The Ephemeral Life of an Octopus

Léa TirabassoThe Ephemeral Life of an Octopus

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The Ephemeral Life of an Octopus questions the strangeness of having a body: vigorous, punctured, probed and animalistic. The piece is inspired by studies of the evolution of cancer cells and the lived experience of illness. At once scientific, philosophical and visceral, Léa Tirabasso’s work looks at the dysfunction, chaos and vibrant life force of the body from within and without. 

‘There is the ancient, religious idea that man is the unhappy combination of beast and god: if only we were divine, we would be liberated, immortal spirit; if only we were beast, we could be content in our instinctive ignorance’. 
Thomas Stern, 'The Human and the Octopus'

Choreographer and Director: Léa Tirabasso
With the collaboration of the Dancers: Catarina Barbosa, Alistair Goldsmith, Joachim Maudet, Rosie Terry Toogood
Composer: Martin Durov
Lighting Designer: Nicolas Tremblay
Project Manager: Mathis Junet
Associate Producer: Hattie Gregory
Scientific advisors: Adeola Olaitan, François Eisinger
Philosophy advisors: Thomas Stern
Animal Transformation Coach: Gabrielle Moleta 
Video: Bohumil Kostohryz
Co-production: Kinneksbond Mamer, TROIS C-L Centre de Création Chorégraphique Luxembourgeois (LU), KLAP Maison pour la Danse Marseille (FR)
Commissioned by: The Place London, DanceXchange Birmingham, NSCD Leeds (UK)
Supported by: Dance City Newcastle, South East Dance, GFTA Arts Council England (UK), Fondation Indépendance, Ministère de la Culture (LU)
Thanks to the Wellcome Collection
Thanks to Eve Appeal, Cancer Research UK

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Léa Tirabasso (b. 1985) is a dancer and choreographer working in Luxembourg and London. She graduated from London Contemporary Dance School (2009), and also holds a BA in History of Art and Modern Literature.

As a dancer, she has worked with Johannes Wieland, Stephanie Thiersch, Michael Langeneckert (DE), Chris Haring (AT) José Vidal & Company, Clod Ensemble, James Finnemore, Seven Sisters Group, Peter Groom (UK), Jean-Guillaume Weis, Bernard Baumgarten (LU). For two seasons, she was a full time member of the TanzTheater Ensemble in Kassel (DE), under the direction of Johannes Wieland.  

She started making her own work in 2013. Since then, it has been presented internationally; in Luxembourg (Banannefabrik, Kinneksbond Mamer, CAPe Ettelbrück), in the UK (The Place London, TripSpace London, NSCD Riley Theatre Leeds, DanceXchange Birmingham), France (KLAP, Maison pour la Danse Marseille), Germany (Dock4 Kassel, Staatstheater Mainz, International Tanzmesse Düsseldorf), Spain (AGITART, Figures) and South Korea (SID2018 Seoul). Léa has been invited and held talks about her work with students at University College London and London Contemporary Dance School.

As a choreographer, she is fascinated by the uncompromising tension inherent in our human condition; twisted corporeal needs versus spiritual life. She is interested in the collision between the graceful and the dissonant, the comic and the tragic, the grotesque and the transcendent. Cultural constructions, stifled pulses and the human condition at its most bizarre are at the centre of her work. 

In 2016, Léa received the prestigious award Arts et Lettres in Luxembourg (Institut Grand Ducal) for her work as a dancer and choreographer.

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