For some years now, Vanaga and Onofri have been carrying out research work, producing and teaching the possibilities of Contemporary Partnerwork as a movement language.

They give seminars and courses that are characterized by the work with various performing artists apart from dancers.

They also carry out research on choreographic creation and the production of works with this particular technique as a starting point.

Last year they have created Pack (dentro de algo) for the Dance Company of the IUNA (Instituto Universitario Nacional de Arte, National University Institute of Art), which opened in the theatre El Portón de Sanchez.

Here are some of the Work´s reviews:


Much More than a Companion

Pack (Dentro de algo)

the piece by Vanaga and Onofri works on the partenaire figure

By: Laura Falcoff

The Company of Contemporary Dance of the IUNA (Instituto Universitario Nacional de Arte, National Univesity Institute of Art) has just started showing a new work by Agnese Vanaga and Juan Onofri, who is also responsible for the idea and the general direction. As to the idea which served as the origins of Pack (Dentro de Algo), it proposes a research on the role which is so present in dance, the “partenaire”. This French term means “associate”, “partner”, “couple”, but in dance, it refers to the dancer who lifts, holds, twirls and/or carries another dancer through the air. Traditionally the leading partenaire role has always been performed by a male dancer who supports a female dancer, but contemporary dance, particularly in the past few decades and with the addition of new techniques, has broadened the horizon and the relationship can take place between two men, two women, or with a woman as leading partenaire.

The choreographers of Pack have surely taken these possibilities into account for an initial exploration and the effects of it are seen in different passages of the work. But they have surpassed the aim of their research and the result is a very interesting creation, which takes elements from other lines of work to successfully tie them together forming an organic whole.

The beginning of the piece is centered on the movement of the group of dancers towards different areas of light that appear succesively on the stage. Vanaga and Onofri use these elements to organize a stable sequence that unexpectedly breaks its own predictability. This procedure is the rule in other scenes and reveals a way of thinking out the work that is happily choreographical. Although it lacks an argument, at least a visible one, the alternation of climates, the dynamic power, and the originality in the choice of certain resources – an originality which, however, is not placed above the work itself – create a suggestive narration.

The Company of the IUNA deserves a separate praise. The Company is a group of dance students from the Department of the Movement Arts of the IUNA. It is directed by Roxana Grinstein, teacher and choreographer of outstanding career. Grinstein has renewed the cast of dancers almost entirely this year, and has succeeded in bringing together a group that is both highly trained and is evidently very pliable to the demands of a work such as Pack.

The previous casts, although they possessed very good performers, did not succeed so completely in achieving the consistency that this new group can already boast of. It is also worth mentioning that Onofri, a choreographer merely 25 years old, also seems to understand very well what it means to be a director.