photo by Pippa Samaya @little_super_berries
OBOC AMSTERDAM 2022 FACULTY
ANOUK VAN DIJK
Anouk van Dijk is a choreographer, artistic director and the creator of the movement system, Countertechnique. From 2012 – 2019, she was the Artistic Director of renowned contemporary dance company Chunky Move in Melbourne, Australia. Currently Anouk van Dijk works as a freelance choreographer and is the Artistic Director of Countertechnique.
Anouk van Dijk spent the first ten years of her career as a lead soloist for Rotterdam Dance Company and Amanda Miller’s Pretty Ugly Dance Company. From early on, she was attracted to choreography and from the late nineties committed herself exclusively to the conception, creation and performance of her own work. In 1999, Van Dijk founded her own company, anoukvandijk dc, dedicated to creating work that sought to provide an insight into the many facets of the human experience through the lens of contemporary dance.
During her tenure of Artistic Director of Chunky Move in Melbourne, Australia, she created several large scale productions, amongst others An Act of Now (2012), Complexity of Belonging (2014, with Falk Richter), Depth of Field (2015), Rule of Thirds (2016), Common Ground (2018). In 2019, she created Distant Matter for Staatsballet Berlin, in 2020 she created the multi-disciplinairy show TOUCH with writer/director Falk Richter at the Münchner Kammerspiele in Germany and in 2021 she premiered the work Out of the Blue for Skånes Dansteater / Malmö Opera in Sweden.
In her career Anouk van Dijk has created more than thirty full-length works that toured to the world’s leading festivals and venues including Adelaide Festival, Sydney Opera House, Schaubuehne Berlin, Dance Triennale Tokyo, American Dance Festival, Theater der Welt (Hamburg), SPRING International Performing Arts Festival and Festival d’Avignon.
Niharika Senapati has worked closely with Anouk van Dijk during her tenure as Artistic Director of Chunky Move from 2012-2019, appearing as a dancer in almost all of her choreographies, most notably An Act of Now (2012), 247 Days (2013), Depth of Field (2015), Rule of Thirds (2016), Anti—Gravity (2017) and Accumulation (2018). She was also Choreographic Assistant for two of Anouk van Dijk’s collaborations with theatre director Falk Richter, Complexity of Belonging (2014) and Safe Places (2016), as well as Van Dijk’s work Distant Matter (2019) for Staatsballet Berlin. As a freelance performer, Niharika has had an extensive list of creative collaborations as a performer, composer and choreographer, most recently in the works Trustees by the Belarus Free Theatre for Malthouse Theatre (2018), Replay by Eszter Salamon (2018), Daddy by Joel Bray (2019) and Mosquitoes by Jessica Arthur (Sydney Theatre Company, 2019). From 2020, Niharika has been an ensemble member of company Dancenorth in Townsville (QLD, Australia), led by Artistic Director Kyle Page. In 2022, she’ll start on a new engagement as a dancer with Opera Ballet Vlaanderen in Antwerp, Belgium.
Alongside performing, Niharika is a Senior Countertechnique teacher, contributing to the OBOC 2019 in both Montréal and Amsterdam. She has taught all throughout Australia, as well as North-America, Europe and Asia.
Read more about Niharika in this interview.
Elita Cannata is a Senior Countertechnique Teacher and a rehearsal director. Born in Italy, Elita is currently based in Amsterdam. She has studied Countertechnique since 2005 and performed for anoukvandijk dc in 2007 and 2008. She attended her first Countertechnique Teacher Training (CTTT) program in 2014, returned to the CTTT in 2018 and progressed to the level Senior Teacher.
Elita Cannata graduated with a Bachelor of Dance in 2007 at Rotterdam Dance Academy / Codarts in the Netherlands and in 2011 got her MA in Theories of Performing Arts at the Università degli Studi in Bologna. During and after her graduation she danced for José Navas, Megumi Nakamura, anoukvandijk dc, Cathy Sharp Ensemble, Compagnia Tpo, Tan Temel, Samuele Cardini, Lynsey Peisinger, Fabio Liberti, Itzik Galili, David Middendorp, and Fabrizio Favale, among others. Next to her dance and teaching career, she has worked as a rehearsal director with Project Sally and Another Kind of Blue. She is now a returning guest teacher Countertechnique at Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT).
JAMES VU ANH PHAM
James has been working extensively with Anouk van Dijk since 2012, with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui since 2016, and with Akram Khan since 2019. For Anouk van Dijk / Chunky Move, he performed in An Act of Now (2012), 247 Days (2013), Complexity of Belonging (2014), Depth of Field (2015) and Rule of Thirds (2016). For Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, he performed with Eastman (Babel Words), Royal Ballet of Flanders (Ravel), GöteborgsOperans Danskompani (Icon), Bayerische Staatsoper (Les Indes Galantes) and Theater Basel (Satyagraha). With Akram Khan Company, he premiered and toured Outwitting the Devil since July 2019. James received the ‘Best Male Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Work’ 2014 Helpmann Award, and the Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer 2014 Australian Dance Award. He has been studying Countertechnique intensively since 2012, and became a certified teacher in 2014.
Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique
Tom Koch pursued his Bachelor of Arts in Theater, with a minor study in History of Science, at University of Missouri-Kansas City. After being certified to teach in 1987 by the American Center for the Alexander Technique in New York, he was a pioneer in integrating the Alexander Technique with ballet movement and education, particularly for resolving chronic pain and repetitive injuries. He was for years the Alexander Technique teacher for William Forsythe’s groundbreaking Ballet Frankfurt (later the Forsythe Company). He has also taught group and private lessons for Netherlands Dance Theater, Tanztheater Wuppertal (Pina Bausch), the Dutch National Ballet, Sydney Dance Company, Chunky Move, La Biennale di Venezia College Danza, Codarts University, L’Artère, Studio 303, Henny Jurriëns Studio in Amsterdam, and many others. For fifteen years, he has collaborated with his former student Anouk van Dijk to teach the annual One Body, One Career Intensive (OBOC) for dancers, in Amsterdam and Melbourne, and more recenty also Montréal. His work is not limited to dance, but includes a wide range of artists in all forms of dance, music and theater. He also has taught the technique to doctors, writers, scientists, secretaries, architects and police agents. In recent years, his private practice focuses mainly on helping those with chronic pain find improved movement and living strategies.
TESTIMONIALS FROM PREVIOUS OBOCS
“I’ve gone beyond what I thought was possible for myself” – Erica Brandell
“Dance finally feels like I’m doing it for me again.” – Nicole Smith
“The program was so amazing. … I haven’t smiled whilst dancing in so long.” – Ashley Allen
“I feel like a completely different dancer” – Kristen Ahring
“It will have a tremendously positive impact on my dancing in all forms.” – Emily Hansel
“it has been lifechanging for me as a dancer” – Madeline Burr
“The [Countertechnique] toolbox will change how I approach all movement forms” – Sidney Ramsey
“Countertechnique’s way of communicating can aid the dancer to feel comfortable, safe, empowered in one’s body” – Jennifer Sydor
“These tools are a way for us to trust in ourselves, the process + the overall beauty of movement.” – Madison Elliott
“will help me stay healthy and happy for years to come” – Samuel Melecio-Zambrano
“these tools could allow for dancers to stay in it longer while embracing the process of the aging body” – Elise Jumes
“This program has helped me realize that I have more years of dance left in me than I thought.” – Travis Cooper
“new hope for the future of dance” – Shelley Cochrane