Course Descriptions

CONTEMPORARY | All Year Levels

The Contemporary Technique on PERA’s programme focuses on various movement approaches offered by a variety of guest teachers from diverse practices to achieve versatility in the content of the course. PERA’s contemporary dance training embraces Limón, Cunningham, Flying Low and Release technique where students are not bound to a specific set of aesthetics. The areas of focus include alignment, articulation of the body, strengthening the core and stamina. In addition, students are exposed to a range of principles such as full-bodied awareness, mind-body connection, ease of effort in movement, fluidity whilst moving in and out of the floor, the release of body weight into the ground and effective use of breath to minimise tension. The class develops into short and long phrases and combinations focusing on various movement approaches, qualities, rhythm, musicality, speed, dynamics, spacial awareness and performance. The individual backgrounds and experiences of the teachers are extremely important for enhancing and expanding the students’ physical potential and their skills of adapting to various contemporary dance techniques and approaches.

In the 3rd and 4th year, the contemporary dance classes place more emphasis on the connection between technique, improvisation and composition in order to foster creative thinking, individual/artistic development and performance. Students are supported in finding their own approach or a way of responding to the technical information they receive in the class. The main goal is to deepen the acquired technical knowledge through physical exploration and mindful research in order to help students to establish a unique character as a dancer, as a creator and as a performer which is extremely important in the professional context.

Timetabled everyday | Class 90’

Tutors: Anna Piec Akabali and guest teachers

 

BALLET | All Year Levels

The ballet technique on PERA’s programme allows for a greater range of movement and is not constrained to the rigorously defined body lines or bound by the stylistic characteristics of classical ballet. The aim is to make ballet appropriate for the needs of contemporary dance. The class embodies the fundamental principles of classical technique whilst focusing on gaining familiarity with the anatomic structure of the body, finding a healthy alignment, increasing flexibility, building strength and fluidity of movement, enhancing coordination, balance, speed, musicality and developing the use of weight.

Each year builds further on the achievements of the previous year, introducing new vocabulary with a particular focus on the correct execution of more complicated sequences concerning both barre and centre-work.

Timetabled 4 days a week | Class 90’

Tutors: Oleg Manukovsky, Anna Piec Akabali and guest teachers

IMPROVISATION | All Year Levels

The course focuses on the basics of improvisation as self-exploration, movement research and technique, drawing on a wide range of methods, approaches and theories concerning the genre. Through guided scores, physical tasks, body-awareness exercises, readings, discussions and observations, students will broaden their range of movement, embodied awareness, personal creativity, expressive skills and understanding of the basic movement elements of time, space, energy, shape and dynamics. Students will also be confronted with ‘Contact Improvisation’ to explore communication between two or more bodies and gain experience in the underlying principles of touch, momentum, weight sharing/transfers, skills of rolling, falling, counterbalance, sensorial sensitivity, responsiveness and mutuality amongst partners.

In the 3rd and 4th year of study, an additional emphasis is placed on exploring improvisation as compositional tool and performance form for generating movement spontaneously whilst searching for expressive and thematic clarity in solo, duet and group settings.

Timetabled 3 days a week | Class 90’

Tutors: Lloyd Miles and guest teachers

COMPOSITION | All Year Levels

The course introduces various compositional tools and methodologies where students explore generating and structuring complex movement materials through a sense of play and experimentation. Classes encompass improvisatory scores, creative tasks, contact work, repertoire learning and analysis, studying principles in music composition, site specific exploration as well as working with text and props as stimuli for choreographic thinking and creative process. Students deeply engage in these working methods and work on applying them to their own personal practice as well as working with a partner or in a group setting to create compositional materials. This process aims to reinforce the ability of the students to analyse and reflect on their individual work coupled with enhancing their collaborative abilities and group awareness. Drawing on the working methods and compositional methodologies of the invited artists, the students are also provided with the opportunity to reflect on a variety of compositional tools and strategies in order to enrich their understanding of dance and dance-making.

 

In the first year, students are required to create a solo work, as a step towards deepening the fundamental compositional tools they acquire in the class.

In the second year, students are confronted with the movement vocabulary of a specific guest artist where they are expected to learn, study and utilise the introduced materials, in the form of a duet creation.

In the third and fourth year, the focus is on the creation of a group work, starting from compositional tools and methodologies offered by specific guest artists.

Timetabled 3 days a week | Class 90’

Tutors: Lloyd Miles and guest teachers

FUNDAMENTAL APPROACHES TO MOVEMENT | All Year Levels

The course provides an understanding of the biomechanics of the body and awareness of physical limitations, unique peculiarities and movement potential through practical reflection. As highlighted by author Ann Staugaard Jones, “the key to a healthy body and injury prevention is awareness of movement potential”; to know more about the body, how it moves and what can be done to increase movement capacity. Divided into three segments with daily sessions in Yoga, Pilates and Body Conditioning, the course focuses on skeletal connections, mind/body attunement, deepening embodied awareness, reinforcing breath work, stretching and strengthening the whole body to enhance balance, muscle strength, flexibility and posture.

These practices are offered to support the development of the physical and movement knowledge acquired in technical and creative classes. They serve as a milestone for the body of the dancer and how it can be used efficiently to avoid injuries through a particular attention to the specific needs of different body types. This approach allows the students to make conscious decisions about what is most suitable for their bodies.

 

YOGA

A dancer’s body is active throughout the day and all days of the week. To meet the requirements of their everyday practice, their bodies need close care and attention. The yoga class is designed to meet the individual needs of the students’ active bodies. Different aspects of yoga helps to fulfil different needs of their bodies. The breath work helps to increase the lung capacity, achieve balance and enhance overall concentration. Asanas are for reconditioning the body and creating whole body awareness. Through the mindful movement, students learn how to move their body safely and more efficiently. The class includes relaxing sequences to ease the tired and sore muscles, and energetic flows to strengthen the students’ bodies, improve their balance as well as increasing their flexibility.

Timetabled 2 days a week| Class 90’

Tutor: Sila Atikol

 

PILATES

Pilates is a holistic mat workout class that reinforces mind body connection whilst providing core strength, increased flexibility, and most importantly a balanced musculature for injury prevention. The class supports the students’ intensive physical practice through the slow and controlled repetition of stretching and strengthening exercises as well as deep breathing that tone muscles, allowing the body to lengthen and work from the inside out. The focus on the deep body muscles, helps to build strength and endurance whilst improving posture, flexibility and balance. Students gain the ability to move with ease and efficiency as well as acquiring effective joint mobility and attaining a proper body alignment, control, centering, precision and fluidity. This will improve the students’ performance capabilities and vastly decrease their risk of injury. If injury does occur, pilates is an incredibly useful tool for rapid recovery.

Timetabled 2 days a week| Class 90’

Tutor: Sandra Popovic

 

BODY CONDITIONING

The class is designed to enrich muscular strength, stamina, endurance and movement efficiency with a particular emphasis on cardiorespiratory fitness and power training to enhance the students’ performance quality. With intervals of high and low impact exercises, the class targets to strengthen each major muscle group of the body. Students will be exposed to various aerobic and anaerobic exercise modalities and techniques through circuit workout, interval workout, TRX, running, swimming and other types of stamina related training that support the students’ everyday dance practice by targeting various components of physical fitness. Each student will also have the opportunity to set goals based on their own desires for the class which will be supported by the instructor.

Timetabled 1 day a week| Class 90’

Tutor: Sandra Popovic

PROJECT | All Year Levels

The course is designed to reinforce the ability of the students to work independently and experiment with an area of research under the supervision of resident teachers and invited artists with an ultimate goal to support their individual and artistic development.

 

YEAR 1

In the first year, all students are required to build on the previous knowledge acquired in the course: ‘Interdisciplinary Practices’. They will add on this initial information by creating a solo or a duet piece based on a site specific exploration. Students will be guided towards developing a site-inspired work, to be presented at the end of the first academic semester at a particular locale selected by themselves.

 

YEAR 2

In the second year, all students create a duet work, stimulated by a specific task whereby they are encouraged to investigate how repertoire study can fuel choreographic thinking and creative process. Under the guidance of invited artists, students will be encouraged to explore their own creativity to devise an original work. Selected works from students are presented at PERA’s end of year performance event.

 

YEAR 3

In the 3rd year, students work in larger groups to generate new work as a collective co-creation. This process is reinforced by engaging in a research and development with a specific dance artist/choreographer whereby students are offered a variety of compositional methods. The aim is not only to foster the students’ own creativity to devise an original work but also to strengthen their ability to work collaboratively as a group.

 

YEAR 4

In the 4th year, students are given a specific task to research the influence of multi-media on choreographic development. The aim is to provide an in-depth understanding of the new convergences between choreography and technology, whilst exposing the students to new contexts of production and presentation of a contemporary art work. During this year, students will also be given the opportunity to undertake an external internship project in a professional dance company environment.

Timetabled 2 days a week| Class 90’

Tutors: Lloyd Miles and guest teachers

 

WORKSHOP | All Year Levels

The course serves the major component of the programme which is PERA Intensive Dance Workshop (PERA ID) where students work with a number of experienced and renowned dance artists/choreographers. The aim of the intensive is to support the ongoing development of the students and expose them to a variety of working methods and strategies in relation to training, improvisation and composition that reinforces their choreographic thinking, creative process and performance skills. PERA ID also provides students with the opportunity to learn dynamic combinations and repertoire extracts from professional dance companies to discover new ways of generating and structuring movement material. A source of inspiration, PERA Intensive Dance Workshop encourages both self-reflection and creative exchange amongst students as well as nurturing their artistic and creative identities.

Invited artists PERA has worked with so far:

•Maroula Iliopoulou (Greece)

•Jason Mabana (Belgium)

•Tomislav English (England)

•Kay Crook (England)

•Alexander Stavropoulos (Greece)

•Mafalda Deville (Portugal)

•Laura Doehler (Germany)

•Marco da Silva Ferreira (Portugal)

•GAGA with Ido Gidron (Israel)

•Harry Koshos (Cyprus)

•Ugren Koulas (Serbia/Cyprus)

•Stefania Sotiropoulou (Greece)

•Horácio Macuacua (Mozambique)

•Sabrina Gargano (Italy)

Timetabled | 2 weeks intensive dance workshop in December

PERFORMANCE | All Year Levels

The course offers an exciting opportunity to create new work with experienced and renowned local/international artists and companies. With a strong emphasis on creativity, students are guided through a variety of working methods and choreographic processes, where they become co-creators of the work developed for them by the invited artists. This process culminates in a number of creations that are presented at PERA’s end of year performance event, alongside the work of professional choreographers, a selection of personal projects are also presented. Other performance opportunities include the formal presentation of the material developed as part of the intensive dance workshops.

 

Invited artists PERA has collaborated with so far, for the purposes of developing an original work with the students:

•AΦE (Physical theater company / Multimedia) | Aoi Nakamura and Esteban Fourmi (England)

•Tomislav English (England)

•Arianna Economou (Cyprus)

•Sevim Akpinar (Cyprus)

•Horácio Macuacua (Mozambique)

•Opuntia Dance Company | Mafalda Deville and Israel Pimenta (Portugal)

•Julia Brendle (Germany/Cyprus)

•Sabrina Gargano (Italy)

 

Timetabled twice or three times a year

Tutors: Invited artists and dance companies

DANCE HISTORY | 1st Year Course

The course focuses on American and European dance forms from the beginning of the 20th Century to the present day. The emphasis is on the influence of historical, stylistic and cultural trends on the work of a number of leading artists, including modern dance pioneers, post-modern practitioners and contemporary choreographers of the present day. With a short historic overview, the aim is to expose students to a range of postmodern compositional methodologies by key makers moving onto current practice. Students will observe, analyse, discuss and write about prominent dance artists exploring the contextual and stylistic features of their choreographic methodology and practice.

 

Timetabled 1 day a week | Class 90’

Tutor: Lloyd Miles

INTRODUCTION TO CRITICAL STUDIES | 1st Year Course

The course provides a foundation for building a repertoire of relevant terminology to analyse a range of performances that the students have seen live or on video. Through discussion and feedback sessions, the goal is to foster and deepen the students’ understanding of different artworks by offering them the opportunity to reflect on the ways in which diverse choreographic ideas lead to the development of a particular movement language, aesthetic and structure. Students will also be introduced to different methods of writing and reviewing contemporary dance works whereby they will be expected to work on applying the relevant skills acquired to the essays they write.

Timetabled 1 day a week | Class 90’

Tutor: Lloyd Miles

INTERDISCIPLINARY PRACTICES | 1st Year Course

The course provides the students with a well-rounded knowledge of the ever-widening field of contemporary dance and its relationship to other art forms. Drawing on visual, theatrical and site specific modalities, students are introduced to various working methods and strategies with an aim to facilitate their understanding of interdisciplinary performance processes and how diverse artistic forms can coexist in the context of an interdisciplinary art work. A variety of works from contemporary artists will be viewed, discussed and analysed with an intention to deepen the students’ understanding of various interdisciplinary creative practices.

Following this, a particular emphasis will be placed on exposing the students to specific techniques and approaches towards generating site-inspired work to provide a base for them to build on, as part of their individual research projects.

Timetabled 1 day a week | Class 90’

Tutor: Lloyd Miles

 

ANATOMY | 1st & 2nd Year Course

The course provides an introduction to the musculoskeletal system to ensure that the students have a clear understanding of their unique anatomy and movement potential through theoretical knowledge offered in the first year.

In the second year, the anatomy course is designed to reinforce anatomical awareness through practical reflection and experiential practice. In addition to acquiring an in-depth knowledge of human anatomy, the students will gain understanding of the interaction of this musculoskeletal system with other organ systems of the body and the significance of this relationship for a dancer.

As highlighted by author Ann Staugaard Jones, “the key to a healthy body and injury prevention is awareness of movement potential”; to know more about the body, how it moves and what can be done to increase movement capacity. For a dancer, it is extremely important to have a clear understanding of the anatomical structure of the body, to prevent injury and to facilitate the skills they acquire in their technical and creative dance classes. The course will also introduce the students to the importance of good nutrition for dancers and how healthy eating habits can reinforce their muscle strength, endurance and performance.

Timetabled 1 day a week | Class 90’

Tutor: Lloyd Miles

 

MUSIC ANALYSIS | 2nd Year Course

This course is designed to introduce students to the elements of music that most closely relate to the field of dance through the study of music theory, history and compositional approaches. In doing so, students will explore musical forms in Western music, contextual and critical perspectives in relation to a variety of musical styles and awareness of musicality in movement practice. Focusing on the fundamentals of music theory (rhythm, harmony and melody), the students are equipped with the main parameters of music, its general terminology and how these might influence movement. The course will also stimulate the students’ awareness of the aural characteristics and cultural construction of specific musical styles. Through this study, students will be encouraged to select music for their creative practical work and apply the formal processes of musical composition to their practice.

Timetabled 1 day a week | Class 90’

Tutor: Inal Bilsel

PHYSICAL THEATRE (VOICE WORK / VISUAL ELEMENTS) | 2nd Year Course

The course introduces a theoretical and practical guide to physical theatre where students are exposed to various principles and techniques that combine physical, vocal and visual skills. Through exploring a range of choreographic and practical methods of creating a physical character, students develop an understanding of interdisciplinary performance processes associated with the genre. In doing so, the course encourages students to investigate the influence of vocal and visual languages (set, props and media) on choreographic practice, by developing an ability to analytically respond to the creation and performance of a physical theatre work.

 

Timetabled 1 day a week | Class 180’

Tutors: Sevim Akpinar & guest teachers

ART THERAPY | 3rd Year Course

Taught in 2 blocks, this laboratory course introduces students to Art-Therapy and to the therapeutic functions of art. The course has two main aims: to develop the critical mind of the students and to facilitate their artistic expression through following a theoretical as well as a practical approach. Then students will be encouraged to debate and reflect on different topics in order to understand the function of art within a therapeutic context. They will also be guided in specific ways with a goal to facilitate their self-expression and creativity within a symbolic and sensitive way.

Timetabled 1 day a week | Class 90’

Tutor: Jessica Van Cauteren (Guest Teacher)

 

MEDIA EXPLORATION | 3rd & 4th Year Course

The course introduces the basic knowledge of filming and editing. Students will gain practical experience and understanding of working with video and multi-media equipment in order to explore various possibilities of usage to communicate thoughts, themes, ideas and concepts. In addition, the course aims to focus on linking dance and new technologies as well as exploring the influence of multi-media on choreographic development. This will help to foster an understanding of the new convergences between dance and technology whilst exposing students to new contexts of production and presentation of contemporary art work.

In the third year, the course aims to deliver: Introduction to cinematography; Introduction to editing; DaVinci Resolve tutorials; and student presentations. Throughout the semester, students will acquire a range of skills to produce a dance film.

In the fourth year, a particular emphasis will be placed on exploring the influence of multi-media on choreographic development in order to develop a state of dance performance informed by digital technology.

Timetabled 1 day a week | Class 180’

Tutor: Inal Bilsel

INDEPENDENT INDIVIDUAL WORK | 3rd & 4th Year Course

The course is undertaken in the 3rd and 4th year with an aim to encourage the students to experiment with an area of research selected by themselves, in the form of a self-directed study.

The aim is to utilise this research process in order to deepen their search for an individual movement language, working method, ideas, concepts, form, content and dramaturgy. Students access studios in their own time to continue with their practical work as a movement research and individual creation session.