The Wave Within

Photos by Gisella Sorrentino

The Wave Within Press Article

 Essay by Ivana Badolato


In this post-modern dance age, it is important for performers to be exposed not only to different techniques and styles, but also to the connection between movement and its emotional content. With this goal and the desire to bridge the gap between acting and dance,we developed The Wave Within!, a unique, interdisciplinary training process that provides performers with active tools to strengthen their self-confidence and stage presence.


MARE NOSTRUM ELEMENTS’ training division is committed to creating and offering a safe environment in which performers can re-discover their bodies, get in touch with their emotional impulses responses and create a strictly personal physicality incorporating both past knowledge and newly discovered expressions.


The Wave Within! is a step-by-step performance-oriented manner of working that guides performance artists, from exploring new forms of expression to performing a self-created physical character. The training merges the knowledge and experience of actor/director Kevin Albert (Boston Conservatory graduate) and performer Nicola Iervasi (former Martha Graham Ensemble member). The Wave Within! offers a balanced mix of concepts influenced by Meisner and Grotowski acting techniques, contact improvisation, Anna Sokolow Dance Theater and body conditioning techniques.


In a safe, non-judgmental environment, participants engage in various exercises and explorations guiding them to create original movements and/or personalize a given situation. Participants are not only exposed to different techniques but they are also – and most importantly – given the tools to create, develop, edit, self-direct, rehearse and perform their own physical character. While performers are involved in the process, the method prevents them from getting stuck in any pre-constructed structure or format.

The Wave Within! focuses on the concept behind any explored technique and its impact on the participants, not on the results it is expected to achieve.


From mature professional dancers and choreographers to young aspiring actors, all performers will benefit from The Wave Within! In addition, non-performers of all ages are encouraged to participate in our workshops. The training’s non-technical approach is suitable for individuals from all walks of life.



From mature professional dancers and choreographers to young aspiring actors, all performers will benefit from The Wave Within! In addition, non-performers of all ages are encouraged to participate in our workshops. The training’s non-technical approach is suitable for individuals from all walks of life.

The Wave Within! benefits dancers and actors due to its performance-oriented nature, unlike technique-based training. The success of The Wave Within! has been proven by the many artists who are now using movements and tools discovered during our workshops in their performing, teaching and choreographing careers. The Wave Within! has also proven to be a major asset in helping dancers translate and express a choreographer’s intentions.

Technical Information

*Classes are offered as part of a program or as independent sessions. The open structure and flexibility of the training allow us to custom-design workshops based on participants’ and/or presenters’ needs.

*Class schedule can range from one-day intensives through one- or two-week workshops and residencies. All workshops end with an informal show or performance.

*Lecture demonstrations, performances and master classes can be arranged within a 45-60 minute school period.

The Wave Within! — Movement Theater workshops embodying MNE’s unique interdisciplinary approach  — has been offered throughout the U.S. and Italy. New York City workshops have taken place at La Guardia High School for the Performing Arts, NYU, Peridance Center, PMT House of Dance and Trinity/LaMaMa. Overseas workshops have included a summer intensive at the Roccella Jonica International Jazz Festival and University of Calabria, both in Calabria, Italy.


The Wave Within! classes unfold in a collaborative fashion, often featuring guest artists leading explorations or a section of the class. Participants are asked to create a physical response to the given instruction rather than follow the leader’s choreography or movements.

Each class is divided into three sections:

  1. Preparation
  2. Laboratory
  3. Review

The Preparation encompasses elements of Yoga, Pilates, Gyrokinesis, voice coaching, and corporeal mime and is often led by guest artists. In this section of the class students familiarize themselves with the physical space and fellow participants in order to strengthen self-confidence and creativity. The preparation might change every day according to the participants and the specific goal and challenges at hand.

This section of the class aims to:

•Awaken the body, mind, voice and emotions

•Free the participants from pre-existing structures and limitations

•Bring them back to a neutral state of mind and physicality

The Laboratory consists of explorations, suggested conflicts (theater games) and experiments.

  • Through the Exploration of voice, color work and music, students are exposed to different forms of expression and dynamics of movement.
  • Suggested conflict exercises are designed to stimulate emotional impulses. Given a “conflict,” participants are expected to express their feelings and emotions through movement. The challenge of these exercises is to express emotional impulses without thinking, letting the body do the work, and strengthening the ability to deepen the meaning of the movement without falling into cleverness.
  • Experiments are the most creative part of the laboratory. Given a theme or a structure, students are asked to interact in couple or group improvisations. The improvisational aspect of the exercises often leads to unique movement, interesting positions and surprising relationships.

Some explorations combine concepts of contact improvisation, Meisner acting technique and Grotowski Physical Theater. Participants are asked to:

* Remain true to themselves

* Respond physically to given circumstances

* Live in the moment

Review is a very personal time during which each student rehearses and performs a physical sequence using the material from one or more exercises. During this section participants are asked not to choreograph new material, but instead find a creative way to connect the selected movements. This part of the workshop class is vital for stage presence. Participants are invited to keep in mind the audience point of view and to be as clear as possible in executing their creation.

Every class ends with a Discussion Circle in which participants ask questions as well as share comments and powerful moments experienced during the day.

For More Info and Booking Contact:



Mare Nostrum Testimonials

During his workshop, Iervasi was able to create a positive energy and a trustful relationship between himself/director and the actors/performer. In a very quiet environment and without feeling judged by the others, the participants were able to abandon all pre-contstructed mas, habits and images of themselves in order to reinvent, perceive and express new emotions. Only with a series of similar moments is possible to build a show as a set structure in which the actor feels protected (like in labratory) so he can take his mask off and reveal himself with more confidence in front of the audience; and the audience to project on the actor his own thoughts, images, and emotions.- Ivana Badolato


Gentle, charismatic, energy, without judgment, choreographic justice.-  Sarah Kellett, Actress

To work with Mare Nostrum you have to be somewhat humble, but when you are…some extraordinary things happen.- Laura Shallcross, Dancer

Calm but invigorating, it set me free! I have taken lots of different workshops but none so tailored towards the emotions, I started to listen to myself, the person/dancer within.- Nina Atkinson-Evans, Dancer/Choreographer

Most classes spend hours on end digging into one thing or just with one main focus. This class moved and touched many elements.- LaShonna Holloway, Dancer/ Choreographer – Teacher

Active, immediate, practical, useful, fun.-  Anonymous

Helpful to express emotions and create solid statements.- Ozden Cetin, Dancer

Previous experiences = dance training = technique. The Wave Within! experience = first flight.- Marianthi Vrettou, Dancer

Mare Nostrum Elements intensive was very helpful to deal with my timidity. Sometimes I was fighting with myself, but that was the interesting aspect. I highly recommend all dance students to try “The Wave Within!” method; it would nurture them, while they are pushing themselves beyond their limits. – Pauline Legras, Dancer

I appreciated Kevin and Nicola’s kindness in leading the workshop that made a safe and non-judgmental environment. I felt free to experiment, not worrying about what’s right and wrong. This freedom gave me confidence to deeper explore my emotions. Interestingly, while developing those personal feelings, my body would draw from Graham technique, so I was able to re-explore the movements and find a new personal connection to them. As an Ensemble member, I am now using “The Wave Within!” tools to develop my own imagery when I embody any character from the Graham repertory.- Delia Ahouandjinou, former member of the Martha Graham Ensemble