Art Alive presents

Sarajevo Contemporary Dance Intensive 2022

National Theatre Sarajevo 


dancers from 8 countries - intensive workshops - performances - panel discussions


In cooperation with Art Alive artist Cruz Isael Mata will be a guest teacher for the first time in Bosnia and Herzegovina in frame of this year's edition "Balet Fest Sarajevo 2022". His workshop "Flying Into Gravity Skills" is open for all dancers, actors, acrobats, and those who have experience in movement. All locally and internationally based movers are invited to use the unique chance to work with Cruz Isael Mata in the city of Sarajevo.


Workshop details:

From age 17+


Date: 26th - 30th of September

Time: 14:30-17:30

Location: National Theater Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


Till age 17


Master Class for Youngsters

Date: 1st of October

Time: 12:00-14:00

Location: National Theater Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


Workshop assistance: Aldina Topcagic



At this year's first edition the workshop fee will be covered by Art Alive due to the support by Art Alive Cultural Association, Goethe Institut BiH & Austrian Cultural Forum.



Places are limited, please register for participation.

Send an e-mail to with your name, birth date, and residence.


Video Link of Cruz Isael Mata´s teaching:


Workshop Description:

“Flying Into Gravity Skills” focuses on developing and maintaining the body´s fluent and weightless movement patterns. Different exercises are exploring the relationship with the floor as well as towards other people, space, gravity, and towards one's own mindset while experiencing oneself in the present moment. The body is being given the opportunity to activate the relationship between the center and the periphere with the aim of moving more efficient and using the ground as well as the gravity as support. Cruz explorers the principals of recreating movements of daily life and exploring the influences of voice onto the body´s movement. Figuring out what the body has to say in the moments when it doesn’t move and doesn’t produced sound is one of the main approaches, which is being achieved through dynamic dance sequences, partnering work and diverse techniques including Flying Low and Release Technique. Answers are appearing, when we calm down the mind but open the space for the body to talk.



More events of dance during the same week in Sarajevo:

24. & 25.9. Performance "Phantom leg" directed by Thomas Steyaert at Sarajevo War Theatre


28.9. Panel Discussion "Contemporary Dance in BiH" at the Goethe Institut BiH with local and international guests, moderated by Aldina Topcagic


19.-27.9. Balet Fest Sarajevo directed by Edina Papo





Cruz Isael Mata was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He started his dance training at the Instituto Superior De Danza Caracas, Venezuela in 1992 where he studied with Simone Forti, Jeremy Nelson, Julyen Hamilton, Jennifer Monson, Sasha Waltz, Dominique Mercier and other outstanding artists. He continued his study at the Central University of Venezuela, where he followed classes in theatre sciences, fine arts and philosophy. He toured in Latin America as a soloist and company member. In 2000 he came to Belgium, where he became a member of the X-Group in P.A.R.T.S., directed by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker. Besides his dance education, he also studied circus techniques at the Ecole Nationale du Cirque - Academie Fratellini, physical therapy, and psychology in Paris. He danced with several dance companies: Espacio Alterno - Venezuela, Tim Feldman - Denmark, Michél Noiret Company - Belgium. He collaborated with artists such as David Zambrano, Roberto Olivan, Nadine Ganase, Virginie Thirion, Josse de Pauw, Maria Clara Villalobos, Mey-Ling Bisogno, and others. Cruz created the productions „Puzzle“ and „Casa“, which premiered in Paris in 2005. Since 2010 he has been teaching the company traing and the auditions of Ultima Vez – Wim Vandekeybus. He has been collaborating with and teaching professional training for outstanding contemporary dance companies, academies, and at international dance festivals. Among others: Company Thor, Need Company, Cie Philipe Saire, Lausanne-Switzerland, Royal Dance Conservatorium Antwerpen, Escuela superior de artes du cirque Lesac, University for Music & Dance Köln – Centre for Contemporary Dance, Tanzlabor 21 Germany-Frankfurt, La Raffinerie/Charleroi Dance, Feria Música Circus Company, Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, Compania Nacional de Danza Contemporanea de Venezuela, Summer Intensive, Performact Portugal, La Factoria, Altrefrontiere Roma, Tic Tac Art Centre, etc. In 2019 Cruz was the choreographic assistant in the Award winning circus production “La Vrille du Chat” created by the Belgium acrobatic company “Back Pocket”. During his collaboration with Art Alive, he co-directed and performed “AMBIENTI & SPACE” at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and won seven awards for being the co director of the short film “couch me!”. Cruz Isael has been teaching Flying Low, Acrobatic Dance, Release Technique and Contact Improvisation in Latin America, Europe, and Asia for more than 22 years.

Aldina Topčagić is a performing artist - contemporary dance, producer and founder of the cultural association Art Alive. She was born in Bosanski Novi, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since 2007 she lives in Austria and works throughout Europe.

Aldina cooperated with numerous institutions, among others created for and performed in the following art houses: "Guggenheim Museum Bilbao" (2019), Spain; "Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium" (2017, 2018, 2019), "BOZAR" (2018), and "Balthasar Brussels" (2021) Belgium, "Artlemo Galerie Berlin" (2016) Germany, "Musiikkitalo - Helsinki Music Center" (2016) Finland, "Fabrica de Arte Cubano" (2017) Havana, Cuba; "Novi Hram" gallery (2018) Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; "Bajor Gizi Musem" (2018) Budapest, Hungary; "Universalmuseum Joanneum Joanneumsviertel", "Kunsthaus Graz" (2016) and "Papierfabrik" (2018) as well as for "Zimmerman-Kratochwill Galerie" (2019) Austria.

She participated in the productions of the Opera House in Graz in the seasons 2011/2012, 2016/2017 and 2018/2019. As part of her contemporary dance training, she learned from and worked with renowned choreographers such as David Zambrano – founder of Flying Low and Passing Through techniques; Jennifer Monson, Kirstie Simson, Yoshiko Chuma, Liz King, Valentina Moar, Allen Yu, and others. In his trans- and multidisciplinary projects, she combines contemporary dance, music, sound installation, film, photography, psychology, architecture, literature and education. They are realized in the form of installations, interventions and performance. Her work deals with topics such as self-reflection, consciousness, identity, the origin of the individual, the place of the individual in society and his interpersonal relationships. In May 2017, she was declared "Artist of the Month" by the Austrian Cultural Forum / Austrian Embassy in Brussels. In December 2021, she received the Austrian citizenship for extraordinary achievements in art and culture. In 2020/2021, Aldina co-directed two short dance films: "couch me!" - in which she was the main role, and "What-a-Mel-on" - in which she was the director and choreographer. With numerous nominations on international film festivals, she won eight awards for "Best Experimental Film" and "Best Director" in the USA, South America, Europe and Asia. In 2022 she co-created the short documentaray „Live and Let Live – Focus on BiH“, which won the Silver Award for best Short Documentary at New York Movie Awards 


Short example of Cruz Isael Mata´s workshop "Flying Into Gravity Skills", 51 sec:


Teaser "Flying Into Gravity Skills", 34 sec: 


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