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Ava Bruna Bihina: Urban and Village bodies

The CM 2021 was conducted in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Japanese. Translation available at > google/ < Language below is choice of artist.

Driving theme:

  • How to discover in the urban dancer body expressiveness of villages of origin.


  • To convey traditional essence of the dance studied without replicating the traditional dance itself.

  • To test ideas, responses and reactions.

Beginning with:

  • Material inspired by women’s dances and rituals from a traditional village.


  • To express “Being triumphant”, “Overcoming” .


  • How to create a clear message to audience through movement?

  • She asks herself:

    • What is strong?

    • Essence of the dance?

    • What do you like?

    • If you did another film, what would you do?

    • What will you do with dancers?

    • How would you experience receiving this film?

    • What is it missing?


  • Understanding where movements start and where resolves, for example- undulations.

  • Sensation has to change when interpreting dance rooted in different physicalities/motivations.


  • Imagine how to use space; plays with space, levels; lots of postures.

  • Start with an emotion then explore how to express the emotion through her body.

  • Work with video (filming herself – then viewing); variety of levels and forms.

  • Use instincts - intuition is part of her craft.

  • Work with time, duration, sensation.


  • Movement can be done without tension.

Development and Skill-building:

  • Every convention adds to her ideas.

  • Working with Circularity (formal) & Ancestral connection (immaterial)

  • Deconstructing/reducing movements to find the essentials of movements.

Questions from mentors:

  • Identify how you use force, time in your work. How do they live in your body?

  • Where is the creation happening? In your body, in your imagination, in your organizing mind, in the space between you and the audience? (Reference to Shokoufeh Sakhi’s Proximity & Creativity)

General observations:

  • Training informs the form when she works with object/subject ie: the movement of a hunter, perhaps limits discoveries.

  • Sensation will be different when interpretating of the initiation dance being drawn upon.

Discussion points:

  • Principles may not tell you what’s missing. They get you thinking, to begin to discover what you are missing. What’s missing is the gift that leads to discovery – It’s not a problem, it’s a gift; a possibility– What am I going to do this next time?

To practice:

  • Amount of energy, and attention given to movement- what is needed, what is superfluous.

  • freedom comes from doing something beyond the boundaries of one’s life, at the moment, with the same ease as staying within boundaries - no hardship to do it – your aspiration for this expanded freedom means you need to find a route out of your comfort zone

technical - the feet go but it's hard to catch the time with the music - needed is between the music and the dancer- purposeful non-dialogue (remembering that the viewer will always experience the “dance” as a whole (dance & music +++ in interactions)


footwork- you have to do a regime of practice

and discover the techniques to achieve the footwork you want

and to practice them – les batterie de la danse

What next:

  • Working on a future piece.

  • Touring with an ensemble, will take discoveries to continue to explore within her performance.

Key words:

Form, Tradition, Emotion, Cultural body, Transformation, Dedication, Power, Commitment.

Bruna Ava Bihina est une artiste, danseuse et jeune créatrice d'origine camerounaise qui a été formée à l'Ecole des Sables de Germaine Acogny au Sénégal pour le diplôme en danse Africaine et contemporaine d'Afrique promotion 2018- 2020. Pratiquant son art de façon professionnelle, elle s'est formée dans la compagnie FEUR DE LOTUS et y est depuis plus de 4ans, elle fait de nombreuses scènes, et travaille dans cette compagnie en tant que danseuse interprète.

Elle coach des jeunes qui aimeraient faire carrière dans la danse comme elle et assiste les chorégraphes de la compagnie lors des cours de danses Africaines.


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