B i o
Originally trained as a visual artist, Liela Tolan, received her BFA in experimental filmmaking from the University of Colorado. An experimentalist at heart with an interdisciplinary approach to vocal performance, she was drawn to the exploratory and improvisational elements of Dhrupad raga music:
A practice focused on process, seeking to unravel the mysteries of the voice, the self, and our relationship to the unknown; tuning to the natural world.
Since 2009, Tolan has been training under the guidance of Pt. Ritwik Sanyal (disciple de Ud. Zia Fariduddin and Ud.Zia Mohiuddin Dagar) in the Dagar family tradition. During this time, she also studied the sarangi with renowned player, Dhruba Ghosh, and received supplementary vocal support from Ud. Sayeeduddin Dagar, Marianne Svasek, and Pelva Naik.
After years of rigorous study, performing in multi-cultural events (France, India, USA), composing and experimenting with image and sound, Tolan directed her work towards the presence of the body as a musical instrument. Since 2012, Butoh became her primary movement practice. In this time she trained with Mushimaru Fujeida, Rhizome Lee, Moeno Wakamatsu and Atsushi Takanouchi, as well as contemporary dance choreographer, Joanna von Mayer. She has since performed in Butoh Festivals and with the CoMotion Dance Company.
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Tolan has trained with somatic voice and movement artist, Patricia Bardi and continues researching and practicing somatic methods such as BMC and Feldenkrais.
Facilitating vocal workshops since 2012, she is dedicated to providing space for others to explore the multi-dimensional range of their bodies and voices, to promote opportunities for collaborative group processes and performance. She currently lives in Bochum, Germany where she offers both group and private classes in both Indian Classical Voice and Voice and Movement creative research and experimentation (Klangkorper).
2018-2019 Voice and Movement Integration Somatic Practice with Patricia Bardi
2015-2017 Butoh Contemporary Dance Theater with Rhizome Lee at the Subbody Butoh School Dharamsala, India
2013-2015 National Institute of Art and Transformation (focus on sound and movement) Paris, France
2009-2018 Indian Classical Vocal Training with Pt. Ritwik Sanyal, Varanasi, India
2008-2009 Hatha Yoga Teacher Certification
2002-2006 University of Colorado, BFA Experimental Film Production, Boulder, CO USA