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Community Projects and Teaching

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TEACHING Experience

 

 

Making dance accessible and inclusive is one of the most important aims I have when preparing classes or workshops. Moreover, working with local communities and with non--professional dancers throughout my career has been very rewarding. I regularly teach many classes for 30-50 participants each week and I often deliver workshops for non-professional dancers for all ages.

Currently I am teaching on the Actor's Body Module at Coventry University, Performing Arts and Media.

 

Class description: 

 

The primary focus of the class is to foster and develop a strong sense of self-care through the exploration of touch, all without necessitating physical interaction with others. Throughout the class, participants will be encouraged to engage with touch in a unique way – bringing their hands together while carefully considering factors such as chosen points of contact and pressure points. This deliberate practice is designed to establish a deeper and more meaningful connection not only with their own bodies but also with their immediate environment. Additionally, the practice extends to creating connections with distant participants, making the experience both personal and communal.

 

A significant aspect of the class involves guided movement exploration. Through these guided exercises, participants will gradually develop their own distinct movements, fostering a heightened connection with their inner selves. These movements, shaped by personal exploration, serve as a foundation for being receptive to external influences and connections. As participants become more attuned to their own bodies and movements, they are better prepared to engage with practices such as contact improvisation and other forms of physical exploration.

 

Integral to this journey is the concept of explicit individual preparation and negotiation of physical contact. This concept extends into contexts like actor training, emphasising the importance of ethical responsibility when engaging in collaborative efforts. By approaching physical contact with careful consideration and communication, participants are better equipped to navigate collaborative spaces with sensitivity and respect.

 

Moreover, the class places a significant emphasis on cultivating active full-body 'listening' and expressive skills. Participants will learn how to interpret and respond to the nonverbal cues of their own bodies, as well as those of others. This not only enhances their understanding of themselves but also strengthens their ability to communicate effectively and empathetically with fellow collaborators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additionally, I have been involved in the delivery of many community dance projects both locally and in Germany, working with the children, disabled,- or elderly people.

I have a DBS check, a chaperone license and I have done two safeguarding courses online.

Schools, Higher Educations and Companies I have previously worked for:

St.Anna Gymnasium, Germany

Arianna Wills Dance

Angelina Jandolo Dance

Babyballet Co.

James Dixon primary School

Dramarama Dance School

Chisenhale Dance Space

Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance

Coventry University

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Background:

 

In 2011, I had a remarkable opportunity that would forever alter the course of my life. It took place in Munich, Germany, where I became a part of a transformative dance project. Collaborating with the Bavarian State Ballet and my high school, St. Anna Gymnasium, we embarked on a five-week dance initiative that diverged from the usual routine of academic studies.

During this project, both boys and girls eagerly immersed themselves in daily dance classes led by seasoned professionals. Our collective goal was to craft a contemporary dance performance as a unified ensemble. This experience proved to be profoundly transformative for all participants, underscoring the profound impact that dance can have on people's lives.

As we danced together, gender distinctions faded into the background, and we embraced the opportunity to build self-confidence, forge new friendships, and hone essential coordination skills. This project served as a testament to the unifying power of dance, breaking down barriers and fostering a sense of togetherness that continues to resonate with me to this day.

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This project played a pivotal role in shaping my decision to pursue a career in dance in the UK, where I have since dedicated my life to performance and teaching. The profound impact of my own transformative experience drove me to provide similar opportunities to the younger generation through classes, workshops, and community projects.

As a dance educator, I embarked on a journey working with various companies in London, including Baby Ballet Co., Dramarama Dance, Chisenhale Dance Space, Trinity Laban, and Arianna Wills Dance, as well as numerous Afternoon School Clubs. My teaching repertoire encompassed a wide range of dance styles, from creative dance and ballet to contemporary dance, hip-hop, and jazz dance, catering to diverse age groups spanning from 3 to 18 years old. I often prepared students for examinations and end-of-year performances, ensuring their growth and development as dancers.

In 2013, I returned to my hometown of Munich to participate in the "St. Anna tanzt" project as an assistant tutor and teacher for the current students. Here, I played a vital role in delivering classes, coordinating performance plans, and offering guidance and support to students whenever needed. This experience further strengthened my ability to successfully execute community dance projects while allowing me to give back to my local community.

Subsequently, I frequently conducted workshops in both Berlin and London, targeting professional and non-professional dancers. These workshops focused on inclusive dance practices, emphasizing the importance of fostering a sense of togetherness and community within the dance realm.

In 2018, I undertook the creative endeavor of producing a Screendance Film centered around the themes of memories and aging. To bring this vision to life, I collaborated with an elderly dancer and two professional dancers. Together, we crafted a choreographic score and developed the choreography. This intergenerational collaboration proved to be an incredibly rewarding experience, as both the young and old participants learned from one another and grew as a cohesive team, highlighting the unifying power of dance across different age groups.

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Recently, I had the privilege of joining a community project led by choreographer Ania Straczynska at the Crystal Palace library hub. In this endeavor, we collaborated with individuals from the local communities to create a dance film that explored their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants engaged in regular classes where they learned a concise choreography, which they later performed in front of a camera. Additionally, their personal stories were captured in advance, forming an integral part of the film's sound score.

The participants consistently expressed how profoundly isolated they felt during the lockdown period. Reuniting with others in a shared space after such a lengthy period of solitude was an immensely rewarding and cherished experience for them.

Being a part of this project was truly an honor, as it provided a platform for individuals to come together and share their unique pandemic experiences, ultimately discovering commonalities that bound them together in a powerful way.

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In the Field, Community Project

 

In August 2023 I lead a community dance project together with the performing arts group WAA and artist Deborah Di Meglio in Kiel, Germany.

During 5 days we collaborated on creating a performance inside Deborah's own art exhibition space. 

Deborah welcomed me into their creative process to incorporate my expertise as a choreographer and dancer. Our joint objective was to craft an engaging, interactive performance that would actively involve the audience.

Throughout our rehearsals, I contributed various movement tasks, drawing upon concepts and practices from my PhD research and previous artistic endeavors.

Together, we embarked on an exploration of diverse methods for conveying touch, both across distances and through imaginative means. Our collaborative efforts sought to establish a conceptual "field" devoid of physical objects, symbolising the notions of community and connectivity.

To achieve this, we seamlessly integrated sound, movement, and visual art, thereby constructing a shared space that fostered a sense of collective identity and unity among participants.

Concept and Choreography: Deborah Di Meglio and Greta Gauhe
In collaboration with Kiel CREARtiv and the Womens Art Action (WAA) Group

Performer:
Deborah Di Meglio, Greta Gauhe, Evi Havertz, Anna Lubinus, Meike Nagel van Goaven, Tuire Spielvogel, Kati Luzie Stüdemann,

"Das Feld ist nicht immer, nicht überall und es ist unsichtbar."


Zu einem bestimmten Zeitpunkt, an einem bestimmten Ort kann es sich aber für alle öffnen.

Dieses Happening wird dich auf eine Reise in das Feld einladen. Wir werden entdecken, was wir benötigen, um das Feld zu kreieren und zu betreten.

“They gathered with the intention of using loves energy to move the Mountain.”

Community prject deborah
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