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The Romanian choreographer and performing artist Valentina De Piante Niculae was selected by 4Culture Association, Bucharest (RO) to participate in the Ultima Vez workshop given by Laura Arís Alvarez. The
emphasis of the workshop was placed on the use of the body centre. The class was built progressively from stretching and technical parts to very physical and dynamic phrases.

The workshop was mainly based on the acquisition of technical dance skills. Built up progressively over five days, participants explored body mechanisms that allow them to reach physical extremes while protecting the
body at the same time. During the five hours session, the participants learned to use the skeleton structure and muscular chains and to find fluidity and freedom in their own movement, applying the technique of recycling energy. Slowly some theatrical inputs gave meaning to the movements and stimulated the
participants to perform the phrases instead of just reproducing them. Movement was approached through energy and clear images, and not just as a merely technical matter.

 

*****
feedback report by Valentina de Piante Niculae

Laura is an amazing artist and teacher, fatigueless and fantastically energetic professional. She organized every day in two moments: the first, a technical class preparing our bodies to understand and assimilate the main concepts of the physical work she had developed during the years working in the company. The second part aimed to introduce us to the vocabulary of the “Ultima Vez” creations. Because of the mixed level of the dancers, this one was built up progressively, from the basic notions of the contact improvisation. I felt that she was very much respecting and asking us to listen to our body without forcing it. She was explaining and applying bio-mechanical principles to motions increasing gradually the level of difficulty and the timing.

I appreciated her very much for many reasons. First of all she was giving clear instructions and directions of approach, always demonstrating through her example how does it work. The amount of information was all the time different. Then she was combining technical skills with more performatives ones, all contact improvisation being based on sensitivity, on feeling the other. By studying with her I felt enriched from both a professional and a human point of view, strong and sensitive at the same time.

 

Valentina De Piante Niculae has a BA in choreography from the University of Drama and Film „U.N.A.T.C I.L.Caragiale“ of Bucharest. From october 2010 she begun a doctorate searching an approach to the body from within, exploring the organic, emotional and imaginary part of the self. In 2009 she was invited to the „TTT-Teaching the Teachers“-event taking place in the frame of Jardin d’Europe. She works as an assistant at the U.N.A.T.C „I.L.Caragiale“, department of choreography. She gave classes at several Romanian dance centres: during the „Explore Dance Festival“, edition 2010, at the National Centre of Dance in Bucharest, at the „George Enescu“ University in Iasi, at the Babes Bolyai University and at the National Theatre in Cluj-Napoca. As a choreographer, she currently focuses on the relation between body and the unconscious image, between memory and emotion. 

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