Hugh Stainer began his training in Break dance and then went on to train at the Northern School for Contemporary Dance, UK, graduating in 2008. He has been teaching and performing internationally for over 11 years. Working with companies including 2Faced Dance, Tom Dale, STAN Won’t Dance, and most recently Wim Vandekaybus/Ultima Vez.
Since first coming to India in 2014 he has returned every year for his own creative development, as well as to teach and collaborate with dancers from all over the world. He is a qualified TMW (Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing) facilitator. The principles of Tai Chi and Qigong underpin his approach to teaching and sharing movement.
He is a regular teacher at the Goa Contact Festival, Berlin Contact Festival, Soma Arts Festival, Portugal Contact Gathering, Goa Dance Residency and Thailand Contact and Ecstatic Arts Festival. Currently he is running his own workshops focusing on combining Contact Improvisation and Contemporary Dance as well as creating his own work with a focus on collaborative improvisation with musicians.
I am interested in developing an understanding of the moving body in relation to gravity and other bodies. Integrating floor-work techniques, improvisational practices and Contact Improvisation to open new pathways and possibilities through the body. The approach will be both technical and explorative. By providing tools to build up a functional understanding of the moving body in solo and with others, a dancer can then find greater freedom to explore movement forms with clarity and awareness. Deepening the dancer’s innate intelligence, which in turn helps greatly with injury prevention and allows creativity to flourish.
My approach to teaching and facilitating focus is to develop an inquisitive mind and body. As opposed to copying, repeating and trying to ‘get it right’, the idea is to ask questions in movement. How can this fit my body best? How can I find the easiest or most fluid way to achieve the proposed movement material? By asking questions of ourselves in training, we cultivate an environment where it is always ok to question the proposed ideas. I feel this is a vital skill for a professional dancer.