Gala Moody and Michael Carter co-founded OFEN Co-Arts Platform (formerly Cie.OFEN) in 2012 with the aim of integrating social values, collaboration, and performance research to their combined artistic work.
At the core of the company’s practice is an analysis of the context surrounding projects, including working conditions and the role of arts in wider society.
OFEN’s goal is to create works that reflect their creativity and interests, while contributing to a shift to ethical and sustainable working practices.
The name OFEN is an anagram which is derived from the title of Cie.OFEN’s debut work One Final Evolutionary Note which premiered in 2014 in the Spring Forward festival (Umeå, Sweden) and also saw OFEN selected by Aerowaves as a priority company in 2014.
After One Final Evolutionary Note, OFEN made a giant leap into what became The Vase. An evening length work about the destruction and power of love, The Vase pre-premiered in Wim Vandekeybus’ Ulti’mates Festival (Kortrijk, Belgium) and premiered at die bôrse Wuppertal in June 2017.
New People (2019), their first group work, is co-produced by Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch and OFEN. New People is a work that tackles the theme of choreography as social practice and was presented as a triptych; including a sculptural work (New People 1.0) and a performance work (New People 3.0) both presented at UNDERGROUND IV, a film work (New People 2.0) presented at Dance Screen 2019 + Tanzrauschen Festival.
Most recently, OFEN hosted a Youth Symposium as part of the Under Construction Festival Wuppertal. Working with the students from two local schools via the medium of text message, the students exchanged video, voice and picture messages in conversation about their ideas for the future and their own personal utopias. The film Wupper-topia depicts the project and was premiered in November 2020 on the festivals live-stream broadcast.
Gala and Michael were shortlisted in 2020/21 to be co-artistic directors of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch.
OFEN is based between Belgium and Germany.
Gala Moody (1984, Beeliar land/Fremantle – The Whadjuk people are the traditional owners who’s land was never ceded) graduated from the West Australian Academy of Arts (WAAPA) in 2004, after attending John Curtin College of the Arts and STEPS Youth Dance Company.
After graduation, Gala joined Leigh Warren & Dancers (Kaurna/Adelaide) for four years, touring both around Australia and internationally. Gala represented Australia on a DanceWEB residency at Vienna Impulstanz Festival in 2007. Meanwhile, her own choreographic works were shown at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, at the Nextwave Festival in Eastern Kulin Nation/Melbourne. at the Melbourne National Theatre and the Playhouse in Ngunnawal country/Canberra, and in Lucy Guerin’s Studio. During this time, Gala started collaborations that still last to this day, with Australian directors including Frances d’Ath (now based in Berlin), Amanda Phillips, Sarah Cartwright, Alison Curry and Laura Wills.
In 2009 Gala moved to Brussels to join Charleroi Danses-Michelle Anne de Mey for the creation of ‘Neige’, also performing in ‘Sinfonia Eroica’, touring extensively in Europe.
In 2012, 2013, Gala worked with directors including Romeo Castellucci (Italy), Louise Chardon/andwhatbeside(s)death (Antwerp), Cie.TPO (Italy), Anuschka Van Oppen/Cie.SOIT (Brussels) and Gabrielle Nankivelle (Adelaide). During this time Gala created the solo ‘A Body’ for Ivo Dimchevs Volksroom in Brussels.
From 2014 to 2016 Gala performed with the company Ultima Vez/Wim Vandekeybus for ‘Talk to the Demon’, ‘Spiritual Unity’ and ‘Booty Looting’.
In 2016, Gala joined choreographer Pieter Ampe for ‘It’s in the Small Things’ a production of the Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg. Gala was artist-in-residence at the WAM! Festival in Faenza, creating an anthropological performance, ‘Re-Gesture Study’.
In 2017/2018 Gala worked with various fashion houses, such as Hermès, Issey Miyake, Youjia Jin, Y/project, Kenzo, Flora Miranda.. appearing in fashion shows in London, Paris and Shanghai. She also choreographed fashion shows in collaboration with Hexagon Collective for London Fashion Week.
In 2018, 2019 Gala appeared in films “Suspiria” (2018) Luca Guadagnino, The Raft (2019) Sylvain Cruiziat, Anima (2019) Paul Thomas Anderson, Redemption (2020) Yael Bartana. Gala received an independent spirit award (U.S) for her work in Suspiria and is represented by Baumbauer Actors (London/Munich).
Gala has worked for artist led initiative Engagement as one of the core staff. Engagement works on combating sexism, racism in the arts industry, working with the arts community against sexual harassment. With Engagement, Gala is a trained and registered “Confidant” to freelance artists,
Gala also teaches the University of the Arts Philadelphia Masters and Bachelor Dance students during their annual European Program in Paris and Brussels.
Gala presents her research in performativity in the context OFEN Co-Arts Platform with long time friend and collaborator Michael Carter.
Gala lives between Brussels, Belgium, and Kaurna/Adelaide, Australia.
Michael Carter (1980, Eora Nation/Sydney, the Gadigal people are the traditional custodians of Sydney who’s land was never ceded), trained at The Australian Ballet School before joining The Australian Ballet Company, with whom he danced with from 2000 until 2003, and then again in 2006. Between these engagements, he worked for several contemporary dance directors throughout Australia, including Leigh Warren, Sue Healey and Meryl Tankard.
In 2007 he moved to Spain where he joined first Ballet Victor Ullate and then Compañía Nacional de Danza under director Nacho Duato, where he worked for several years, in which time he also created works in the companies choreographic seasons.
In 2012, Michael moved into the creation of theatre works, forming the company Cía. del Sr. Smith, with a group of actors, directors and artists. He also produced NOW! A series of one off improvised performances in site-specific locations. Michael has made 16 short dance films, and a series for youtube called Inside CND for Compañía Nacional de Danza.
He performed in the feature film The Book of Revelations directed by Anna Kokkinos in in the short dance film Homing directed by Xabier Iriondo with choreography by Marina Mascarell. Michael is also a teacher, rehearsal director and has taught workshops on dance for camera.
In 2014, Michael accepted a position as guest artist with the company Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, afterwards joining the company full time 2015 -2020. In 2021 Michael continues to appear as a guest artist but left his full time position to focus on OFEN Co-Arts Collective and other artistic projects.