Premiers pas en Grèce

Samedi 21 avril 2018

Σχολή Χορού Ιρένα Αναστασία Μπρέκου, 21/04/2018

ça y est ! J’ai mis les pieds en Grèce pour la première fois ! Et pour la première fois, j’ai donné cours de danse à l’étranger. Je ne vous cache pas que j’avais quelques appréhensions. Avais-je prévu trop d’activités pour l’heure vingt que j’allais devoir animer ? Avais-je bien anticipé le niveau et les attentes des élèves ?

En arrivant à l’école de danse d’Irena Anastasia Bregu (Σχολή Χορού Ιρένα Αναστασία Μπρέκου), j’ai tout de suite senti que la barre serait placée haut. A l’étage du bâtiment que vous voyez à droite, les jeunes danseuses de l’école répétaient leurs chorégraphies et semblaient fin prêtes pour la compétition du lendemain*. Non seulement leur synchronisation et leur technique étaient irréprochables, mais en plus elles affichaient le sourire et l’attitude de vraies professionnelles ! Impressionnant.

De midi et demi à 14h, j’ai observé l’atelier d’improvisation donné par mon amie et collègue Sofia, avec l’aide et la traduction de notre hôte Ioanna. Tout comme Sofia, Ioanna complète actuellement un Master en Chorégraphie au conservatoire Laban. Elle a grandi et étudié la danse en Macédoine grecque avant de venir à Londres. C’est donc grâce à elle que nous avons été accueillies dans la région d’origine d’Alexandre le Grand.

De 14h10 à 15h30, c’est moi qui ai mené la danse, enchainant échauffement technique au sol, répertoire de ma pièce “Swapping Shadows” et exploration par deux des relations possibles entre une danseuse sur ses pieds, à la verticale, et sa partenaire au sol, comme son ombre, à l’horizontale. En partant de ce concept tiré de la pièce, les élèves ont créé leurs propres duos, observé et apprécié des tas de mouvements de leur création, joliment synchronisés et dédoublés, l’un en haut, l’autre en bas. Pour conclure la session, elles nous ont laissé quelques mots enthousiastes en anglais et en grec.

I really liked working on the floor and being able to release and use my body this way. It was a new and different experience. The teachers were very kind and I loved both of the classes!

écrivit l’une d’entre elles.

We would like to do it again !!!

Conclut une autre. Moi aussi, et si l’occasion se présente, je retournerai volontiers en Grèce pour donner (ou prendre) d’autres cours et ateliers du genre.

Était-ce la brise qui m’avait portée jusque là, le soleil qui m’avait réchauffée dès mon arrivée ou la saveur des fruits de ma petite expérience d’enseignante que je commençais à récolter ? Tout s’était remarquablement bien passé, j’étais bien transpirante, et tellement contente, reconnaissante et fière d’être là, d’avoir pu partager ma passion et mon savoir-faire-en-devenir avec des adolescentes aussi attentives et réceptives. Suite au prochain numéro !


*Si je trouve le temps de la rédiger, un article ultérieur vous en dira plus sur la compétition en question, Salonika Open 2018 !

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Latest news from DanceWest

Tuesday 20th March 2018

Co-teaching dance sessions at the Embassy of Ireland on behalf of DanceWest, 15/03/2018

Spring is back, and I have been working for DanceWest for an entire year now! It has been a busy one, packed with teaching and learning opportunities, sprinkled with informal performances and theatre trips.

With DanceWest, I have taught and assisted sessions in schools, public libraries, studios, and even at an embassy, with participants from all ages and levels of experience (from mothers and toddlers to DanceWest’s Youth Dance Company).

This spring, I’m proud to support Ignition Dance Festival 2018:

Produced by Hammersmith-based DanceWest, Ignition Dance Festival showcases a vibrant programme from visionary choreographers who have danced for some of the biggest companies in the world. The festival, launching 16 May, will be in the Lyric Hammersmith’s main house and features a special line up of performances to celebrate Ignition’s fifth birthday. DanceWest have commissioned five previous recipients of the festival’s prestigious choreographic bursaries to present work.

The retrospective programme will include works by international artists Salah El Brogy (Akram Khan Company, Protein), Dane Hurst (Rambert Dance, Company Wayne McGregor) Thick & Tight (Tanztheatre Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Gary Clarke Company) Sally Marie (New Adventures, Royal Opera House) Tim Casson (Jasmin Vardimon, Sadlers Wells). The evening will also include announcements and presentation of Ignitions 2018 choreographic commissions recipients who will create new choreography for the Rose Theatre Kingston in June.

Ignition supports community dancers, emerging artists and mid-career choreographers to create new choreography, produced by cutting-edge dance organisation – DanceWest. Chief Executive of DanceWest and Founder of the festival Rosie Whitney – Fish said: ‘From humble beginnings the festival provides thousands of opportunities for dancers and choreographers at every stage of their career. A huge thank you to Arts Council England, London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and Royal Borough of Kingston for their support’ ‘Ignition is unlike any other festival and is certainly not to be missed,’ added Rosie, who has recently been recognised for her contribution to arts and culture by Hammersmith and Fulham’s Civic Honours.

The festival continues with events throughout the summer including the popular, accessible and family-friendly – Community Dance Platforms for non-professional dancers aged 6-86, giving an opportunity for everyone to present their work in a slick, short programme on stage at the Rose Theatre Kingston and Lyric Hammersmith.

More info on the DanceWest website and on the event’s Facebook page.

As you can imagine, there is a lot of work to do behind the scenes to make this event happen. Rosie is already on it, and I joined her in the office this morning. More soon!

The Place where it all begins (again)

2018-01-06 The Place IMG_5281_1024Saturday 6th January 2018

I went back to The Place this morning, and got there at 9:00am (earlier than I normally do!) ready for a new year of dancing, teaching and performing.

This term, I continue teaching my lovely little First Moves (children aged 5-7) and New Moves (aged 8-9). I was delighted to see them again and meet a few new faces. Amongst these was my new teaching assistant, Theia, who studies at LCDS. She was wonderfully supportive and took good initiatives in both of my classes. I noticed that she immeditaly established great contact with the children, which was a joy to observe. The accompanist who joined us for New Moves did a great job too.

By the way, there will be more on music and musicians in my next posts!

If you follow me through this blog, you probably know how much I love to work, take classes and meet people at The Place. Of course, there are many personal and historical reasons for this.

Dance history is something I would love to research further, teach and write about, actually. This morning, my New Movers were so eager to find out more about Martha Graham, and how and when dance positions had been codified in classical and modern dance techniques… Did you know that The Place was founded 50 years ago? And do you know what connects The Place to Graham herself? More to come on this blog throughout the year!

2018-01-06 The Place IMG_5269_1024Architecturally, there is also something quite unique about The Place. No wonder that calling it ‘The Place’ seems to be enough – as if there was only one place (for dance) in the world. Even though one side of the building looks like a perfectly normal dance school (with lots of studios, bright light coming through the windows, and attractive stretching zones), a walk down the mysterious corridors of the lower ground floor and across the cafe leads directly into the theatre! And there I was. Facing a massive poster announcing ‘Resolution – The festival for new dance’. Next to it, I felt small, but determined. Small, but proud to be a small part of it. And ready, so ready for it!

The opening night of Resolution 2018 is near, and tickets are selling fast. I hope you have you booked yours. My collaborators and I will be back at the theatre on Monday, so watch this space for more posts on #swappingshadows and #Res18!


Prochain article en français, bien sûr. L’alternance continue en 2018. A bientôt !

Learning about dance teaching

For me, learning about dance teaching is like dance training itself: it’s a lifelong process.

Monday 6th November 2017

It’s been more than 2 months since I submitted the work plan and essays I had to write for the first unit of my Diploma in Dance Teaching and Learning. I’m still waiting for my marks. Still far from graduating as a dance teacher… And yet I already call myself one. Lately, I have been getting more efficient at lesson planning, more confident in meeting new colleagues, participants and teaching assistants, but sometimes also more firm and strict than I ever thought I would be. Teaching in primary schools isn’t just fun: it is also very, very challenging.

The next course days I will attend are scheduled in the spring 2018. So I try to keep reading, reflecting on my practice and accumulating as much practical experience as I can until then. I currently teach 5 dance classes a week, and I’m involved in 8 more sessions as a teaching assistant. This means interacting with children in primary school age and teenagers as well as toddlers and their carers. Social skills and behaviour management are equally important as dance knowledge, it seems.

Meanwhile, I’m busy with the creation of ‘Swapping Shadows’, which is very exciting! You will read all about it in future posts. Just watch this space for updates.

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La vidéo ci-dessus vous permet d’en savoir plus sur la formation en Enseignement et Apprentissage de la Danse que je suis pour le moment au conservatoire Trinity Laban. Malheureusement, elle n’est ni traduite, ni sous-titrée ! N’hésitez pas à m’envoyer vos questions si la formation vous intrigue, vous intéresse, ou si vous voulez en savoir plus sur mon parcours de prof de danse en devenir. Promis, mon prochain article sera en français 🙂

Back to work

Friday 25th August 2017

Here I am, back in London, and back to business! This week,

  • I took professional dance classes with Amy Bell – which proved to be a great way of getting back into shape!
  • I turned into a bookworm, spending hours and hours at the Wellcome library each afternoon. Hard work was worth it: I met my goal for the week and finished all assignments required for Unit 1 of my Diploma in Dance Teaching and Learning!
  • I taught a couple of outdoor taster dance sessions for DanceWest. How nice to share my energy and teach in a park, for a change!

    Normand Park, London, 22/08/2017

    A summer location for creative dance sessions – Normand Park, London, 22/08/2017

It’s Friday night and I’m slightly sore, but very happy to have completed my academic work for the year.

Now it’s time enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend. I can already hear bands rehearsing for the Notting Hill Carnival … Exciting!

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Vendredi 25 août 2017

Me revoilà à Londres, et me revoilà au travail ! Cette semaine,

  • j’ai pris des cours de danse professionnels avec Amy Bell – ce qui s’est révélé être un excellent moyen de me remettre en forme !
  • je me suis transformée en petit rat … de bibliothèque (et non de l’opéra ! Dommage que ce parallèle soit impossible à faire en anglais) en passant des heures et des heures en bibliothèque chaque après-midi. Ce dur labeur en valait la peine : j’ai atteint mon objectif de la semaine et terminé tous les travaux requis pour l’Unité 1 de mon Diplôme en Enseignement et Apprentissage de la Danse !
  • j’ai donné deux sessions d’essai de danse créative (en extérieur) pour DanceWest. Quel plaisir de partager mon énergie et de donner cours dans un parc, pour changer !

On est vendredi soir et je suis légèrement courbaturée, mais bien contente d’avoir enfin achevé le travail académique que je m’étais promis de faire cette année.

Maintenant, il est temps de profiter d’un long week-end, avec lundi férié (c’est “Bank Holiday” !) J’entends déjà des groupes de musique qui répètent pour le Carnaval de Notting Hill … ça promet 😀


Leading my own Choreo Lab

Monday 19th June 2017, Siobhan Davies Dance

I’m proud to have led an hour and a half long session at Siobhan Davies Dance, as part of the Young Artists Choreography Lab! It was the 3rd of a series of 4 workshops delivered and attended by recent graduate dancers or ‘dance-curious’ people like me.

Simple & inspiring theme, knots!!

Knotting and unknotting – dance phrase by Yanaëlle Thiran

One of the seven participants said that she ‘loved learning the part of the phrase’, which you can watch above. So I’m curious to hear your thoughts, dear readers and friends: what do you think? What does this type of movement evoke for you? As another participant puts it:

How is the knot physicalised? Is it mental, is it metaphoric, is it your body knotted?

There a lots of approaches.

I really enjoy improvisation so I liked the fact that you gave us freedom to explore ideas & [that you were] flexible with your phrase

Teaching resources for my Choreography Lab at Siobhan Davies Dance, 19/06/2017

I found it very fascinating how many stimuli you receive from such a simple starting point!

Indeed, not only did we work from movement material and improvisation tasks, but also from props, text and images … with a selection of inspiring music, of course!

I loved working with the rope – a physical object to play with in so many different ways. And interesting to see how to play in the same way without the rope.

In brief?

Nice physical experiment on idea of knots. Encouraging practice, inspiring. Looking forward to see more work 🙂

And next time I get to teach this kind of workshop, we will explore

group knotting please!

A participant found the session ‘super well organised!’ Somebody else describes it as ‘very engaging, flows well’ and adds:

 need longer 🙂

Yes, I had a few more activities planned … But there’s never enough time!


Version française disponible sur demande !

Lecture du jour

The Reflexive Teaching Artist IMG_1596_1024

Monday 15th May 2017

Inspired by their own art experiences, the Teaching Artist facilitates experiences that inspire, guiding students to discover their own inspirations.

Dawson, K. and Kelin, D. A. (2014). The Reflective Teaching Artist – Collected Wisdom from the Drama/Theatre Field. Bristol: Intellect, p.6

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Inspiré(e) par ses propres expériences artistiques, l’Enseignant(e) Artiste facilite des expériences qui inspirent, guidant les étudiants à découvrir leurs propres inspirations.

Dawson, K. et Kelin, D. A. (2014). L’Enseignant Artiste Réflexif – Sagesse collectée du domaine de l’art dramatique/théâtre. Bristol: Intellect, p.6

Utiliser mes propres sources d’inspiration pour inspirer les jeunes générations. Voilà donc ce que je fais, dans l’idéal … et en pratique, ça s’applique ! Aujourd’hui, par exemple, avec les petits de 0 à 5 ans que j’assiste dans leurs tout premiers mouvements dansants, puis les enfants et ados des sessions MoveMe que j’anime dans le Nord de Londres. Tout un programme !