Liza Penkova lives and works in between Sweden and Belgium. Her interest lies in redefining dance and dance education through influences from somatic practices, philosophy, visual art and writing.
Combining the movement knowledge that I have accumulated from my masters in classical ballet, modern, post-modern release-techniques and improvisations, but also in the philosophical approach to movement in Taj-ji as well as from performing as a dancer, I have been constantly searching for new methods in thinking and approaching movement and with it keeping my dancing-body alive. And it is this compilation of methods that I would like to share with you.
My ballet class is constructed for contemporary dancers but it is useful for classical dancers who are interested in stretching the boarders of the academic method in practicing ballet. Throughout the class I bring attention to the awareness of the different movement qualities/nuances that the exercises demand, an understanding of the weight-shift that happens while dancing in relation to gravity and the space around us. Another important aspect that I focus on in a ballet class is the work with one’s eyes/gaze that often gets neglected due to the traditional classical ballet set up of being performed in grand-scale audience halls. How does the size of a room effect the creation of the lines, jumps, turns etc. And finally I always try to remind in my class that ballet is not just a technique of the past but a technique that has been sustained and changed throughout the times and therefore, by now, the individual reasons for each dancer to choose training classical ballet stems from different perspectives.