Inside Contemporary Dance

Amit Abend

An intimate look into the world of contemporary dance artists, from the voice of a contemporary dancer. Amit Abend sits down with dance artists from all over the globe, in various stages of their careers to discuss their dreams, their triumphs, their challenges, their art, and everything in between. By listening to the stories of those who have come before us, we can gain insight and crucial advice for our own careers as dance artists, and learn to make more intelligent decisions, while finding solace in the experiences of our fellow movers. So pull up a chair… and come join us! It’s time to open up and share what we’ve learned. read less
ArtsArts

Episodes

#10: Natalie Wagner | Professional identity in dance, speaking up, fighting for our rights, and finding power in unity
Feb 21 2023
#10: Natalie Wagner | Professional identity in dance, speaking up, fighting for our rights, and finding power in unity
For this episode of “Inside Contemporary Dance”, I sat down to chat with the wonderful  Natalie Wagner.As a dancer, Natalie worked with and for choreographers such as Jérôme Bel, Katja Grässli, Charlotta Övferholm, Adi Salant, Lior Lev, and Noa Zuk. She also danced for Zaccho Dance-Theater, was employed full-time at the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Theater in Görlitz, and was a guest at the Stadttheater Giessen, Stadttheater Biel/Solothurn and at the Zurich Opera House.This choreographer, dance teacher, and mentor has been working internationally since 2000 and she has created and directed numerous short and full-length productions. From 2006 - 2017 Natalie directed her own dance company, called the "naway company." By founding a junior company, she made it possible for young dancers to gain some initial experience and jumpstart their professional dance career. Natalie completed her master's degree in dance pedagogy at the Zurich University of the Arts  (2009-2011). She later completed her master's degree in choreography at the Palucca Hochschule für Tanz in Dresden (2018-2020). Natalie then received a two-year full-time scholarship from the state of Saxony and completed a meister’s degree focused on professional identity in dance.Natalie has trained numerous professional dancers at the University of Contemporary and Urban Dance and works regularly as a  guest artist, teaching master classes and professional dance classes at various educational institutions in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Poland.Natalie isn’t only active as a performer, choreographer, and dance teacher though. Throughout this interview, you’ll hear us talking about her activism in the dance community and the strong connection she has with Dancersconnect - a movement striving for better work practices for dance artists. In fact, Natalie was instrumental in including both the contemporary and the commercial freelance dance scenes in Germany in this movement which allowed these dancers to fight for their rights alongside their colleagues who are employed full-time in German theatres. More on this later. Currently, Natalie is the artistic director and head choreographer of the Landesbühnen Sachsen dance company.Please enjoy!Follow Natalie here:Website: https://www.nataliewagner.ch/Instagram: @nawaydance***Want to watch Natalie’s lecture on professional identity in dance?All you need to do is e-mail Natalie at: nw@nataliewagner.ch. She will then send you a link with a password, in exchange for a donation payment of your choice. Follow “Inside Contemporary Dance”:Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insidecontemporarydance/Website: https://www.insidecontemporarydance.com/If you enjoyed this podcast, please spread the love! Like, subscribe, share it with your friends - and most importantly, please leave a rating or review, on whatever platform you’re listening from. The more positive ratings this show has, the more it will get promoted, and that means more beautiful listeners!My many thanks go to:Naomi Gibson - Texts editor, general consultor & dear friendMarco Dray - Original musicDagmara Śliwińska - Podcast cover photoMoritz Wright - Podcast cover photo designThomas Bewernick -  Sound, recording, & being there every step of the wayMy dear family - Because I love youLast but not least - YOU. My dear listeners. You are the life and spirit behind the podcast. THANK YOU!
#9: Solo Episode | A new year’s special - what I didn’t share with you last year
Dec 29 2022
#9: Solo Episode | A new year’s special - what I didn’t share with you last year
Welcome to another solo episode of Inside Contemporary Dance! In these mini-episodes, I’ll be sharing some stories, tips, hacks, strategies, and lessons I have collected over the course of my professional career. Hopefully, some of these can give you an edge in your own dance journey.  In today’s new year’s special episode, I want to bring a different topic to the table, one that has been neglected and shoved aside for a long time in our dance community, which is- our health. For the first time on this podcast, I am also sharing some personal challenges I experienced with my health. As we stand on the brink of a new year, my wish is for our dance community to be more forgiving and kind when it comes to our health. but this change has to start in each and every one of us. First, we have to learn how to be more forgiving towards ourselves, and through that, find more compassion for each other’s struggles as well. Please enjoy!Follow “Inside Contemporary Dance”:Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insidecontemporarydance/Website: https://www.insidecontemporarydance.com/If you enjoyed this podcast, please spread the love! Like, subscribe, share it with your friends - and most importantly, please leave a rating or review, on whatever platform you’re listening from. The more positive ratings this show has, the more it will get promoted, and that means more beautiful listeners!My many thanks go to:Naomi Gibson - Texts editor, general consultor & dear friendMarco Dray - Original musicDagmara Śliwińska - Podcast cover photoMoritz Wright - Podcast cover photo designThomas Bewernick -  Sound, recording, & being there every step of the wayMy dear family - Because I love youLast but not least - YOU. My dear listeners. You are the life and spirit behind the podcast. THANK YOU!
#8: Solo Episode | My "get-to-do list"
Oct 24 2022
#8: Solo Episode | My "get-to-do list"
Welcome to the very first solo episode of Inside Contemporary Dance! In these mini-episodes, I’ll be sharing some stories, tips, hacks, strategies, and lessons I have collected over the course of my professional career. Hopefully, some of these can give you an edge in your own dance journey. In today’s episode, I am going to share a small “life hack” I recently discovered that could help you complete some tasks you have been postponing for a while. Tune in to hear more about my “get-to-do list” and transform your tasks from obligations to a source of abundance & gratitude. Please enjoy!Follow “Inside Contemporary Dance”:Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insidecontemporarydance/Website: https://www.insidecontemporarydance.com/If you enjoyed this podcast, please spread the love! Like, subscribe, share it with your friends - and most importantly, please leave a rating or review, on whatever platform you’re listening from. The more positive ratings this show has, the more it will get promoted, and that means more beautiful listeners!My many thanks go to:Naomi Gibson - Texts editor, general consultor & dear friendMarco Dray - Original musicDagmara Śliwińska - Podcast cover photoMoritz Wright - Podcast cover photo designThomas Bewernick -  Sound, recording, & being there every step of the wayMy dear family - Because I love youLast but not least - YOU. My dear listeners. You are the life and spirit behind the podcast. THANK YOU!
#7: Nami Miwa | Embarking on a new career path, putting yourself in the arena, pre-show rituals, and turning challenges into opportunities
Oct 3 2022
#7: Nami Miwa | Embarking on a new career path, putting yourself in the arena, pre-show rituals, and turning challenges into opportunities
For this episode of “Inside Contemporary Dance”, I sat down to chat with my dear friend Nami Miwa. Nami is from Tokyo, Japan. She graduated from Walnut Hill School For The Arts as a dance major with honors. She later attended Fordham University for their BFA program with The Ailey School in New York, NY. In 2014, she moved to Frankfurt to attend Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst under the direction of Dieter Heitkamp. Upon graduation, she worked as a freelancer and worked with Hessisches Staatsballett, Frankfurt Oper, and Oper Wiesbaden. In 2019 Nami started working for Wee Dance Company in Goerlitz, Germany. Currently, she works as a company manager and production manager based in Tokyo, Japan.Please enjoy!Follow Nami Miwa here:Instagram: @namichristymiwaFollow “Inside Contemporary Dance”:Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insidecontemporarydance/Website: https://www.insidecontemporarydance.com/If you enjoyed this podcast, please spread the love! Like, subscribe, share it with your friends - and most importantly, please leave a rating or review, on whatever platform you’re listening from. The more positive ratings this show has, the more it will get promoted, and that means more beautiful listeners!My many thanks go to:Naomi Gibson - Texts editor, general consultor & dear friendMarco Dray - Original musicDagmara Śliwińska - Podcast cover photoMoritz Wright - Podcast cover photo designThomas Bewernick -  Sound, recording, & being there every step of the wayMy dear family - Because I love youLast but not least - YOU. My dear listeners. You are the life and spirit behind the podcast. THANK YOU!
#6: EYAS Dance Project | Embracing diversity in the studio and on stage, free gender expression, constant self-experimentation, and breaking out of any norms and social constructs that may limit our intrinsic potential as artists and human beings
Jun 27 2022
#6: EYAS Dance Project | Embracing diversity in the studio and on stage, free gender expression, constant self-experimentation, and breaking out of any norms and social constructs that may limit our intrinsic potential as artists and human beings
For this episode of “Inside Contemporary Dance”, I sat down to chat with the incredibly talented, deeply inspiring, Carlos González and Seth Buckley, who founded the contemporary dance company EYAS Dance Project. Since its foundation in 2018, EYAS has presented works around the world, taken part in international dance Festivals, and received various awards from prestigious choreographic competitions. As part of the company’s manifesto, Carlos and Seth describe EYAS dance project as a queer company that supports female, femme, and LGBTQ+ creators. EYAS dance project honors and values physical differences, and transparent communication, and focuses on humanity as the basis of work. We discussed how these values are manifested in their lives, both inside the studio and out in the world. We talked about their creative processes, what it actually means to create a company, their call for reformation in dance companies and dance institutions, their vision for the future of the company (which also involved a shamanic drum ceremony … stay tuned for that…) and so much more!Book recommendation:The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor.Follow EYAS Dance Project here:Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eyasdanceproject/Website: https://www.eyasdanceproject.com/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EYASDANCEPROJECT/?ref=bookmarksFollow “Inside Contemporary Dance”:Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insidecontemporarydance/Website: https://www.insidecontemporarydance.com/If you enjoyed this podcast, please spread the love! Like, subscribe, share it with your friends - and most importantly, please leave a rating or review, on whatever platform you’re listening from. The more positive ratings this show has, the more it will get promoted, and that means more beautiful listeners!My many thanks go to:Ariel Isakowitz - Texts editor, general consultor & dear friend Carl Albrecht - Mix and soundMarco Dray - Original musicDagmara Śliwińska - Podcast cover photoMoritz Wright - Podcast cover photo designThomas Bewernick -  Sound, recording, & being there every step of the wayMy dear family - Because I love youLast but not least - YOU. My dear listeners. You are the life and spirit behind the podcast. THANK YOU!
#5: Ido Gidron | Self-love and acceptance, protecting dancers, and trusting the path as a cure to all challenges and doubts
May 9 2022
#5: Ido Gidron | Self-love and acceptance, protecting dancers, and trusting the path as a cure to all challenges and doubts
For this episode of “Inside Contemporary Dance”, I sat down to chat with Ido Gidron.Ido is an Israeli performance artist, dancer, choreographer, and certified instructor of Gaga, the movement language developed by Ohad Naharin. He was born and raised in the mountains of Jerusalem and began his dance training in high school at The Jerusalem Academy for Music and Dance (where we also met for the first time!) Ido went on to dance for Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company II and nearly a year later was accepted to the Batsheva Ensemble, where he danced for 3 seasons, performing pieces by Ohad Naharin, Sharon Eyal, and Danielle Agami. Under the platform of Batsheva Ensemble Dancers Create, Ido had the opportunity to create three different pieces, including a duet called Dualism, which won 3rd prize in the Machol Shalem Choreography Competition in Jerusalem. The Duet was later performed at the Lucky Trimmer Dance Festival in Berlin and toured Internationally. At that point, by the way, Ido had only just turned 23… I know…His professional career continued to unfold as he went on to dance for the Israeli Opera, was a guest dancer for the Norwegian National Ballet, and worked with independent choreographer Idan Sharabi. Most recently, with support from the Israeli Institute, Ido was invited to Kennesaw State University as an Artist-in-Residence. Currently, Ido dances for choreographers Sharon Vazanna, Arkadi Zaides, and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.  Please enjoy!Follow Ido to learn more about him, his classes, and future projects here:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ido.gidronInstagram Ido: @idogidronInstagram Ido Gidron Dance Projects: @idogidrondanceprojectsWebsite:https://www.idogidron.com/Follow “Inside Contemporary Dance”:Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insidecontemporarydance/Website: https://www.insidecontemporarydance.com/If you enjoyed this podcast, please spread the love! Like, subscribe, share it with your friends - and most importantly, please leave a rating or review, on whatever platform you’re listening from. The more positive ratings this show has, the more it will get promoted, and that means more beautiful listeners!My many thanks go to:Ariel Isakowitz - Texts editor, general consultor & dear friend Marco Dray - Original musicDagmara Śliwińska - Podcast cover photoMoritz Wright - Podcast cover photo designThomas Bewernick -  Sound, recording, & being there every step of the wayMy dear family - Because I love youLast but not least - YOU. My dear listeners. You are the life and spirit behind the podcast. THANK YOU!
#4: Fernando Balsera | Staying grounded in stormy times, balancing the professional and personal, the art of setting boundaries, cultivating self-compassion, neuroplasticity and emotional intelligence
Dec 13 2021
#4: Fernando Balsera | Staying grounded in stormy times, balancing the professional and personal, the art of setting boundaries, cultivating self-compassion, neuroplasticity and emotional intelligence
For this episode of “Inside Contemporary Dance”, I sat down to chat with Fernando Balsera.Originally from Madrid, Fernando completed his dance education with a Postgraduate in Contemporary Dance at The Place in London. He has worked for MotionHouse Dance Theatre in the UK and Gabriella Maiorino, Lilach Livne, and Simone Sandroni in Amsterdam and Munich. Since 2011 Fernando has lived in Berlin. He has worked for Toula Limnaios, Shangchi Sun, Wee Dance Company-Gerhart Hauptmann Theater Görlitz, Hagit Yakira Dance (London, Uk), PlanMee (Nürnberg, Germany), Ruben Reniers (Berlin, Germany), Canan Erek (Berlin, Germany), Junk Ensemble (Ireland), Meg-Stuart (Berlin, Germany), Ivo Dimchev (Berlin, Germany), Luis Lara Malvacías and Jeremy Nelson (Berlin, Germany) among others. Fernando is currently working as a performer for Sasha Waltz and Guests and SZENE 2WEI.Fernando’s expertise reaches far beyond the realm of dance. He has a Masters in Business Administration, is a Sports Massage Therapist, as well as a certified teacher in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and the Search Inside Yourself program. So as you can guess, we had so much to talk about!Fernando’s Recommendations: Books:1) “Mini Habits” by Stephen Guise2) “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz3) “Full Catastrophe Living” by Jon Kabat-Zinn4) “Wherever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat-ZinnOthers: 1) Yoga App: Glo2) Martin E. P. Seligman: positive psychology.3) The work of the scientist Dr. Kristin Neff; a great starting point for people interested in tapping into compassion training, mindfulness, etc...4) Ted talk by Brenen brown: The Power Of Vulnerability.Follow Fernando:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fernando.balseraInstagram: @fernandobalseraWebsite: https://www.fernandobalsera.com/Follow “Inside Contemporary Dance”:Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insidecontemporarydance/Website: https://www.insidecontemporarydance.com/If you enjoyed this podcast, please spread the love! Like, subscribe, share it with your friends - and most importantly, please leave a rating or review, on whatever platform you’re listening from. The more positive ratings this show has, the more it will get promoted, and that means more beautiful listeners!My many thanks go to:Ariel Isakowitz - Texts editor, general consultor & dear friend Carl Albrecht - Mix and soundMarco Dray - Original musicDagmara Śliwińska - Podcast cover photoMoritz Wright - Podcast cover photo designThomas Bewernick -  Sound, recording, & being there every step of the wayMy dear family - Because I love youLast but not least - YOU. My dear listeners. You are the life and spirit behind the podcast. THANK YOU!
#3: Lisa Mariani | Following your instincts, staying courageous and resilient in the face of challenges, and remembering to enjoy the journey.
Nov 22 2021
#3: Lisa Mariani | Following your instincts, staying courageous and resilient in the face of challenges, and remembering to enjoy the journey.
For this episode of “Inside Contemporary Dance”, I sat down to chat with my dear friend, and the beautiful dancer, Lisa Mariani.Lisa was born in Cremona, Italy. Her professional education began at Scuola di Balletto Classico Cosi - Stefanescu, and was continued at Balletto di Toscana. She went on to receive a scholarship to train with the Peridance Capezio Center in New York City, where she graduated with Honors and Excellence in Contemporary Dance. Afterward, she apprenticed with Parsons Dance Company and began freelancing with companies and projects all around the world, working with choreographers such as Desmond Richardson, Robert Battle, and Igal Perry. In 2017, Lisa joined Balletto Teatro di Torino, where she has performed works by renowned choreographers such as Ella Rothschild, Andrea Costanzo Martini, Yin Yue, and Manfredi Perego.Since 2019, she has also been a student of the Faculty of Motor Sciences, and she has been sharing her passion for physicality and the functional movement in various online projects.During our conversation, we covered a variety of topics:* Her brave decision to move to New York at 18 to pursue her career, and all the challenges along the way, including learning English from scratch, and having to spend a night sleeping in the streets.* Her first experiences as a professional dancer in New York, the frenetic nature of freelance life, and the decision to pursue a career closer to her loved ones. * Her dedication to pursuing auditions and opportunities, doubts she’s had to overcome, the conviction that everything happens for a reason, and that every audition is an opportunity to learn and grow. * Putting together a video reel, audition applications, and choosing the “perfect outfits”. Is there a magic formula to get invited?* Her experience dancing for Balletto Teatro di Torino.* Rituals before performances.* Her decision to start studying at the “University of Motor Sciences” in Turin, Italy, studying the mechanics of the body and working with non-dancers. * Her thoughts on a future after her professional performance career.* How to balance work with private life and being with one’s partner. * Fighting the constant desire for more and “better,” and cultivating the art of happiness and gratitude for what is.Lisa’s recommendations: 1) “The thinking body” by Mabel Elsworth Todd.2) Italian physician and coach: Filippo Ongaro.Follow Lisa:Facebook: @Lisa MarianiIIInstagram: @lisamariani7Follow “Inside Contemporary Dance”:Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insidecontemporarydance/Website: https://www.insidecontemporarydance.com/If you enjoyed this podcast, please spread the love! Like, subscribe, share it with your friends - and most importantly, please leave a rating or review, on whatever platform you’re listening from. The more positive ratings this show has, the more it will get promoted, and that means more beautiful listeners!My many thanks go to:Ariel Isakowitz - Texts editor, general consultor & dear friend Carl Albrecht - Mix and soundMarco Dray - Original musicDagmara Śliwińska - Podcast cover photoMoritz Wright - Podcast cover photo designThomas Bewernick -  Sound, recording, & being there every step of the wayMy dear family - Because I love youLast but not least - YOU. My dear listeners. You are the life and spirit behind the podcast. THANK YOU!
#2: Yaara Dolev |  The healing power of dance, communication, generosity, and creating a supportive dance community
Oct 25 2021
#2: Yaara Dolev | The healing power of dance, communication, generosity, and creating a supportive dance community
For this episode of “Inside Contemporary Dance”, I sat down to chat with the exceptional Yaara Dolev. Yaara is an award-winning Israeli choreographer, performer, and teacher currently based in Portugal. Her professional dance career began at the age of seventeen and was quickly propelled when she joined the Batsheva Ensemble, led by Ohad Naharin (choreographer and creator of the Gaga movement language), at the age of nineteen. She went on to follow her own artistic vision, forming a dance company with her then-partner, Amit Goldenberg. Throughout her Career, Yaara has danced for various choreographers, including Anat Danieli, Inbal Pinto, Barak Marshall, ‘Matanicola’, Rami Levi, Yossi Tmim, and Michael Getman. Currently, Yaara is teaching the ‘Gaga movement language’ and giving movement research and ‘Healing Embodiment’ workshops. Additionally, she is collaborating with other choreographers and artists from different fields around the globe. Current projects include movement research with Leif Firnhaber and the SiiPR Group, the D7, and the “Stage for life”. Throughout her career Yaara has received numerous awards, including the “Adami Prize” for Best Performing Artist at the Bagnolet International Dance Competition (Paris), the Ministry of Culture Prize for Young Choreographers (Israel), and the “The Tel Aviv Rosenblum Arts Award”.During our conversation, we covered a variety of topics:* The challenges and lessons learned from being a young dancer in a big company, and things she would have done differently. * Her conviction that everyone has the ability to pursue a professional career as a dancer, despite teachers and doctors who might say otherwise. *The healing power of dance. *Her daily rituals, and her curiosity concerning personal growth and learning. *Creating a supportive, honest, open, and generous dance community. Yaara’s reading recommendations: 1) “Initiation” by Elisabeth Haich.2) Poems by Rumi.3) Quotes by American inspirational speaker and author Abraham Hicks.Follow Ya’ara:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yaara.dolev.5Gaga in Berlin: https://www.facebook.com/gagainberlinThe Healing Embodiment Workshop: https://buytickets.at/healingembodimentFollow “Inside Contemporary Dance”:Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insidecontemporarydance/Website: https://www.insidecontemporarydance.com/If you enjoyed this podcast, please spread the love! Like, subscribe, share it with your friends - and most importantly, please leave a rating or review, on whatever platform you’re listening from. The more positive ratings this show has, the more it will get promoted, and that means more beautiful listeners!My many thanks go to:Ariel Isakowitz - Texts editor, general consultor, & dear friend Carl Albrecht - Mix and soundMarco Dray - Original musicDagmara Śliwińska - Podcast cover photoMoritz Wright - Podcast cover photo designThomas Bewernick -  Sound, recording, & being there every step of the wayMy dear family - Because I love youLast but not least - YOU. My dear listeners. You are the life and spirit behind the podcast. THANK YOU!
#1: Pau Aran Gimeno | The power of patience, life mentors and the value of interdependence.
Oct 12 2021
#1: Pau Aran Gimeno | The power of patience, life mentors and the value of interdependence.
For the very first episode of “Inside Contemporary Dance”, I was sitting down to chat with the wonderful Pau Aran Gimeno. About Pau: (taken from his website)Born on the Catalan Mediterranean shores, Pau began his professional performance career with ballroom dancing and modern jazz before his interest and experience expanded to include many other forms of expressive movement.During his studies at the Conservatorio Profesional De Danza ‘Mariemma’, Madrid, Pau was notably invited to attend the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany. This led to his most significant training to date, in Wuppertal and under the direction of Pina Bausch. Pau has danced in more than twenty-five of Pina Bausch’s productions and continues to dance with the internationally renowned Tanztheater Wuppertal – Pina Bausch - as a guest artist. As an independent artist since 2013, Pau engages in developing his personal movement language through cross-disciplinary collective endeavors worldwide, and by teaching creative workshops with and for diverse artists and communities.During our conversation, we covered a variety of topics:* Pau’s experience during the long lockdown in Spain.* The importance of dedicating yourself to a process and the power of patience.* His experiences as part of TanzTheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. *The challenges and benefits of being a part of a dance company, and the reasoning behind his decision to leave.* The impact different teachers and mentors had throughout his career.* What being a part of a dance community meant to him, and his journey as an independent artist and choreographer.Follow Pau:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pauarangimenoInstagram: https://pauaran.com/instagram/Website: https://pauaran.com/Follow “Inside Contemporary Dance”:Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insidecontemporarydance/Website: https://www.insidecontemporarydance.com/If you enjoyed this podcast, please spread the love! Like, subscribe, share it with your friends - and most importantly, please leave a rating or review, on whatever platform you’re listening from. The more positive ratings this show has, the more it will get promoted, and that means more beautiful listeners!My many thanks go to:Ariel Isakowitz - Texts editor, general consultor, & dear friendCarl Albrecht - Mix and soundMarco Dray - Original musicDagmara Śliwińska - Podcast cover photoMoritz Wright - Podcast cover photo designThomas Bewernick -  Sound, recording, & being there every step of the wayMy dear family - because I love you.Last but not least - YOU. My dear listeners. You are the life and spirit behind the podcast. THANK YOU!