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An introduction to my

Professional Practice 

Biography

I am a Bristol/Bath-based freelance movement practitioner, focusing on performance, choreography, movement directing, and education, as well as working as artistic director and co-founder of AllouAqui Dance Theatre. Within my professional creative practice, I have worked within the collaboration between dancers, actors, and other creatives, blurring the lines between disciplines; stemming from my training, and current practice, where I focus on interdisciplinarity and the theatricalisation of the moving body.

 

My dance journey started as a little boy, watching my mother boogying around the house, leading me to Balleteatro in my home town, Porto, Portugal where I trained in physical theatre for three years. I then moved to the UK, and gained a first-class BA (Hons) degree from Bath Spa University in Contemporary Dance, where I am now an associate lecturer for the Acting and Dance degree. Most recently, I started a Master's programme at Middlesex University, London, in Sep 2023. This MA in Professional Arts Practice is allowing me to question, develop and research my Movement and Interdisciplinary practice. 

As a movement artist, my practice has also allowed me to create for the screen. Over the years, I have also worked in the field of digital media, developing my skillset and knowledge in many areas such as film, photography, editing, directing and producing for the screen, from concepts to final edits. A major element of my filmmaking practice comes through my collaboration with other artists, creating short films that are showcased across the world, and have won various awards.

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My
Inter-
disciplinary Practice Timeline

2011 - 2014

Balleteatro Escola Profissional.

Dance/Drama School, Porto, Portugal.

Training subjects ranged from contemporary and ballet techniques to dance history, anatomy, creative performance, voice and improvisation. Specialised in physical theatre, improvisation and site-specific work.

2012 - 2014

During my time at Balleteatro, some significant site-specific projects external to my training started to shape my practice.

First time working within two disciplines (dance and acting) to perform interdisciplinary work alongside dancers and actors for different choreographers and directors, such as Isabel Barros, Ricardo Ambrósio, Daniel Alves and Né Barros.

2014 - 2017

Bath Spa University.
First-class BA (Hons) Dance degree, Bath, England.

Contemporary dance covering somatic work, improvisation, creative practice, digital performance practice, performance projects and other contemporary dance techniques such as cunningham, graham, release, limon.

My written dissertation title was ‘An investigation on collaborative work between dancers and actors in devising’. This was presented alongside a 30-minute performance created from instant improvisation/composition with a collaborative group of 9 actors and dancers. 

2014 - 2017

Whilst at Bath Spa University, some external self-lead and collaborative projects also shaped my training.

I started to work closely with the acting discipline by taking on an acting job to immerse myself and gain skills; I started to assist acting students with movement direction for their graduating performances; and collaborated with an actor for a screendance project of mine, merging dance, acting and film.

Took part in a PhD research by Chris Lewis-Smith, my digital performance module lecturer, which opened doors to my interest in film, editing, and creating for and with the camera.

2017 - present

Associate Lecturer for Bath Spa University’s Dance degree.

Ranging from creative modules to performance projects, one-off workshops, and intensive/residency weeks to create stage work that tastes the physical theatre world through text, props, characters, narrative and comedy.

2017 - 2020

Performer/collaborator in dance projects.

Dance-based projects that involved virtual reality, visual arts and site-specific, with practitioners such as Lisa May Thomas, Angela Praed, Rosemary Lee and Carlos Silva.

2017 - 2020

Movement director/collaborator in acting projects.

Collaborative movement-based performances, with different directors, actors and circus performers, such as Josh Whatsize, Sofia Velez, Emotive Contemporary Circus and Amy Lewin.

2017 - 2023

Filmmaking/Screendan projects.

My work in digital media platforms ranges in filming, editing, directing, producing, collaborating, and performing for the screen. A major element of my filmmaking practice comes through my collaboration with other artists (such as Yama Dance Company,  Chris Lewis-Smith, and Dundlemann) creating films that are showcased across the world and have won various awards at screendance film festivals.

2019 - present

Associate choreographer/director for Yama Dance Company.

Yama Dance Company is formed of performers aged 60 and over, creating community dance theatre work in the South West. Through creative residencies over the past years, together we have created three pieces (for stage and screen), such as Four Days Before Gerald DiesWonderlane (film) and Are We There Yet.

2018 - present

Performer/collaborator with theatre director Mary Steadman.

My work with Mary Steadman started through her PhD research in Hauntology in Theatre. Since then my role has progressed from research participant to performer, creative collaborator and movement director as we have continued to make work for the stage, such as DwellingThis Is The Land and the ongoing Goat Song.

2022 - 2023

Movement Lecturer for the Acting degree at Bath Spa University.

First full year in higher education, leading movement sessions for the first and second-year acting students. My sessions ranged in somatic practice, cunningham technique, instant improvisation and devising. I have also gained important knowledge on marking/assessing and student mentoring. 

2017 - present

Co-founder, Artistic Director, Choreographer and Performer

at AllouAqui Dance Theatre Company alongside movement artist Delicia Sefiha.

As a company we have been making dance theatre work for the stage and screen, collaborating with other artists and community groups, sharing performances and workshops internationally.

2023 - present

Middlesex University, London, UK.

This Professional Arts Practice Master's degree is allowing me to extend my Movement and Interdisciplinary creative practice. 

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'Dear Practice'

Letter

Excerpts of my informal 'Dear Practice' letter written in October 2023 at the very beginning of my MAPAP journey.

The combination of my creative practices were born in different places - training, collaborations, interests in different subjects and art forms, and experimentation through play, self-discovery and curiosity. There is, however, one place that holds it all - passion.

I am interested in merging the aspects of my practice: movement, dance, theatre, theatricalisation... I wonder however where I really stand, and who I am. Am I a dance artist? A movement artist? A theatre artist? An artist at all? Even though I am a trained dancer, I no longer feel like one when creating. I no longer want to move my arms in snaky ways just to showcase soft movement quality. I am looking for more. I am looking for motif, for purpose.

I am interested in being a dancer who speaks and an actor who moves, but where exactly do I stand when teaching in higher education? In dance degrees, I integrate theatre elements into dancers and in acting degrees I explore movement in the actor's bodies. Where do I stand in my practice? Where is the line between the disciplines that I practice? And how can I share them with a clear balance?

The collaborative interdisciplinary exploration in my career so far has pushed me to come to a time to rethink my processes and to be in a position to explore, question, develop, challenge and redefine the collaboration between disciplines. Such learning hopefully will challenge my processes of creating for, and with different performers from different disciplines, with different training and skills, all of whom could bring various influences and challenges to the rehearsal room.

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