Yana Maizel - Compagnie Errances

Yana Maizel’s Teaching Approach

Flamenco, Theatre & Flamenco-theatre

Yana Maizel has been a theatre and flamenco teacher since 1999; she teaches weekly classes in Paris and is regularly invited to teach workshops in both France and abroad (Berlin, Moscow, Toronto.)
Being an actress, flamenco dancer and percussionist, Yana uses her multidisciplinary base to enrich her teaching.
In addition to her weekly classes and workshops, she has created original workshops on the theme of “flamenco-theatre,” where, through rigorous theatrical, rhythmic and flamenco techniques, she seeks to give each dancer/actor an awareness of their body in the space, as well as a stage presence and a personal quality to one’s own dance.
Yana Maizel's Teaching Approach


(Photo : Evguenia Balandina)

I have been teaching weekly flamenco classes since 2003. In my teaching, I seek a creative approach to transmit the essence of this dance into the minds and bodies of my students. My classes always begin with a rigorous warm-up, intended to render the students’ bodies receptive to this dance. This is followed by technical foot and arm work (zapateado and brazeo), intensive rhythmic work with counter rhythms, intended to develop the dancer’s ear, and work on a determined choreography.
The warm up is very important, as it is always directly linked to flamenco technique and its movements (zapateado, brazeo, choreographic sequences such as marking (marcajes), but also walking and moving in space and on a stage. I think that the more we understand how our own bodies move and how we control our movements, the more we are capable of accentuating a specific movement in a specific part of our body, without having to engage the rest of the body.
The great theatre pedagogue and master Jacques Lecoq said that we must seek the economy of movement. I try to teach the students that the whole body does not necessarily have to be in motion all the time, and that while some parts of the body are engaged in movement, working, other parts are at rest (activity and inactivity). For example, when we are moving our arms, we do not necessarily have to move our torso. Each movement, within a rigorous understanding of flamenco rhythms and technique, should be communicative and very personal. In my classes, we work on the stage presence and expression of each dancer, seeking to find their individuality and personal style in flamenco.


(Photo : Evguenia Balandina)

Using the elements of Jacques Lecoq’s pedagogy, I teach the students to reach an understanding of their body in movement, focusing very strongly on pace and different rhythms. The actor’s body, much in the same way as the dancer’s body, should be free and always alert on the stage, as much for those they share the stage with, as for themselves and the audience. I work on the chorus or group, the individual within this group, as well as the awareness and the rhythmic sensitivity of each actor.


Reportage de la télévision russe
Reportage de la télévision russe sur un stage donné par Yana Maizel (Vidéo : TV Kultura)

This is an original form of teaching (in a workshop or regular class format) that I have created over a number of years, in which I combine my experience as a flamenco dancer and teacher with the theatrical training and principles that I have received from Jacques Lecoq and his pedagogical staff (Alain Mollot, Thomas Prattki, Norman Taylor, Sandra Mladenovic). My flamenco theatre workshops are mainly directed at dancers, actors and musicians that want to develop their sense of rhythm, movement, coordination, stage presence and approach to flamenco. But I have also used this flamenco-theatre base in my work with children in Education Priority Areas or with incarcerated women.
I customize and adapt the content of each workshop depending on the group that I work with.

— For flamenco dancers (complete beginners or advanced), these workshops propose an original entry point and different perspective towards the understanding of flamenco: a theatrical one, from which the students can better understand the rhythms and gestures of flamenco and find something personal in their own dance. For this group theatrical exercises that incorporate concentration, space, walking, group and individual improvisation, are given as much importance as precise technical flamenco work, like rhythm, brazeo, zapateado and marking.

— For actors, musicians and dancers in general (with no flamenco background), these workshops provide a solid understanding of the essence of flamenco, its rules, rhythms and movements as well as an ability to master certain theatrical techniques such as working on concentration, gestures, presence, space, walking (and different types of walks that soon give way to a character), the tragic chorus, improvisation and text.


Weekly classes

Mondays at the Maison des Ensembles
3-5 rue d’Aligre, Paris 75012
Metros Gare de Lyon or Ledru-Rollin (01 53 46 75 10)
— 19:00-20:30 Beginners / intermediate
— 20:30-22:00 Intermediate /Advanced (at least two years of flamenco)

Tuesdays at Centre Ken Saro Wiwa
63 rue de Buzenval, Paris 75020
Metros Buzenval or Avron (01 43 56 57 60)
— 19:00-20:30 Intermediate II /Advanced (at least three years of flamenco)
— 20:30-22:00 Beginners / intermediate

History of workshops & master classes

September - November 2019. Theatre workshops for hospital clowning for the association Soleil Rouge in Grenoble, France with Sophie Gazel.

October 2019. Flamenco - theater and the tragic chorus. Professional workshop in Glasgow, Scotland.

May - June 2017. The woven threads of our stories. A flamenco - theater workshop and stage presentation with a mixed group of people, including asylum seekers, at the Maison des Métallos in Paris.

January - April 2017. French through theater Glottodrama workshop with refugees and asylum seekers, at the Maison des Métallos in Paris.

April 2016. Flamenco-theatre workshop at the Maison des Métallos in Paris.

October 2014. Assistant to Jean Claude Cotillard for the International Workshop on Hospital Clowning in Barcelona organized by Théâtre Organic.
A workshop for professional clowns, who work with sick children in hospitals. We taught movement, mime and burlesque.

June 2014. Master class in theatre, movement and flamenco-theatre at the STD International Summer Theatre School in Moscow, Russia.
A master class for professional actors, where I taught movement, rhythm and chorus work specifically for street theatre.

June 2012. Flamenco-theatre workshop for flamenco dancers at the Flamenco Werkstatt in Berlin.
Workshop based on the Seguiriya flamenco rhythm for chorus in tragedy, as well as Bulería and the burlesque.