top of page

dance path

"When I was little I thought that from one moment to another I would, somehow, fall out of the world. I was nothing more than a lonely heart pulsing in a relationship with space and time. And that's the beggining of dance inside of me."

"After many years immersed in classical ballet, and only dancing by structured movement techniques, in 1996, when I came across Ivaldo Bertazzo's work, in São Paulo, I began to understand what movement research was actually about. I gained knowledge about physiology, anatomy, body injuries and muscular tensions in dance and, after 10 years alongside Ivaldo, I was able to understand how the classical ballet that I was dancing made my body sick. At this point in my life I was already frustrated in my relationship with ballet, and dancing had lost an important meaning for me. I then decided to delve deeper into this approach of consciously perceiving one's own body and gesture and, in 2006, I began to assist Mônica Monteiro at Sala Cristantempo. It was six years of working alongside her, as I began to build a more conscious understanding of dance in my body, beyond techniques.

From 2007 to 2013, with Beth Bastos, I began to understand my body in the context of dance improvisation with improv techniques and also classical ballet, but this time, in a very different approach. With Beth as director, I was able to experience the risk of improvising on stage and, as a result, we came up with the following works:  'Pequenos Solos' (2010) - at Sala Crisantempo, 'Before your eyes (2010) also at Sala Crisantempo and 'Pequenos Humores' at SESC Pinheiros (2011). Also in 2007, through Ivaldo Bertazzo, I met Zélia Monteiromy ballet master, with whom I was also able to research improvisation techniques based on the studies of Klauss Vianna. In 2016 I joined CEB - Center for Ballet Studies, directed by Zélia Monteiro, an organization that reflects on ways of teaching and learning classical ballet on today's Brazilian bodies, with the aim of decolonializing ballet by translating the dance and giving a new sense of meaning to the practice of this art, as well as questioning the need of teaching classical ballet in the contemporary days. We then created the Balé na Vila project, in which I am the psychopedagogical coordinator, as I also have a bachelor's degree in Psychology (2001 - from Universidade Paulista - SP). The project Ballet na Vila (2018)  prioritizes the teaching of ballet in a comprehensive manner, enabling students to discover their own ways of organizing movement, considering the spontaneity of the gesture.  

"In 1997, when I saw Kazuo Ohno dancing live on stage, I immediately recognised inside of me a deep desire to research this artistic universe of pure poetry in movement and gesture."

More than ten years after seeing Ohno on stage, I met Tadashi Endo, who came to Brazil in 2010. I then started studying with Endo here in Brazil and also in his studio MAMU BUTOH DANCE CENTER, in Gottingen. It was almost 10 years of research with him, and this cycle was closed with the presentation of Ha-Do (Gottingen - Germany), under his direction. During these years I also got to know Ko Murobushi  and Yoshito Ohno's works, both with whom I took a few specific workshops with. And among the Brazilian researchers in the Butoh universe, I started taking regular classes with Key Sawao and intensive workshops with Toshi Tanaka, with whom, within the practice of Do-Ho, led by him, I was able to deepen a fundamental understanding of the performatic experience for butoh dance.

After ending this cycle of research with Tadashi Endo, I came across the power of female performers in Butoh. I got to know Minako Seki and Yumiko Yoshioka's works. With Yumiko I've attended some specific workshops along the years, with Minako Seki, on the other hand, I have been studying extensively since 2018, having done several in-person intensives, online classes and artistic residencies (Spain, Germany and online). I continue studying with her to this day and, in addition to being a dance professor in my artistic path, she is also a collaborating artist in my research with Yugen dance, besides also having become a very dear friend to me.


For the Yugen dance, or Yugen Butoh, I consider a significant influence of  Zélia Monteiro and Toshi Tanaka's works. In Toshi's classes, for example, I was introduced to the concept of Shibumi, such as:


a spiritual tranquility that is not passive; something that cannot be conquered; that goes beyond knowledge and achieves simplicity.


And curiously, it was during Zélia's improvisation classes that I was able to properly understand, in my body, the meaning of that word. Yugen dance is filled with these fluid intersections between different perspectives on movement researches, whether they come from Butoh, ballet, Do-Ho, or performance itself, as it is not an attempt to create any type of technical crystallisations. Its main concern is to investigate the dancing body's possibilities  in its contemporary surroundings, and how performance in  movement can explore a very intimate relationship with one's own body, in order to transverse a radical vitality, or to simply dance immersed in a raw serenity.

IMG_6285 (1).jpg
luciana elias ensaio 4 foto ligia Jardim mexidas7_edited.jpg




When I think of a performer in artistic dialogue, through gestures, movements, affections, sounds and words, I rely on the individual and unique experience of their body, as well as the collective, social and transgenerational impressions that coexist and inhabit, all of their structures. Basically, I perceive them with everything that makes them their “body of today”. My dance research investigates an expression created from the inside out, in which the movement is produced in an intimate conversation between the performer's subjectivity and the objective-anatomical body.


The way I work on body research takes into account that there are the conscious and intentional choices that trigger movements, and behind these self-aware choices, there's always a set of dark spots with expressions and choices of our unconsciousness. In my perspective, these dark spots behind what the conscious body chooses to reveal, often contain a lot of potency and power of transformation. In movement research I use somatic techniques to try to raise awareness of these "shadows", so that when they manifest themselves, they can feel welcomed and invited to dance along with the performer.

And even though this research is not a form of art therapy, within this exploration of light and shadow, I value a sense of responsibility in the relationship with my own body, if it's the case of me as a performer,  and the body of others as well, while I'm coaching or directing, as I value an understanding that each dancer has their own biomechanical particularity, with its expressive limits and extensions, meanwhile taking into account that each dance is made by an emotional body that holds stories, memories and wounds.

For this reason, I firmly believe in a certain tenderness when approaching the sensitive body, regardless of the brutality or radicality of the proposal. I also consider of extreme relevance a sense of self-awareness when performing, both physically and emotionally. Because even when comes to an intense and visceral performatic experience, susceptible to the encounter of unknown shadows and dangers, I see performance as a constant and vivid negotiation with oneself and with all the contours of the body.



luciana elias ensaio 4 foto ligia Jardim mexidas7_edited.jpg

Photo: Ligia Jardim

bottom of page