Leonarda Lovrekovic was born on the 21st of January 2000 in Rijeka (Croatia) and has lived most of her life in Poreč (Croatia) with her family. Leonarda made her first dance steps in 2006 at DND Poreč and later at USB Poreč under the guidance of dance teacher Ivana Domazet. During this period, she competed and achieved high scores in various regional and international dance competitions in modern and urban dance categories. She attends seminars and numerous dance workshops and camps in Croatia and abroad. Since she was 12, her drivenness and passion was shown when traveling alone abroad to Denmark, USA and to bigger Croatian cities to educate herself and broaden her vocabulary in different dance styles. Volunteering in a children’s summer camp in Poreč, three years in a row, as an assistant of a camp counselor widely broadened her insight to pedagogical work (interaction, organization and communication skills). Leonarda discovered her natural abilities to interact with children and enjoyment in transferring her knowledge and experience to others. Therefore, besides finishing Elementary Music School (piano) in 2014, she held her first dance workshops in 2016, as well as finished a Contemporary Dance Elementary School the same year. In 2017 she received an opportunity to teach a group of children within the youth association USB Poreč for the whole year around, in addition to choreographing a few highly ranked choreographies on international competitions in the junior and senior categories. She graduated from Gymnasium in 2018 and enrolled into Fontys Dance Academy - Contemporary Urban department in the Netherlands. During summer 2019, she continues her work as a teacher at dance camps in Croatia and creates her first dance performance called „Melting Water“ for the Street Art Festival in Poreč which was also performed at Šibenik Dance Festival in 2020. Afterwards, she premiered her site-specific dance performance NOW and new work with Summer Art Lab at the Poreč Street Art Festival. In 2021, Leonarda completed her internship hours within hip hop dance company BackBone by Alida Dors. She was included in the creation of the new production R.I.O.T. and filming of Hesdy Lonwijks documentary. Following her three successful summer projects within the USB association in Poreč, in September 2021 Leonarda took the opportunity to study abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark for 4 months where she trained daily in Copenhagen Dance Space and Gaardbodans. When she returned to Croatia, she was asked to be a part of Dino Merlin’s music video, one of the greatest and most popular music artists in the Balkans. In January 2022, Leonarda started the final school research with the topic on developing stage presence through imagination, through which she got inspired for her most recent work, dance performance called “I’m here”. Leonarda is nominated for Jacques de Leeuw prize 2022 and is graduating from Fontys Dance Academy in July 2022.
Fontys Hoogeschool voor de Kunsten (FHK) - Fontys School of the Arts - Fontys Dance Academy (2018-2022)
During the 4-year education, Fontys provided a safe and open environment for the development of my ever-growing artistry. Enrolling into the school highly motivated and eager to learn, I had the goal of expanding my dance vocabulary and coming closer in the search of giving shape and discovering my diverse artistic identity, my own movement individuality. I was focused on the improvement of what is beneath the movement execution and increment of my performance quality. Staying physically and mentally on a high artistic level included working and strengthening my weaknesses while becoming aware of my abilities and talents. Absorbing everything valuable and significant that came my way was the main part of every day, in addition to learning and creating with and from my colleagues. The school’s demand to daily reflect on my processes resulted with now having a high ability of inner and outer reflection and body-mind awareness. From various in-house and guest pedagogues and teachers, to several projects involving different art fields, the school gave refreshing input into the foundation of providing knowledge. Going beyond consumerism, FHK spreads the awareness that the students and the teachers are the school and have all the space to use for their creativity and further development while being heard and accepted. Being personally invited to the curriculum evaluation and taking part in the audition committee showed me the schools strive in the continuous process of improving the quality of educational work, while including their students and making their voices heard. I will graduate from the Fontys Dance Academy ready for new challenges and excited for future outcomes.
High School Jurja Dobrile Pazin, Croatia - Gymnasium (2014-2018)
The 4 year long high school education had the purpose to develop students' intellectual breadth, research curiosity, needs for new knowledge and action, to train students for logical and creative thinking and independent learning. I was recognized for high achievements and contribution in numerous extracurricular programs and projects, while creating a positive atmosphere and good relations.
Contemporary Dance Elementary School (2012-2016)
Improving and deepening knowledge in certain areas of dance and music through the 4-year dance education. Gaining knowledge during the creation processes and performances. Participation in creating and touring with several dance productions with various teachers.
Elementary Music School - Piano (2008-2014)
The 6 year long education enabled me to independently play, developed individual creativity and musical taste, gave the space to perform and express myself. Various teachers and pedagogues had innovative ways of teaching and have succeeded in transferring valuable music knowledge.
In my work I explore situations and emotions I have personally experienced or thought through, the way I respond to certain situations and react to my environment. When I am able to experience the story or when I am a part of it myself, it gives me the energy and inspiration to translate my understandings and emotions into movement. Sharing my inner beliefs and emotions pushes me outside my comfort zone and puts me into a position of power where sharing my opinion, vision and voice matters and is heard. One of the important roles as an artist is to enlighten important questions and situations which then helps people to change. If I can impassion the audience; if I get them to think and react to my work by creating more awareness about a certain topic - as an artist, I feel I have completed my mission. The value of my work as an artist lies in transferring emotions through the presence of the performer to the audience members. As a dancer, I make sure I’m connected to the topic: I want to relate to it with my own experiences. Therefore, as a maker, I try to give the dancers certain emotions I am working on and an explanation on how the topic relates to me directly, as I also explain the meaning and layers beyond the words. Since we are all different, I encourage the dancers to connect with the topic personally because in its translation, the movement becomes more individual. For me, the makership is closely connected to interdisciplinarity. The relations within the field give more diversity and freshness to the work and unite a bigger audience platform. As a teacher, I encourage the individuality, meaning that the coping of the movement can be done for the purpose of enlarging the personal vocabulary. Otherwise, digging under the material and figuring the intention behind it has a priority. In my classes, I always strive to provide the students with the knowledge I have gained and the experience of my own artistry world.
Jacques de Leeuw Prize Nomination
This year I was nominated for the Jacques de Leeuw 2022 prize. I intend to use the prize for my own further development and education in the artistic field. I want to focus on deepening my knowledge and broadening my education. When it comes to my own personal development as an artist, rather than a dancer, I want to take my time to experience different cultures, develop my movement qualities and focus on further research on my artistry. Nonetheless, I also want to dedicate my time on expanding my network as I know the importance that a good network holds.
I draw my inspiration from different genres of music, various artists, everyday situations, nature, relationships and foremost with the human body, the movement and the interaction between the bodies in the process of creation.
Alexander Ekman – Swedish dancer, choreographer and director, who creates innovative, surprising and humoristic interdisciplinary art for theaters, museums and films…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBHK7FOy_Jo
Marina Abramovic- Serbian conceptual and performance artist, writer, filmmaker and philanthropist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS0Tg0IjCp4