Photo credit : Ascaf Avraham
Photo credit : Ascaf Avraham

LAURA TOMA (MTL) — Gaga/Dancers

Nov. 28 to Dec. 2, 2022 — 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. (Mon.-Fri.)
Full week rate: 100$
Drop-in class rate: 22$ 
Language of instruction: a mix of English and French
Questions can also be asked in : Romanian
23 people, priority full week attendance
Open to dancers

*Registration and payment for drop-in on site only by credit card or e-transfer.

*No advance registration for drop-in attendance
 – pay by credit or e-transfer on site the morning of, if places remain.

By registering for a workshop, you agree to cancel your participation if you have symptoms or suspect you may have COVID-19. Please read the Participant Engagement before registering. Thank you!

CONTENT // Gaga is the movement language developed by Ohad Naharin, the Artistic Director of the Batsheva Dance Company, and is part of the company’s daily training regime. This class is open to professional dancers and advanced dance students aged 16 and over. Gaga/dancers classes are built on the same principles as Gaga/people classes but include specific vocabulary that are part and parcel to a dancer’s knowledge. The layering of familiar movements with Gaga tasks deepens dancers’ awareness of physical sensations, expands their palette of available movement options, enhances their ability to modulate their energy and engage their explosive power, while enriching their movement quality with a wide range of textures. Gaga raises awareness of physical weaknesses, awakens numb areas, exposes physical fixations, and offers ways for their elimination. The work improves instinctive movement and connects conscious and unconscious movement. It allows for an experience of freedom and pleasure in a simple way, in a pleasant space, in comfortable clothes, accompanied by a well curated playlist, each person with themselves and others.

ACCESSIBILITY // In Gaga we move continuously. From the beginning until the end of the class, participants are taken on a journey through various bodily states, ways of moving, speeds, and intensities. Instructions are given verbally by the teacher; who is not only teaching the class, but also taking it. Even if verbal cues are not understood, information can be gathered by looking at her body and practicing imitation. All parts of the body are called into use, though each participant can work at their own level and adapt as appropriate. No one is permitted to sit and observe a Gaga class — neither for all nor for part of it. In the case of reduced mobility, Gaga welcomes the investigation of concepts explored even on the subtlest of levels. Music plays an important role in the development of class; at times it is played quietly in the background and at others loudly. However, it is often emphasized that groove is within the body and not the music. All participants will be encouraged to research this whether they can or cannot distinctly hear the accompanying audio tracks.

BIO // Born in Romania and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Laura Toma is a contemporary dance artist living in Montréal. She is a graduate of the Laban Center in London, UK and The School of Dance in Ottawa. She has professional training in theatre as well as in latin and ballroom dance and her professional development has included training at P.A.R.T.S. in Belgium and with the company Ate9 in Los Angeles. In August 2012, Laura graduated from the first official Gaga Teacher Training Program in Tel Aviv, Israel under the mentorship of Ohad Naharin and is the first certified Gaga teacher in Canada. She has taught for Compagnie Marie Chouinard, the RQD, l’ÉDCMTL, and L’École Supérieure de Ballet du Québec, among others. She is a founding member of LA TRESSE collective and has been a part of Andrea Peña and Artists since 2014. In June of 2016 Laura performed at the Venice Biennale of Dance for Israeli/French choreographer Emanuel Gat. In addition, Laura is a designer, image maker, and video artist.