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Cláudia Nwabasili and Roges Doglas

The CM 2021 was conducted in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Japanese. Notes are in the chosen language of the participant. Translation available at >

Driving themes

  • Relationship of the body to the artists’ many physical inheritances.

  • Body is spiritual health.


  • To learn and develop techniques that respect their own learning.

Beginning with

  • Skeleton of a 10 minute duet.


  • To explore who we are and what our stories are.

  • To bring our/the everyday Brazilian body into contemporary practice on stage and in studio.


  • How to make different physicalities both inevitable/necessary to the work?


  • In Brazil [they] cannot save own traditions to share their own story. Challenge in a current artistic context. Perilous.

  • Struggles around the decision of choice of vocabulary, as well as auditioning for dancers.

  • The importance of autonomy, and ensuring their voice (choreographically) is heard/represented.


  • Develop increased nuances of qualities within action and gesture.

  • Invent within tradition and vocabulary received from their cultures.

  • Explore actual movement interactions—within own’s dance, with the other, to the space around self/both.

  • Be practical- understand the work by studying video as constructivist, not performers’ experience.


  • Consideration of the material through a formal lens (eg. the 6 principles of the CM) gave freedom for more creative choices.

  • Resistance, counter balance, weight-bearing connote sharing burdens, the weight of judgment.

  • Allowing and using the inherent duration of an action is powerful e.g. extending the initial sculptural shape with each of their bodies curved into each other sets it as the kernel of the work.

  • Every action has its own optimum duration within a work. Extending and/or repeating material is not always the best solution.

Development and Skill-building

Appreciated the artists and mentors who worked to encounter and synthesize the 6 principles so clearly (the world of the piece, the sensations of the body, the actions, etc.) with integrity and their own artistry.

Making effort look effortless; making effortlessness look effort-full.

Questions from mentors

  • How far ‘in’ do you go? is the action motivated from internal physical sources? other sources?

  • What does the gesture communicate? A blessing? An anointing? A ritual?

  • What feeds your creative spirit in the work? Claudia & Roges respond Their “connection with each other.”

  • Have you considered working on solo pieces? Would you consider choreographing for each other? Do you do that already?

  • What brings you joy?

  • What do you value in your movement expression?

  • Is movement for meaning or virtuosity/convention? re: use of Capoeira and modern dance stylings and forms.

General observations

  • Celebrating each other and the essence of the work.

  • Many, many stories to tell, dances to create, and ways to break out of the boundaries.

  • Dancers engaged and aligned with the energy of their cultural roots.

  • A strong duo able to find nuanced qualities of action and gesture.

  • The work speaks to so many layers of how we might nourish cultural connectedness, from the spiritual-energetic bonds of overcoming the bounds of being in a body to the very real sharing of space, time, weight and breath.

  • A combination of cultural and contemporary physicality – sometimes at odds with each other, other times more fluid.

  • Even when they are apart, they are together. Even when they’re together, they’re separate, unique.

Discussion points

  • What is in the body of the artist in a non-performative place? in a performance? Our bodies live in a particular way – embodies our culture, language, personality, experience.

  • The challenges of being Black dancers within Brazil contemporary dance milieu.

  • The courage to make art, to put things out there and have them be ‘wrong’ ‘awkward’ ‘imperfect’.

  • Vulnerability.

To practice

  • “Finding ways of staying with ourselves”.

  • You have talked about parameters around what you have to teach and perform to get work etc. Begin to encourage yourself and those whom you teach to explore ways you can express your selves in your culture and in what is burning inside you to express.

What next

  • Production of a Film using this work as source material.


Ancestors, Spiritual, Presence, Sensation, Relationship, Love, Allowing, Intimacy, Memories, Tradition, Mutual healing, Self-liberation; Culture.


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