TEACHING

What fascinates me the most is the motivation behind movement and the subtle balance between form, emotion and intention.

In my workshops I try to explore dance not as a replication of sequences, an imitation of predefined aesthetic forms, but as the awakening of our body consciousness and, above all, as an intense creative experience.

My pedagogical work is inspired by the principles of Rudolf von Laban, whose teachings I was privileged to study at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen with great masters such as Hans Züllig and Jean Cebron and which I was able to research intensively during my twenty years of work with Pina Bausch and the Wuppertal Tanztheater.

Initially, I taught mainly to professional dancers, collaborating extensively with institutions such as the National Academy of Dance in Rome and the Conservatoire National Superieur de Paris. Subsequently, I decided to broaden my scope and I started conducting creative workshops open to all those interested in movement, including children, teenagers and elderly people.

In this regard a fundamental formative influence was offered by meeting Doctor Laura Bertelé in 1995. In the dance workshops that I conducted from 1996 to 2010 within her intensive week program, I had the opportunity to work with adolescents suffering from scoliosis and other physical and mental disabilities. This experience allowed me to discover the extraordinary therapeutic potential of movement and dance and above all it inspired me to deepen my understanding of the fundamental relationship between emotion and movement.

2024

17 JUNE–6 JULY 2024
Werk Labor PB Foundation
Essen (DE) Gymnasium Werden

Technique and movement research

My life-long training in ballet has imprinted on my body the daily ritual of the “barre”. And what a surprise, arriving in Germany at the Essen School, to discover that also the teaching of masters Jean Cebron and Hans Züllig often began with a warm-up at the barre! Of course with them, as well as with Carlos Orta and his Limon technique, the barre workout included curves, contractions, spirals and suspensions, but it was still a “barre”. This approach that can be defined “traditional” has certainly influenced my first steps as a teacher. The result: a very constructed and coherent lesson, with barre, center, diagonals and a final sequence.

Over the years, however, I felt a growing desire to find freedom from form and conquest of space, as my teaching method became increasingly anarchic and deliberately, resolutely spontaneous. I understood that for me dance inexorably tied with a sense of joy and therefore, especially in my technique classes, I always try to alternate the moments in which the fundamental principles of movement are worked with extreme precision, such as weight, rhythm, energy, opposition, off-balance, to moments of pure and unadulterated fun.

Dance theatre laboratories

To free the expressive imagination that resides in each of us and to be able to keep alive that moment of truth that arises spontaneously in creative work, it is necessary to develop a profound sense of awareness. This is why the workshops are based on structured improvisations and on progressive work with a keen eye to detail. Rhythm, precision, intensity, stage presence, all are elements aimed at authentic and honest choreographic or theatrical writing.

Starting from themes, questions and targeted suggestions, through memories, anecdotes, short improvised and non-improvised texts, participants are encouraged to explore the infinite expressive possibilities of their own body and voice.

The idea is to create a space that is protected and free from judgment, where everyone can connect to their expressive abilities, to enhance them but also understand their limits and be able to freely decide how and when to overcome them.

Each group is different: while following my enquiry, they each develop a specific dynamic linked to the collective process, and this in turn helps the participants in their individual journey. Comic and poetic situations follow one another in a sequence of action and reaction, and workshop participants are constantly presented with new opportunities to manifest their imagination through gesture and dance.

Workshops for actors

Since 2011, thanks to my long collaboration with Il Funaro in Pistoia, of which I am an associated artist, I have been able to experiment a new formula of professional workshops for actors and dancers. This format proved very successful as the different backgrounds of the two groups of participants forced me to develop new and experimental approaches, by enhancing precision work on gesture, voice, text, and theatrical improvisation. I have often conducted this format in collaboration with Kenji Takagi, also a former dancer of the Wuppertal Tanztheater and teacher of international fame.

Encouraged by my experience with the actors at Funaro, I accepted in 2015 an invitation from the Silvio d’Amico Academy of Dramatic Art in Rome to hold a seminar for the school’s student actors and directors.

From there, a collaboration was born that led me in 2018 to lead a month-long intensive dance theatre workshop culminating in a performance with 16 actors presented in the frame of the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto – Italy.

Recently, the Italian director Federico Tiezzi, following a workshop I held in the fall of 2020 in Pistoia with the young actors of the Laboratorio della Toscana, launched the idea of a collaboration, inviting me to create the choreographic score for the actors of his company within his show Il Purgatorio. La notte lava la mente (Il Purgatorio. The night washes the mind ) from a text by Mario Luzi.