Training for Dancers
Damian Gmür is a dance teacher and maker. He has worked as a dancer with various dance companies and artists including Johannes Wieland, Gregor Zöllig, Guy&Roni, Richard Wherlock, Nils Christe, Philippe Blanchard, Örjan Andersson, Roberto Olivan, Martin Stiefermann and Gonzalo Galguera. As a teacher, he is working regularly with remarkable companies, dance universities and festivals. Combining dance with his advanced training in Contact Improvisation and Capoeira, he enriches his use of improvisational tools to encourage awareness and cultivate an understanding of movement qualities. To further improve his artistic development and refine his ability to communicate movement, Damian joined the part-time Master’s Program Contemporary Dance Pedagogy at the Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden and started in 2017 the Gaga-Teacher program in Tel Aviv/Israel.
In Damian’s contemporary training, an emphasis is placed on developing movement qualities, alignment, different dynamics and a high sense of musicality. The warm up sequences focus to activate the center, to build inner pathways from the center to the limbs and vice versa, softening the body’s joints, and releasing the weight of the body into the floor. Following this gentle warm up, the class increases in complexity, involving set movement material and combinations in and through different levels. It expands the possibilities of moving and movement dynamics. In between, improvisation exercises will make use of visual imagery, bringing attention to specific movement characteristics and encouraging the participants to approach movement on an individual level. The last part of the class consists of a choreographic phrase, offering space for individual movement exploration and musicality. The end aims to establish higher spatial orientation, speed in energetic patterns, rhythmic changes, movement complexity, interconnectedness of the body parts and coordination. Damian´s class experiments with diverse movement qualities and combines different techniques with personal interpretation, sensitivity and knowledge. Being a result of personal experiences as well as investigation, the training is influenced by modern dance techniques (Limon, Graham, Laban), Release Technique, floor work/Capoeira and improvisation techniques.