Today was the last day of our Dance Residency with choreographer Olivia Mitterhuemer. In ten sessions led by Olivia, the dancers learned how to transfer emotions and visuals into movement, how to work together on synchronizing their performances, how to aim for the same target while leaving room for personality and individual expression.

One of the biggest non-dancing skills the children developed while working on the final show was communication in a foreign language. The participants realized that asking questions, making mistakes, and looking for explanations is not shameful, but beneficial for reaching their goals. As dance residents, the students could also experience how working under time pressure, keeping up with a schedule, and fulfilling promises all influence the quality of the final product. Their choreographed video will be premiered in mid-July during the opening week of the Salzburg Festival.

“Working from home at home and with time differences wasn’t easy. We spent ten weeks together, which is a lot, but they went by very quickly. I was seeing there were people who put a lot of effort in this project and were so motivated. Seeing the progress was very fulfilling. It was interesting to see how the mindset was changing and how the residents’ learning curves grew faster, and more details came into their movements. Doing it in person would bring even better result, but considering our new virtual reality, I think we did a great job,” commented Olivia Mitterhuemer, while wrapping up the last session of the residency.

Reflecting on her experience with the Dance Residency, Glorija Velkova, a participant from North Macedonia, said:

It was a good opportunity to dance, we had great lessons; it was a fun time to shake things away. Saturdays were the greatest days of the week of the past few months. Dancing with Olivia was very liberating. It helped me to get rid of all my negative emotions.”

Marjory Milla from Guatemala added:

“I realized that dance was my life! I really appreciated being a part of the residency. Olivia showed how dance can be relaxing and make things easier. I am grateful for what we did here.”