Ale Jara
Performer, choreographer, dance teacher and certified GAGA teacher
Born in Asunción, Paraguay, Alejandra joined the National Ballet of Paraguay in 1999, performing nationally and internationally for nine years in works by Austin Hartel, Ramon Oller, RuxandraRacovitza, Birgit Asshoff, Teresa Nieto, and others. In 2007, she started teaching the company members and created her first choreographic work for the company. Alejandra has received several awards, including the UNESCO Scholarship, which allowed her to study contemporary dance, composition, and Cuban folklore for three months in Havana, Cuba. She also received a scholarship to participate in the 4th Festival de ArtesEscénicasContemporáneas EL CRUCE in Rosario, Argentina 2004. In 2007, she received a Fulbright Scholarship, which allowed her to pursue her MFA degree in Dance at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH in the United States. Moreover, she was recognized as one of twenty outstanding women in Paraguay in 2010. Besides performing, Ale has created her own choreographic work, which has been presented in Paraguay and abroad. Her solo piece Sentir (Cuba 2007) received honorable mention for performance and choreography in Festival Elsinor. Ale created FinasAgujas (2007) for the National Ballet of Paraguay as well as the works As if… (USA 2009), Passenger (USA 2010), Transit (videodance2011),To be (Paraguay 2011), Dame un Momento (Paraguay 2014) and Eco (was a result of a residency, Germany 2016)

Mirva Mäkinen

Mirva Mäkinen graduated (MA) from the Dance Department from the University of Arts, Finland in 2000, before that she did masters of Physical Education from University of Jyväskylä. 2010 she start to do doctoral studies in University of Arts in Helsinki, her artistic research is about Somaesthetics of Contact Improvisation. From 2000 onwards she has been a dance teacher, choreographer and lecturer for dance at the Kallio Upper Secondary School of Performing Arts. She has been teaching in several international dance and contact improvisation festivals. Mirva has been working with with many different dance companies and choreographers, here few of them: Dance company Karttunen Kollektiv (choreographer Jyrki Karttunen), New Circus Company Circo Aereo, choreographer Joona Halonen, Echo Echo dance company (North Ireland), collaboration with Frey Faust and collaboration with Joerg Hassmann. At the moment she is working with a finnish choreographer Valtteri Raekallio. In dance I am interested in the feeling of flow and soft movement. I love to investigate movement, its rhythm and different ways of inhabiting the body. A feeling of dancing is created by being able to switch the body from total relaxation to extreme intensity and tension. I call this the body’s ability to breathe and create movement.

Shai Dayan is a multi instrumental improvisation artist. Composes music for dance projects and films. Studied philosophy and meditation in India for 5 years. In the last 15 years explores the connection between music and freedom, and their use as tools to unfold our true nature. Teaching improvisation and self inquiry workshops in Israel and Europe, using music, voice and movement as instruments for becoming aware of our true nature. Participated in rock, jazz, world music and street theater ensembles in New York, Australia, Austria, Germany, Spain, India, Norway, Hungary and Israel. composes music for independent film makers as well as ‘National Geographic’ and dance companies.

Roberto Olivan
Spanish by origin, he studied at the Institut del Teatre in Barcelona and P.A.R.T.S. (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios) in Belgium. Roberto performed under the direction of renowned directors such as Robert Wilson, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker (ROSAS), Josse de Pauw and Tom Jansen.  In 2001 he formed his own company, the ENCLAVE ARTS DEL MOVIMENT, to continue his research in all movement aspects. ENCLAVE produced among others “Natural Strange Days”, “Homeland”, “De Farra”, “Mermaid’s Call”, “Universal Melody”, “A Place to Bury Strangers” or “Lonely Together” among many others. Since the very beginning, what is reflected in the creations of Roberto Olivan is its singular vision of dance and the need to establish a dialogue with other artistic disciplines (…) ” Roberto Olivan is the Catalan choreographer and Director of ENCLAVE ARTS DEL MOVIMENT. He lives and works predominantly in the disparate cities of Brussels and Barcelona. Olivan’s work manages to bind together these seemingly opposing influences, using a mix of artistic languages to create primeval, organic physical theatre full of wonderful contradictions. It is rooted firmly in his own origins and experience, and colored by those of the performers with whom he creates. Although well educated in many forms, in the art of control and precision, Olivan works not with the intellect, the head, but with emotion, physicality and love. He seeks to make his work accessible to audiences, combining the power and energy of circus with the harsh reality of the world in which we live. The result is a genuinely stimulating celebration, fantastical yet somehow heartfelt and down to earth. ” **

Aga Rybak
Teaches, moves and looking . Collaborates with the Grotowski Institute in the BodyConstitution research programme. Together with Jakub Gontarski, Agnieszka co-creates The String of the Body workshop. She has practiced capoeira for many years, including on an expedition in Brazil in 2008. She holds a scholarship of the Alternative Dance Academy in Poznań. Agnieszka graduated from the Academy of New Dance and Improvisation and completed a number of instructor courses in the fields of therapy, dance and movement. She hones her skills in Poland and abroad. She is a practitioner and teacher of a Hawaiian bodywork method and a practitioner of the Life Impression Bodywork method and of Thai Yoga Massage Sacred Dance of the Sunshine House School in Chiang Mai. She is a member of ECITE (European Contact Improvisation Teachers Exchange) as well as an initiator of Wrocław’s contact improvisation milieu and co-creator of the Cyrkulacje Festival and Planet Kids project.

Agnieszka Jaśkowska
Member of the Wroclaw-based “Co Jest Crew” – the most decorated hip-hop dance group in Poland. Agnieszka graduated from the Faculty of the Dance Theater at the Academy of Theater Arts in Krakow. Dancing has been an important part of her life since 1998, but only after joining “Co Jest Crew” she got to know and love hip-hop and freestyle – however she is still keen on preparing group shows. On the other hand, studying contemporary dance – another field of interest for Agnieszka – allows her to develop a wider perspective of movement, choreography, composition and using stage experience in freestyle or any other public appearance. Thanks to her experience, she is able to combine these completely different trends in a mindful way – even though she still enjoys creative process within each of these fields separately. In her teaching practice Agnieszka also refers to life coaching experience. One of the characteristics of her classes is constant experimenting with all sorts of movement and music. Agnieszka is one of the most accomplished and original figures of the Polish dance scene.

Dorota Kamecka

I graduated in the Cultural Studies from the University of Wroclaw. I am a certified instructor of the Movement Improvisation and Body Symbolism, and a Contact Improvisation teacher. I have led regular workshops in dance and movement with a variety of groups for 12 years. I am a co-author and organizer of all editions of CIRCULATIONS – Wroclaw Festival of Movement, as well as a co-author and adept of Academy of New Dance and Improvisation in Wroclaw. I have also contributed in the organization of European Contact Improvisation Teachers Exchange – ECITE 2013. My perpetual goal is to search for new ways of self-expression through dance. That is why I have participated in workshops and classes focused on body work and dance therapy on the one hand, and concerning particular dance techniques (especially related to Contact Improvisation) on the other.

Iwona Olszowska
Iwona Olszowska is a dancer, choreographer, contemporary dance teacher (specialising in body awareness, contact improvisation, and improvisation as performance), and Somatic Movement Educator of Body Mind Centering®. She has learnt her dance skills at New York’s dance studios, the George Mason University in Washington, the University of Alabama, and the University of Calgary, workshops held by the Silesian Dance Theatre in Bytom and the Centre for Culture Promotion in Zielona Góra. She has also learnt dance at dance festivals across Poland. Olszowska began her career as dancer in the 1980s at the Kontrast student dance theatre, together with Marta Pietruszka and Katarzyna Skawińska, among others. In 1989, together with Marta Pietruszka, she co-founded Experimental Dance Studio (Eskperymentalne Studio Tańca, EST). Already in the late 1980s EST held workshops on the fundamentals of the Limón Technique and Rudolf Laban movement analysis. Since 1989 Olszowska has been EST’s artistic director; the studio currently focuses on structural improvisation, lecture-performances, and site-specific projects. She is responsible for the development of the Obszar tańca w Teatrze BARAKAH (Dance Zone at the BARAKAH Theatre) series.

Paulina Święcańska
Choreographer, educator, culture expert, culture manager.
Graduate from the 1st and 2nd level of the State Music School (in eurythmics) and from the Culture Animation and Sports Department of the University of Zielona Góra. Modern Dance Trainer, licensed by the National Centre for Culture. Graduate of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw (MA in Cultural Studies), and from the Choreology Institute in Poznań (Kinetography Laban). Graduated from the University of Warsaw (Culture Management), and from the University of Łódź (Theatre Production).  Awarded scholarships by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Institute for Music and Dance, and the Art Station Foundation Stary Browar Nowy Taniec [Old Brewery New Dance]. Author of articles and speaker/reporter on international papers on dance in Prague, Bilbao and Lisbon. She gained experience and practice during international festivals and through coaching throughout Europe, as well as Israel, Brazil, India, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Australia, Indonesia, USA, and Japan. Author of 19 choreographies, including “Wariacje na temat jedzenia” [Variations on food], “Hybryda” [Hybrid], “Motyle 2046” [Butterflies 2046], “Doskonała para” [Perfect Couple], “Surogaci” [Surogates], “ENEMY”, “Drzewo życia” [The Tree of Life], which were presented at many Polish and international festivals.

Jakub Gontarski
Jakub Gontarski graduated from Wrocław-based 13 Stunt School. He initiated The String of the Body workshop dedicated to exploring expression, presence, dramaturgy and creativity in martial arts within the path of Warrior-Performer. To find inspiration, Jakub travels to Brazil, where he documents his expeditions and takes active part in candomblé rituals. Currently, with actor Jacek Zawadzki, he is developing a project called Deus Ex Machina. He has co-created many performances, including Animan – I Am That and Madhouse, and performs movement improvisations on stage to live music. Jakub trained in martial arts – Japanese judo and Brazilian capoeira – for many years in Brazil and in many European countries. He studied under eminent movement practitioners in Poland and internationally. His inspirations are Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, sports, motor control and body mechanics. He collaborates with the Grotowski Institute as part of the BodyConstitution research programme. Jakub is a co-organiser of the Cyrkulacje Festival in Wrocław and the Planet Kids project. He is President of the Momentum Association of Creative Initiatives. He worked for the Krzyżowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe, running workshops and creating choreographies and performances with an international group of young people. He also runs workshops with socially excluded youth in Wrocław, including as part of Thought in Motion, a project of the Institute of Music and Dance. He taught movement classes at Ente private kindergarten (European Cooperation Centre). Jakub plays Afro-Brazilian instruments, and is the author of a poetry book, Śmierć i odrodzenie (Death and Rebirth).

Michał Śniegu Strugarek
Dancer since 2004. Instructor at the Point Dance Studio in Poznan. Explored street style for many years; now a student of the Dance in Physical Culture Faculty at the Poznan University of Physical Education, where he specializes in contemporary dance. For the last few years Michal has worked on finding a golden mean between contemporary dance and street dance. He has searched for differences and similarities which might complement each other. He puts an emphasis on making exercises and tasks universal for every dancer. When it comes to people, he looks for individuality and ways to express one’s characteristics. Michal builds a movement language on which he bases improvisation in order to broaden awareness of a dancer’s possibilities.