Georgia Petrali was born in the island of Crete, Greece. She is a dancer, performer, choreographer, director, teacher of movement and dance, the founder of Fysalida Dance (www.fysalidance.com) and the International Contact Improvisation Crete Festival (www.contactimprocrete.com). She studied dance in England and Holland, has collaborated with several dance companies in Greece and abroad, and has also been teaching around the world since 1997. In 2007 Georgia moved back to Crete in order to stir an awareness of dance as an art form. Ever since, she has being creating and presenting art in several places in Crete, Greece and abroad as well as fulfilling artistic activist actions through movement and dance in theatres, art venues and public spaces by using the ‘active-thinking’ body in order to touch upon social issues relating to man, nature and the planet. Through the practice and ideology Georgia teaches and shares with students and associates she has begun offering ‘free stretching’ in streets and squares, organising events to collect food and clothes for the community, sharing ‘social-discussions’ in public spaces, creating small-modern ‘agoras’ by expressing concerns and ideas, wishes and struggles, dreams and realities of modern society’s everyday matters. Taking an architectural look at the various places where an artwork is presented, improvising and using elements of contact improvisation, community dance and dance-theatre, researching and collaborating with professional and amateur artists as well as every day people are characteristic technical features and well-trodden ‘emotional paths’ in the artistic activities and productions prepared by Georgia.
By using breathing exercises, body positions used on a day-to-day basis, and simple contemporary dance and improvisation techniques, we will attempt to make the body conscious of what is needed to move with clarity, flow and awareness of its own movement. Our goal is to discover the different qualities of each and every movement and to explore the flow of the movement within the body and space in which we exist. We will focus our attention on the moods which we experience and on how they affect our relations with the rest of the group. What is of concern is to discover space within and outside our body, setting the rate and pace of our own self and utilising time via the different melodies that a properly trained body can generate. The principle of movement, and of maintaining and developing that movement via bodily contact, the unpredictability of each and every moment and the forces of physics (gravity, controlled impetus, continuous flow and action/reaction) lead bodies to co-exist as a unique entity, a web of movements which are constantly evolving and reforming, changing shape within space and time. Collective effort and a personal exploration carried out by each member of the group, trust and frankness, concentration, precision, awareness of and care for the body will be the main tools employed as the seminar unfolds and develops into something deeper and more instinctive.