Galiana and Nikolchev is a melt between two people with very similar questions and with very similar contradictions, often in opposite ways. They are an impossible balance which keeps them alive and present in a constant research in art and in life which shouldn't really be separated.
Galiana&Nikolchev met in Wroclaw, Poland, in 2010, two of eight founding members of a physical theatre laboratory at the Grotowski Insitutute (Studio Matejka), exploring working across borders: Borders between performance genres, between training techniques, and between individual expression and collective resonance. This was 2010-2013. Since, they have gone on to collaborate with contemporary dancer Vivien Wood in England, physical theater Company TDU in Switzerland, Slovakia and London, and leading physical workshops for the performer around Europe and the US. Los Angeles is their current home and performance frontier but Their suitcases are sometimes still packed.
They are the consequence of a crash, a consequence of a lot of f(l)ights, mechanical and corporal, passion, curiosity, stubborn and a terrible need to create as the only reason to navigate this existence.
Nikolchev believes at the root of every human interaction, and namely conflict, is an almost hopeless sense of misunderstanding. Every effort to communicate is shrouded by the listener's own sense of self, and only when our senses of self are quite similar can we pretend to understand. Nikolchev sees creation on stage as the ultimate attempt at dialogue, the chance to re:form, phrase, examine the way we once spoke and now might be able to twist and deconstruct to hook onto some last shred of universal empathy that we as humans in the audience and on the stage and in the world outside the theatre might still have. Or he'll go back to working with chimpanzees and gorillas. Or sea cucumbers.
Galiana believes similar to Nikolchev, but she is hopeless, she doesn't attempt communicating. She lives with the confidence and the freedom that results in not being understood. If there is a human truth, this is revealed on stage. The only thing worse than the social contract is to bring that contract on stage. She is deeply antisocial because of a terrible sense of justice, but you will probably not notice it; she is working on that.
Gema is a Performer, a theatre director and choreographer from Spain based in LA from the 2015, where she found Galiana&Nikolchev The Useless Room creating performances and training practices focusing in physicality as a main source of creation and expression.
She trained in Central and East Europe. At The Grotowski Institute, and with members of Song of the Goat, Obra Theatre Company, Vivien Wood, and Milan Kozanek among others, while is trained in Martial Arts for over 8 years.
Her last piece The Last One has been in program at Edinburg Fringe Festival in The Summerhall where it was awarded with The Summerhall Lustrum Award. It has been seen in India as part of The 8th Theatre Olympics and in different venues in LA.
She created her solo performance The Woman Decomposed as part of the Festival Body Constitution in Poland. She collaborated in the creation of EXILE directed by Vivien Wood, commissioned by Dance City in England and All The Things You Said You Never Said Before You Though You Could Ever Say, performing in London, touring in England, Switzerland, Slovakia and participating in the Festival Bharat Rang Mahotsav in New Delhi 2014.
Gema took part at the 2016 Theatre Venice Biennale participating in workshops with Jan Klata and Baro D'evel Cirk.
She has performed at Human Resources, the Neutra VDL House in Silverlake, at The Electric Lodge in High Voltage series and Lighting series and at The Dance Festival in Odyssey Theatre.
Most recently she was part of last Efi Birba and Res Ratio Network Project, Quixote, Chapter 23rd Second Book in Athens, Greece.
Nikolchev grew up in California’s Bay Area and holds a dual degree in theater and something like bioethics from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.
He's an actor and writer for theater and film. He spent his first professional year on Chicago stages and producing his first one-man show, “Look, What I Don’t Understand.” A cold January run in Chicago and an international tour of “Look...” through the post-communist countries of Russia (Moscow), Armenia (Yerevan, Kapan) and Poland (Wroclaw, Torun), left Nikolchev with no return ticket, living and working amongst the ghosts of European theatre based in Wroclaw, Poland. He later joined the Studio Matejka, training and performing for three years at the Grotowski Institute, while suffering a transatlantic career split in Los Angeles. He has since created several award-winning solo shows as actor and/or writer, touring the US and Europe.
Along with acting and writing in the US, the UK and the European
continent, he leads physical training for the performer at universities (CalArts, Wesleyan University, Warsaw Theatre Academy) and for professionals (Teatr Syrena: Warsaw, Dance City: Newcastle, Centro Parraga: Spain, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble: Los Angeles).
Nikolchev is a movement consultant for film and theater, an adjunct professor of movement at the CalArts School, he is a nonhuman ape aficionado. He works; he tries; he uses absurdity, comedy, tragedy and the dramatic irony of delusion to believe that acting somehow chips away at those walls built by the hopeless misconception that anything is actually as it seems. He is a little bit of an elephant.