Natalia Iwaniec: The Gaga fairy visits Leeds before Christmas [Anna reviews]

Natalia Iwaniec is like a fairy! She is beautiful, golden headed and sweet voiced, just like a fairy; also, if fairies would teach, they would probably pick up on her way. Following the rules of the Gaga language, the mirrors in the room are covered, there are no questions to be asked 'during' the session, and the class flows as one big ensemble of dancers moving constantly. There are no pauses in a Gaga class, not even for a sip of water.

The session's purpose is to intensify the body's involvement on the go through an improvisation that Natalia guides in detail. Like using a meditation tape, her voice talks to us offering textures, images, advices... to helps us in the attempt of going through the forest of 'Gagaland'. Other than that, the possibilities of the material are in our hands, and legs, and feet, but mainly in the pelvis and the chest. She emphasises that the movement of the lower limbs is originated in the pelvis, whereas the movement of the arms is born in the chest. From there, each participant decides how far to take the challenge.

Although the class was really well attended this kind of practise feels like a journey taken alone. Being aware of others is encouraged, but the focus needs to keep coming back to oneself in order to self manage the introspective road of learning. Natalia's teaching is a brilliant opportunity for those that want to challenge their expectations of themselves and push their boundaries far and beyond!

Anna Cabré-Verdiell