About UMA

UMA – Urban Move Academy – is an educational and artistic project. UMA, a school, a creative space, and a place for exploration, is part of the current trend of urban cultures, most notably in their performance aspect such as ride, parkour and dance.

In a single location, UMA combines the teaching of movement in interaction with digital and visual arts. UMA is inventing a new kind of project to meet the ambitions and practices of today’s youth.

With an open vision of the world, UMA boosts creativity, helps cultivate one’s curiosity and draws from the diversity of languages and from interculturality to offer a favorable and challenging environment for learning and sharing. With one foot in teaching and the other in the professional world, UMA is a stepping stone for passionate young people that allows them to express their identity and achieve their potential.

UMA offers a comprehensive range of educational and cultural activities centered around urban cultures, within a single space for expression that’s unique in Geneva.

UMA stems from 8 years’ experience sharing with young urban artists and performers and bringing forward alterity. A laboratory where creativity is imagined, experimented and lived out in a different way, off the beaten track. A school revolving around innovation, emancipation, trust, the senses, and what makes sense.

Youth is a time for experimenting, for learning, a time when anything is possible. Young people need to be listened to and supported to find answers to their doubts and their questions relating to their future and their upcoming projects. Transmitting art is a challenge, a huge opportunity if teaching can be handled as a creative activity rather than transmitting established knowledge. It is therefore for and thanks to artistic creation, resonating with the challenges and innovations of the professional world, that young students, teachers and guest artists are developing UMA and are fueling its activity through their diverse talent, experience and aesthetics.

The training courses, workshops, master classes, performances and shows offered at UMA are all material available for everyone to enjoy artistic creation.

Welcome to UMA!

Nicolas Musin

Educational Approach

UMA’s teaching methods are state-of-the-art and its educational approach and artistic universe are based on the core values of urban cultures: freedom, exploring, taking risks, breaking the rules, and transformation.

Experimenting these concepts in a contained, supported way while discovering how they can be interpreted in an artistic manner is part of the educational purpose of UMA. The school is involved in a comprehensive artistic education project that acknowledges the singularity of urban creation from the start and throughout the learning process. Our objective is to develop technical and artistic skills and to promote cross-over.

The positive and inclusive educational approach encourages and develops individual uniqueness while highlighting collective values.  At their own pace, each individual can pull out their own artistic expression and build their learning journey, while at the same time developing the fundamental spirit and way of life of a group.

Access to Culture

UMA focuses specifically on artistic and cultural education, a vector for equal opportunity and social integration.

Because it allows us to open up to ourselves and to others, we consider art as a necessity. We believe every individual, whatever their social background and origins, should feel at home in a theater or a museum, and we believe in providing the young generation with the space and the means to flourish, as a way for them to develop civic awareness. UMA offers to live an experience which fosters creativity, self-confidence, individual and collective engagement, open-mindedness and tolerance, initiative, civic engagement and a feeling of belonging.

Thanks to the diversity of actions implemented, UMA is working on spreading every form of urban creation towards wider, more diverse populations and increasing awareness of urban art and sport. Throughout the year, UMA offers an activity program and artistic synergies reflecting its desire for openness:

  • Frequent public rehearsals, performances and lectures; 
  • Workshops and master classes open to all;
  • School outreach in local schools. 

Team

Management

Nicolas Musin began his career at the Paris Opera Ballet before joining the Monte-Carlo Ballet and the Hamburg Ballet – John Neumeier, as a principal soloist. During that same time, he created numerous choreographic works produced throughout the world. In 2000 he founded his own dance company in Vienna, which he directed and toured for more than 10 years, while multiplying collaborations and experiments in other creative fields such as fashion, design or architecture.

Later based in Geneva, he collaborated with Flux Laboratory artistic space and with the School of Art and Design HEAD – Genève, before co-founding La compagnie Urbaine in 2014 and becoming its artistic director. The show ZUP, first encounter of its kind between arts, urban sports and digital arts, saw the day of light in 2017 on the Plainpalais Skatepark in Geneva and lead to further creations, notably for the Youth Olympic Games, Lausanne 2020, or at the Théâtre National Populaire in Villeurbanne (Lyon, France) in 2021.

A pure product of classical choreographic education, Nicolas Musin has never stopped looking for other ways of expression as for him, the choreographic field goes beyond that of dance. Transversality is an essential component in the construction of his pedagogical and creative projects.

Manager: Carole Bruhin

Executive and production assistants: Stéphanie Cavallero / Sabrina Nessi
secretariat@urbanmoveacademy.ch

Educational Team

Most of UMA teachers are performing artists, renowned at a national or international level.

External guests complete the team for the workshops, master classes, lectures and creative paths that take place throughout the school year.


Ride

Coordinator / occasional teacher :

Micky Iglesias is an iconic figure of Swiss skateboarding and is the president of Lausanne association La Fièvre. His career in a few dates:

1998 Became a professional Skateboarder
2008 1st Vans Off the Bowl
2008 2nd European Championship (Miniramp)
2009 2nd European Championship (Miniramp)
2010 6th World Cup Event in Prague (Bowl)
2010 6th World Cup Event in Rome (Bowl)
2012 1st ex-aequo Wangl Tangl

Micky is a skateboarding, snowboarding and skiing instructor (École Suisse de Ski), and organizes competitions in Switzerland and in Europe.

Teacher skate :

Chany Jeanguenin is a professional skateboarder, master skateboarding coach, international competition judge, sports event producer, photographer, as well as a master of Kung Fu (second dan black belt and red belt) and Tai-Chi.  During his sports career, he has traveled to over 30 countries to promote his successive sponsors through demonstrations, competitions and commercial events. He has been featured in over 20 international videos and has been featured on the front page of major sports media titles such as Transworld Skateboarder, Slap, Thrasher, Big Brother, Skateboard Mag and The Berricks Website. He has earned numerous Skateboarding Championship titles: 

  • 2nd place best trick contest Skatepark of Tampa Pro (2001) 
  • 1st place, Amateur Houston Texas Shut up and skate half- pipe (1993) 
  • 1st place at Europe Amateur Championship, half-pipe Antwerp (1992) 
  • 4th place World Cup of Pro Munster (1992) 
  • 1st place at the Swiss Skateboard Championship in half-pipe, 2nd in mini-ramp and 3rd in street (1991) 
  • 1st place at the Swiss Skateboard Championship in half-pipe and 3rd in street (1990) 

Since 2019, he is Skateboard coach and Tour Manager at Alaïa Chalet (Crans-Montana). 

Teacher BMX :


Parkour

Coordinators / Teachers: 

A Chase Tag world champion, Caryl is one of the most talented parkour and free running athletes. When he is not competing internationally, he frequently collaborates with Nicolas Musin in multi-discipline events. 

A parkour athlete and coach for 10 years, Maxime has collaborated with Nicolas Musin in multi-discipline productions.

Occasional teachers :

Deeply involved in Parkour since the age of 9, she has won 2 world championships in 2021 at Red Bull ‘Al andalus‘ and the World Cup in Sofia as well as several trophies at the famous Red Bull ‘Art of Motion’ competition. 

· Jeremy Lorsignol

Professional free runner, number two in the world and member of the French team, Johan Tonnoir is an athlete as well as an artist. He mainly uses the architecture of Paris to defy the laws of gravity. He is part of the French Freerun Family* with Simon Nogueira.

* The French Freerun Family is a team of professional athletes specialized in parkour. More than a physical performance, the creation they propose develops an artistic language in order to change the way we look at our daily environment. Creating surprise, producing poetic flashes, these street performers question not only how we build cities, but how we live together.


Urban and Contemporary dance

Coordinator / Teacher:

Since he first started out, Imad Nefti has been bringing poetry and simplicity to hip hop dancing, composing spaces, substance and rhythm, all in the name of the very essence of the dancer.

He defined himself very early on as an artistic director organizing human experiences for the hip hop community. He developed the ability to direct performance dancers and pilot creative processes.

Imad Nefti stands out, having created his own teaching method based on a multi-discipline, flexible, open structure. It defies traditional conventions with the use of raw, simple tools and techniques, revealing hip hop’s true educational assets.

Regular teachers:

Cedric is a hybrid and multidisciplinary dancer/performer and choreographer. He is influenced by a multitude of dance styles and has always been passionate about creating and exploring movement outside of established formats and styles. 

He began by practicing breakdance, then improvisation with Imad Nefti through the different styles of hip hop dances. He continued to train in contemporary dance and joined the Ballet Junior de Genève with whom he danced a varied repertoire including pieces by Hofesh Schechter, Wayne Mcgregor, Cindy Van Acker, Alexander Ekman, Stijn Celis, Barak Marshall and Ken Ossola. He then joined the Bachelor in Contemporary Dance at La Manufacture in Lausanne. He worked with Thomas Hauert, David Zambrano, Deborah Hay, Alejandro Ahmed, Jonathan Burrows, Martin Kilvady, Gabriel Schenker and Mark Lorimer. 

In parallel to his studies, he regularly collaborates with Rafael Smadja’s Cie Tenseï, a hip hop artist with whom he created Presk, Domino and Sheol. He is currently a performer in the piece NALC by the Cie Champloo. 

After his studies, he created the Synergy Company in order to continue to produce and diffuse his work and his various collaborative projects with other artists. The company produces various contemporary dance shows and performances: Labyrinthum, Krolok, Silva and 116th dream. He enjoys working with musicians and live music and has worked in particular with Bruno Dias, Julie Semoroz, Lionel Friedli, Ganesh Geymeier and Christian Weber. The two biggest productions of his company Silva and 116th dream have toured all over Switzerland through the Reso Programmers Fund. 

Cédric is part of the YAA! program of Pro Helvetia which supports young choreographers. 

He also collaborates regularly with Marc Oosterhoff with whom he created Palette(s), La caresse des pavés and research around Palette(s) in a contemporary circus register. 

Cédric is also interested in teaching and occasionally gives workshops on dance, improvisation and composition. He has created three pieces for the students of the Bachelor in urban and contemporary dance at Tanzwerk in Zurich. 

Lorenzo Vayssière aka “Sweet” is a performing dancer-poet who was born in the Val d’Oise department, in Eaubonne, where he started out at age 15. He is mainly inspired by bboying, a common practice from which he freely draws to achieve singularity and fulfill himself completely as an artist. This makes his dancing pure, based on impactful expertise between the appropriation of opposite states and energies, the quality of movement execution and the art of letting it breathe, dancing life and its ups and downs with passion.

Since 2007, he has been an active member of Bad Trip, one of the most unconventional French dance groups of all styles. In 2010 he also integrated the group Sans Limite, which distinguishes itself by its activism in battles and which features bboys from Paris and Troyes. In keeping with his will to constantly raise the bar, in 2013 Lorenzo joined urban / contemporary dance company Black Sheep, founded by Saïdo “Darwin” Lehlouh and Johanna Faye. He was featured in production Wild Cat and more recently in Apaches.

In 2016, he was a member of Philippe “Physs” Almeida’s teaching team Mouvmatik, where he teached bboying at the A.I.D. (Académie Internationale de la Danse, International Dance Academy, Paris). Lorenzo is also the co-founder of The Art Way movement with Cedric “Stylez C” Borges.

Lorenzo’s creativity and strong identity enabled him to be affiliated to Anne Nguyen’s company Par Terre in 2017, with whom he took part in the creative process of the play Kata and undertook a number of cultural actions.

In the search for a new artistic drive, he founded Selected View in 2019 with Rowdi Legove Lewing: a platform uniting bboys defending the same artistic vision and in search of state of grace through approaching the unknown and the magic of the present moment.

Degen Tesfaldet alias Blood met Krump at the age of 14 in the streets of Geneva through the founders of the Krump movement in Switzerland, the “Warriorz”.   

While still a student, he was quickly caught up in this urban dance that he had never heard of before. Passionate, he learns the basics, the codes, the vocabulary and everything that encompasses the Krump culture.  

He joined the “Warriorz Fam” and made his mark among some of the best krumpers in Europe. His thirst for knowledge and curiosity allow him to evolve and develop his own style. Recognized for his technique and creativity, Degen stands out and never stops deepening his art and knowledge.  

Born in Cameroon, Colbert arrived in Switzerland at the age of 13. After having practiced hip-hop for a few years, he discovered Krump at the age of 18, a discipline that will change his life as an artist. Very quickly, he joined the founders of the Krump movement in Switzerland, the ‘Warriorz’. With them, he participated in several performances in Switzerland, France, Germany and Cameroon. He also took part in many Krump tournaments and won the first Krump tournament in Switzerland: Krump Game Switzerland. In parallel, he teaches at the Swiss Krump Movement and in dance schools in various countries.   

Through Krump, he learns to know himself, to grow and to overcome some difficulties in his life. Sharing his knowledge with other young people, following their evolution and their blossoming, brings him a lot of satisfaction.   

· Jean-Christy Olembe

Born in 1974 in Parma (IT), he studied ballet, modern dance, contact dance and improvisation at the ‘’Atelier of Dance-Theatre’’ in ‘’Paolo Grassi School of Dramatic Art’’ in Milano. After receiving a scholarship, he joined the School of Specialization for Dancers, coordinated by the ‘’Art/Aterballetto Dance Company ‘’in Reggio Emilia. 

Living in Geneva (CH) since 2002, he is particularly interested in improvisation within creation and has worked as an assistant choreographer with Alias Company, where he was one of its main performers for 15 years. Since 2013 he has been a member of the ‘’Cie Prototype Status’’ under the direction of Jasmine Morand, for which he assumed the role of dancer and cultural mediator in 2021, for its artistic residency space ‘’Le Dansomètre’’ in Vevey. 

In 2015 he successfully obtained the Certificate of Advanced Studies at the post-graduate training of the HES-SO of Lausanne as a Cultural Mediator.  

He teaches improvisation and contact improvisation in the form of workshops/internships as part of the bachelor’s program at La Manufacture (Lausanne) and at EDHA Formation (Annecy). 

In parallel, he collaborates with many choreographers and companies such as:  Cie Estuaire (Nathalie Tacchella), Cie Sam-Hester (Perrine Valli),  Kubilai Khan Investigations and Frank Micheletti 

His particular interest for improvisation and performance has led him to develop and question his practice constantly through key encounters with artists and teachers.  

Occasional teachers:

Salomon Baneck Asaro was born in Bordeaux in France in 1982 of a Cameroonian father and a Sicilian mother. He started dancing at 17 in Brittany and specialized in popping, breakdancing and other standing-up dances such as hip hop, house…

He trained at A.I.D., Paris (Académie Internationale de la Danse) where he learned classical dancing, modern jazz, contemporary dancing… His course included training periods with Poppin’Taco, David Colas, Junior Almeida and Ibrahim–Kafig among others.

A member of Crews Legion X and Freemindz, he has taken part in various international competitions for several years, where we can often see him as a member of the jury or as a teacher during workshops (hip hop, break dance, house, experimental…). He has created a specific style around experimental dancing and has won the experimental battle “Open Your Mind” several times, the biggest event in the genre, for which he was a member of the jury in 2016.

The 2010 laureate of the Prix Lagardère pour la création de danse numérique, he can be seen in a number of productions, displaying the extent of his artistic palette: hip hop, contemporary dancing, opera, performances…. He has also taken part in a large number of productions: The Krash Nights of the Heartbeat Queen & Kaiju by Cie Shonen, Cie Pas de Quartier in French Guyana and in Paris notably (Archives Nationales), as the opening act for at the Festival des Étés de la Danse in Paris, and Le Chat Perché at the Opéra de Paris. He could also be seen in musicals such as Gladiator and The Ten Commandments. He joined the Cie Wang Ramirez with the show Everyness.

Salomon has been featured in very diverse projects such as shows by Abd Al Malik, with whom he went on tour, and as an actor in the 2017 movie Break, in which he played Wiki.

An original, creative dancer, he has developed a unique style mixing floor dancing and standing-up dancing, turning him into a complete artist around experimental art. A highly “contemporary” artist with hip hop roots and in constant search of innovation.

Link Berthomieux aka Link le Neil is a multi-discipline artist, a dancer, a composer and a sculptor.

With a state diploma, he currently teaches in the Manufacture des Arts (Aurillac) and in the Centre de formation Pietragalla-Derouault.

He works as a performer alongside Vendetta Mathéa, Yaman Okur, Amala Dianor, Brahim Bouchelaghem, Lionel Hun, Julien Derouault and Marie Pierre Pietragalla. In addition, he challenges himself internationally in the Battle world as a challenger teacher and member of the jury.

In 2013 he co-founded Supreme Legacy Crew with Mickaël Pecaud and Thibault Fouillant, an association which would initiate a dancing school and a dozen urban dancing events in the Auvergne region. The group is involved internationally in urban competitions and festivals.

In the same year, he co-founded Wynkl with Willy Pierre Joseph. The association’s goal is to create a neutral space to experiment, exchange and practice in order to mix different communities and corporal expression styles. Wynkl organizes Jams (the famous Training parties at 104), laboratories and battles, and embraces dancing in the broadest sense. Wynkl is behind the Disconnected festival in Paris.

In keeping with his association’s sensitive spirit, Link launched conference modules called “Dance & Mental”, based on the observation of the influence of beliefs, mechanisms and fears relating to dancers. He draws on his experience as a dancer 

to bring a variety of points of view and methods in the aim of unwinding biased mental structures. This module has already taken place in France, in the United States, in Lithuania, in Hungary, in Switzerland, in Poland, in Germany…

In 2016, Link began working in Computer Music. Today he composes for dance companies, videographers and companies under the name of Linky Larson.

In 2017, Company Le Neil was founded with the production Vendetta.

In 2018, Link created One Piece Vert Galant, an eco-friendly barge-inn where artists can take up residence or stay for a while. The barge includes a dance studio, a painting and woodwork space converted by Link and an exhibition gallery selling the works of artists from the barge.

Né en 1997 en Haute-Savoie, Jerson Diasonama commence à danser en explorant les danses Hip-hop, plus particulièrement le Popping et le Hip-hop freestyle. Artiste et performeur inspiré par son environnement, il explore et apprend de son mouvement au contact de multiples rencontres et voyages notamment en Allemagne, Angleterre, Pays-Bas, Russie, République Tchèque… Liant deux univers, le hip-hop freestyle et la scène, Jerson enrichit son vocabulaire et développe ainsi une gestuelle introspective basée sur une expression corporelle instinctive, organique et explosive.

Sa sensibilité pour le mouvement au-delà des étiquettes l’a mené à collaborer avec divers chorégraphes et pédagogue autodidactes de la scène Hip-hop et contemporaine telle que Imad Nefti, Sébastien Boucher, la compagnie Kh avec Karim Khouader et dernièrement, la compagnie Black Sheep fondée par Johanna Faye et Saïdo Lehlouh. Particulièrement sensible à l’image, Jerson est également photographe. Son esthétique tourne essentiellement autour de la photo documentaire. L’identité, le groupe, la jeunesse et le métissage de culture underground sont ses principales pistes de travail.

En 2017, il crée Essenscorp, un laboratoire d’expérimentation explorant l’esthétisme du mouvement et utilisation du corps par le biais de la danse alliant performance, son, image et mouvement.

Mickael Marso Riviere was born in France and is a multi-award winner choreographer. A major figure in contemporary dancing and breakdancing for 19 years, he produces and releases his original productions in the UK and abroad.
He is the founder of Company Decalage, Bboy’s Attic, Marso Riviere IMG Photography, and an active member of Breakin’ Crews MDK and Bronx Boys 1975. He takes part in competitions, sometimes as a member of the jury, and promotes hip hop culture on the international scene.

Among his most recent works are T-break, which was shown at the Birmingham International Dance Festival, Matches with Guy Nader, and Hokiri for Carlos Acosta’s company “Acosta Danza”, with the premiere taking place in La Havana in December 2016.
He organized the B-Side Hip Hop Festival and the experimental dance concept event KRE8! for the Birmingham Hippodrome Theater! (2016-2018).
He co-produced and performed in the Hippodrome Creative project X-Ray: The Unknown Quantity by Hugh Turvey. Marso was also featured in Vogue’s 100th anniversary edition with the show Gravity Fatigue by Hussein Chalayan, choreographed by Damien Jalet. In 2016 he was featured on the shortlist for the Kevin Spacey Foundation’s “artist of choice” and he takes part in lectures for leading institutions such as the Rambert School and The Place in London.
Marso is a residency choreographer at the Royal Academy of Dance as part of the “Step into Dance” program and received the 2019 prize for The Place’s Choreodrome Research Residencies.

Rafael discovered hip hop dancing in 1998. His initial dance education was established through travels and workshops alongside hip hop pioneers. His diverse experience as a performer then contributed to enrich and diversify his movement (Lene Boel, Denmark / Jann Gallois, France / Yann Marussich, Switzerland / Olé Khamchanla, France…). In 2013, he founded Cie Tenseï, based in Ferney-Voltaire in France, and in 2018, he founded the Company Champloo based in Bienne in Switzerland. With the two structures, he is able to create bridges across borders and aesthetics.

As a professor, Rafael has developed a specific teaching method and transmission tools which are adapted to beginners as well as movement professionals. For over ten years, he has been collaborating with a number of artistic, academic and social structures based in France and Switzerland.

Since 2009, Rafael Smadja has been organizing and programming a hip hop culture festival, which in the last 5 editions has been more broadly focused on dancing (Step By Straight from 2009 to 2014, Les Hybrides Hiphopées since 2016).

Born in 1986 in Akita, Japan. 

Dancer and choreographer, she crosses several artistic fields such as Hip-Hop, breakdance, circus, contemporary dance. 

In 1991, she acquired 13 years of experience as a member of the Akita rhythmic gymnastics club. In 2000, she discovered breakdance.  

With AERSTIX SIDE (founded in 2007) and QWEEN OF QWEENZ (in which she participates since 2010), the breakdance team of which she is a member, she creates the show and wins several Battle Shows. 

Rich of this experience, she founded KINETIC ART in 2011. In 2012, she won the international breakdance competition ” Battle of The Year / We B* Girlz “. Kinetic Art is “Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain”, obtaining the Arte TV Prize (Paris, France, 2015) and “YOUNG STAGE”, International Circus Competition, obtaining the Circolo Prize (Basel, Switzerland, 2015).  

In 2016, she won the international urban dance competition “Juste Debout Experimental” and became world champion. In 2017, she moved to France and in 2020 created the company AERSTIX in Annecy. 


Martial arts

Regular teacher: Chany Jeanguenin


Interdisciplinarity

Coordinator and teacher: Nicolas Musin

Regular teachers: Cédric Gagneur / Naoko Tozawa


Music and video creation

Video creation regular teachers: Damien Rossini / Tristan Zumbach

Music creation regular teachers: Baptiste Melileo


Maison des Compagnies / Photo : Corinne Cuendet

Facilities

UMA is based in La Maison des Compagnies in Meyrin (Geneva). This culture-dedicated center is ideally located and accessible by public transport. Its modern, flexible and welcoming infrastructures provide all necessary services for UMA’s educational and artistic activities.

Virtual tour of La Maison des Compagnies

Ramp

UMA is equipped with a great ramp for Skateboarding, BMX, Inline Skating and Scooter. It is accessible to UMA students throughout the year, whatever the weather. From time to time, it is used for performances designed as part of cross-over projects.

Parkour setup

The parkour setup was custom-designed by professionals to ensure user safety and develop series of movements combining fluidity and potency.

Music and video creation

Music and video creation courses are provided by our partner school, making available their teachers as well as professional quality equipment.

Through the production of small music and video projects, the GSDA team will help UMA students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to collaborate with the audio-visual industry, as well as to produce their own independent projects. From development to post-production, theory is immediately put into practice, working in multidisciplinary teams with the support of GSDA.

Désolé

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