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About

Juliana Brustik

Egyptian Dance Profile

Juliana is one of the leading teachers and performers in the UK of Raqs Sharqi, the classical and folkloric dance styles of Egypt. She has a well-established teaching practice in London and holds regular workshops and residentials in the UK and abroad.

Juliana originally trained with Suraya Hilal and co-managed the Hilal School of Raqs Sharqi until the mid-1990s. Alongside her studies of Raqs Sharqi Juliana took a 3 year degree course in Contemporary Dance, Performance Skills, Choreography and the Visual Arts at Middlesex University. She is now training to become a Feldenkrais practitioner.

Since 1997 Juliana has been a key member of the Raqs Sharqi Society.

PERFORMANCE

Juliana has worked as a soloist and company dancer in Britain and abroad, and has performed at a variety of venues, ranging from intimate to large. Juliana is known for her graceful, elegant style, combining subtlety with drama. In 2006 Juliana invited Nensi Bego, a dancer of Albanian origin, to form Neju dance company with her. Juliana also performs with and directs a group of young gifted dancers in East London.

TEACHING

Juliana Brustik’s unique and creative teaching style is informed by her knowledge of a wide range of body disciplines, including contemporary dance, Feldenkrais, Contact improvisation, Pilates and theatrical voice and bodywork.

She believes that developing students body awareness is an essential part of helping to master the dance form, and enables the individual to find their own authentic expression.

CREATIVE WORK

Juliana has directed and performed in many shows in Britain, Switzerland, Germany and Holland, often working with groups of experienced dancers. Over the years Juliana has created many exciting folk pieces for larger groups and classical pieces for duo and trios. Her pieces are known for their sophistication, dynamic subtleties and contemporary use of space, combining traditional language with western sensibilities.

Over the past years Juliana has developed a strong relationship with leading Arabic style musicians, Gamal Awad, Abdul Salam Kheir, Emile Bassili, Guy Schalom and Tim Garside amongst others. She regularly performs with them and invites them to teach at various residentials and workshops.

Her interests also motivate her to explore multi-disciplinary work; finding the connections between Kathak and Egyptian dance with Amina Khayam in the multimedia production Amad in 2003, creating a short film with dancer/maker Jenny Hill and exploring with various performance artists the use of voice and movement.

INSPIRATION

As a dancer Juliana Brustik takes her inspiration from many Egyptian dancers past and present: Tahia Carioca, Samia Gamal, Suheir Saki, Fifi Abdou, the Ghawazee dancers of the Maazin family and Suraya Hilal as well as modern day dancers. Studying the individual qualities and style of each dancer as well as finding the essence that unites them enriches her own development in the dance. Juliana also explores the dance with other professional dancers and renowned Arab musicians.

Feldenkrais Profile

I have been working as a dance tutor, performer and creator for over 30 years in community dance in the UK and abroad. I am also a fully qualified Feldenkrais practitioner.

I have always been interested in exploring various body awareness and somatic methods to deepen my understanding of the body/mind connection, to enhance my own creative work and teaching and my own overall well being.

Many years ago I came across the Feldenkrais Method and took part in workshops and residentials with Barbara Mc Crea and Scott Clark amongst others. The Feldenkrais Method was a revelation to me! Having the permission during group lessons to listen to myself and follow my own pace whilst exploring some unusual movement connections felt like coming home to me. I experienced a deep release emotionally as well as physcially.

This experience was most empowering. I knew I wanted to study this method and gain a deeper understanding of it. Once I heard that the second Feldenkrais Training in London had been arranged under the direction of Elizabeth Beringer I immediately applied to be a trainee. I find the Feldenkrais Method to be most useful as an ongoing tool to explore and widen my knowledge of how humans function and learn. I regard this as one of the best ‘pension’ investments: the Feldenkrais Method is a very practical and accessible way to keep body and mind flexible, curious and full of vitality.

PRACTICE

I run two weekly ATM classes as well as small private classes. I also hold several workshops a year in and outside London. I enjoy collaborating with practitioners of other movement or mindfulness methods: I regularly run residentials and workshops together with the Alexander teacher Judy Hammond and last year I collaborated several times with Sound Bath practitioner Mona Mock.

The students in my classes and private practice (Functional Integration) come from all walks of life and cover a wide age range. Clients bring with them a variety of conditions and interests, including Osteoarthritis, Scoliosis, Fibromyalgia, looking for rehabilitation support after knee and hip operations, dancers, sports enthusiasts and musicians keen on improving their performance skills.