General Overview


The workshop CHIMPANZEE was developed after spending 2 months volunteering in a primate sanctuary in Cameroon in 2014.
CHIMPANZEE aims to question a perceived separation between humans and other animals, using movement, somatic and explorative practices. When we study another species’ deep-rooted ability to live with embodied integrity, we are given glimpses into who they are. And when we move in ways that reveal our common characteristics, we are reminded of our inherent kinship, manifesting a kind of active empathy in which we can come into authentic relationship with them.

CHIMPANZEE is a physical and reflective workshop open for all levels of movement experience, and anyone interested in movement, chimpanzee behaviour and trans-species study.

Workshop facilitator Thomas Goodwin is a contemporary dance artist working in the fields of somatic movement training, performance and community dance. He started an internship at The Kerulos Center in 2012, studying trans-species psychology and volunteering in animal sanctuaries.

What’s in the workshop:

  • Warming-up and preparing to move
  • Rediscovering ancestral abilities of hanging and brachiating
  • Observation exercises
  • Improvisation tasks, games and states of play
  • Accessing new patterns in our own movement
  • Exploring empathy and personal action in response to cross species connections
  • Time for reflection, writing and group discussion
  • Applying trans-species ethics in practice through being with other animals
  • Post-workshop follow up session

What previous workshop participants’ said:

“…a touching experience to rediscover a kind of presence and expression through dissolving the layers of our social conditioning”

“… new ways to approach kinship, respect and understanding…”


This workshop was developed under the mentorship of The Kerulos Center ( and with the support of Independent Dance ( after working with a group of young orphaned chimps for two months in Cameroon at Ape Action Africa’s primate sanctuary (


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