Facilitated OPENLAB with Maria da Luz Ghoumrassi

‘Facilitated OPENLAB’ with Maria da Luz Ghoumrassi
5 July 2019
Enchanted Roots

Research Studio | 10am-1pm | £7 suggested donation

“Oh, what a catastrophe, what a maiming of love when it was made personal, merely personal feeling. This is what is the matter with us: we are bleeding at the roots because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars. Love has become a grinning mockery because, poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the Tree of Life and expected it to keep on blooming in our civilised vase on the table.”
― D.H. Lawrence

We all have heard stories of Enchanted forests with trees that walk and talk.
In fact, trees use their many senses to communicate, share food, care for and warn each other of danger. They do this because they need each other. Like us, they are social beings.

As a young person, I loved drawing trees and being surrounded by them, as I felt they were beautiful just as they are. After all, trees provide us with oxygen, food, mark the seasons, prevent soil erosion among many other important roles. I have been inspired by the metaphor of trees as humans ever since.

In this lab, we will have an opportunity to slow down, breathe deep, tuning in through our senses and explore our sense of belonging on this Earth. We will draw inspiration from a range of techniques and disciplines including movement, voice, storytelling, writing, drawing and object theatre. The aim is to search for a deeper connection within ourselves, with each other searching for a balance and harmony in the way we relate to our world.

This is part of an ongoing research performance practice, as I have been working with professional dancers and actors and diverse community groups. Part of my continuous professional development, I have been working with various multidisciplinary artists including Jacky Lansley, Peta Lily, Sharon Ama Wray, Urban Bush Women, Draw to Perform and many more.


OPENLAB sessions are open to any performers: dancers, musicians, actors and anyone interested in presence and awareness in movement. The facilitators of OPENLAB are also participants “in” the session and participants can propose their ideas for a future session. If you’d like to know more about this, come to one of our sessions or email Antonio de la Fe (antonio.delafeguedes@gmail.com).The OPENLAB sessions alternate between ‘White Canvas’ and ‘Facilated OPENLAB’ sessions. You can see the full programme for the Spring Term 2019 here.

The sessions function on a pay-what-you-can contribution basis to cover expenses and as an incentive for the facilitator of the session. We suggest a contribution of £7 for the 3-hour long sessions (‘Facilitated OPENLAB’ sessions) and of £5 for the 2-hour long ones (‘White Canvas’). Cash only.

About the Artist:

Maria da Luz is a dancer, choreographer and educator working through multidisciplinary techniques from around the world to develop Intercultural Awareness Performance.

She was in the original cast of The Lion King and has danced for Kokuma Dance Theatre, The London College of Fashion and Tate among others.

Maria da Luz is the artistic director of DaLuzDance and has presented numerous works in venues across the UK. She is a recipient of the Trailblazers Fellowship and was shortlisted for the Place Prize, 2004. Recent awards include One Dance UK’s Dance Teaching Mentorship and Dancers Career Development Retraining Grant, 2016.

Maria da Luz offers classes to encourage creativity, working with groups from parents and toddlers to seniors and everything in between, transitioning work between community groups and professionals.

Her research into the relationship between body, mind, spirit and identity has led to the development of her solo A Tree Without Leaves, a dance piece examining the meaning of womanhood in contemporary society, using movement, drawing, singing and storytelling. The concept behind the work is born as a response to a Chad proverb: ‘A Tree Without Leaves is like a Woman Without Children.’