UBW workshop - Olga Galona (1)

What can you as a performer gain from Serendipity events?


Hi guys! As one of the new interns working with Serendipity for the next six weeks, one of my roles includes taking over the blog and getting to share some of my experiences with you. I have recently graduated from De Montfort University with a BA(hons) in Arts and Festivals management and Dance. Throughout my time at university I wanted to be the kind of student who got involved with as many extra opportunities as possible, from extra workshops to volunteer positions. With LDIF 2018 coming up I wanted to take the time to share, from my own experience, why I think you should be getting involved too!

As someone who has undergone dance training myself, some of the most valuable experiences have been practical workshops. Being in the room and working with chorographers offers you an insight into their process of working. Two of the workshops I have taken part in were with Henri Oguike and Cameron McKinney. These workshop offered me different skills both of which I can take forward in to my dancing. The Henri Oguike workshop was a six-week course that focused on developing each dancer a choreographic voice. His concentration on rhythm and precision over a long periods of time gave me an understanding of what it might take to be tenacious enough to work and constantly refine choreography. This was a contrast to the workshop of Cameron McKinney which only last two hours but require 150% effort at all times. A full on class of his own style combining contemporary floor work and street styles. Being a dancer that’s trained for years in ballet it was completely out my comfort zone but that’s what was so exciting about it! It gave me a way to push myself and grow as a performer, something any dancer is constantly striving to do.

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I have wanted to perform from a young age, and I think I can speak for most dancers when I say watching and experiencing a performance of an incredible company only fuels that passion, making you want to work even harder in the studio. In my three years at university I made sure to view as much professional dance work as possible and Leicester has been a great place for that to be possible. I have had internationally accredited artist such as Urban Bush Women, PHILADANCO and now Kizuna being bought straight to my doorstep. Seeing artist such as these not only encourages new dancers to better themselves but the introduction of new styles allowed me to see new ways of moving despite what I knew to be ‘contemporary dance’.  These piece are often breath taking, an experience of surprise to myself who regularly attends the arts and something I recommend seeing because you will regret missing them.

Over the years however Serendipity has also allowed me to see emerging artist and ‘works in progress’. This work can often be the most interesting and I found them some of the most relatable pieces. Mainly soloists or made up of smaller numbers of people these performances show short snippets of artist where they seem to be finding their own flavour, which I have seen includes essence of hip hop, ballroom and break dance. In my time at university I saw these performers as relatable. For anyone eager to take up these opportunities in the future or who is looking for influences in evolving their own style, these are not to be missed!

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It may sound like I’m preaching that you should all attend these events, but think of it more as encouragement! In my opinion you’ll never be able to say you’ve experienced everything, there’s always more out there to do and discover and when its available, why not!