top of page
Gold Spiral w axis.jpg

PATRAS 2020 Teachers Team

anchor 1

Eric Acakpo

Dancer, Musican, Teacher, Band-Leader, cultural attaché for the city of Ouhidah, Benin, president and co founder of the Asso. Sonagnon with Francesca Pedullà, Eric was initiated to traditional Beninese culture, rhythms and dances from early childhood. He is a member of the Voodoo Brass Band, Les Tambours du Benin and has worked with Koffi Koko, Salia Sanou and Vincent Hari’s Do.

Screen Shot 2020-03-13 at 3.57.23 PM.png
Anchor 2

Kira Kirsch 

Kira Kirsch is a movement artist, community organizer, mother and initiator/curator born in East-Berlin. After many years abroad she now works and lives with her family in Berlin as a resident of Lake Studios - an artist-run dance production and performance venue.​ She is deeply invested into creating and shaping spaces for people to experience, learn about and sensitize their mind-body-movement continuum. She has pioneered, taught and continuously researched through the lens of the Axis Syllabus (AS) for over a decade. She was a major force in building the Bay Area community for AS research in California from 2006 - 2012. In 2014, together with Francesca Pedulla, She began co-curating the annual dance festival “SENSING IN”, and has set up a regular, modular educational program under the name of Movement Artisans together with Antoine Ragot at Lake Studios. She currently has a lectureship at the HZT University for the Arts in Berlin and is regularly invited to festivals and institutions such as Impulstanz/Austria, Ravnedans/Norway, TQW-Vienna or the Goa Contact Festival among many other as well as private, grass roots initiatives. As a performer Kira has danced in the works of Sara Shelton Mann (US), David Szlasa (US), Avy K. Productions (RU), Christine Bonansea (US/FR), Half Machine (DK), ABC dance collective/Frey Faust, Cie. Anna Tenta (AT) and in numerous collaborations with her peers. From 2009 -2012 she collaborated with Montrealer Kelly Keenan and their creations "species - a moving body exposition" and "useless creatures" have been presented in the US, Canada and Austria. She reacently was featured in the short dance film "The Earth will Come" with film maker Katelyn Stiles and musician/poet Barnaby Tree, research within ensemble improvisation, somatic communication and her garden.

Anchor 3
manuela martella flying.jpg

Manuela Martella


Researcher, dance-artist, performer, teacher and active member of the ASIRN (Axis Syllabus International Research Network). Co-founder of IUPLA Balancism. I put emphasis on movement analysis applied to dance, partnering, Contact Improvisation and balance training through the lense of the HMA (Human Movement Alphabet) conceived by Frey Faust.


I investigate ranges of stress and intense physical endurance in learning processes. Since my earlier experiences in Latin American Dancesport and the Fashion culture I also developed an interest for traditional, contemporary and future codes and role models of male and female.

Anchor 4
Tatiana photo.jpg

Tatiana Loverdou

is a choreographer, professional dancer and the director of

the Professional Dance School Dansarte in Patras Greece.

As a Fulbright scholar she studied at the School of Body-Mind Centering® in Amherst College, USA, from 1999 to 2002, acquiring the titles of Practitioner and Somatic Movement Educator, while studying Contemporary Dance in New York at the Trisha Brown Dance Studio and Movement Research Dance Studio, in 2000. Tatiana is a certified teacher of Iyengar Yoga. She studied alongside with Patti Bradshaw, Constantinos Giannetakis, and Penny Chaplin. Tatiana also runs Dansarte in Greece combining the parallel function of the dance school while organizing cultural events and international seminars. Since 2009 she has been hosting Axis Syllabus a constantly evolving reference system founded by Frey Faust in lengthy educational circles. She is also a certified teacher of Axis Syllabus. Tatiana has the exclusive rights of the 1st Body-Mind Centering® (Somatic Movement Education) in Greece.

Anchor 5
Anchor 6
Screen Shot 2020-03-13 at 3.32.05 PM.png

Baris Mihci

Baris Mihci was born 1976 in Wuppertal, Germany and is currently based in Istanbul. He holds degrees in social pedagogy, German, sports and education for physically disabled children at the University of Cologne. He completed his studies with a social-cultural research thesis referring to Pina Bausch's Tanztheater and its artistic research about human relationships. Baris then began his dancing life. His curiosity about the art of dancing was strongly influenced by following the work of Pina Bausch for over 14 years. Coming from an athletic background, movement was always a big interest to him. In 2001 he was introduced and immersed himself in the Axis Syllabus enabling. Baris acquired a teacher's certificate after 4 years and has been teaching regularly for dancers and non-dancers alike across Europe since. He has taught at Studio Hybrid, Dancetrumjette, Espace Catastrophe, the Nomadic College, DOCH, the Cullberg Ballet among many other professional dance training institutions. Baris’ performance work is based in solo, site specific and improvisation. He has presented solos at Belgart Moment Festival, Festival tanzhautnah, RAC Festival (Brussels) among others. He has also collaborated extensively with Collectif en Transit, devoted to bringing dance to urban public spaces. Baris is a key organizer of the Nomadic College since 2004 and a member of the Axis Syllabus member assessment panel.

Since 2012 Baris is teaching workshops world-wide in schools or festivals and lives between Turkey and Europe.

Sara Parisi

Mover, pedagogue, choreographer, performer and creative human involved in artistic and cultural international projects in Europe, Benin, and Bahia (Brazil). She believes in networking and the creative capacity of collective strategies. She holds a diploma in sport science, is a certified Axis Syllabus teacher and co-organizer/representative of the AS International Research Network. She is a passionate movement analyst and is fascinated by the way context specific cultural dynamics influences human movement.
Her projects and pedagogical approaches to dance are very much inspired by her constant study of the relationship between traditional and contemporary dance codes. She is an expert of Hip Hop, West African (Benin) and the Afrobrasilian dance and groove culture. She lives between Europe and Bahia, where she collaborates with local and international artists investigating natural landscapes using the body as mediator.

Full bio, project and art works on the site:

fra blue portrait.png
Anchor 7

Francesca Pedullà


Dance artist, independent curator and a dance teacher. Holds a Masters in History of Theatre and Performing Arts, a diploma as professor of African Dance Expression - FEIDA Bordeaux. Certified to teach the Axis Syllabus. Since 1998 she spends several months a year living in Benin, who's culture has been a profound influence. Since 2005, she develops artistic works and cultural projects in Europe and Benin. Based in Berlin, she choreographs, performs and teaches throughout Europe, the USA, Canada, Israel, Brazil and Benin. Her focus looks at how structurally supported action or expressive gesture is the result of continuous adaptation. Her objective as a teacher is to stimulate a critical appraisal of the circumstances in and around us through a gradual building of a common store of technical references (biomechanics, musicality, spatial relationships) and through creative games and discussions for channeling the potential of the individual and collective body.

Anchor 8

​Saadet Türköz

I was born in Istanbul in 1961 and I am currently living in Zurich.

Due to the political pressure of the Chinese government upon the Turk people in East Turkestan (Uyghur Autonomous Region), my parents fled to Istanbul, where they settled as Kazakh refugees. They transmitted us the rich oral and musical traditions of the highlands of Central Asia. With the tales of their far away country and their journey to Turkey, the elderly people of the Kasakh community influenced my imagination as musician until nowadays.

I’v always been impressed by Kazakh and Turkish music. I’m deeply moved by its humanity, its archaic power and its melancholy.

As a child, living in Istanbul near the Marmara Sea, I wanted to be a hodscha, a Koran teacher. I was fascinated by the Arabic language and the melodious texts of the Koran which gave me the first opportunity to deliberately improvise without paying attention to sense and correctness.

I was 20 years old when I left Istanbul to join my sister in Switzerland. There I experienced an exciting new world of music: free jazz, improvisation and a refreshing openness towards experimentation which parallelled my unbiased approach of the musical traditions of my origins.

In my improvisations as well as performances of Kazakh and Turkish songs I am looking to transform memory. I seek to evoke pictures and atmosphere by means of voice and music which transcend cultural boundaries. Memory is everywhere and every time the same – not changeable – but the expression is different: Individual perception develops a universal impression of the cultural life.

Screen Shot 2020-02-22 at 10.33.23
Anchor 9

Timos Zechas

Timos Zechas is a certified Axis Syllabus teacher and a member of the Axis Syllabus International Research Community (ASIRC) since 2014. He is also an active dancer/performer, dance teacher, and Pilates Instructor and Feldenkrais practitioner (awareness through movement, functional integration) and obtained a diploma from Fernando Pessoa University in Perceptual-Psychoeducation (Danis Bois method). He is also a certified fascial trainer. He graduated from the professional dance school of Niki Kontaxaki, in 1999. In 2002/03 he went at the Trisha Brown Dance Company Studio in New York after obtaining a Fulbright Grant. There he studied extensively on: release technique, improvisation/composition, partnering and repertory of the company. Since 1996 he has collaborated with many dance companies and choreographers such as: the National Greek Ballet, National Greek Theater, the Northern National Dance Theater of Greece, Regional Dance Theater of Patras, Adonis Foniadakis, Christina Klisiouni, Teti Nikolopoulou, Tatiana Loverdou, Maria Gorgia, Igor Zelinski, Carol Armitage, Zerminal Cassado, amongst others. He has also choreographed his own work (“One” 2006, “All that is” 2009, “The lament of Mother of God” 2012, “Don’t go back to sleep” 2013).He teaches contemporary dance using the Axis Syllabus context in a professional dance school (Patras, Greece), and have taught to the Municipal Regional Theater School of Patras. He also, teaches classes and workshops on contemporary dance, axis syllabus, improvisation, Feldenkrais, and Pilates technique to various groups of people. He has participated in contact improvisation and site specific performances among other collaborations.

Frey Jump - Flecha.png
Anchor 10

Frey Faust

Frey Faust is a 59 year old veteran of the New York contemporary dance scene, with a strong European renommée and intercontinental touring circuit. His focus for the last twenty years has shifted to the educational value of applied science in the arts, with an emphasis on anatomy and physics, including aspects of sociology and cognitive science. His research resulted in, or at least was part of an ensuing, society-wide movement to re-examine deleterious training practices as well as reconsidering the role of the movement teacher. With the help of colleagues from the arts and sciences, He began consolidating the interdisciplinary movement analysis and reference system called The Axis Syllabus (The AS) in the late 1990's. (

bottom of page