Tomaz Simatovic was born in 1978. He works as a performer, dancer, choreographer and teacher of dance. He holds a degree in dance performance and an MA degree in choreography.
years of collaborations, intergration and development of dance practice
Before gaining his degrees in dance and choreography Tomaz studied electronic engeneering and worked professionally as a dancer in Gledalisce Koper (Katja Pegan, Sinisa Bukinac). In 2003 he moved to Salzburg to study dance performance at SEAD (Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance). Tomaz has visited the I.CI - Centre choreographique National de Montpellier twice (2013, and 2015), granted with scholarship (danceWEB/Jardin d´Europe, Life Long Burning Scholarship Program) for participating at the ex.e.r.ce (MA program in choreography) with guest artist residency. At I.CI he studied with Mathilde Monnier, Loic Touze and Mathieu Bauvier.
His dancing has been greatly influenced by studying dance, improvisation and somatic approaches to movement with Milan Kozanek, Mia Lawrence, Matej Kejzar, David Zambrano, Libby Farr, Joao da Silva, Susan Rethorst, and Julyen Hamilton. From 2003 to 2006 he regularly returned to Izola, and collaborated on the integration and development of dance locally, as training and performance. Together with the cultural association (Erato) he co-developed a series of summer workshops (Plesni kampus Izola), and co-initiated a dance festival (Momenttum). From 2007 he has performed with editta braun company, with whom he collaborated extensively for 5 years. Tomaz has as well worked with Hubert Lepka (in Hannibal he performs in the main role), Uwe Bertram (Richard Der Dritte), Shlomi Bitton (Abseits for editta braun company), and Andreja Rauch Podrzavnik (Melodies of the Beginnings), amongst others. In 2016 Tomaz has began to collaborate with Georg Blaschke/M.A.P. Wien, on a series of performances FLUID FACts: Fluid skin has been presented at the Andrea Jünger Gallerie Vienna, and Fluid Theatre has been presented at the ImPulsTanz Festival 2016 at the Leopold Museum in Museums Quartier Vienna (July).
years of MA studies in choreography
In 2010 Tomaz has focused on choreography and research. He moved to The Netherlands to pursue his study at the MA program in choreography at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, Arnhem, where he was mentored by Joao da Silva, Ric Allsopp, and Konstantina Georgelou. At ArtEZ he began developing a strong interest in interdisciplinary research in performance. His artistic research has been influenced by the idea of blending art disciplines and their relationships to inspire forms of presentation, performance and conceptual thinking. During his time in The Netherlands he created few shorter works: Episodes, followed by The Night Keeps Us Calm, a solo performance in collaboration with Julian Barnett. His MA thesis "Per-forming the Figure" is a cross-disciplinary artistic research between choreography and figuration in figurative arts, and displays a theoretical and choreographic study to solo composition in performance. The research has been inspired by the notion of the Figure-sensation, found in the work of the painter Francis Bacon, with the attempt to define the notion of figuration in performing arts. Ths work was based on the idea that " there must be processes of choroegraphy in teh context of performing arts that create the figure as a live process". His research has focused on the dramaturgy of the process, the becoming of the performing body as a figure. This research has inspired furher attempts to articulate methodically the relationships between movement-sensation (as a physical given) and cognitive processes of the performer-choreographer towards composition as a real time process. His MA research concluded with staging The Entertainer in 2012, coproduced by ARGEkultur Salzburg. In this work Tomaz represented four cabaret figures, in form of performative portraits.
years at Universität Mozarteum/ Carl-Orff-Institut Salzburg
In 2011 Tomaz has begun to teach contemporary dance as a faculty member at Universität Mozarteum/ Carl-Orff-Institut Salzburg where he still works as a dance pedagogue in the department for "elementary music and dance pedagogy". His work at the institute is to bridge the pedagogical practice with concurrent streams of contemporary dance practices, and bring students of pedagogy closer to the professional training of dance, as a practice of continuity, regularity, and self-discipline. At work Tomaz approaches dance as a proprioceptive practice through synthesis of contemporary dance techniques that work with flow and floor, focusing on the work with spine and the dynamic of wave.
In 2011 Tomaz joined tanz_house Salzburg as associate member. Tanz_house Studio became a shelter for most of his creative processes. In 2012, and after several years of living internationally, Tomaz has finally settled in Salzburg. In 2014 Tomaz has curated tanz_house Festival Out of nothing (together with Anna Maria Müller).
works with music, dance and empathy in performance
In 2013 music has become a strong influence in his creative approach. Tomaz traveled as a guest artist to Falmouth University Performance Centre in UK. It is this workshop that inspired him greatly, setting a beginning for his ongoing research. After returning to Salzburg Tomaz has teamed up with the composer Matej Bonin and performer Mirjam Klebel to research on relationship between contemporary music, dance and empathy in performance. The work has opened up a space for a collective creation - Paradise on Stage, which gave way to an ongoing collaboration for the years to come. Returning to Falmouth in 2014 with the new collective, Tomaz continued with this work, in form of research and teaching at the Falmouth University dance program. In December 2014 Paradise on Stage premiered in co-production with ARGEkultur Salzburg. In 2014 he is invited to create for Toihaus Theater in Salzburg. Inspired by the performer Ceren Oran and violinist Gudrun Raber-Plaichinger Tomaz conceptualized and directed Pulse, a full-length performance in form of a performative concert with music, dance and singing.
writings and publications
In 2014 Tomaz has written a contribution for the 8th edition of the Danswettenschap in Nederlands, (Figure, The Leap of Sensation) an article about his MA research and choreographic work on the Figure. In 2016 and by invitation of Tanzwut (Toihaus Theater Salzburg) he has written an extensive essay (Hard times require furious dancing) about the relationship between rave culture, and choreomania as examples of the recreative yet political potential of dance, in form of "dancing demonstrations against socio-political tyranny", where the meaning of dance as a recreation transcends fun and party.
dance as "physical utterances" and exhibition
In 2015 Tomaz is invited by Donna Jewell to lecture in dance and choreography at the UNM Albuquerque Dance and Theater Department, USA, where he spends 3 weeks developing his work in the directions of movement-sensation, dance as exhibition. He collaborates with Stuart J Smith (musician/composer) on "if i could only reach you" (comissioned by UNM Albuquerque, USA), staging the work as a performative experience of a dance aesthetics tending towards baltering. In 2016 Tomaz conceptualizes two works: "the way you touched me tonight" (immersive performative concert, in collaboration with Mirjam Klebel, Matej Bonin, Simon Klavzar, in coproduction with SZENE Salzburg), and Anatomy of Effort (a new solo work where the performance artist looks to exhibit his body of work, a performance practice in dance, at the t_h festival Salzburg 2016).