaven Rietdijk from Tino Sehgal’s work This entry.

Sehgal’s work revolves around the human body, voice, and interaction, all guided by a set of precise instructions. Through his self-created ‘constructed situations,’ he challenges the conventional artist-viewer relationship, inviting active engagement as a fundamental aspect of his work and urging the audience to abandon their observer roles.

“The elements of This entry lend themselves really well to creative workshops for any age, but for children, they were really excited about it. I brought in the aspect of relating to each other, to teamwork, to listening to your partner, as we listen to the other participants of the work. They used their skills that are innate – their creativity as children, and their joy of moving but with this focus of control, thinking about how you’re going to create and remember sequences.” –  Lizzie Sells, This entry Dancer

Heaven Rietdijk, artistic footballer (left) and Lizzie Sells, dancer (right)

The workshop took place at a local Manchester primary school, and students were exposed to an experimental way of teaching and learning sports. By exploring physical activities inspired by football, cycling, singing, dancing, and instrument playing, participants were introduced to the rewarding properties of physical expression, somatic movement, and mind-body connected action. 

“You’ll find school groups in museums and not necessarily in cinemas for example. They learn about the importance of objects, but we have a sustainability issue. Why are we telling our kids how meaningful and important objects are? We should also be telling them what they can do with themselves.” – Tino Sehgal, This entry Artist

The workshop aimed to establish a conscious mind-to-body connection through movement in the everyday lives, creative practices, and wellbeing of participants. Lizzie Sells led the workshop and formulated an age-appropriate, dynamic experience that connects with key curriculum points. The workshop aligned with KS2 physical education curriculum goals and encouraged younger generations to embrace holistic wellness. The practices taught in the workshop were designed to be accessible to all, with a focus on highlighting the importance of musical, athletic, and creative practices for the body. 

“[The session] was really good and it helped me be more creative with football.” – Primary School Student

“It was good and exciting, I was really excited. And I built my confidence, because I did it by myself, I did the dance by myself.” – Primary School Student

This entry was co-commissioned by Factory International, Summer Academy Zollverein, Essen, and Therme Art, with the support of Therme Group. Therme Art’s presence at MIF23 exemplifies its dedication to developing projects and experiences that resonate deeply with communities, promote well-being and enrich cultural landscapes.

This initiative set the stage for the forthcoming opening of Therme Manchester, a facility featuring digital art installations, nature, and innovative technologies. By conducting workshops and implementing public art interventions like This entry, Therme Art aims to build inclusive experiences that enrich local communities and create environments that promote overall health. 

Therme Manchester will also include our commission of Jeppe Hein’s Today I Feel Like…, unveiled at Manchester International Festival 2021. This project involved close collaboration with schools in the Manchester area, leaving a lasting and positive legacy that will become an integral part of the fabric of Therme Manchester.