top of page

Transforming body into dance

Season 1 - home

"Transforming Body into Dance" is a living art form. It is a durational project that has been in progress since 2018.


The first topic that I researched was the sense of "home". In December 2018, I moved from São Paulo (BRA) to Espaço Transformando, an independent artist-run space in the island of Florianópolis (BRA). What started as a site-specific research on dwelling an artistic space as Espaço Transformando in a few months became an itinerant experience. I started to explore several environments of artistic housing, and I lived in artist residencies, art communities and ateliers between Brazil and some countries in Europe between 2018 and 2020.


Dwelling, with its intrinsic social implications, revealed a strong collective engagement facet that was present in my artmaking. Home was not the physical house, but neither was the body by itself. In every circumstance, I explored practices of movement and expanded awareness such as Contact Improvisation, psychophysical trainings and Eutony. Topics such as difference, (im)permanence, immigration, domestic violence, domestic work and private property were discussed through dance performances, installations, workshops, jams, interviews and talk circles between 2018 and 2020.

The first phase of the project ended with an online jam in August 19th, 2020, after 600 days. In the middle of quarantine, the hashtag #stayathome closed my personal research. So it belonged to all of us.


NossaJam #23​ - NossaJam was a project idealized and produced by Pao Francez and Clarice Rito as an online jam experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Facilitators offered online jams throughout 2020 and 2021, with participants from different countries. The first NossaJam I've facilitated closed the first season of the project "Transforming body into dance".​ Online, August 2020.

For Mrs. Madalena, From a bridge in a foreign land - The video is a video letter to my grandmother on top of a bridge in the city of Frankfurt am Main. It arrived late, my grandmother passed in 2005. But this letter is like a bridge, an improvisation with words from a granddaughter between the past and the future. ​Frankfurt am Main (GER), June 2020.

A housebodywork - The microinstallation revealed the tasks I was given during my stay at the Ponderosa Movement & Discovery on the communitary clothesline, including images and notes with personal reflections on the somatic interweaving of bodywork and housework. Lunow-Stolzenhagen (GER), March 2020.

here, now and eat ​- The text trilogy was distributed among the communal spaces of Ponderosa Movement & Discovery, with reflections about "being in the world" based on the experience of having Eutony and Contact Improvisation as everyday practices. Lunow-Stolzenhagen (GER), August - December 2019.

My Katja's home - The microresidence consisted of staying for 5 days at the house of the artist Katja Wiegand (RUS/ALE) in Berlin. She was also researching about "home," and proposed that guests take notes in a notebook and move objects into a thematic box. The residence also included photos and videos. Berlin (GER), October 2019.

When you call me by my name - The interactive performance had the participation of the audience holding a large fabric with a seam in the middle, which I positioned myself under. My movement​ came from the pressure given by the traction of the participants' hands, dancing in a tactile conversation through the fabric. The performance was featured in the exhibition "This House is Made of Water" at the Glasgow Theater Arts Collective. Glasgow (SCO), September 2019.

Between comfort and courage - This was a proposal for the public developed with the curatorial team of the exhibition "This house is made of water", leaded by Isabel Dickens, about the topics "house/home". It consisted of a Eutony class offered inside the Glasgow Theater Arts Collective followed by an outdoor performance/urban intervention in the square of The Aitken Memorial Fountain, in Glasgow. The 20 participants were presented to a specific sensory information from my research with the project "Transforming body into dance" and were invited to explore it in a site-specific compositional experience in the public square. Glasgow (SCO), September 2019.

Bigger than Myself - Talk circle proposed during the 4th Dance and Somatic Practices Conference by the Center for Dance Research (C-Dare), at Coventry University. It proposed a reflection on the importance of conviviality for artistic and somatic practices with an initial facilitation for sharing experiences among the participants. Coventry (UK), July 2019.

Sharing Homes - ​This was a residency followed by a performance proposed by Aviv Sheyn (ISR) for Ponderosa Movement & Discovery. Participants were invited to a immersive week for sharing their experiences, materials, culinary recipes and artistic expressions with the theme of home.​ Lunow-Stolzenhagen (GER), June 2019.

dancing with each other

Season 2 - work

The second season of the project "Transforming Body into Dance" started on September 2019. I am exploring the sense of "work" through two actions:


One action is researching Gerda Alexander's biography. My latest investigation, a Master's research bridging the centenary gap between Gerda Alexander's early days and works with the current work of eutonists, was conducted at the Postgraduation Program in Dance by Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (BRA). Topics such as historical activism, symbolic annihilation of women, production of knowledge in the arts and archival practices were elaborated in partnership with eutonists, translators and related researchers from Brazil, Germany, Denmark, Argentina and Luxembourg. 

The other action is exploring interspecies movement. In my work as eutonist, I started to come into regular contact with horses during COVID-19 lockdown throught therapeutic horseback riding, and they also became my movement partners. Topics such as the mirroring between animal and employee welfare, anthropocentrism, reabilitation between species, labor rights, power harassment, nonhuman-oriented practices, among others, have been elaborated through interviews, workshops, sessions, lectures and audiovisual works.


Art Crossing Borders - Gerda Alexander and the Multiplicity of the Professional Activity in Eutony - Master's dissertation under publication (Portuguese language). Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (BRA), September 2021 until August 2023. 

A somatic congress in the 1950s? An overview of the First International Congress on Release of Tension and Re-Education of Functional Movement - In this article I present historical information in the form of a first-person fictional narrative based on factual evidence and descriptions from actual attendees in order to offer an immersive experience of the event, recognizing it as the first collective effort for Somatics as a field early in the 1950s. Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices, Volume 15, Issue 2 © 2023 Intellect Ltd.

The somatic field and its challenges in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - ​Hybrid session about the work with Somatics and dance in the context of Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro at the 6th Dance and Somatic Practices Conference of the C-Dare at Coventry University - presential participation.​ Coventry (UK), July 2023.

Entre Espécies ("Between Species")​ - Workshop of movement scores between species offered in studio at Espaço Mova.​​ Rio de Janeiro (BRA), November 2022.


Untouchable Human - Audiovisual session with horses at Rancho São Miguel, in Atibaia/SP, directed by Dani Lopes and filmed by Hugo Gallo.​​ Atibaia (BRA), August 2022. 

​Workshop with JoAnna Mendl Shaw​​ - Production of workshop with dancer and choreographer JoAnna Mendl Shaw (USA) at Escola Centauro de Equitação / Equoterapia Rio about her authorial method of dance and composition between species "Physical Listening". Rio de Janeiro (BRA), June 2022.

Entre palcos, ruas e hospitais - A transdisciplinaridade radical de Gerda Alexander na criação da Eutonia ("Between stages, streets and hospitals - The radical transdisciplinarity of Gerda Alexander in the creation of Eutony") - Online session about the transdisciplinarity of the work of Gerda Alexander in the creation of Eutony at the 7th National Meeting of Dance Researchers by ANDA - Associação Nacional de Pesquisadores em Dança. ​Online, June 2022.

Mulheres artistas à vista - Uma visita às fotos públicas de Gerda Alexander ("Women Artists in Sight - A visit to Gerda Alexander's public photos")​ - Analysis session of public photos by Gerda Alexander at the 5th International Seminar Desfazendo Gênero ("Undoing Gender"), observing aspects such as symbolic annihilation and historical revisionism.​ Online, November 2021.

Creativity and the Wholeness of Life Through the Experience in Eutony - Interview given to Brian Siddhartha Ingle about the interweaving between creativity and everyday life through the perspective of Eutony at the international conference Somatic Movement Summit.​ Online, April 2021.

@InterspeciesSomatics - Logbook Instagram account for sharing the research and related materials of my work as eutonist, equine-assisted therapist and the experience of living with my dog Salomon. Online, since 2021.

​Moving with horses - Reflections on an interspecies somatic experience​ - Session about my first impressions of working with horses as eutonist at BODYIQ 2021 of Somatische Akademie Berlin. ​Online, November 2021.

Eutony in Quarantine - Solidary group classes offered since the COVID-19 lockdown in online project led by the Associação Brasileira de Eutonia and Instituto Brasileiro de Eutonia. Online, 2020-2022.

moving towards the world with what I've learned to do



Débora Oliveira

( artistic trajectory )

I am dedicated to dance as a form of practice and research for 20 years. I have studied techniques such as street dance, ballet, jazz, modern and contemporary dance. I hold a Bachelor's degree in Communication of the Arts of the Body - competence in Dance by the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC/SP), a course in which artistic formation is intertwined with theories of communication. At the same period I pursued professional training in Eutony, and I am certified as Eutonist by the Instituto Brasileiro de Eutonia since 2015.

I appreciate to work in creative partnerships and collaborations, and I've worked with artists as Coletivo Traça Urbana (BRA), Cléia Plácido (BRA) - pausing breathing moving, Aviv Sheyn (ISR), Liv Schulman (ARG), Marina Dubia (BRA/DEN) - gestuary field, Compania Id’Artê (BRA), Hugo Leonardo Silva (BRA), Grupo de Teatro Contadores de Mentira (BRA), Danielle Greco (BRA), Monika Smekot (SCO), among others. From 2015 until 2018, I created SP Brutalista, a series of 7 performative actions developed as a site-specific creative practice. My works were presented at Perfor6 - Forum of Associação Brasil Performance, IV CALLE – Bienal De Performance, Semana das Artes do Corpo, Volusiano na Praça, Corpobra-Transformação, Postais - Mostra de Videoarte e Performances, SESC Santana, Museu da Cultura, Atelier Dudude, among others. Over the last 10 years I dance Contact Improvisation, and I have offered classes, regular labs, workshops, and I join jams as the core of my practice. 

I currently develop the second season of the project Transforming Body into Dance researching the sense of "work". The project’s output of work includes audiovisual artworks, interviews, workshops, sessions, articles and lectures. I developed a Master's degree research bridging Gerda Alexander early life biography and the scope of work of eutonists by the Programa de Pós Graduação em Dança of Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), and my dissertation, entitled "Art Crossing Borders - Gerda Alexander and the Multiplicity of the Professional Activity in Eutony", is under publication. 

  • Instagram
  • Vimeo
  • Linkedin

Message received

Débora Oliveira Online 2024

All rights reserved

bottom of page