Sara Mikolai: On listening, moving, resting and being


15:00 → 18:00


/ workshop

For the festival Le Alleanze dei Corpi, we’re glad to invite Sara Mikolai, a choreographer and interdisciplinary artist of Sri Lankan Tamil-German descent. In her practice, she explores the relationship between movement, body and sound, and is deepening her insights into the practice of listening, moving and how one affects the other.

On listening, moving, resting and being 
workshop with Sara Mikolai
29.09 from 15.00 to 18.00
KinLab, Milan

Every day our ears receive many sounds and words: welcome, unwelcome, wanted or unwanted. Often at night, when all electronics are switched off and the phone put to rest, we perhaps feel the tiredness of our ears, maybe a ringing, some pressure, followed by relaxation by not hearing anything for just a moment. But soon the sounds of the environment become more audible to us. We might begin to hear every single car driving on the street, the cats and dogs howling and discussing outside. The TV of a sleepless neighbour.

In her practice, the artist explores the mode of listening: what it does to our bodies and how we can transform both our listening and our bodies through doing it consciously and deeply. What if we don’t judge what we hear, but let it happen and let it affect our bodies? How does it move us, emotionally and physically? It might become a form of active meditation that allows for movement and rest alike. Through this practice of listening, I engage with various layers, which inform, influence and shape my approach to dance. Listening more actively and deeply helps to perceive dance not only through the eyes but through the sense of hearing. And by doing this one learns to stay present, unlearn and relearn meanings attached to the sound source.

With this workshop, we invite you on a three-hour journey through this practice.

There are no professional dance or other artistic requirements for this workshop. Please, bring comfortable clothes as well as a shawl for being on the floor, if you need. Free registration with limited places. To participate and if you have any questions or special needs, please write to

Sara Mikolai is a choreographer and interdisciplinary artist born in Berlin, of Sri Lankan Tamil-German descent. In her work, she focuses on a critical and poetic engagement with epistemologies of dance through somatic practice, philosophic reflection and balancing the equilibrium of contextualizing the personal, historical and contemporary in art and everyday life. Through an interdisciplinary approach, she mainly works with live performance, sound, video, installation, print and writing. She explores the relationship between movement, body and sound since 2015 and is deepening her insights into the practice of listening, moving and how one affects the other. This practice has moreover stimulated her to ecological reflection and to inquire about its correlation to dance practice, to which she is dedicating her current research. She has studied and trained Bharatanatyam since 1994 under her teacher and mother Diana Mikolai at the Abhinaya Dharpana School for Indian dance in Berlin. She graduated in Dance, Context & Choreography at the Interuniversity-Centre for Dance – HZT Berlin (University of the Arts Berlin), as well as in the MFA in Performing Arts program at the Iceland University of the Arts, Reykjavik. She further holds a diploma in Bharatanatyam from the Oriental Fine Arts Academy of London. Currently, she is doing research in the MPhil in Fine Arts postgraduate program at the Postgraduate Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences (PGIHS) / the University of Peradeniya, in Kandy, Sri Lanka. For her academic work, she receives a study scholarship from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung).


photo credits: Owen Fiene