In Touch

Vega & Hugh



with VEGA ( Katri Luukkonen) & Hugh Stanier

What interests us most in our dance?

How can we tune ourselves to be ready for anything?

The ability to respond with presence and awareness takes practice. In these sessions we will explore some core principles vital to understanding and finding freedom in the body. Exercises will focus on investigations to deepen a physical knowledge of the moving body both alone and with others.

Building up a functional understanding of underlying physical principles and structures that enable to body to move freely, as well as widening the trust to our instincts, impulses and intuition.

We both like to work with organic, fluid and functional movement. Some of the movement principles and patterns we will offer are drawn from release technique, developmental movement patterns and floorwork. Easy transitions in and out of the floor. How the bones and joints are involved in supporting functional movement.

We will offer some underlying movement principles in contact improvisation, so that we can dive deeper in details, sensitivity and precision in our dance. The placement and use of the center, connection to and use of the limbs. Natural spirals and twists of the body, especially in the spine. How the use of head & tail can allow the whole body to enter into three-dimensional movement patterns. Playing around ideas of momentum, falling, suspension, inertia, swinging and bouncing. Using these phenomenons to create easy and effortless lifts, level-changes and falls. Slowing down and breathing, allowing time for listening, sensing and sinking deeper into moments and sensations. Fine tuning and subtle precision. Focusing on being accurate and aware.

We will work with solo material, as well as lots of contact... Every class we like to bring in open scores, which allows us to explore and integrate the studied material into our own dance, and personal expression !



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VEGA ( Katri Luukkonen)

I am dancer, dance-teacher, performance-artist and bodyworker made in Finland, but currently based in Berlin, India, and nomadic temporary moments in time and space. From the formal side of my life I have studied in Finland - in Theatre Academy of Finland (TEAK) and Metropolia AMK, graduated from TEAK 2008 as dance- and theatre-teacher (MA). Though - I guess my dearest high-school and university in dance and contact-improvisation has been finnish contact community, where I have learned so much, by sharing the dance and rolling point with the other spiralling beautiful finns...

About 15 years I have been teaching contact and dance all around the world, on many internationally acknowledged festivals and retreats, and especially recent years more focused on organising my own workshops, events and festivals. I am one of the organisers of Goa Contact Festival since 10 years, and that has become big part of my life - to live in India, to create platforms and possibilities for cultural exchange, dance and learning - throughout the whole season in Arambol, as I have spent my last 15 winters in India.

Contact Improvisation has been part of my life more than 20 years, so - many kind of chapters I have gone through. More and more I look for lightness and precision in my dance - in the sense of organic, fluid, effortless and functional movement. I love to find ease and flow in my dance, like water would do. How to be sustainable, and still dance, when you are 90? Breath plays as well big part in my dancing, brings me naturally into moments of momentum, falling, flying, suspending, swinging, accelerating and bouncing. Other precious topic for me is the spine, never ending story with our head & tail, and the whole dialogue between them. Life-energy flowing through our spiralling, reaching, twisting spines.

My dance is drawing inspirations from aikido and capoeira - loving all these spirals up & down, and deep understanding about the role of the center in our movement. Developmental movement patterns and flying low for all the lovely floor rolling-sliding-gliding-fun. Bodywork & massage for softening, listening our whispering fascias.

For me dance is always combination of technique and intuition. Form and freedom. Being and doing.

Looking from inside out - to connect also with our emotions, intuition and felt sensations.

I try to find ways to explore and teach technique by understanding the underlying principles of movement, so that we can stay connected to our own dance and individual expression, and learn in the spirit of exploration. Where our curiosity can stay alive, and we can always find new details on the way.  

Hugh Stanier

Hugh is a contemporary dance artist specialising in Contact Improvisation. He has over 10 years of teaching & performance experience. He began dancing when he was 15, training in Break dance and Contemporary. He went on to train at Northern School of Contemporary Dance, graduating in 2008. Since then he has worked with companies such as 2Faced Dance, Tom Dale, STAN Won’t Dance, and more recently Ultima Vez. He has taught internationally at the Goa Contact Festival, Berlin contact festival and Portugal Contact festival. He has collaborated with Danceworx Delhi on an international 360 degree dance film, and is creating his own work focusing on collaborative improvisation with Musicians.

He is also a qualified TMW (Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing) facilitator. The principles of Tai Chi and Qi Kung underpin his approach to teaching and sharing movement.