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Day 4

I am writing the follow paragraphs as an outsider observing the hard work unfolding in front of my eyes. As an ex-professional dancer I appreciate every drop of sweat that goes into creating something special. It is this process, day in and day out that interests me. This year there is a beautiful mix of nationalities and cultures coming together; east meets west, north greets south and so we all exchange past experiences and create new ones.

The 23 dancers had yesterday free after the first three intense days of METAMORPHOSIS INTERNATIONAL RESIDENCY 2017. Work in the studio starts at midday to give everyone the chance to recover and rest from the previous day’s work.

The day begins with Igor warming up each part of the dancer’s body which simultaneously focusses the mind for the day ahead. They connect to the earth through foot and ankle articulation and resistance movements; a journey up the body, side to side and with weight transference; yoga based poses are incorporated to allow the body to lengthening in opposite direction.

Next, Iratxe leads the dancers in an energetic classical ballet based barre, one exercise flows into the next, interspersed with time to balance - finding axis and equilibrium. She encourages breathe to stimulate energy flow, while static energy is pushed out of the body.

Guided improvisation follows. The air is thick with focus and the dancers are adapting after each descriptive word given to them, swallowing the floor and air around them. “Shoulders, hips, knees, eyes in the back, sensitive, look, energy in the fingers, lengthen to your maximum - so much that you explode.” “Go, freeze…..go!”

The dancers are working on different movement qualities. They must become awake through the surface of their skin so that their reactions become interesting and more dynamic. Designing clear pathways of the arms and legs are important to create intelligent decisions at any moment.

After lunch break Igor and Iratxe work with the dancers individually, the rest are asked to work by themselves and develop material which they learnt in previous days. This gives dancers the opportunity to be their own inner teacher, instead of waiting for correction or instruction. Choreographer and dancer meet each other half way. Careful attention is given to improve the dancers to their maximum, throwing away limits and doubts in the mind so that new areas of work can be explored.

Now rest and recover - tomorrow is a new day. Exciting days ahead!

(Picture by Johnatan Molina)

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