Yana Maizel - Compagnie Errances

Biography of Yana Maizel

Between cultures, countries, languages…

Yana Maizel was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia into a family of actors. After several migrations and immigrations, this artist, both multidisciplinary and polyglot, chose Paris as her base to develop her artistic projects and her teaching in dance and theatre. Today, she works as an actress, flamenco dancer, choreographer as well as theatre and dance teacher. In Paris, she studied at the Jacques Lecoq International School of Theatre, and in Spain with different flamenco masters. Yana has worked with Omar Porras, the Oposito Street Theatre Company, Jesus Hidalgo, Karine Saporta, amongst others.
Biography of Yana Maizel

From Russia to France, via Canada and Spain

 Yana Maizel performing La Vie est une Gare, a flamenco-theatre-clown piece that she created in 2011.
Yana Maizel performing La Vie est une Gare, a flamenco-theatre-clown piece that she created in 2011.
(Photo : Christophe Cormier)

Born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Yana Maizel, immigrated with her parents to Toronto, Canada, where she grew up and began her theatre studies at the Claude Watson School for the Arts. Yana was accepted at the University of Toronto, where she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art History and received a bursary to study at the University of Granada in Spain. This is where she discovered flamenco.

While studying flamenco in Granada, Madrid and Seville, Yana received a scholarship to do a Masters and DEA degree (1st part of a PhD) in Art History and Architecture at the Université de Bordeaux III, which brought her to France.
In 1997, Yana moved to Paris to continue her theatre studies at the Jacques Lecoq International School of Theatre. After completing the two years at this school, Yana moved to Madrid to study at the mythical flamenco school Amor de Dios with masters such as Ciro, Maria Magdalena, La Truco, Rafaela Carrasco, Merche Esmeralda, La China etc. At this time, she also began to study percussion (cajón) with El Guille.

To this day, Yana continues her flamenco training in Seville and Jerez, where she works with pedagogues such as Manuela Carpio, Maria del Mar Moreno, Alicia Marquez, Israel Galván and Mercedes Ruiz.

She also continues her training in clown and Argentinian tango.

 
 

From theatre to flamenco, via clown and percussion

 With the Oposito Street Theatre Compagny.
With the Oposito Street Theatre Compagny.
(Photo : Oposito)

Today, Yana is based in Paris and works as an actress, dancer, choreographer and percussionist (cajón) for different dance, theatre and music companies. She also works in film and does voice-overs in Russian and English.

Recently, Yana played a Russian-speaking role in the feature film “Polina”, directed by Anjelin Preljocaj and Valérie Müller. She also tours in France and internationally with the Oposito Street Theatre Company in Kori Kori, as an actress, dancer and singer, as well as in Nés Quelque Part, an interactive expo-theatre project about the environment with the Ars Anima Company, in which she acts and was assistant director. Amongst her multiple collaborations and projects, she has worked in opera as a dancer, choreographer and actress with the Swiss/Colombian director Omar Porras and the Malandro Compagny, in La Périchole (2008-2010, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Lausanne Opera houses.) From 2010 to 2012, she played the role of Bernarda Alba in Soledades, a flamenco–contemporary dance piece by Jesus Hidalgo and the Aller-Retour dance company, inspired by Garcia Lorca’s play, The House of Bernarda Alba.

 With the Electro Flamenco performance group Von Magnet.
With the Electro Flamenco performance group Von Magnet.
(Photo : Richard Bella)

She has also toured with the mythical multidisciplinary electro-flamenco group Von Magnet in De l’Aimant, as an actress, dancer and percussionist (cajón), in France and internationally, from 2005 to 2008. Other projects include: Kaena dance company, Hoy No Luce, Ayer Lucia (flamenco dancer and actress, Normandy, 2012); Tecem Company in Amor mi Amor (actress and Argentinian tango dancer, Switzerland, 2008); Ars Anima Company in Maux Croisés (an interactive expo-theatre project about AIDS, Paris, 2006); The Karine Saporta dance company in La Force de l’Âme (flamenco dancer, France, Martinique, Guadeloupe, 2004).

 
 

Personal Creations and Projects with the Errances Company

 Hermanas Tres, created by Yana Maizel and Deborah Greenfield is a theatre-flamenco piece, inspired by Anton Chekhov's The Three Sisters.
Hermanas Tres, created by Yana Maizel and Deborah Greenfield is a theatre-flamenco piece, inspired by Anton Chekhov’s The Three Sisters.
(Photo : Judith Milligan)

In 2004, Yana created the Errances Company, (meaning «wandering») in which she develops her own artistic projects as well as her teaching. In 2009, she created Hermanas Tres with Deborah Greenfield, a theatre-flamenco piece for three dancers, inspired by Anton Chekhov’s The Three Sisters.

In 2011, Yana created La Vie est une Gare ou Je ne m’appelle pas Carmen, a flamenco–theatre–clown solo piece that she has performed in France, Canada, USA and Germany and continues performing today.

 
 
 

An original pedagogy

 Yana Maizel in the Opera La Périchole, directed by Omar Porras.
Yana Maizel in the Opera La Périchole, directed by Omar Porras.
(Photo : Toulouse Opera)

Yana’s teaching in flamenco and theatre, has taken her to places such as: Moscow, where she was invited to give a master class in movement at the STD International School of Theatre (2014); Berlin to the Flamenco Werkstatt, for two flamenco-theatre workshops (2012), Martinique for three flamenco workshops and choreography (2006-2007); Lille and Metz for several flamenco-theatre workshops (Peña de los Flamencos, 2007-2008 / Théâtre Sous La Pluie, 2006); Paris to teach movement at the Philippe Gaulier School of Theatre (2003) and Toronto, Canada, to teach a mask workshop at Claude Watson School for the Arts (1999).

Yana has also given flamenco and body percussion workshops for women in prison (Fleury-Mérongis, 2011) and Education Priority Areas (for the Théâtre à l’Agora, scène nationale d’Evry et de l’Essonne, 2008) as well as regular flamenco-theatre classes in the Espace Culturel André Malraux (Kremlin Bicêtre, 2002-2003.

Along with her weekly flamenco classes, Yana regularly teaches flamenco-theatre workshops in Paris (at the Micadanses dance center). In these original workshops, Yana uses theatrical techniques to attain an understanding of flamenco, and achieve a stage presence and a personal quality in each student’s dance. (Cf. the page on teaching.)

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 Article by Michael Crabb for the Toronto Star (Canada), November 8, 2012.
Article by Michael Crabb for the Toronto Star (Canada), November 8, 2012.

“Yana Maizel’s own journey has taken her on a convoluted and at times improbable route from St. Petersburg, the city of her birth, via Toronto where she grew up and studied, to sunny Spain, where it was that she discovered a rare and unlikely gift for flamenco.”
Cadence Canada, Julie Nelson

My Name Is Not Carmen!, a fusion of theatre, dance, poetry and music that tells the story of her journey from Russia (Maizel was born in St. Petersburg) to Canada, to Spain and ultimately to France. The show deals with the issue of identity — Maizel has experienced and adopted so many different nationalities and cultures.”
Post City Magazine, Meredith Morrison

“Itinerant philosopher-queen dancer-choreographer Yana Maizel doubles back to the city where she grew up to perform her latest show, My Name is Not Carmen! Employing a mix of her many spoken languages (Russian, English, Spanish and French), poetry and prose, dance and theatre and a pastiche of artistic influences all glued together by her passion for flamenco, Maizel tells her own tale in a fluid performance of body, words and music.”
The National Post, Jason Rehel

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Document

Curriculum Vitae
(PDF - 22.9 Mb)