Hervé is the director of Obrador de Moviments (along with Sara Sanguino).
He teaches contemporary dance to teens, adults and professionals, and conducts the choreographic workshop.
Together with Sara, he is in charge of the “Supervised space” for young trainees.
Have you combined your training with other disciplines? Which?
A few years ago, back when Sara Sanguino and I had our own dance company, we had the opportunity to get to know the Feldenkrais Method. Germana, a dancer/choreographer who was based in Barcelona back then, was just starting her journey of choreographic creation with an ATM (a group session of this method). She brought with her an excellent teacher, Claude Espinasse (France), and invited the dancers from the company to take the class with her group.
At that time, I could feel something happening deep down; different parts of my body began connecting harmoniously. The approach and feelings were new; I was not moving myself according to an aesthetic idea, but by something else.
Moshe Feldenkrais had a holistic idea of the body. These group lessons introduced respectful, biomechanically clear and precise gestures that had you moving your whole being. From then on, I started reading about Moshe Feldenkrais, practising weekly and taking seminars at the weekends.
Now, we are honoured to host the Feldenkrais Training Programme at the Obrador, and I am currently being trained in this method. Sara beat me to it, she completed her training a few years ago and now uses the method in her dance teaching, but she can explain it better…
We could say that the two cornerstones of the Obrador de Moviments are dance and somatic techniques, particularly the Feldenkrais Method.
What is your teaching approach?
This is an interesting point, because I could speak endlessly and give you lots of information and details, but if I try to summarise (which is what I intend to do), it becomes tricky.
First, I think of what I was like as a student: my expectations, my struggles, my wishes and interests during that period. If I looked at my teaching work only from my current perspective, I would feel detached from my younger students. I always try to find a way that makes both teacher and students feel comfortable.
My main approach is “learning in motion”, you might call me obvious! But I would like to elaborate on this idea. Quite often, dance classes include a series of physical movements that resemble some sort of gymnastics. These are usually static and have a very specific purpose, leading to effort and frustration, instead of understanding. You struggle, thinking that you will eventually become a good dancer because things have not been easy.
Learning in motion means being able to pay attention to what happens at all times, both inside and outside. Gestures and movements are the language of dance, the expression. Creating a supportive environment where everyone can experience movement from their centre, and providing a variety of tools that can be adapted to each particular person — that would be my global approach!
Then comes the specific part, connected to what I mentioned at the beginning: current trends, expectations based on age, etc.
To conclude, the “connecting steps” are the crux of the matter for me. Understanding movements and being able to go from one to the other in the way you want: that is the art of dance.
Why dance? What would you say to someone who has never danced before?
Dance is the channel that has allowed me to grow; maybe at the beginning just through the fact of being seen, but later on it gave me access to a certain wisdom that accesses the different levels of the being. Knowing, recognising and learning from yourself in the way you relate to the world. Getting out of your surroundings, being with people from all corners of the world, respecting their differences, learning languages, and so on.
What movement entails —letting yourself go in music that makes you vibrate— cannot be described, it needs to be shown and shared! That is why I have dedicated myself to dance: I wanted to share my feelings using this pleasant, easy language.
Rarely in my professional career have I been able to stay completely within this space-time frame, free from the expectations created by my environment or myself. I remember precious moments that keep me going, and I am confident that dance provides a huge potential for growth on many levels.
I invite people who have never danced to try to find out what movement through dance has to offer. They have to come without expectations, so they can feel and truly experience the process. Dance has existed in all civilizations —there must be a reason!