Luca in the Fuora Dance Project, photo by Michal Nawrocki
Luca Braccia is a performer, choreographer, teacher, and founder and artistic director of BARBERDANCE / lucabraccia&Co. He also teaches on the University of Suffolk BA (Hons) Dance course. We asked Luca what his favourite things about his jobs are, what it was like to teach over Zoom, and what he wishes more people knew about the arts industry.
My name is Luca Braccia and so I don’t get bored, I do lots of things!
I am a Lecturer in Dance and Course Leader for the 2-year accelerated BA (Hons) in Dance at the University of Suffolk in partnership with DanceEast. Also, I work as Studio Team Member and FreeSpace Programme Curator at Studio Wayne McGregor. Besides this, I am a freelance performer, teacher and choreographer, founder and artistic director of BARBERDANCE / lucabraccia&Co.
Currently, I am performing for Lîla Dance, Fuora Dance Project and Dora Frankel Ensemble. Together with Leila McMillan and Julia Testa, I host and curate the first-ever Passing Through Jam series in London.
What is your favourite thing about what you do?
Dance, as every form of art, allows me to play and still keep curiosity alive. My jobs challenge me every day! They give me the chance to express my creativity in different areas and look at dance from many perspectives in order to comprehend its full potential. I also feel lucky to be able to share my time, space and feelings as well as connect with a variety of people. Not all jobs can offer this!
What is something you wish more people knew about the arts industry?
I wish people knew many things. Mainly, I wish people fully understood the power of dance as well as the potential of the arts industry to improve and make the most of their lives. A few weeks ago, I was in Palermo, and I visited the beautiful Teatro Massimo. On the façade, it is written: “Art renews people and reveals their life”. I wish more people comprehended the meaning of this.
Have you taken part in any digital dance activities? How did you find them?
Yes, I have done some for the past few months. I have been mainly teaching, rehearsing and performing online with Lîla Dance. Also, I have taken part in some classes and sharings. It has been great, more exciting than what I was expecting. It has been different and challenging due to the logistics and physical limitations that technology brings, but to be honest, I am now able to work differently which will be useful in the future. Also, I really believe this has been an opportunity for all of us to be even more creative and imaginative. Limitations always pull out the best from yourself!
What was it like to run the university course online?
Challenging, moving and not impossible! I was asked to transform all face-to-face teaching into digital activities in less than a week. I gave an immediate response finding inventive, practical and innovative methods to teach, learn and fairly assess dance remotely.
Again, I saw this as an opportunity rather than a limitation, so I embraced it and tried to think even more creatively. Honestly, I’ve met many difficulties when organising the activities, mainly due to people’s commitments, needs and relationships with technology.
Also, I realised many people needed help, so I have been supportive as much as I can with both students and staff. Even though there is always room for improvement, all choices that were made ensured the students could complete the programme during the pandemic with reasonable changes. This is the most important thing! This approach and actions led to great results such as the final year Level 6 performance, which was entirely constructed and delivered online, in real-time. You can watch this here!
What is one of the highlights of your professional career?
Not entirely sure. I received public awards in Italy, including the Premio Claudio Abbado 2015 for choreography (Ministry of Education, University and Research) and Movin’Up 2016 (Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities).
What is the best piece of work you’ve seen in the last year?
MÁM by Michael Keegan-Dolan, performed at Sadler’s Wells.
You can find out more about the University of Suffolk BA (Hons) Dance degree by clicking here.