Prodance February/March 2021

Classes continue with a range of conditioning, ballet and contemporary sessions. All classes remain free for NI-based professional performers out-of-work due to the pandemic. For those with means, a nominal charge of £25 applies to access live class and catch up recordings for the 12 week term. The programme is curated by Ryan O’Neill. Please contact should you wish to join the programme.

Tuesday 2 Feb 10am – Flying Low with Lucia Kickham

Lucia teaches a class that takes Flying Low as a base and incorporates it with other floor-oriented techniques and release work. The class builds from gentle exercises which examine the spiral patterns within the body and it develops into more energetic and expansive sequences. Being grounded, efficiency of movement and open awareness are important elements at play in this class. Each of these aspects can be explored in a very functional way while we find ourselves dancing in our home environments.

About Lucia: Lucia Kickham is a Dublin-based dance artist, who has been performing and collaborating internationally since 2011. Trained in The Netherlands, she has worked with companies and artists which include TRASH(NL), Liz Roche Company, Philip Connaughton, junk ensemble and Maria Nilsson Waller. Lucia has undertaken intensive training with David Zambrano in Flying Low & Passing Through and has a keen interest in group dynamics within improvisation, composition and teaching environments. In recent years she has been a recipient of awards from the Arts Council of Ireland, Dance Ireland and Tyrone Guthrie Centre. In 2020 she was awarded a Next Generation Award to develop her practice. Lucia was Dance Ireland HATCH Artist 2018 and is an Associate Artist with Liz Roche Company 2018/21.

Tuesday 9 Feb & 9 March 10am – Ballet with Vasiliki Stasinaki

In these ballet classes we will focus on the use of the upper body and on musicality but also on the strengthening of the core and the legs. We will use ballet technique as a base, focusing on how we can utilise the knowledge it can offer us as contemporary dancers. We will go through the traditional barre exercises and then move to the centre and we’ll work on our balances and port des bras without needing too much space. The aim is to remind ourselves of the beauty of ballet and get a full bodied workout.

About Vasiliki: Vasiliki is a dance and visual artist based in Belfast. She studied at the Greek State School of Dance, the Greek National Ballet School and at Northern School of Contemporary Dance. She has been performing with the Maiden Voyage since then and a selected artist on both their Match Make and a Resi-dance programmes 20-21.  Vasiliki has also worked with Greek National Ballet, Ludus Dance, Pair Dance, Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre, Springs Dance Company, Company Philip Connaughton and Tinderbox Theatre Company.  Vasiliki holds an MFA in Fine Art from Belfast School of Art, Ulster University.

Tuesday 16 Feb 10am and Tuesday 16 Mar 10am

Qigong and T’ai Chi with Philip Johnston

For each session Philip will introduce you to the principles of Qigong and T’ai Chi. Both are primarily about harmony, meditation and balance in our daily lives. In addition to their health and fitness benefits, T’ai Chi and Qigong are traditionally taught as self-cultivation and self-development practices. By embracing the philosophy of harmony and balance you can learn to make every aspect of life happier, healthier and more compassionate. I Philip has been practicing both forms for four decades. In the two sessions he will introduce you to both forms and open a portal for further explorations if you would like to pursue them further.

About Phillip: Philip Johnston is from Northern Ireland where he trained with Helen Lewis and danced in her company: The Belfast Modern Dance Group. His professional career began in London dancing for several companies before relocating to Norway to begin directorship of the Norwegian Modern Dance Company. He relocated to the United States where he received an MFA in Dance and  PhD in Theatre at the University of Illinois. Philip was an Associate Professor for the Dance and Theatre Departments at the University of Illinois where he taught a variety of courses for both departments. His choreographic work for dance, theatre and opera was presented in the United States at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and in Scandinavia, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Philip has been studying the life-long practice of T’ai Chi and Qigong since first introduced to both practices by Gerda (Pytt) Geddes, his teacher at the London School of Contemporary Dance. He has taught T’ai Chi and Qigong to dancers, actors, musicians and many others at the University of Illinois. Philip is also a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique and trained with Joan and Alex Murray in the United States. Philip returned to live in his native Northern Ireland in May 2020.

Tuesday 23 Feb 10amwith Ryan O’Neill

Ryan’s class will focus on his recent training in Garuda and opening the muscles and joints to create a free body with an emphasis on the macro and micro details of internal and external space we inhabit.

About Ryan: Ryan achieved a first class honours degree in Dance from the Ulster University and studied his Masters in Dance Performance at Laban as part of a professional post graduate company Transitions. Since then Ryan has worked with Maiden Voyage Dance, Off The Rails, ponydance, Tinderbox, Primecut, Oona Doherty Works (NI) Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Junk Ensemble, Pan Pan Theatre, Company Philip Connaughton, Coisceim, Liz Roche Company (IRL) Gwyn Emberton Dance (UK) and for two years with Punchdrunk for Sleep No More in Shanghai. Ryan is also a qualified Ashtanga Yoga teacher.

Tuesday 2 Mar-recorded class available at 10am

Conditioning with Evelyn Chan

This class focuses on conditioning ourselves towards mental and physical adaptability through games and challenges. Less about sweaty, more about ready.

About Evelyn: Evelyn Chen is a graduate of the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance. Selected training includes Springboard Danse Montreal, festival b12, Ferus Animi//Terra Nova, Fighting Monkey and more. Most recently, she
was a rehearsal director and performer of Punchdrunk’s immersive theater show Sleep No More NYC. In March, she will begin Ilan Lev Method practitioner training and is currently pursuing a 200hr Registered Yog Teacher certification. She is a graduate student at Fordham University’s school of Social Work.

Tuesday 23 March at 10am 

Dance Improvisation with Seke Chimutengwende

This improvisation class led by Seke Chimutengwende will look at different ways of generating material. You will be given the opportunity to make your own decisions in the moment and will be encouraged to follow your own interests within given parameters. The aim of the class is to develop a sense of authorship and to enable a greater understanding of one’s own practice

About Seke: Seke Chimutengwende is a choreographer, performer, movement director and teacher. He has performed for companies such as DV8 Physical Theatre and Lost Dog and has performed solo and group improvisations internationally since 2006. His choreographies include The Time Travel. Piece which was a semi-finalist for The Place Prize 2012 and Black Holes, made in collaboration with Alexandrina Hemsley, which was selected for The British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase in 2019. Seke is currently researching a new group choreography looking at ghosts and haunted houses as metaphors for how histories of slavery and colonialism haunt the present. Seke has also worked as a movement director for theatre productions at The Yard, Battersea Arts Centre and The Gate Theatre, and currently teaches improvisation at The Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, London Contemporary Dance School and East 15 Acting School.

Image: by Antigone Avdi from Late! Night Solos at TripSpace, London 2018.