a surprised body - francesco scavetta

Workshop for professional dancers

Participants: Loris Venegoni, Janine Harrington, Mirte Bogaert, Ida Haugen, Åsne Storli, Kiriko Shimizu, Emi Ogura, Riina Kalmi, Tinna Ómarsdóttir, Virpi Leppäniemi, Katharina Senk, Liza Magnan, Tanja Andreeva, Ratih Windrati, Ivo Dimitrov, Yohei Hamada, Ryonosuke Endo, Henrietta Wallberg, Birgitte Lundtoft, Jessica Rosin.

09.12 - 20.12

”A surprised body” Intensive workshop for professional dancers, led by Francesco Scavetta. The workshop involved 20 selected dancers from 13 different Nationalities

Press cut
“Francesco Scavetta proposes a personal approach to contemporary dance, based on release-technique and contact-improvisation, influenced by his experience as a dancer and choreographer and by his practice of tai chi chuan, that links a deep transformation of the body to a delicate poetic of the movement.” Danza&danza

The teaching project “A surprised body” has received wide international recognition as a process and technique and has taken place in 42 countries (Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Albania, Republic of San Marino, Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, UK, Holland, Austria, Finland, India, Belgium, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Spain, France, Germany, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Palestine, Lebanon, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, Senegal, Kenya, Uganda and Belarus). 

The research that led to the creation of the performance Surprised body project will ground the workshop.
The Surprised Body Project is a dance project that focuses on choreographic and compositional issues. In other previous Wee’s production, the physicality has been present, conceptually, on the same level, and with equivalent valour, with text, visual art, sound installations, use of objects, props and scenographical elements. With the Surprised Body Project, the central element of the research is the body, the movement and its relation to music and space.

As a title, Surprised body project already defines a metaphorical space. The image of a body constantly alert, escaping from daily habits and routine. The sense of “surprise” is intended as an inner state which allows us to “react” and respond, as individuals and as a group, affecting each other with our physical decision throughout structured improvisations and instant composition.

The workshop will be an occasion to search for specific qualities of disarticulated movement, layering the experience throughout several proposals and improvisations. Challenging and increasing the body awareness, by approaching the movement avoiding tactics and routines.
Through a structured score of exercises that combine floor work, hands-on exercises, tai chi chuan and movement sequences, the physical training focuses, among other things, on: centring and gravity, awakening the internal and external supports, allowing isolation in the limbs and flow in the movement.

Activating the centre as an engine of the movement, we will aim to let the movement cross freely, throughout the body.

The first part of the workshop will be dedicated to grounding the principals of the work. It will then move through a series of investigations on the movement and structured improvisations, intended as a conceptual, physical and mental challenge.

Movement material will be transformed and de-structured. A movement phrase will be treated as a spoken phrase, where the movements can be isolated as “words” and used to compose new phrases. The random element in the phrase will come through improvisations or composition, trying to use even small parts of movement from the original phrase as “syllables” from which to build new movements.

“When you “affect” something, you are at the same time opening yourself up to being affected in turn." (Brian Massumi)

The Surprised Body Project
The Surprised Body Project has been developing, as an ongoing creative process. Whilst creating several new versions of the work and touring in many different countries, the project sometimes involves guest dancers and new composers in the performance.
Surprised Body Project has never been the same twice, as the structured improvisations always modify the work and local needs and possibilities dictate the shape and context of the actual event. It’s always an occasion to develop new ways of sharing knowledge about dance, while producing specific discourses in the performing arts field.
Since its première in Buenos Aires in October 2010, the project has been successfully presented in 26 countries in Europe, Asia and South America. 
In 2013, 5 new versions were created in collaboration with different dance artists and artistic structures, such as: PLATFORMA from Moscow (Russia), Reykjavik Dance Atelier and Reykjavik dance festival (Iceland), Plesni teater from Ljubljana (Slovenia), Monochrome circus/Kyoto Art Center-Kyoto (Japan) Studio-contemporary dance company/MSU-Contemporary Museum of Arts in Zagreb (Croatia). The version in Zagreb won the Prize for Best Performance of the year in 2014. In 2016, a new version was created in co-production with Greenwich Dance in London (UK) and performed it in the UK, Sweden and Colombia.

Born in Salerno (IT), Scavetta studied at National Academy of Dance of Rome, graduated in Theatre and Performing Arts and Post-graduated in Sciences of Communication.

Choreographer, and dancer, Francesco Scavetta is, together with Gry Kipperberg, the Artistic Director of the dance company Wee (Oslo/Norway). In the last years, Wee has been touring in 36 countries, becoming one of the leading companies on the Norwegian scene.

Scavetta has been giving classes and workshops, amount others, at: IMPULSTANZ (Wien, Austria), PARTS/Performing Arts Research Training Studios (Brussels, Belgium), Henny Jurriëns Foundation, (Amsterdam, Holland), MTD (Amsterdam, Holland), SEAD/Salzburg Experimental Dance Academy (Salzburg, Austria), Tanzquartier (Vienna, Austria) Greenwich Dance (London, UK), K3 (Hamburg, Germany) and in many dance/theatre festivals around the world.
Since 2012, Scavetta has been establishing Vitlycke – Centre for performing arts, a new residency place, situated centrally between Oslo and Göteborg.

Scavetta’s theatricality have often been associated with the atmosphere of a weird dream or to a playful world of a child: strange, funny, poetic and, at the same time, surprising. The performances created changes in format and aesthetic: to the delicate memories of “Daddy always wanted me to grow a pair of wings”, that looked like an old black and white movie found in the loft, we contra-posed the complex use of technology of performances like “Live*”, co-produced by the Biennale of Venice. Live* won the first price at 30° Edition of the International Competition for Electro-acoustic Music of Bourges/France. The latest projects, "Hey dude, let’s stick around a bit longer this time” and “And I just stood there, watching the sky and the people below” have their conceptual starting point from a curiosity in the theme of the “consciousness” and have a different unconventional dramaturgical structure.

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