We're bringing you a profile of the artist and psychotherapist Roberta Štěpánková, who led a dance workshop at Ars Poetica 2018 centered around the movement of the body and its poetry. In her work she connects experience to physicality and the essence of her art is expression in movement that is created immediately and is filled with content and poetry.
Článok je dostupný len v angličtine.
Roberta studied, lived and worked in Spain and the Netherlands, while she currently resides in Brno, teaching dance improvisation, creating dance and initiating interdisciplinary collaborations and international projects. She directorially and dramaturgically contributes to performances connecting dance, music and image to written poetry. In her work she explores the phenomenon of "being in between" as a time and space of both unlimited potential and deep knowledge.
Her work in psychotherapy is based on the trust in the material that the body brings. She helps her clients towards an awareness of their experience, following movement as it comes, without any judgment. "Movement has the potential to inform us about what is happening inside of us and about our relationship to our surroundings – to space and time. The goal is to deepen self-knowledge, enrich one's experience and initiate change in malfunctioning patterns of behavior that often stand behind inner conflicts." This process and its direction is always rooted in Roberta's knowledge and experience, but also the client's current need.
Roberta is also an experienced teacher, leading dance classes in Brno and workshops in various theatres, galleries and festivals. During her residency at Brno's INDUSTRE in 2017 she offered a series of workshops and founded a class centered around dance, improvisation and physical imagination, that still continues.
In her workshops and classes, she teaches improvisation and instant composition "in a way that is open towards professionals and art students from numerous disciplines." Her classes are an intense experience for the advanced and experienced, attended by dancers, visual artists, actors, linguists and poets. Roberta describes dance improvisation as "a way of creating dance that enables dancers to create out of the actuality of the physical experience, when the body becomes an integrating element of the creative process." Instant dance composition, on the other hand, is about creating a dance choreography in the time and space of the current moment. This creative process requires training and availability of the body, celebrating authenticity, fullness and the poetry of physical movement through intense contact with one's own body and the world.
In Brno, Roberta Štěpánková contributed to the creation of the collective ORBITA (2017), a platform dedicated to development, research and creation of dance and physical arts. A separate section, OXYMORA, is dedicated to teaching methods of improvisation and instant composition, creating dance, examining the process of its creation and supporting artistic collaboration. This platform creates a space where artists can meet and exchange their experience with improvisation, whether they work with movement, sound, language or image.
It is thanks to last year's Ars Poetica Festival that Roberta was able to collaborate with the
Slovak poetess Eleni Cay. You can see the result of their collaboration here.
Find out more about Roberta at robertastepankova.com