Dr. Vânia Gala is the Interim Head of Contemporary Performance Practice BA (Hons.). Prior to joining Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, she was a lecturer in Dance and the Module Leader of Examining Practice in the MA/MFA Choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She supervised MA/MFA dissertation students and taught Examining Practice in the MA/MFA Choreography. She has taught release-based technique, composition and choreography at Northampton and Kingston Universities. She holds a BA in Dance from EDDC-ArtEZ (Hogeshool voor Kunst Arnhem, Netherlands) and a Master of Arts in Choreography with Distinction (Trinity Laban). She received her PhD from Kingston University funded by a university scholarship.
Gala is a choreographer and researcher working at the intersection of critical dance studies, performance philosophy and experimental practices in dance, theatre and visual arts performance. Her interests lie in experimental practices with an emphasis on notions of refusal, choreo-thinking, fugitivity, improvisation(s), black (non)performances, negotiation, dissensus, hospitality and value.
Gala’s choreographies and conversational performances explore (non)performance(s) and opacity. Latest performative interventions include Table for Upside Down Practices at Calouste Gulbenkian Museum (Lisbon, Portugal). Collaborations as performer involved Les Ballets C.de La B., Constanza Macras, Dina13 and B. Valiente Kompani. She collaborated as choreographer with artists Sonia Boyce, Harold Offeh and Griot theatre-company. Commissions include Cooling-Down Signs a Pan-European creation performed at DanceWeek Festival (Croatia), D.I.D (Austria), Front@Festival (SIovenia), Bakelit (Hungary).
In 2019 she was awarded Best Choreography by Theatre Guide (Portugal). In 2005 she was awarded Best Female Performance at Dublin Fringe, was part of Aerowaves (London) and of Triennial of Luanda. Her choreographies were performed in Angola, Portugal, Norway, Germany, Ireland, UK, Russian-Federation and Austria. In 2021 she was invited to be a jury of DgArtes – Portuguese Ministry of Culture Arts Funding Board. She is a member of TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Association), Performance Philosophy and a board founding member of UNA – União Negra das Artes (Black Artists Union, Portugal.
Awards and achievements
2019 Best Choreography Award by Theatre Guides Awards Portugal for “Que Ainda Alguém nos Invente” Teatro Griot
2015 FASS PhD studentship Kingston University, London, UK
2005 Best Female Performance – Automatic ID (AID), Dublin Fringe Festival