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I teach performance practice as a meditative discipline. I argue for a creative process that comes from a peaceful and free from neurosis state of mind. I approach art making as an ‘activity of non-aggression’ where one practices with knowing and not knowing, seeing and appreciating things as they are, exploring the hidden and the impulsive and perform from a place of responding and not doing.

My courses investigate embodied creativity  to create from a point of live experience. They encourage intensive personal exploration, connecting the bodily experience with the thinking mind, elaborating the self as a psycho-physical map and making non-linear and without a conflict narratives. Each course approach performing as a body/mind/space interrelationship having each time a different main focus (see below).

The courses could  take place in group or individual sessions.

Contemplative Dance Practice (CDP)

Contemplative Dance Practice (CDP) is an individual and group improvisation practice. It was developed by the dancer Barbara Dilley in 1970’s. As a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinproche, Dilley integrated practices of the American post-modern dance lineage with Buddhist teachings.

CDP brings together the discipline of sitting meditation with free movement investigations and the practice of improvisation. It is an opportunity to integrate outer and inner worlds, alone and together. In both stillness and movement, participants are invited to observe an inner dialogue.  Through the practice of observing without bias, things simply start opening up. Aloneness and collaboration are welcome and an attitude of both discipline and acceptance gives rise to a sense of discovery and play. This practice offers the opportunity to cultivate mindfulness, awareness, kinesthetic delight and community.

No experience is required. Just a willingness to tune in, play and be in the present moment. It requires no particular skill, training or facility in movement or dance though it benefits professional dancers as well as ordinary people. Rather it calls for curiosity, respect, honesty and some courage to face the unknown. It has applications in many fields, including health, education, religion, human relations and the arts.

Contemplative Dance Practice is part of the ‘dance.art.lab’ training, a body of movement and composition practices which exercise creative making as a mindfulness awareness meditation practice.
You can read more about Barbara Dilley and her practice here

Live Art/ Performance Laboratory

The Live Art/ Performance Lab deepens individual and group creativity while focusing on performance making and doing.It works for participants as an opportunity to dive into the exciting and frightening process of setting up a live art project. The lab explores ways of performing as a playground for self-discovery, freedom and artistic exploration. It is aimed at those seeking space to feel and follow ‘something’ from within while they unfold and set their own personal questions.

Specifically, the lab teaches a devising/ performance methodology that addresses the following questions.

How do I talk about a topic in a performative way?
How do I narrate it with my physical presence in the space?
How do the elements of body, sound, light, object, materiality and so on compose its narrative?
How do I organize them into a recurring performance for the public?

The lab draws on practices of body improvisation, moment work and performance documentary, performance art and cinema. It is open to all levels and artistic backgrounds (actors, dancers, visual artists, etc.). It is suitable for those who want to explore or even deepen their own way of performing composition. The lab is also intended for those who do not have artistic skills but wish to experiment with these directing practices.

By performance / event means any ‘live’ action in the presence of the audience, depending on which elements are superior to it can be identified as a performance of a theater, dance, art installation, community event, anything in between or all of them together.

 
Laboratory of live art and performance (4)

Site-Specific Performance Workshop: the city as a dream of presence

Walking and site-specific performance are post-modern interdisciplinary practices. They combine architecture, geography and anthropology with sculpture, performance and dance.

As a result of their hybridity, they create innovative art-making disciplines such as ethnographic and auto-ethnographic practices, the commons and community-based performance, walking and the practice of psychogeography and mytho-geography, blurring the lines between theory and practice, science and art.

These disciplines examine the cityscape as both a tangible and intangible tapestry of sensory, spiritual, cultural, historical and economical complexities questioning issues of identity, home and belonging-ness.

The Site-Specific Performance Workshop explores the city as movement, feeling, action and word. It attempts to explore the following questions:

How do I listen to a site (how do I choose a place to create a performance)?
How am I affected by it (what movements, feelings, actions and narratives are devised by the experience of the site)?
How do I respond to it (how this material is organized into a performative event).

The workshop applies movement improvisation, mindfulness, and devising practices in the city’s urban landscape.
photos credits Elli Vassalou, [OUT]TOP/AS exhibition in performance & public/ outdoor space, Athens 2016.

The city as a dream of presence an urban laboratory for the body-eye-space interconnection photo credit Elli Vassalou

– Geopoetics Workshop, Master Performing Public Space, Fontys University (Tilburg, 2019)

– Devised practices of performance: applications and dramaturgies on issues of woman’s gender, sexuality and role in the Greek family, Apparat Athen (Athens, 2019);

– Laboratory of meditation and movement Improvisation, The Art of Non-Doing, Duncan Dance Research
Center (Athens, 2018);

Laboratory of live art and performance, studio Quilombo, (Athens, 2018);

– Workshop for devising performance for middle and high school educators, Onassis Cultural Center (Athens, 2017);

– Workshop for Site-specific Performance, Graduate School of Set Design / Scenography, Aristotle University (Thessaloniki, 2017);

– Graduate Teaching Assistant; Drama Module: Theatre Practice II; Interpreting Acting, Drama Department, University of Exeter (January 2017- April 2017)

– Graduate Teaching Assistant; Drama Module: Theatrical Interpretation; Practitioners, Drama Department, University of Exeter (January 2017- April 2017)

– Performance devising workshop for high school educators, Onassis Cultural Center (Athens, 2016);

– Workshop for urban performance The City as a Dream of Presence, [OUT]TOP/AS exhibition in performance & public/ outdoor space (Athens 2016);

–  Supervisor of an Art in Practice Internship in Greece for the Royal School of Arts (KASK) & Conservatory; ‘The City as a Dream of Presence’ a Geopoetics Urban Laboratory, Benaki Museum (Athens, 2016);

– The Youth DOCs International Conference Documentary Film and Documentary Theatre; Exploring place as a bodily experience, workshop, Department of Theatre Studies, University of Peloponnese (Nafplion, 2016);

– Performance and Mindfulness Symposium; Contemplative Dance Practice, workshop (Huddersfield, 2016);

– Graduate Teaching Assistant; Drama Module: Acting and not Acting, Drama Department, University of Exeter, (September 2013 -January 2014);

– Actors Trainer; One Year Lease Theater Company’s Apprentice program (Papingo, Greece, 2013);

– Facilitator, Contemplative Dance Practice, Athens Shambhala Centre, Meditation Group (2012-2013); Workshop co-facilitator, Dance Art Lab based on the movement practices of Barbara Dilley, Quilombo studio (Athens, 2012).