Passion and Progress

Monday, 12th June 2017

By Mariela Argüello Retana, UL posgraduate student in MA Contemporary Dance Performance, June 2017

I’m from Costa Rica and I am doing my Masters in Contemporary Dance Performance. I did my BA in Dance in Costa Rica. I was looking at programmes across Europe and I was attracted to this one because it emphasised performance and there is a focus on solo work and solo mentoring which is what I need. The programme also incorporates ensemble work so you don’t miss out on that.

There is interdisciplinary work too, for example, an independent study on something that interests you say an instrument, singing, photography and you can have a mentor from another part of the academy, I chose to study experimental anatomy. We are encouraged to write and document our own creative process, something I have always done but it is really important to the work, it is important to see how you have changed and developed. Other modules include Media Technology where we are learn to edit music and video and technique such as ballet and contemporary dance. We study somatics, the imagery of your own body, about going inside yourself and this has helped my technique, my performance.

I like living here, it is really green so I don’t feel so far from home. The University has been really nice to us, the International Education Division helps us get set up so we are not lost; they make the process easier. This academy is like a big family. I am the youngest in the programme at 23, one of my classmates, the eldest, is nearly 40. We come from all over, Iran, Israel, Palestine, Ethiopia, Canada, Ireland, the United States.

This programme has what I was looking for, it has helped me find new ways to approach movement and to surprise myself finding different paths to connect with myself and my body..

It’s your own process in this programme, you focus on what you need. I am interested in exploring more about the different possibilities that my own body has, choreographing, starting to develop an independent group for young people, teenagers who are getting interested in dance and start sharing what I have learned. 

Mariela Argüello Retana, MA Contemporary Dance Performance.