Ana Mira

Class Description | Morning class | Monday 20 - Friday 24 April 2015

Listening bodies, changes and displacements
And after that what changes what changes after that, after that what changes and what changes after that and after that and what changes and after that and what changes after that.
Continuous present is one thing and beginning again and again is another thing. These are both things. And then there is using everything.

Gertrude Stein, “Composition as Explanation” (1925)

Beginning again and again with the awakening of the senses, body coordinates and movement explorations as we reconsider, each moment, our relation with gravity, distance, duration and form. For this, we refer to somatics and dance practices such as release, Body-Mind Centring (Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen), material for the spine (Steve Paxton), fasciatherapy (Danis Bois), experiential anatomy, physiology, embryology and chi kung (Master Lam Kam Chuen).

Beginning again and again, within that ground we compose ourselves in the first part of the class, we then continue our movement journey through other given propositions more able of displaying a danced gesture out there. For example, to follow a geography of touch, sensing the passing surfaces of skin and ground in a plane closer to the earth. After a while, to touch the particles of air, which resonate in the peripheral layer of our skin. Then, the density of air sustaining our danced gesture as sequential forms that condense and change continuously surrendering into presence.

Beginning again and again, in the third part of the class we re-member sensorial objects of our experience, so far: a certain density of tonus, a curved path, a landscape of the body, an atmosphere of touch, a fold of the flesh, a volume in a corner, a widening of place or relocation.
Improvisation is approached here as an auscultation of corporeal matrixes, both minute and infinite, from which a gesture emerges in a displacement that only to the duration of each gesture belongs – as bodies listen, in dance. These classes are open to all levels of dance experience.

These classes are part of the MA Investigative Practice module and tend to fill quickly; please arrive early to ensure your spot.


Ana Mira is a Lisbon-born dance performer, maker, researcher and writer.
She has been doing extensive dance training in Europe and USA. Particularly interested in the legacy of american post-modern dance, she has been mostly influenced by Steve Paxton, Lisa Nelson and Eva Karczag. Also, she is a zhan zhuang chi kung practioner under guidance of Master Lam Kam Chuen.

She completed her doctorate in philosophy aesthetics at Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities/ New University of Lisbon in 2014 with the thesis Silence, potency and gesture: a body in dance. In 2008 she completed her master degree in philosophy/aesthetics with the thesis The feet understand at the same university (both her doctoral and master studies were developed under guidance of the Portuguese philosopher José Gil). In 2004 she completed her BA in community development at Higher School of Education Jean Piaget.

As a dance performer she has worked with Russell Dumas, Pauline de Groot and, presently, Rosemary Butcher. Her choreographic work developed in collaboration with various artists, including visual artists. These works have been presented in theatres, galleries and other public spaces. Her last choreographic work was the adaptation of the solo At Once, by Deborah Hay (2010).

Her research-creation projects in the fields of dance and philosophy have been supported with the following fellowships: Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (2009/2013), Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (2008), Department of Cultural and International Relations/Ministry of Culture of Portugal (2002/2003). These grants allowed her to develop research at Center for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences /Kingston University (UK) (2010/2011), Contredanse (BE), Centre National de la Danse (FR), Performance Studies Department at Tisch School of the Arts/New York University, Trisha Brown Studio, Movement Research, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and Fales Library /Bobst Library /NYU (USA) (2007/2008), Dans Studio Pauline de Groot (NL) and Dance Exchange/Russell Dumas (FR) (2001/2003), The Place, Greenwich Dance Agency, Chisenhale (UK) (1997).

She has been teaching, internationally, movement research, improvisation, composition, dance studies, dance and philosophy.

She is the author of the following essays: The feet understand: the film ABCDEFG, by Russell Dumas (1994), Listening bodies, in dance, Sensorial document: an embodied practice in dance and philosophy.