Masha Gurina is a Ukraine-born dance artist living in Brighton. She trained in Laban and her portfolio includes contemporary dance, physical theatre, dance film, art installation and Argentine tango. She has directed several full-length works, art films and short choreographies for stage. Masha loves mixing media, genres and movement languages (which, no doubt, is a product of her own diverse background).
Her last work, In Memoriam, was sponsored by the ACE and involved a mix of dance (contemporary and flamenco), live music and film. She also worked with several drama companies and won Bronek Independent Theatre Award 2013 in her native Ukraine for 'imaginative mix of drama and movement'.
Her recent performance credits include Brighton Dome Scratch Night, ProArt Festival Prague, Lord Mayor's Thames Festival, Resolution!, London Tango Apasionado International Festival, various dance theatre productions on the stage of Bonnie Bird Theatre (London) and other venues in the UK and Europe.
Oom-pah oom-pah is a duet born out of experimentation with two dance genres: contemporary and Argentine tango. The two have very different, quite opposite concepts of femininity: tango with its idiosyncratic idea of sensuality, and contemporary dance with its unisex, androgynous approach to movement. Sometimes these concepts or norms get taken to extremes and become clichéd. We were curious to see what happens if you relax certain rules present in both genres and let go of our own idea of how we (the performers) should come across.
Both of us have been working with the idea of mixing different dance forms for a long time now. We started devising the piece by playing with concepts of Argentine tango and mixing them with contemporary dance. Our original intention was to show new possibilities - of playing with musicality, rhythm and partner dynamics using "contemporary" approach. During the process we discovered the flip-side of this idea, as we started challenging not only some dance conventions, but also ourselves - the way we saw ourselves as dancers (and women). This helped produce some unexpected interpretations. Perhaps in that lies the entire purpose of "letting go", and that is what we want to share with the audience.
Dancers: Masha Gurina and Savina Casarin