Manuela Lucia Tessi
The sensitive, sensible and sensuous body
I integrate my background in contemporary dance with more than 15 years of practice of improvisation technique.
The warm up is activating the deeper musculature closer to the bones and the spine to help softening the outer layer of muscles, gaining more freedom and range in movement access. Through floorwork we will strengthen the core and gain ease and speed. We will study different ways to relate to the ground, raising and falling in an effortless yet dynamic way and constantly changing the tone of the body.
Weaving in and out of set material, with special attention on the phrasing and musicality, we will explore movement principles, and movement combinations built on those. In the combinations one movement is calling organically the next one, in a way that the memorization of movement pathways feels logical to the body organization.
We will apply principles of floorwork as well in the standing part, working with spirals, subtle and unpredictable weight shifts and sequenciality.
In the class a lot of attention is directed to the relation spine to limbs: how important is to raise awareness in the spine and torso as main generator of movement to allow the limbs to be free, articulate, precise and expressive in space.
I have an interest in movement prior to dance as a formal language, in my movement research I include kinesiology and somatics. I believe that content and functionality provide form. I look for sensuosness and embodiment in dance, often referring to kinesthetic empathy, how is the movement being read by the spectator not solely with the eyes and intellect, but perceived on a visceral level.
I am a dancer, teacher and maker based in Amsterdam. I hold a degree in Modern Dance from the Theaterschool in Amsterdam and have spent the last several years performing and touring my work. In the past three years I divide my time between Amsterdam and Berlin, where I have been a few times resident at Lake Studios.
Live music, whether composed or improvised, has played an important role in my performance work in the last 13 years.
Since 2004 I have studied and worked with Katie Duck, who has been one of my greatest creative influences alongside the many dancers who have inspired her direction in work. I worked with Magpie Music Dance Company in 2007. This lead to several ongoing collaborations, in particular with Makiko Ito, and Miri Lee.
I recently performed two solo works created specifically for me by Vincent Cacialano and Paul Estabrook.
I curate platforms for dance and live music performance: the series Music Dance 301, at the cultural centre OT301 in Amsterdam, and Musiktanznulldreissig, its sister project, taking place in various Berlin venues, in collaboration with Berlin based flutist Friederike Wendorf. I ve recently done a residency in Cape Town, at Theatre Arts Admin Collective, creating Music Dance 021, a similar music and dance project.
Pictures by Lindsey Appolis