7 Questions for Pedro Gomes- teaching in the week of 15 & 22 February
"What motivates me the most as a teacher is to observe how dancers seem to leave my classes feeling better than when they arrived. In other words, feeling healthier and more balanced.”
HJS regularly asks its teachers a number of questions about how they look at dance, teaching and more. This week dance blogger Lisa Kapan talked to ballet teacher Pedro Gomes:
1. How would you describe the point you are at in your career and what are you currently working on besides teaching?
“Lately, besides choreographing, I have also been performing my own work. Soon I will finish the Somatic Movement Practitioner Program at the Somatic Movement Institute of the Netherlands. To me this is an extension of dance.”
2. About the dance class at HJS: what is your vision, who/ what inspires you?
“For me the morning class is a great way to start the day. Not only do you get in touch with your body but also with the space around it, which you will carry with you no matter where you are or what you are/ will be doing. There’s also great pleasure in dancing while there’s a professional pianist playing, a luxury which we have during my HJS classes. I think it really enhances the quality of your day.”
3. What can dancers expect when they do your class?
“I think my classes may be characterized by their dynamics, musicality and coordination. The embodiment of these qualities will make you overcome any technical obstacle. ”
4. What knowledge and/ or skills would you like to pass on to those who do your class?
“Dancers are too often educated not to trust their bodies. This old-fashioned misconception must be reversed. The moment a dancer connects with his/her body’s intrinsic intelligence they will be on the right path to fulfil their movement potential. This is valuable for me and any dancer I think.”
5. What motivates you as a teacher in general?
“Every morning, as a dancer warms up for class they will inevitably be confronted with the state of their bodies. A particularly tough performance the night before, a long rehearsal or an uncomfortable bus trip after the show will always leave its aches. What motivates me the most as a teacher is to observe how dancers seem to leave my classes feeling better than when they arrived. In other words, feeling healthier and more balanced.”
6. You danced with several big companies, such as NDT and Stuttgart Ballet, can you tell us something about your experience there and how that influenced you as a teacher?
“To dance with NDT and the Stuttgart Ballet means, amongst many other wonderful things, to work your ass off from the first to the last day of the season. In order for you to be able to deal with the daily challenges you must have a good morning class. To me a good class is a body-friendly yet challenging class that prepares you both physically and mentally for the day ahead. I really keep that in mind when I teach.”
7. Do you have any advice for dancers who are pursuing a career as a performing artist in the Netherlands?
Work, be curious, watch as many performances as possible, read, listen to music, go to museums, be open minded, refine your criticism and do not waist time complaining
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