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Forum dans #8: Christina Gouzelis and Paul Blackman

Forum dans #8: Christina Gouzelis and Paul Blackman

Artist talk with the choreographic duo Christina Gouzelis and Paul Blackman in conversation with Anne-Linn Akselsen.

Christina Gouzelis and Paul Blackman are currently working with the 2nd and 3rd years students of BA Contemporary dance. They were also the choreographer and director of last years graduation performance for BA contemporary: “Then they scattered”.

Christina Gouzelis and Paul Blackman:

As a choreographic duo, we wish to make works that are compelling and as honest as possible, with chaos and harmony in every opportunity we are given to create. We have built the reputation of our company from the constant investigation into the practice of  versatility, atheistic inquiry, body, theme, narrative, symbol, metaphor, and a performer's adaptation. The work that currently interests us is not only the body which is always of great value to us, but what lies beyond, this is one of our main concerns. It is the visual world that it is set in.
Over the years we have found where our strengths and weaknesses lie in regard to the sharing of the roles of directorship and the choreographic language we wish to choose and work with.
Inside this profession where we are able to resource and use all forms of art, culture, music, and personal or societal influences, it is important for us to question our own process on every new occasion. Trying constantly to break formulas and molds that hold us into something we are comfortable within, and allow ourselves to follow the way in which we intuitively create.
The rest is praying that it works out and that we will find something that is unknown and lives only in that momentary space and time, where no one can really say what it is or what it isn't.

Christine Gouzelis

Co-Founder and Choreographer of Jukstapoz Company.
Christine Gouzelis is a recognised international artist with a career focused on dance, staging, choreography, fashion, and mentorship. Christine is of Greek heritage and was raised in both Greece and Canada, graduating from the acclaimed National Greek Academy of Dance in 2004. After she was a recipient of the DanceWeb scholarship Impulstanz Vienna and began a long-term association with renowned artist David Zambrano. As a member of the Hellenic Dance Company, she performed for choreographers among others; Wim Vandekybus, Anton Lachky, Jozef Frucek and Linda Kapetanea, Athina Vahla, Martha Graham, José Limón, and Pascal Rioult.
Christine then joined Israeli choreographer Jasmin Vardimon, touring works internationally until 2010. She was also appointed as rehearsal director for Jasmin Vardimon Company, Anton Lachky, and Athina Vahla for various productions.
In 2014 Christine was invited as Artist in Residence to the Hong Kong academy of performing arts for two years, her successful choreographies such as Fragile Matter and Echoing Woods were nominated for both 'Best Choreography' and 'Best Ensemble' by the Hong Kong Dance Alliance. Her choreography reflects the heightened sensitivity she gained from moving between many cities, cultures, and characters.
Additionally, she was also a senior lecturer at the National Greek Academy of Dance and is leading dance and choreographic workshops and seminars for festivals, institutions, theatres, and companies around the world.
Her role as co-artistic director of Jukstapoz Company provides her a platform to express her strong intuition, generosity, and commitment to originality through transformative storytelling.

Paul Blackman

Co-Artistic Director of Jukstapoz Company.
Paul Blackman is an award-winning established artist with a career immersed in dance, live performance, choreography, music, and pedagogy. Born in Perth West Australia and at a young age was thrown into the performing arts world by his acrobatic & circus-trained mother.
After graduating from WAAPA in 2002, he worked with the West Australian Ballet and then Buzz Dance Theatre touring regional/remote Australia. He was invited to New York to join Battery Dance Company and tour internationally; he is also an original member of their Dancing to Connect℠ programme which has now reached over 52 countries worldwide. Paul then joined the Jasmin Vardimon Company in London, further touring internationally until 2010. Over the past decade, Paul has worked with a unique group of highly renowned artists, amongst others; Jan Lauwers, David Zambrano, Matthias Hartmann, Alexandra Liedtke, Jozef Frucek and Linda Kapetanea, Jonathan Hollander, Susan Quinn, Athena Vahla, Chrissie Parrot and Felicity Bott. Paul's versatility is also shown as a choreographer and movement coach for contemporary and traditional operas working with an array of highly notable directors, conductors, singers, and musicians at the Salzburg Festspiele, Teatro Alla Scala, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Wiener Staatsoper. Currently, with co-artistic directorships of Jukstapoz Company (based in Athens Greece) Paul's focus is directing & choreography for multi-scaled commissioned works for international presentation. Paul also continues to share his enthusiasm for the arts by teaching, coaching, and mentoring dance/choreographic workshops throughout the world for renowned festivals, theatres, institutions, and companies alike.
Forum Dans is arranged by the Academy of Dance at Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO). The forum seeks to open up and expand the space for debate and dialogue regarding relevant issues and topics within the field of dance .