Contemporary dance workshops


Sławek Bendrat Germany / Italy
Sławek Bendrat – dancer, choreographer, director. He studied ballet pedagogy at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. He is also a graduate of the Secondary Ballet School in Poznań. For many years he cooperated with the Ewa Wycichowska’s Polish Dance Theatre in Poznań, where he took part in numerous premieres in Poland and all over the world. In Switzerland, he also cooperated with Klein Theatre in Luzern and SIWC (Schweizerisches Internationaler Weiterbildungskurs in Choreographie in Zurich) in Zurich. For the next two years he worked at the National Ballet in Marseille (Ballet National de Marseille) directed by Frederic Flamand, where apart from the roles of its ongoing repertoire he created his own choreography Le Manque, and he worked with such artists as: Nacho Duato, Yasu Endo, Lucinda Childs.
In summer 2008, he produced a movie ID together with Dominik Krawiecki. In 2010, he was awarded for the solo Pinku chirashi in the Baltic Movement Contest for solo choreography being a part of the 1st Gdańsk Dance Festival. In the next year, in Bern he founded Pink Mama Theatre group composed of: Sławek Bendrat, Dominik Krawiecki, Simon Reimold, Angelika Rohrer. The group’s performances are interdisciplinary; it treats dance, singing, text as equal. Currently Pink Mama Theatre is  as Associated  Artist in Dampfzentrale Bern. In Switzerland, he works also as a dance teacher and as a dancer he cooperates with Bernballet.

The  contemporary dance class, which leads Slawek Bendrat   is based on many years of experience  gained while working in many European Dance  Companies  and on five-year teaching career in Switzerland . Training includes  “floor work” and “release technique “, and other exercises, which both empowers efficiency of a  dancer. The main attention  in his  class  is on   fluidity and technical mastery of the choreographic material. A significant part of the lesson is  rehearsal of  dancing  phrase , in which are analyzed  the details and interpretation of each movement.  Choreographic material   often consists a  lot of  small gestures that enable a dancer mining emotion in the movement .

Natalia Iwaniec / Poland

Natalia Iwaniec was born in Poland and is now a freelance dancer and teacher based in Poland. She finished her Master’s in Theater in Cracov and completed her degree in dance at the Dance College in Wrocław in Poland. Her first meeting with Gaga was in 2009 during a workshop with Arkadi Zaides in Poznań (Stary Browar Nowy Taniec). After this experience she decided to research the Israeli dance scene through workshops with Yasmeen Godder(rekease),Tal Avni (Contact Improvisation and movement research), Yossi Berg and Oded Graf (contemporary dance and improvisation), Yaniv Mitzner (Contact Improvisation), and LeeSaar The Company (Gaga). Natalia became a qualified teacher of Gaga in August 2012.

GAGA is a language of moving technique created by Ohad Naharin, artistic director and choreographer of Batsheva Danca Company in Tel Aviv (Izrael). This is a way of working with body helpful for both dancers and everyone who simply likes to move. It’s a conscious way of working through instinctive movements of the entire body structure. Thanks to this method, body is gaining a better flexibility and elasticity. Teacher is moving with students during the entire duration of the class, which allows students to be inspired by the way the teacher moves. Currently, GAGA is one of the most influental working method in Israel. GAGA is a everyday training for dancers to futher develop their body by using it at different levels and to be more aware of it’s hidden possibilities. It’s also a good way to exercise for people who are not professional dancers but they just like physical activity and they do attend regular classes in Tel Aviv or in other places in the world where classes are taking place. GAGA is an everyday training method for dancers of the Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, Izrael. GAGA is a starting point for Ohad in creating choreographic material. This is a method which is being continually developed in works made by Ohad and all the other GAGA teachers in the world.

Aurora Lubos / Poland

Since 1997 she’s associated with dance scene in Gdańsk, she collaborated with Dance Theatre Gdańsk, The Baltic Sea Centre in Gdańsk (BSCC), Baltic Dance University, Dada von Bzdulow Theatre, Club The Lift, Club Żak, Specialist Center of Support in Rusocin.
Since 2000 she works as an actress in english based theater called Vincent Dance Theatre.
She’s the creator of several artistic presentations: solo dance productions (“Zanzibar”, “Niedokończone”, “Koń, nóż i schody”, “AKTY”, “Nie wolno” ; instalations (“Still alive”, “Cykl pokarmowy”, “Bez domu”), performances (“AKT1”, “4 Kąty”, “Akt na dwie-Ostatki”, short animations  (cycle ” Winter 2010″)

I believe that art can make a big change, that it can make people stop and think. That not the aesthetic value is the driving force for performing but the content. In my own practice as well as in workshops I put attention on providing a structure, a frame to play with ideas. I will set a space with games and tasks stimulating towards in-depth approach to the devising process. Together we will try to find a movement, sound, text or dramatic respond to given subjects. The workshop invites everyone to participate in experiment – open for creativity as well as for failure.

Irad Mezliah / Israel

Born 1975 Canada, independent dance artist, actor and choreographer Founder and partner of the Sadna Dance School at Haifa (Israel, 2000)  – a professional three-year training program for dancers and performers where he studied, years 2000-2003. He is author of stage design for his own creations as well as of scenography and stage design for director Nizan Cohen and choreographer Michael Getman. His work has been presented in various festivals, museums and art venues, spanning from stage work to sight-specific pieces, with an interest towards performance art and visual arts.Irad is the scholarship beneficiary of America-Israel Cultural Foundation as a choreographer and dancer in years 2003 – 2005. In 2010, he has received a study scholarship from Adam Mickiewicz Institute.Following his initial meeting with the polish dance society and from personal reasons Irad has moved to Warszaw poland and has been creating for dance groups in cities Torun (JAK ROBI kON, 30 min) Bydgoszcz (high expectations, 7 min) and ZAWIROWANIA dance company, Warszawa (Navigation song BD 303), performing with komuna warszawa and resident actor and collaborator with Teatr Cinema. Irad teaches composition and performance, a rehab pilatis instructor former youth and nature guide.In 2011- 2012, he was invited to be the Artistic Director of The Intimadance Dance Festival held annually at Tmuna Theatre in Tel- Aviv.

The workshop would include Pilates and contemporary based warm upTo this warm up all levels can attend.The topic to be explored in the workshop would be the creation of short etudes of order in a disordered but functional body.Through tools of the choreographic trade we will attempt to create small dances determined by questions arising from  the initial process of movement.Or in other words we will create and dance.

Aoife McAtamney / Ireland

Aoife McAtamney graduated from D.A.N.C.E Across Europe program in 2009,directed by William Forsythe, Wayne McGregor, Frédéric Flamand andAngelin Preljocaj. Aoife has worked with Sara Rudner (NYC), Regina vanBerkle (GER), Anneke Hansen (NYC), Emma Martin (IRE) and T.R.A.S.H(NL). Aoife was an Associate Artist of DanceIreland for 2012, Modul DanceCarte Blanche Artist for 2012/13 and a co-founder of DISH Dancewww.dishdance.com. She is an Aerowaves artist for 2014. Her choreographyincludes, Sweetheart that’s the interesting part… (Pavillon Noir, Aix-en-Provence), The Spinner (TURNAROUND Festival Dublin), EMPTYECHO/softer swells (Dublin Dance Festival, Dublin Fringe Festival and theOperaestate Festival Veneto, The Place), What’s The Matter? (Dublin FringeFestival, Firkin Crane) and EGG CHARADE with collaborator Nina Vallon(Dublin Dance Festival, Rough Cuts Festival Frankfurt)

The aim of the workshop is to cultivate together, a deep sensitivity and responsiveness to dancing. We attempt this through breathe, release and flow work. Physically we practice speed and articulation, with an exploration of understanding the connections between our internal space and our physical extremities. All that we encounter during the workshop are qualities and technicalities that each attendee can carry forward and self explore.

Anton Ovchinnikov / Ukraine

Born in 1971 in Kiev. Graduated from high school in 1988, then served in the Soviet Army. From 1994 to 1999 he worked in a professional dance company “Hollywood Ballet” (Kiev)He started to study jazz dance (Anna Braslavskaya (Moscow)) and Contemporary Dance (Miguel Gutierrez (USA)) at the International Festival Workshop TSEH (Moscow) in 1995. Since then every year visited many major educational dance projects all over the Europe. In 2003, he graduated from Kiev State University of Culture and Arts (DIRECTOR&Choreographer). In 2005, he founded the dance company Black O!Range Dance Theatre. Theatre takes part in all the major dance festivals in Ukraine, as well as major festivals in Russia and Belarus. In 2009 he graduated Kiev National University of Culture and Arts a MA degree in contemporary dance. Since 2009 teach contemporary dance and composition in Kiev State University of Culture and Arts. In 2010 he established the Zelyonka Fest Contemporary Dance Festival in Kiev. Since there – artistic director of the festival. In 2013 together with Anton Safonov started new company: M.O.S.T dance project. Dancer, teacher, choreographer, director, photographer.

For now at my contemporary dance classes we work in four directions:
– co-ordination of breathing and movement. We begin to be engaged in these exercises from the most initial level of dancers and some of exercises continue to do with the professionals of highest level. Partly because it is simply and does not require large space in a studio, but yet and by reason of that understanding of the correct deep breathing with involving of the core is a key moment in most eastern techniques of self-regulation and self-perfection. For this reason we can not go round these exercises a side. Using the offered system of exercises, we study rationally to use energy afoot and moving in space.
– moving in space. Beginning our researches from the simplest principles of the correct shifting of weight from one leg to another and finding of balance, in the process of lesson we pass to more difficult types of moving, always saving the attention on a transition and shifting of weight. In our exercises we with identical attention exploring both shifting the weight from one leg to another and from feet to the hands or from hands to the feet et cetera with all possible footholds on our body. We aim to lead the speed, accuracy and safety of moving in different levels to the maximum, each time trying to control rebalancing and going out of balance.- interaction with a partner
–  spreading the balance, energy and speed. We start practicing exercises with a partner only with the dancers which already well acquainted with a concept of «weight» and his shifting in space. Base exercises in a pair give us understanding  how to use hands for interaction and spreading the balance of weight, when a centre of gravity is between partners. All exercises which we do are carried out in moving through the space and require physical endurance, attention and skills.
– I`m in Space and Space in Me. This part of lesson is about development of feeling of space and ability to feel ourselves as a part of this space. Greater part of exercises is directed on development of peripheral attention and to ability to see partners around. We study to feel space with eyes, ears and skin.

Elvira Zuñiga Germany / Italy

From 1997 to 2001, she studied dance at the National University of Heredia (Costa Rica), where she obtained a diploma as contemporary dancer.From 2003 to 2007 she studied at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany, directed by Pina Bausch, where she received a bachelor’s Solo Tänzerin.From 2008 to 2013, she’s member of the company Tanztheater Bielefeld at the Stadttheater Bielefeld, directed by Gregor Zöllig. She has worked with several internationally renowned choreographers such as: André Gingras, Simone Sandroni, Guilherme Botelho, Rainer Behr, Reinhild Hoffmann. From 2008 to 2013, Elvira Zuñiga Porras creates, as a choreographer, several community works, with the collaboration and support of the Stadttheater Bielefeld. From 2013 she began working as dancer of the company Déjà Donné.

The class will start with a warming up on the floor using principles of release technique developing to the standing position.We will treat spirals, directions in the space and will also focus on the importance of directions.Traveling in the space, partnering, the quality of the movements, will be also topics we will deal during the class.