Laborgas Laboratory



laboratory - movement investigation:

Each day of the Lab will start with a technique class utilising aspects of several contemporary dance forms and incorporating information from anatomically based releasing techniques. The emphasis in the technique class lays on clarity from a personal understanding of geometry and body’s relationship to it.

We will work on momentum, alignment, weight flow, breathing, relationship to gravity, the space and each other as well as to tension and releasing through lengthening. We will seek to physicalize and put the above mentioned concepts in practice to relate them to a more complex moving material with efficiency. The aim is to dance without limiting possibilities, to widen our range, leaving us open to approach given phrase material from an internal understanding.

After the Class we’ll explore specific tasks and themes to develop a personal movement vocabulary utilising improvisational scores. We’ll create and / or cultivate short movement studies to formulate structures that can be applied to both, the individual creative development and to the collaborative shared experience. Equally important to the collaborative shared experience of the making, will be the showing of and the talking about what we make to be able to develop an understanding of what works and why to broaden our perspectives about movement composition. 

Born in Luzern, Switzerland, he began his dance training in Luzern (Switzerland) and Rotterdam (Holland). Following his education, he worked for several state theatres in Switzerland and Germany and founded the dance group COAX in 1989 with dancer Rica Blunck in Hamburg. In the summer of 1994, he left COAX to become a co-founder of the collective laborgras and has since been involved in numerous international projects with other artists and choreographers. His longest collaboration has been with the choreographer David Hernandez. Since 1999 he has been involved in many of his productions and projects.Since 1996 he has taught contemporary dance technique regularly in various institutions in Germany and internationally. Since 2008 he works mainly as Improviser, Choreographer, Dramaturg, Teacher and at the Studio of laborgras as the Technical Director.

Renate Graziadei, born in Austria, began her dance education in Switzerland. Afterwards, she studied and worked in New York for three years at the Nina Wiener Dance Company, among others. Upon returning to Europe, she worked with Rui Horta at the S.O.A.P. Dance Theatre Frankfurt and then joined the Hamburg dance group COAX. In addition to realizing her own projects as laborgras, (Renate  Graziadei and Arthur Stäldi) she also is involved in productions by other artists. Her longest and closest cooperation has existed since 1999 with the choreographer David Hernandez. In addition, she has
also taught contemporary dance technique, improvisation and  composition regularly in Germany and abroad. Renate Graziadei has  been working as a co-repetitor and dancer for Sasha Waltz and Guests since 2004 and 2008, respectively. In 2010, she was honored as the best female dancer of the year in 2010 in the ballett-tanz critics’ survey. And 2015 she was nominated for the German Theater Prize DER FAUST for her achievement in dance in the production “Transition” (world premiere 2014 at DOCK 11, Berlin)


The laborgras collective, founded by the dancers and choreographers Renate Graziadei and Arthur Stäldi in Hamburg in 1994, has been located in Berlin since 2000. LaborGras has been working as a laboratory since its foundation. One of its main approaches is to investigate dance as an independent art form and language. In this process, the current situation in contemporary dance is always re-evaluated and developed further. This occurs in an exchange with dancers, choreographers and representatives from other art disciplines.

studio laborgras

laborgras has operated its own studio in Berlin-Kruzberg since the fall of 2002. The studio stage is the collective’s home and is used by numerous national and international artists as a center for research, exchange and performance. The residencies, performances and research programs have turned the studio into a location for the development of demanding, enlivening and socially committed dance. As a place for vigorous interaction between the most different forms of presentation, further education and discussion in the field of dance, the studio is a forum for us. The artists, their work, their thought and their confrontations with themselves and their audience are its focus. In order to promote discourse with the audience and other colleagues, the work processes and projects that take place in the studio are open to the public in fitting artistic formats. Allowing dialogue to occur between artists and the audience is for us an important necessity for progress and further development in artistic creation. The audience is the necessary counterpart and must be cultivated.

prizes, grants, partners

laborgras’ work has been acknowledged in Germany and abroad. laborgras’ productions were honored as the “Innovative Dance Production 2000” (ballet-tanz); in 2004, laborgras was awarded Essen’s Kurt-Joos prize and was invited to the "Resolution! Aerowaves Festival" in London and the German Dance Platform in Leipzig. “I, myself and me again”, a production from 2006, has been presented at numerous international festivals since its premiere and is discussed as an outstanding interdisciplinary work in dance science as well as in the field of new media. In 2009, with support by Sasha Waltz & Guests in the context of “Choreographen der Zukunft”, laborgras was able to produce the solo “Rückwärts” and premiere it at the “Internationales Tanzfest - Tanz im August 2009” at the Radialsystem V. The solo was mentioned in 3sat as the highlight of the “Choreographen der Zukunft”
evening. The performance installation “Habitat”, which had its premiere at the Radialsystem V in December 2010, had its revival at Tanz im August 2011 with the help of the Hauptstadtkulturfonds. In 2015, the Academy of the Arts Berlin awarded laborgras the Kunstpreis Berlin for performance art.

laborgras productions are supported by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds, the Fonds Darstellende Künste and the Governing Mayor of Berlin - Senatorial Office - Cultural Affairs. Many international partners have been supporting the LaborGras studio since its inception; it was also a partner in the EU-funded network SPIDER EXPAND!


lvaylo Dimitrov


This workshop combines release technique, improvisation and partner techniques . It will focus on
center of gravity, internal and external organisation of the body, and flow of movement.
Through a complex of exercises, choreographies and improvisational tasks, the physical training
aims at activating the center of the body, as it is the foundation of movement.The result is a free
flow of motion and awareness of the body parts` potential of initiation and continuity.

In this workshop we will explore Somatic practices and the connection between body, mind and dance. We will work with principles from Body-Mind Centering, Embryology and Contact Improvisationto develop perceptual sensitivity in movement flow and improvisation. We will also explore the movement of the non-structured body through researching images from the embryological process
that forms the human body. From this point we will delve into dance and the construction of choreography.

lvaylo Dimitrov is director, choreographer and assistant in the Department of Performing Arts, National Academy of Theater and Film Arts (Natfiz). He founded the 'Studentina", a platform with the focus on Contact lmprovisation, Release Technique and Body-Mind-Centering. He teaches regularly classes and workshops in Contact Improvisation and Release Technique. Dimitrov has been working in several international dance and performance projects.


Ivaylo Dimitrov is an independent artist from Sofia working in the field contemporary dance and performance. Key projects as a choreographer include: "Theory of Hanging Around / T.H.A /" and "Para/ Simpatetik.” He is a member of the association "Based on Actual Events" with whom he worked on projects "Disco Cartoon Funk", "Emotional","Nocturne, from dust to glow”, "Butterflies are really fighters”. In 2010 he was the winner of first prize in the contest for contemporary Bulgarian choreography organized by the Humarts. He received a scholarship to train at Dance Web, Vienna in 2011 and Nomad Dance Academy in 2008 (training programs for Contemporary Dance and Performance). Since 2004 he teaches in movement & dance improvisation at the National Academy of Theater and Film Arts, Sofia. He training comes from teachers such as Francesco Skaveta, Nancy Stark Smith, Kirstie Simson, Daniel Lepkof Rosen Mihailov, Frey Faust, Andrew Harluud and others.


Sasha Dodo


/ dance improvisation & perform lab /

solipsis 3


“Nothing magical waits for us under this moon
Everything already flutters with ambiguity.
And we need nothing, except what heart carries..
And we just follow... these transformations inside our heart,
without making an effort.
We are no worse and no better.
We are here to be, in spite of the fact that this makes no sense,
and no one may notice us.
Our magic is not happening somewhere, after something,
it is not some kind of mediocrity, something that can be done.
You know...
Is not it magic not
noticing the dawn you look at...?
not feeling the wind, which so tenderly embraces you whole evening...
not hearing the singing of these crazy birds, which comprehend so little in art.
Neglecting is as magical as finding.
Our movement neither
to the light nor to the darkness,
we dance, where there is place for anything.
We are there, where everything happens,
and in that there is no superiority.
It is a field, boundless field, field of untouched flowers.
Let's just lie down here, at least a little bit more
so the sky again could catch us up by surprise...
And you don't have to go anywhere else out of here...”

solipsis3 info image      solipsis3 info image        solipsis3 info image

Before we step with our attention and body into one or another movement, dance or conceptual system, before we focus on the task and decide to orient on the result, before we pay attention to something separate from the overall picture we will find out the existence of a special space, the space of a "notmade steps," it has no beginning or end and just continues, including all that is. Staying in it we can not exist mediocre as something separate. We can not begin to dance. We can not begin to dance, because the real dance does not begin. It continues even when you think whether you should dance or not. Dance is not a system, dance is already happening and we can not finish it. If we leave our
beliefs and experience, on which we so stubbornly rely, time will let go, the movement will find itself infinite. And all we know will be a part of something bigger.
Anyone who is really connected with the art, should turn around from what he/she believes, and look at how art happens to him/her. It's a mysterious process, not a repetition of past experiences, in the best case successful. And we can always remain in a secret, can always just continue to be meeting with it. Be a partaker of what happens without an effort. Be in a mystery. I know it is a great treasure to be an uncertain dance, do not have a task and do only what you can not not do. Where it is not so important what you personally do, but the entire space as a whole. In which we can finally take a break from the work and see that there is a dance outside the 5070 pound weight moving in space. Much more depends on what we do not do than on what we do. It must be experienced, when you just stand there for a minute without need to show anything, in a meeting with a nature of dance and it is much richer than an hour rigidly planned choreography.

We may not close the space, not become so great, to allow normal continue to be mysterious. Sometimes this happens when space suddenly begins to live with integrity, playfulness, becomes poetic. Out of habit, we exist in a stable space of poetry, in the world of concrete forms, static energy, established responses. Meeting with the mystery opens the space of dynamic poetry, where everything is in its ambiguity, known becomes fresh, renames and reopens. But all depends on you, on your willingness to get nothing. From your willingness to move for no reason. From your readiness to meet everything once again, first of all yourself, your body and what really motivates you, why and for what you're dancing. And I hope that we will not find a definitive answer to any of these questions, but leave the past answers in the past.
I propose to stop dancing, stop doing art, do not. Yet the sound of applause does not mean anything, we are not here for that, maybe we met for something more interesting than the sound of a breaking balls.
This laboratory is working with techniques that can not be patented, the techniques more preferably are using you and not vice versa. This laboratory is for those who are really ready to improvise and not wait for the walkthrough, who are interested in space same as in movement. This laboratory will remind the meeting of friends who are interested in improvisation, performance art, poetry, music and philosophy. In the course of our work together, we can stumble on some views, principles that are close to the spirit of butoh and contact improvisation.
The outcome of this meeting will be a performance consisting of poetic solo and group improvisation. We will create abstract, unrecognizable, but living stories that exist on specific, largely undefined laws which the moment of performance

For those who are going to come to the lab to learn something, I would like to clarify that I am not a teacher and will teach you nothing, on the contrary, for me it is more interesting we look together in the same direction, and each reveals

Sasha Dodo

My directing career began long ago, but till this day all my best work is not presented to the public and is not documented, the rest of it is not interesting to speak about. It seems to me that the best works of art happen by themselves, without any special training. I like to move in this direction, to open what is open, to see in the casual a finely organized presentation. And it's all because I like poetry, like when an answer is ambiguous. I like when life is mysterious enough, it gives the whole a special quality. "Maybe autumn leaves choose where they fly themselves, and maybe they are relaxed and complete, do nothing and their adventure just happens... maybe it is more beautiful to say nothing about all of that and it would be closer to what really
happens in the fall."Four years at the Faculty of Law Institute, taught me humorous attitude to education, so much I forgot to get a diploma. Over the past seven years, I was an organizer of a little more than twenty festivals and a whole bunch of different projects related to creativity. I would like to mention only three of them:
Art Continuum festivallaboratory dedicated to the creation of short videos, poetry and performance, Russia;

Solipsis international laboratory for dance improvisation and performance, Bulgaria;

CICO International
College of Contact Improvisation and Performance, Ukraine.

In parallel with the organizational activity, I am passionate about contact improvisation and regularly run workshops and laboratories mainly on the territory of Ukraine and Russia and participate in international festivals. I like to be in an improvisational environment where the experiment and search continue, it is a very interesting space for a direct meeting to happen. I was fortunate to meet with attention and creativity of Zarey and Shakima Garunts, Armen Gegham, Elena Muchnaya, Gregory Petrov, Katya Zorina, Benno Voorham, Alexandra Soshnikova and Sergey Golovnya, Nita Little, Kea Tonetti and Tivi Tavi, Mirva Makinen, Ivan Vyrypaev, Angelica Doni, Vadim Demchog, Ruslan Baranov, Katja Mustonen, Bruno Caverna and others. Now I am working on my second book, creation of experimental theater and a space in which it would be possible to enjoy nature, meeting with friends and art.

Sonja Pregrad

Sonja Pregrad


laboratory - a short diary of how:

„… finding your own dance - it’s textures, rhythms and intentions …“ A short diary of how: finding your own dance - it’s textures, rhythms and intentions In this workshop I want to create space and guidance for dancers who have experience of learning and practicing different dancing techniques to say, ok, so where does all this knowledge take us? The workshop will be the place to explore your own strengths and interests - what do you wanna do with dance and movement, yourself and with others? We will work on understanding and creating movement through excercises focused on the body structures, breath, gaze, own intention and relations with other bodies dancing. What is your particular sensitivity to timing, rhythm, perspective, texture, flow? How does your own dance shift but also comes out clearly in its specificity when dancing with others? We will be exploring composing, proximities, limitations... working with structured improvisation, individual tasks and smaller group collaborations. Within each day there will be a little space for ‘diary (of how)’ writing - in which I will invite you to keep track of your discoveries and make traces of them in your notebook. How can you write/draw/rewrite experiences, ideas, interests, methods with the support of writing practice, so it becomes one of your ankers in taking your work further? I want to empower each of you in developing your art of dance. The workshop will last 7 days - 6 days of work and the open studio working presentation with excercises and process materials on the 7th day


Sonja has started learning dance at the State dance school in Croatia, and then went on to study at Rotterdam dance academy, SNDO in Amsterdam and ArtEZ in Arnhem from where she has her BA. She has been working for 6 years as a dancer, choreographer, teacher, organizer and collaborator of different kinds (dramaturgy, movement, production, writing, etc) in Croatia, Austria and Germany (Willy Dorner, Keren Levi, Monica Gomis, Irma Omerzo, Scott Wells) and has in 2011 come to Berlin to do an MA in Solo/dance/authorship. She now lives between Berlin and Zagreb. In Berlin, she is working with artists such as Boris Charmatz, Isabelle Schad, Alexandre Achour, Frederic Gies, Sharyah …, Lea Martini, Juli Reinartz etc as well as producing her own work, SEQUEL FOR THE FUTURE // a dance in 2043 / a dance in 2044 with Willy Prager, Already made theatre with Nina Kurtela and Igor Koruga and Dishevelled with Johanna Chemnitz. Since 2007 she is a co-founder and organizer of Improspections, an initiative for affirmation of improvisation as a performing art in Zagreb ( She is also a co-founder of an arts organization Fourhanded, that produces innovative art formats, and co-organizer of the interactive dance magazine TASK with TALA Dance Centre. She is working with a visual artist Sanja Ivekovic, having re-enacted her work 'Practice makes a Master' at MoMA/New York, ZKM Karlsruhe, AdK Berlin etc.