Gabriela Petrov was raised in Tkaronto/Toronto by Czech immigrant parents, and now lives and works in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, on the unceded Indigenous lands of the Kanien'kehá:ka Nation. For six years, Gabi has taught performance practices to artists independently and at various institutions including McGill University, and Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado where she received her MFA in Contemporary Performance. She is currently Part-Time Faculty in the Department of Theatre at Concordia University. For over twelve years Gabi has trained and practiced in the Viewpoints approach to performance under the guidance and support of many teachers including Leslie Baker, Wendell Beavers, Deborah Black and Anne Bogart. Gabi is proud to honour the lineage of the Viewpoints as they were originated by Mary Overlie. Other practices she draws from are Contemplative Dance Practice which she studied under Barbara Dilley, and Body-Mind Centering® which she continues to study under various teachers including Erika Berland and Mariko Tanabe. Gabi is co-founder of a working group of international artist/scholars to explore how the Viewpoints approach can engage with the value of inclusivity.
In her own artistic work, Gabi uses improvisational movement to explore and challenge perceived boundaries between performance and reality. Gabi's artistic practice includes acting, directing, object work/puppetry, devising, movement coaching, scenography/design and vocal direction. Recent performance credits include the co-creation of My Silly Yum!, an ecological puppet show for young audiences presented by Toronto’s WeeFestival, and the role of Provost in Repercussion Theatre’s touring production of Measure for Measure. In 2018, Gabi co-founded the Habitat Practice Group with Prof. Myrna Wyatt Selkirk and interdisciplinary artist, Carina Rose. Using tools from their various fields of expertise including theatre, dance, architecture and somatics, the group is pursuing a long-form investigation of movement and sound as they exist within and surrounding improvisational structures. With support from the Québec government and the Canada Council for the Arts, Gabi is deepening her training and practice in Body-Mind Centering® and applying her findings towards her teaching practice and the development of new artistic works.