// SFDI 2016 CLASS DESCRIPTIONS + FACULTY BIOS //

 

INTENSIVES // Bebe Miller / Darrell Jones / luciana achugar / Cathie Caraker / Krista DeNio
Stephanie Nugent with Shel Wagner Rasch

CLASSES + PERFORMANCES // HIJACK / Morgan Thorson / Linda Austin
Cyrus Khambatta / Aaron Swartzman / Lila Hurwitz / Alia Swersky / Amy O
Victoria Jacobs / Douglas MacKenzie / Melanie Noel / Karen Nelson / Wobbly
Corrie Befort / Karen Daly / John + Anna Dixon / Katherine Cook + MORE

 

> All Drop-in classes are $20

Go back to SFDI Main page >>

 

INTENSIVES


// MORNING INTENSIVES //

 

The Pleasure Project: Movement Practice as Intervention of Public Space / Morning Intensive with luciana achugar
REGISTER Aug 1 – Aug 6 / 9:00-11:00am
Meet in Steward

The Pleasure Project is a public space intervention in which we will pose questions about what it means to be a civilized, socialized, organized body and our assumed role as bodies in a public space; dissolving social norms in a non-performative space. We will practice being in pleasure and giving our bodies a voice. A practice of growing a new body, as one would grow a plant; a utopian body; a sensational body; a connected body; an anarchic body; a body full/filled with pleasure, with love and with magic…………. with a brain that melted down to the flesh, the bones, the guts, the skin … and with eyes that see without naming and see without knowing.

LUCIANA ACHUGAR is a Brooklyn-based choreographer from Uruguay who grew as an artist in close dialogue with the NY and Montevideo contemporary dance communities. She began making work collaboratively with Levi Gonzalez in 1999, and in 2002 she started working independently. Her work is concerned with the post-colonial world, searching for an undoing of current power structures from the inside out. She is a two-time “Bessie” recipient, a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow and Creative Capital Grantee and a 2010 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grantee, amongst other accolades. Her last work “An Epilogue for OTRO TEATRO: True Love” premiered at Gibney Dance as co-presentation of The Chocolate Factory in December 2015 and was presented in June on the streets of Lower Manhattan in NYC during the 2016 River to River Festival.

 

Body-Mind Centering®: Embodied Research / Morning Somatic Intensive with Cathie Caraker
REGISTER Aug 1-3 + Aug 5 / 9:00-11:00am
Founders

Informed by the Body-Mind Centering® (BMC) work, these morning classes will warm us up through developmental movement and fluid investigations. We’ll practice specific patterns and reflexes daily, while also exploring embodied anatomy for internal support and clarity. Through hands-on partnering and guided movement explorations, we’ll discover new movement patterns and re-integrate old ones. As we fine-tune our sense perceptions and cultivate specificity of intention and attention, we create more ease and pleasure in our dancing. Participants will be encouraged to learn at their own pace in an atmosphere of curiosity and playful rigor.

CATHIE CARAKER is a dance maker and performer, teacher, writer and artistic director of MAMMALdance. Her work and teaching have been presented internationally at festivals and institutes including the New York Improvisation Festival, DTW, Movement Research, Tanzfabrik Berlin, Contactfestival Freiburg, de Beweging Antwerp, Contredanse Brussels, NESTheaters Amsterdam, CounterPULSE and SFDI. She has collaborated with numerous artists including Lisa Kraus, Nancy Stark Smith, Daniel Lepkoff, Katarina Eriksson, Ray Chung, Rosemary Hannon and Henry Kaiser. After becoming certified in Body-Mind Centering® (BMC) in 1990, she joined the faculty of the Amsterdam School for the Arts / Choreography Dept (SNDO) for 10 years, where she refined her approach to applying BMC and movement research to the dance-making process. Cathie also holds an MFA in Dance from Bennington College and has a private practice in Pilates and Gyrotonic. Her writings on BMC and dance education have been published in the Belgian dance journal Nouvelles de Danse. More info at www.caraker.com

 

// MID-DAY INTENSIVES //


DANCE MAKING: PHYSICALITY &  CONTEXT / Mid-Day Intensive with Bebe Miller
REGISTER Aug 1+2 / 11:30am-1:45pm // Aug 3 / 11:30am-5:15pm // Aug 5+6 / 11:30am-1:45pm
V2

This workshop aims as crafting our dance making to locate ourselves in our current times, finding context inside our physicality. We’ll consider how we listen to the weight of a gesture, how we qualify our actions mindful of context, and how we expand into our unique articulate range of action. Our daily practice will start with a warm up that tunes the body’s physical and expressive scale. We’ll continue with improvisation and choreographic scores, working with full-bodied attention to detail and drive, our weight at risk. The aim is daily dance making, from improvisation scores to composed studies, locating ourselves in the current moment, the current context.

BEBE MILLER (US), a native New Yorker, first performed her choreography at NYC’s Dance Theater Workshop in 1978, after receiving her MA in Dance from OSU in 1975; she formed Bebe Miller Company in 1985. Known for its mix of virtuosic dancing and fundamental humanity, her choreography has been produced at major dance centers across the country and internationally in Europe and the African continent. Her work has been commissioned by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Oregon Ballet Theater, Boston Ballet, Philadanco, Ailey II, and the UK’s Phoenix Dance Company, among others. She has been honored with four New York Dance and Performance “Bessie’s,” fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Ohio Arts Council and the Guggenheim Foundation, and was named a United States Artists Ford Fellow in 2010. A Professor in Dance at The Ohio State University since 2000, Bebe is a Distinguished Professor in OSU’s College of Arts and Humanities and received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Ursinus College in 2009. In 2012 she was designated as one of the inaugural class of Doris Duke Artists, a program of the Doris Duke Foundation’s Performing Artist Awards. Most recently, she was honored by Movement Research as an honoree for their 2015 Gala along with Tere O’Connor and Moira Brennan. Bebe currently lives in Columbus, OH.

 

EDGY BUSINESS and FALLING ON PURPOSE in Contact Improvisation / Mid-Day Intensive with Stephanie Nugent with Shel Wagner Rasch
REGISTER Aug 1+2 / 11:30am-1:45pm // Aug 3 / 11:30am-5:15pm // Aug 5+6 / 11:30am-1:45pm
Founders

This intensive invites intermediate and advanced contact improvisers to name and nudge their CI edges in a supportive and play-filled environment. The week will include scores that encourage extended investigations, game structures designed to animate our inner imps, handy skills for falling and flying, and facilitated Lab-ing. Steph and Shel who always enjoy teaching together are delighted to invite participants to collaborate in an experience full of challenge, play, and collective discovery.

STEPHANIE NUGENT (US)is a creator, performer, and educator of dance/theater and CI, who’s work has been presented throughout the US and abroad since 1991. She has served on faculty at UC Santa Barbara, CalArts, and The Ohio State University. Stephanie founded jams in Pasadena and Indianapolis, and has taught CI at festivals including WCCIJ, the Portland Regional Jam, and GLACIER, where she will be faculty coordinator for 2016-17. She currently teaches at IU Bloomington, facilitates Hourglass events with Robin Cox, and is touringMapping the Aether with Suzanne Lappas www.stephanienugent.com

SHEL WAGNER RASCH (US) has been fascinated by Contact Improv for over 30 years and sharing it with other people is one of her favorite things to do!  She currently teaches CI at UCLA and is coordinator of the Eastside CI Lab Jam in Pasadena.  Shel taught at the 2015 Portland Regional Jam and the Detroit (mini GLACIER) Jam in 2014.  She has taught at most of the past 12 WCCIFs (now WCCIJ).  Shel has a private practice as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and Alexander Technique teacher. www.shelrasch.com

 

Sissy Vop / Mid-Day Intensive with Darrell Jones
REGISTER Aug 1+2 / 11:30am-1:45pm // Aug 3 / 11:30am-5:15pm // Aug 5+6 / 11:30am-1:45pm
Kawasaki

Sissy:  …a timid man or boy considered childish or unassertive
Vop:  … a high-spirited kick tossed in the air

Sissy Vop is a collection of training counter rituals aimed at releasing enculturated oppressions in the body. Going to the edge of our physical limits is important for this release, and we will enter through a combination of rigor, rhythm and recuperative practices. We will “pump” various rooms (dance studio, club and grassy knoll) to sense how place/space affects our research materials. Through our training in (e)feminized movement modalities, sparring scores, solo states and group provocations, we will address the body and performance space as a site for transgression, transcendence and transformation.

DARRELL JONES has performed in the United States and abroad with a variety of choreographers and companies such as Bebe Miller, Urban Bush Women, Ronald K. Brown, Min Tanaka and Ralph Lemon. Along with performing Darrell continues to choreograph and teach. He has collaborated with other choreographers (Paige Cunningham, Lisa Gonzales, Damon Green, Angie Hauser, JSun Howard, Kirstie Simpson, Jeremy Wade), writers (Cheryl Boyce-Taylor), musicians (Jessie Mano, Brian Schuler, Justin Mitchell) and designers (Mawish Syed) in dance films, documentations and interactive multimedia installations. In addition to his collaborative work he continues to work in solo forms and has choreographed for professional and student ensembles (The Seldoms, University of Colorado, University of Illinois). Darrell has received choreographic fellowships from MANCC, CDF (Chicago Dancemakers Forum) and is a two time Bessie award recipient for his collaborative work with Bebe Miller Company and his most recent research in (e)feminized ritual performance. Darrell has also taught workshops and master classes in dance technique and improvisational processes throughout the United States and in other countries such as South Africa, UK, and South Korea. Darrell is presently a tenured faculty member at at The Dance Center of Columbia College in Chicago where he teaches classes in dance technique, performance and improvisational practices. His classes are informed by his training and studies in a variety of contemporary dance techniques and Traditional Dance forms.

 

// AFTERNOON INTENSIVE //

 

Broad Strokes, Deep dance: Foundations of Contact Improvisation / Afternoon Intensive with Krista DeNio
REGISTER Aug 1+2, Aug 5 / 3:15-5:15pm
Kawasaki
(drop-ins allowed with permission from instructor)

Contact Improvisation is a partner form, a group improvisation, and an evolving movement composition. Accessing the potential of momentum, spiral motion, use of the central axis, extension through the spine and limbs, and dynamic weight shifts, we will delight in both efficient movement and luxurious dancing. We’ll traverse the territories of weight sharing, counterbalance, moving off-center, floor work, inversions, disorientation, safety and support. From individual movement choices, to partnering and ensemble/group awareness we can broaden and deepen our choice-making in the dance.

KRISTA DENIO (US) is an interdisciplinary choreographer, director, performer, writer and educator, committed to developing new forms of performance work and interdisciplinary thinking and creation between the fields of dance and theater, among others. She is currently based in the Bay Area, California and directs EchoTheaterSuitcase, bringing military veterans and civilian non-veterans together to make original performance work, in addition to other socially engaged projects. Krista teaches dance and performance making throughout the Bay Area and is currently collaborating with Professor Lochlann Jain, (Stanford University) on Empathy Lab, a course bringing anthropologists and performance makers together to exchange methodologies. She is a member of the International Interdisciplinary Artists Consortium, and the former Executive Artistic Director of Earthdance. BA in Dance/Dramatic Art and Interdisciplinary Studies Field Major, Development and Human Rights [U.C. Berkeley]; MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance [Naropa University]

REGISTER FOR ONE INDIVIDUAL INTENSIVE >>

 

 

DROP-IN CLASSES


SFDI Drop-In Pricing:

  • All classes (2 hours) / $20 each
  • All jams: $5
  • Unlimited drop-ins package: $150
  • Velocity Class Cards not available for SFDI Drop-ins

SIGN UP FOR UNLIMITED DROP-INS AND SAVE!

 

Collaborative Practices – sublime subversion / HIJACK
Aug 1 / 9:00-11:00am
V2

From within 23 years in the idealistic practice of collaboration HIJACK will teach some of our methods. Choreographic decisions, like all decisions are power. Seek the double bounce, refuse the watered down.  We have invented, discovered and stolen a store of structures for making work which include and transform the desires of both/all collaborators.  Collaboration means chance, subversion, structure, merging, undermining, heartbreak and surprise. It means trying to dance in someone else’s shoes and making dances you love as your own but also don’t recognize.

HIJACK is the choreographic collaboration of Kristin Van Loon & Arwen Wilder.  They met at Colorado College, and became HIJACK in Minneapolis in 1993. HIJACK is best known for “short-shorts”: pop song-length miniatures designed to deliver a sharp shock and collaborations with po-mo hero Scott Heron. Specializing in the inappropriate, HIJACK toys with audiences’ expectations through their interpretation of venue. 
HIJACK has taught and performed in New York, Japan, Russia, Central America, Ottawa, Chicago, Colorado, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, Iowa, Portland, at Bates Festival and Fuse Box Festival.  HIJACK teaches Composition/Improvisation at the University of Minnesota, Colorado College and St. Olaf Colleges, and a weekly Contact Improvisation class in Minneapolis for 16 years. HIJACK curates/hosts Future Interstates, a dance improvisation performance series. In 2014, Contact Quarterly published the chapbook “Passing For Dance — a HIJACK reader”.  

 

Rhythm is a Dancer / Amy O
August 6 / 9:00-11:00am 

V2

What is your personal relationship to rhythm? Is it natural? Is it forced? Are you a slave to it? Do you desire a deeper connection to it? Come discover ways to connect to rhythm that are old, new, and personal to you. We will talk about the improvisational/freestyle practices of of various American street and club dances that are inherently linked to the music of the cultures they come from.  We will explore various attitudes around dancing to music in different cultures to further understand our own biases and personal blocks to potentially open us up to a new perspective. We will also get down.

AMY O’NEAL aka AMY O is a dancer with one foot firmly planted in street and club dance culture and the other in contemporary dance.  She grew up doing the Hip Hop party dances of the 90’s as well as studying various forms of codified dance techniques in studios. Amy continues to evolve her personal style through participating in battles, open sessions, and still going to the club. Based in Seattle for the passed 20 years, Amy tours her work nationally, internationally and is a sought after educator.  Her performance work is personal amalgam of her diverse life and dance experiences, combining dark humor, social commentary, and heavy beats. She received support from all the major funders in Seattle as well as the Creative Capital Foundation, National Performance Network, National Dance Project, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and Foundation for Contemporary Art. She was awarded the first Distinguished Alumni Award from Cornish College of the Arts, is a two-time Stranger Genius nominee, a DanceWEB Scholar, and a Herb Alpert Award nominee. Her latest evening-length workOpposing Forces, an exploration of fears of feminine qualities in our culture through the masculine dance form of Bboying/Breaking,  is touring through 2017.  She recently spent 6 months in the Bay area teaching at Mills College and creating a large scale dance project at UC Berkeley called Citizen Dance.

 

Sissy Vop / Darrell Jones
Aug 1 / 3:15-5:15pm
V2

Sissy:  …a timid man or boy considered childish or unassertive
Vop:  … a high-spirited kick tossed in the air

Sissy Vop is a collection of training counter rituals aimed at releasing enculturated oppressions in the body. Going to the edge of our physical limits is important for this release, and we will enter through a combination of rigor, rhythm and recuperative practices. We will “pump” various rooms (dance studio, club and grassy knoll) to sense how place/space affects our research materials. Through our training in (e)feminized movement modalities, sparring scores, solo states and group provocations, we will address the body and performance space as a site for transgression, transcendence and transformation.

DARRELL JONES has performed in the United States and abroad with a variety of choreographers and companies such as Bebe Miller, Urban Bush Women, Ronald K. Brown, Min Tanaka and Ralph Lemon. Along with performing Darrell continues to choreograph and teach. He has collaborated with other choreographers (Paige Cunningham, Lisa Gonzales, Damon Green, Angie Hauser, JSun Howard, Kirstie Simpson, Jeremy Wade), writers (Cheryl Boyce-Taylor), musicians (Jessie Mano, Brian Schuler, Justin Mitchell) and designers (Mawish Syed) in dance films, documentations and interactive multimedia installations. In addition to his collaborative work he continues to work in solo forms and has choreographed for professional and student ensembles (The Seldoms, University of Colorado, University of Illinois). Darrell has received choreographic fellowships from MANCC, CDF (Chicago Dancemakers Forum) and is a two time Bessie award recipient for his collaborative work with Bebe Miller Company and his most recent research in (e)feminized ritual performance. Darrell has also taught workshops and master classes in dance technique and improvisational processes throughout the United States and in other countries such as South Africa, UK, and South Korea. Darrell is presently a tenured faculty member at at The Dance Center of Columbia College in Chicago where he teaches classes in dance technique, performance and improvisational practices. His classes are informed by his training and studies in a variety of contemporary dance techniques and Traditional Dance forms.

 

Partnering with all Parts / Cyrus Khambatta
Aug 1 / 3:15-5:15pm
Founders

This class will integrate elements of Contact Improvisation with elements of contemporary partnering and performance work. We will start by emphasizing a focus within the body that stimulates a micro-awareness of highly articulated surfaces and mini-pathways, and expands the physical tools and versatility we have available in our body-to-body dialogue to create a rich palate of inter-body communication. Using Cyrus’ own release and “fitting” technique, we will grow attention to the miniscule shifts in the architecture of two bodies as well as the internal “state” this creates in our own body, engaging an experiential feedback loop to develop a sensory road map to our partners body and simultaneously our own personal experience (feelings, memories and associations). Using this expressive capacity and this articulated body awareness, we will see how to instigate the dances we desire to have, fully capable of subtly or bigness, focus or expansion, momentum and dynamics or stillness and clarity. We will extend fluid but decentralized anatomic structural elements into a self-generated spatial environment, sustaining multi-sensorial tracking to spawn a depth of expressive and physical awareness, both with partners and in the solo experience.

CYRUS KHAMBATTA graduated from New York University where he founded Khambatta Dance Company (originally: Phffft! Dance Company). He has created and/or performed both improvised and Contact-inspired choreographed works presented throughout the USA and Europe, as well as in Russia, Latin America, Canada, Mexico, India and Brazil by companies such as Ririe Woodbury Dance (Salt Lake City), Pisorojo (Caracas) Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance (Seattle), Evergreen Ballet and others. His Contact Improvisation-inspired work received California’s Daman New Choreography Award, he was chosen for the National Dance Project’s Regional Dance Development Initiative and recently was nominated for an Albert award. He has performed and/or taught with improvisers such as Chris Aiken, Nina Martin, Katie Duck and many others. His work with his company has been presented by venues including The Spoleto Festival USA (NC), the Choreographic Center of Tours (France), The National Center for the Performance Arts (Mumbai, India), The Vancouver International Dance Festival, the San Francisco International Arts Festival and The Central University of Venezuela among others. As an improviser he has performed/taught at Freiburg CI Festival, 1001 Festival (France), The New York and Washington D.C. Improvisation festivals, Seattle Festival of Dance and Improvisation, Dartington College (UK), Bialystok Dance Festival, Kontakt Budapest among others and most recently facilitated the 4th of July Earthdance Jam in Massachusetts.He runs the Wild Meadows Farm CI Intensive, produces The Centrum Jam in Port Townsend, WA as well as the Seattle International Dance Festival (www.SeattleIDF.org). For more info http://khambattadance.org/

 

Broad Strokes, Deep dance: Foundations of Contact Improvisation / Krista DeNio
Aug 2 / 9:00-11:00am
V2

Contact Improvisation is a partner form, a group improvisation, and an evolving movement composition. Accessing the potential of momentum, spiral motion, use of the central axis, extension through the spine and limbs, and dynamic weight shifts, we will delight in both efficient movement and luxurious dancing. We’ll traverse the territories of weight sharing, counterbalance, moving off-center, floor work, inversions, disorientation, safety and support. From individual movement choices, to partnering and ensemble/group awareness we can broaden and deepen our choice-making in the dance.

KRISTA DENIO (US) is an interdisciplinary choreographer, director, performer, writer and educator, committed to developing new forms of performance work and interdisciplinary thinking and creation between the fields of dance and theater, among others. She is currently based in the Bay Area, California and directs EchoTheaterSuitcase, bringing military veterans and civilian non-veterans together to make original performance work, in addition to other socially engaged projects. Krista teaches dance and performance making throughout the Bay Area and is currently collaborating with Professor Lochlann Jain, (Stanford University) on Empathy Lab, a course bringing anthropologists and performance makers together to exchange methodologies. She is a member of the International Interdisciplinary Artists Consortium, and the former Executive Artistic Director of Earthdance. BA in Dance/Dramatic Art and Interdisciplinary Studies Field Major, Development and Human Rights [U.C. Berkeley]; MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance [Naropa University]


Feldenkrais® for Dancers / Lila Hurwitz

Aug 2 / 9:00-11:00am
Kawasaki

This subtle and powerful system of neuromuscular re-education evokes changes in 
muscular tone, flexibility, coordination, attention, and the comfort and efficiency of 
movement. We’ll explore issues common to dancers; anatomy reviews will remind us 
of the amazing ways our bodies are designed; improvisational structures allow us to 
experience the effects on our dancing.

LILA HURWITZ, Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner, has been teaching since 1987, including one of Seattle’s longest-running weekly Feldenkrais classes since 1995. She’s performed with Karen Nelson, Stephanie Skura, Bebe Miller, Crispin Spaeth, Nina Martin, Ann Carlson, Lucia Neare, Mary Oslund, Linda K. Johnson and many others. She taught Authentic Movement for a decade, was graphic designer for Contact Quarterly magazine for 11 years, co-produced SFDI for 18 years, and was Associate Director of Artist Trust. Lila co-owns Doolittle+Bird, a consultancy specializing in communications, outreach, design and grant-writing for the arts and sciences.


Contact Improvisation – a contrarians form / HIJACK

Aug 2 / 3:15-5:15pm
V2

The seduction of smooth and light is so easy and so elusive.  Maybe the best Contact Improvisation happened in the years before anyone knew what it was or how do to it. Sometimes a back door gets us closest to true improvisation with its delightful surprise and disorientation. Bumping, fumbling and distracted, falling down the rabbit hole, waiting for something to happen, losing contact and losing track, sometimes doing it wrong is doing it right.

HIJACK is the choreographic collaboration of Kristin Van Loon & Arwen Wilder.  They met at Colorado College, and became HIJACK in Minneapolis in 1993. HIJACK is best known for “short-shorts”: pop song-length miniatures designed to deliver a sharp shock and collaborations with po-mo hero Scott Heron. Specializing in the inappropriate, HIJACK toys with audiences’ expectations through their interpretation of venue. 
HIJACK has taught and performed in New York, Japan, Russia, Central America, Ottawa, Chicago, Colorado, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, Iowa, Portland, at Bates Festival and Fuse Box Festival.  HIJACK teaches Composition/Improvisation at the University of Minnesota, Colorado College and St. Olaf Colleges, and a weekly Contact Improvisation class in Minneapolis for 16 years. HIJACK curates/hosts Future Interstates, a dance improvisation performance series. In 2014, Contact Quarterly published the chapbook “Passing For Dance — a HIJACK reader”.  


Diversity In Dancing: Start Where You Are / Diverse Diviners
Aug 2 / 3:15-5:15pm

Founders

We invite movers of all abilities to explore and share their unique physical languages. We offer scores and skills to deepen connection to our bodies’ current expression bringing that to partners and the group.

A one-time collaboration of dancers co-teaching for SFDI: YULIA ARAKELYAN (wobblydance.com) is co-artistic director of Wobbly and movement artist, choreographer, loves Butoh and improvisation. CORRIE BEFORT (cbefort.com) dancer, choreographer, designer, filmmaker—also teaches Dance for Parkinson’s and through Path With Art. KAREN DALY 20-year dance artist toured DanceAbility as US Art Envoy in 2013 to Mongolia, Indonesia and Phillipines. ERIK FERGUSON (wobblydance.com) co-artistic director of Wobbly is an anti-virtuosic movement artist trained in improvisation, DanceAbility, Butoh. KAREN NELSON (explomov.weebly.com) mutated Contact Improvisation by co-starting DanceAbility in 1988, and Diverse Dance Research Retreat 1993, divines Tuning Scores, and teaches and performs at large.


DANCE MAKING: PHYSICALITY &  CONTEXT / 
Bebe Miller

Aug 3 / 9:00 – 11:00am
V2

This workshop aims as crafting our dance making to locate ourselves in our current times, finding context inside our physicality. We’ll consider how we listen to the weight of a gesture, how we qualify our actions mindful of context, and how we expand into our unique articulate range of action. Our daily practice will start with a warm up that tunes the body’s physical and expressive scale. We’ll continue with improvisation and choreographic scores, working with full-bodied attention to detail and drive, our weight at risk. The aim is daily dance making, from improvisation scores to composed studies, locating ourselves in the current moment, the current context.

BEBE MILLER (US), a native New Yorker, first performed her choreography at NYC’s Dance Theater Workshop in 1978, after receiving her MA in Dance from OSU in 1975; she formed Bebe Miller Company in 1985. Known for its mix of virtuosic dancing and fundamental humanity, her choreography has been produced at major dance centers across the country and internationally in Europe and the African continent. Her work has been commissioned by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Oregon Ballet Theater, Boston Ballet, Philadanco, Ailey II, and the UK’s Phoenix Dance Company, among others. She has been honored with four New York Dance and Performance “Bessie’s,” fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Ohio Arts Council and the Guggenheim Foundation, and was named a United States Artists Ford Fellow in 2010. A Professor in Dance at The Ohio State University since 2000, Bebe is a Distinguished Professor in OSU’s College of Arts and Humanities and received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Ursinus College in 2009. In 2012 she was designated as one of the inaugural class of Doris Duke Artists, a program of the Doris Duke Foundation’s Performing Artist Awards. Most recently, she was honored by Movement Research as an honoree for their 2015 Gala along with Tere O’Connor and Moira Brennan. Bebe currently lives in Columbus, OH.

 

a sense of courage / Aaron Swartzman
Aug 3 /  9:00-11:00am
Kawasaki

Our sensations provide a rudder to guide us as we dance.  Our courage takes us into the unknown or allows the known to be seen from different angles.  We will cultivate our senses and courage to traverse the edges, shadows and strange currents that constitute the realms of new learning.  I will facilitate exercises, share physical skills, attempt poetics, and lead scores to hone and play in these two realms; sensation, and courage, and the edge between them where we feel both.

AARON SWARTZMAN began dancing as a child, taking classes at Creative Dance Center and performing with Kaleidoscope dance company.  He has danced professionally since 2001, touring with LINGO dancetheater and Legendre Performance to such places as Düsseldorf, Minneapolis, New York, San Diego, Cleveland (Ohio and Mississippi), Portland, Vancouver, B.C. and Nashville.  He then co-founded UMAMI Performance with Aiko Kinoshita, a dance company exploring the fusion of set and improvised material in performance. Aaron’s dancing is strengthened and informed by over 15 years of involvement in Capoiera Angola, an African Brazillian martial art dance form in which he has attained the title of Treineu (trainer).  His newest venture (other than the birth of his daughter) is as a member of the improvisational group, Never Formerly Known as Anything.

 

Tuning Scores / Alia Swersky
Aug 5 / 9:00-11:00am 
V2

In this class we will tune into our senses and our sensations as a way to investigate our relationship to solo and group compositional choices sourced through different perceptual lenses. The Tuning Score, originated by Lisa Nelson, “provoke(s) spontaneous compositions that make evident our opinions about space, time, action, and desire, and provide a framework for communication and collaboration amongst us.” The class will explore composing through the senses; seeing, listening and touching.  We will flow between eyes open and eyes closed, moving from sensation, and exploring the environment. We’ll gradually add in “tuning score calls” to facilitate a consciousness of our shifting perceptions and compositional behaviors. Once we’ve warmed into our sensory awareness, the class will evolve into specific tuning score practices such as the Single Image Score and Solo Replay.

ALIA SWERSKY is a movement artist, performer and teacher, engaged deeply in the vital act of dance improvisation. She graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in 1998 with a BFA in dance and now teaches as part of the creative process curriculum at Cornish as an adjunct faculty member since 2005. Swersky has taught at Velocity’s Strictly Seattle Festival and the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (SFDI). She was a long time Co-artistic director of Dance Art Group (DAG), a non-profit organization that promotes the practice and appreciation of dance and somatic education in the Seattle area, including the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation. Alia has taught yoga continuously for over 10 years and invites this influence into her dance work and teaching. Other influences include contact improvisation, release/somatic techniques, Authentic Movement, Tuning Scores, Aikido, Buddhist meditation, and many pivotal dance partners and teachers. Alia danced and toured nationally and internationally as a member of the LeGendre Performance Group. She has also collaborated and performed in the works of many Seattle artists including The Maureen Whiting Company, Khambatta Dance Company, Jurg Koch, KT Niehoff of Lingo Dance, and Salt Horse. Alia has been actively performing, and creating improvisational and choreographic works in Seattle since 1998.

 

Instant Readiness.1 / Morgan Thorson
Aug 5 / 9:00-11:00am
Kawasaki

In this class, we will draw from practices in Skinner Releasing Technique to push ourselves past what we know about our dancing: our perceptions of our bodies & space, our edges, and our organization. We will cultivate and move through states that bring us into wild, tender, unexpected dancing and be able to navigate through the unknown.

 MORGAN THORSON is a dance-maker based in Minneapolis. She creates original dance works that combine movement, light, sound, and objects while taking into consideration the site of the work, representation of the body, and history of the field. Thorson is a United States Artist (2012) Guggenheim (2010) and McKnight (2009, 2002) Fellow and has received two Sage Awards for Outstanding Performance (2008 and 2007). Her work has received support from The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Residency and Fellowship Program (2009, 2011 and 2015), and she was the resident artist at the Centre Choreographique National De Franche-Comte in Belfort, France, as well as a MacDowell Artist Colony Fellow in 2012.  She has received three New England Foundation for the Arts, National Dance Project grants (2008, 2012 and 2015). Thorson’s work has toured to theaters and festivals worldwide, and has been commissioned and presented by Walker Art Center, On The Boards in Seattle, Red Cat in Los Angeles, PS 122 in New York City and Alverno Presents in Milwaukee among others. A certified Skinner Releasing Technique instructor, Thorson is a Creative Campus Fellow at Wesleyan University where she engages students and professors in interdisciplinary practices and develops pedagogy in Dance, Drawing, Archaeology, and Religious Studies.


Arcs, Spokes, and Spirals in Contact Improvisation
/ Stephanie Nugent 

Aug 5 / 3:15-5:15pm
V2

In this drop-in workshop Steph will offer practice in pathways of the body that facilitate easily moving into contact, staying with a partner, and moving back into solo dancing. Through application of basic Laban concepts, participants will explore what happens, both inside the body and in relation to a partner, when arcs, spokes and spirals interweave. (This drop-in workshop is designed for intermediate and advanced contact improvisers)

STEPHANIE NUGENT is a creator, performer, and educator of dance/theater and CI, who’s work has been presented throughout the US and abroad since 1991. She has served on faculty at UC Santa Barbara, CalArts, and The Ohio State University. Stephanie founded jams in Pasadena and Indianapolis, and has taught CI at festivals including WCCIJ, the Portland Regional Jam, and GLACIER, where she will be faculty coordinator for 2016-17. She currently teaches at IU Bloomington, facilitates Hourglass events with Robin Cox, and is touringMapping the Aether with Suzanne Lappas www.stephanienugent.com


Foreign Bodies / Linda Austin
Aug 5 / 3:15-5:15pm
Founders

Let’s experience how the injection of foreign bodies of information into a deceptively simple and “pure” physical score influences, contaminates, transforms and enriches the source material  We will test our physical and mental adaptability and responsiveness to outside influences— i.e. arbitrary directives and prompts drawn from text, image, sound, objects, and physical provocations from other bodies—creating new solo and group iterations of the original dance, replete with stutters, hiccups, detours, and failure.

LINDA AUSTIN is a leading Pacific Northwest dance advocate and artist. Active in dance and performance since the 1980s, she delights in and is provoked by how her dance practices and obsessions jostle and knock against each other, never settling into one singular vision. Her work deploys an assortment of sound, text, visuals, props and movement to create non-linear, poetic works, often laced with an eccentric wit – that have been presented in New York City, Mexico and throughout the PNW.  Linda is co-founder (with lighting wiz Jeff Forbes) and director of Performance Works NorthWest, celebrating 16 years of avid experimentation in time-based arts in Portland, OR. Her recent honors include a RACC Fellowship in the Performing Arts.

 

To be a mirror for your whole body / Victoria Jacobs
Aug 6 / 9:00-11:00am
V2

What do you walk into a room with? How does your specific structure shape your solos, duets, injuries, and fluidity? Your unique history, filters and patterns create your dancing body and determine your flow. Your anatomy mirrors the architecture of your psyche. Using Gyrotonic principles, we will offer foundational support to your structure, and through the reflections of writing, witnessing, replay, delicious fluid dance challenged by interruption, and scores with precise boundaries, we will hold up the mirror to your whole body.

VICTORIA JACOBS is a passionate researcher at the intersections of anatomy, psychology and poetry. She teaches the Gyrotonic Expansion Method as a tool to self-recovery at Seattle Changing Room, where she is Assistant Director. Her approach to dynamic structure follows the lineage of Aileen Passloff (Judson Dance Theatre), Jill Ableson (SPRe Bodywork), Sheri Cohen, and Anna Halprin, and her movement training includes contact improvisation, flamenco, and contemporary dance. She holds a BA in Writing/Dance from Bard College, and she has been teaching movement arts for over 12 years.


Investigating Perception / Douglas MacKenzie
August 6 / 9:00-11:00am
Founders

Negotiating how we sense and know through The Developmental Movement and Experiential Anatomy of Body-Mind Centering®. Exploring patterns of our earliest movement, we re-negotiate habits and arrive, now, into skillful embodied dancing. Our senses begin as potential and develop in response to stimulation and experience. It is through our senses that we receive information from our internal environment (ourselves) and the external environment (others and the world). As we move, we investigate how we filter, modify, distort, accept, reject, and use that information. Perception involves us in the now, in the ongoing psycho-physical interpretation of past experience, present circumstances and future expectations. When we choose to absorb information, we bond to that aspect of our environment. When we block out information, we defend against that aspect. Learning is the process by which we vary our responses to information based on the context of each situation.

DOUGLAS MACKENZIE is a Practitioner of Body-Mind Centering®, a Craniosacral Therapist, and a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist. He has worked in private practice since 1990, and teaches embodiment nationally. Doug draws from his study of Viniyoga, Chi K’ung, Acutonics, World Music, Falconry, and Movement Improvisation. His gentle work benefits infants and elders; those who suffer chronic/acute injury or various complex syndromes; and professional athletes, dancers, and musicians. Also a musician, Doug plays contemporary guitar and traditional Mrdangam, the principal drum in South Indian Classical Music. For more about Doug see: www.brilliantbody.net


Instant Readiness.2 / Morgan Thorson
Aug 6 / 9:00-11:00am
Kawasaki

As we build upon processes from IR.1, we will practice witnessing as a form of instant feedback. At the intersection of wildness and awareness, we will navigate inside and outside, moving our connections with the witness, while dancing and composing with the kinesthetic power generated from both our state and those connections.

 MORGAN THORSON is a dance-maker based in Minneapolis. She creates original dance works that combine movement, light, sound, and objects while taking into consideration the site of the work, representation of the body, and history of the field. Thorson is a United States Artist (2012) Guggenheim (2010) and McKnight (2009, 2002) Fellow and has received two Sage Awards for Outstanding Performance (2008 and 2007). Her work has received support from The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Residency and Fellowship Program (2009, 2011 and 2015), and she was the resident artist at the Centre Choreographique National De Franche-Comte in Belfort, France, as well as a MacDowell Artist Colony Fellow in 2012.  She has received three New England Foundation for the Arts, National Dance Project grants (2008, 2012 and 2015). Thorson’s work has toured to theaters and festivals worldwide, and has been commissioned and presented by Walker Art Center, On The Boards in Seattle, Red Cat in Los Angeles, PS 122 in New York City and Alverno Presents in Milwaukee among others. A certified Skinner Releasing Technique instructor, Thorson is a Creative Campus Fellow at Wesleyan University where she engages students and professors in interdisciplinary practices and develops pedagogy in Dance, Drawing, Archaeology, and Religious Studies.

 

The Pleasure Project: Movement Practice as Intervention of Public Space / luciana achugar
August 6 / 9:00-11:00am 
Meet in Steward

The Pleasure Project is a public space intervention in which we will pose questions about what it means to be a civilized, socialized, organized body and our assumed role as bodies in a public space; dissolving social norms in a non-performative space. We will practice being in pleasure and giving our bodies a voice. A practice of growing a new body, as one would grow a plant; a utopian body; a sensational body; a connected body; an anarchic body; a body full/filled with pleasure, with love and with magic…………. with a brain that melted down to the flesh, the bones, the guts, the skin … and with eyes that see without naming and see without knowing.

LUCIANA ACHUGAR (US) is a Brooklyn-based choreographer from Uruguay who grew as an artist in close dialogue with the NY and Montevideo contemporary dance communities. She began making work collaboratively with Levi Gonzalez in 1999, and in 2002 she started working independently. Her work is concerned with the post-colonial world, searching for an undoing of current power structures from the inside out. She is a two-time “Bessie” recipient, a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow and Creative Capital Grantee and a 2010 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grantee, amongst other accolades. Her last work “An Epilogue for OTRO TEATRO: True Love” premiered at Gibney Dance as co-presentation of The Chocolate Factory in December 2015 and was presented in June on the streets of Lower Manhattan in NYC during the 2016 River to River Festival.

 

Collaborative Practices – sublime subversion  / HIJACK
August 6 / 3:15-5:15pm
V2

From within 23 years in the idealistic practice of collaboration HIJACK will teach some of our methods. Choreographic decisions, like all decisions are power. Seek the double bounce, refuse the watered down.  We have invented, discovered and stolen a store of structures for making work which include and transform the desires of both/all collaborators.  Collaboration means chance, subversion, structure, merging, undermining, heartbreak and surprise. It means trying to dance in someone else’s shoes and making dances you love as your own but also don’t recognize.

HIJACK is the choreographic collaboration of Kristin Van Loon & Arwen Wilder.  They met at Colorado College, and became HIJACK in Minneapolis in 1993. HIJACK is best known for “short-shorts”: pop song-length miniatures designed to deliver a sharp shock and collaborations with po-mo hero Scott Heron. Specializing in the inappropriate, HIJACK toys with audiences’ expectations through their interpretation of venue. 
HIJACK has taught and performed in New York, Japan, Russia, Central America, Ottawa, Chicago, Colorado, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, Iowa, Portland, at Bates Festival and Fuse Box Festival.  HIJACK teaches Composition/Improvisation at the University of Minnesota, Colorado College and St. Olaf Colleges, and a weekly Contact Improvisation class in Minneapolis for 16 years. HIJACK curates/hosts Future Interstates, a dance improvisation performance series. In 2014, Contact Quarterly published the chapbook “Passing For Dance — a HIJACK reader”.  

 

Body-Mind Centering®: Embodied Research / Cathie Caraker
August 6 / 3:15-5:15pm
Founders

Informed by the Body-Mind Centering® (BMC) work, these morning classes will warm us up through developmental movement and fluid investigations. We’ll practice specific patterns and reflexes daily, while also exploring embodied anatomy for internal support and clarity. Through hands-on partnering and guided movement explorations, we’ll discover new movement patterns and re-integrate old ones. As we fine-tune our sense perceptions and cultivate specificity of intention and attention, we create more ease and pleasure in our dancing. Participants will be encouraged to learn at their own pace in an atmosphere of curiosity and playful rigor.

CATHIE CARAKER (US) is a dance maker and performer, teacher, writer and artistic director of MAMMALdance. Her work and teaching have been presented internationally at festivals and institutes including the New York Improvisation Festival, DTW, Movement Research, Tanzfabrik Berlin, Contactfestival Freiburg, de Beweging Antwerp, Contredanse Brussels, NESTheaters Amsterdam, CounterPULSE and SFDI. She has collaborated with numerous artists including Lisa Kraus, Nancy Stark Smith, Daniel Lepkoff, Katarina Eriksson, Ray Chung, Rosemary Hannon and Henry Kaiser. After becoming certified in Body-Mind Centering® (BMC) in 1990, she joined the faculty of the Amsterdam School for the Arts / Choreography Dept (SNDO) for 10 years, where she refined her approach to applying BMC and movement research to the dance-making process. Cathie also holds an MFA in Dance from Bennington College and has a private practice in Pilates and Gyrotonic. Her writings on BMC and dance education have been published in the Belgian dance journal Nouvelles de Danse. More info at www.caraker.com

 

Interviews with Trees / Melanie Noel
August 6 / 3:15-5:15pm
Meet in Kawasaki

What if a tree was the site of your dance? What if a tree was your audience, stage, and theater? What questions would you ask it? What would it ask of you? How would it change you direction? Less literal and more metaphorical, this is a workshop about the animation of a performance context and how that can inform your dance. We’ll travel to local trees and inquire into their seemingly stable, fixed presences as ways of expanding our sense of reach in creating and completing new work. We’ll consider the idea of the invisible, vital root systems of trees and how they communicate with each other underground and through their more visible canopies and consider how that relates to the way performance is defined. In a time of forced migration and environmental devastation, the questions can also be asked with an eye on the social and historical context: for how performance might speak invisibly but expansively to that as well.

MELANIE NOEL is a poet and the author of The Monarchs (Stockport Flats, 2013). Her poems have also appeared in Spiral Orb, Weekday, LVNG, La Norda Especialo and THE ARCADIA PROJECT. She co-curated APOSTROPHE, a dance, music, and poetry series, with musician Gust Burns and dancers Michèle Steinwald and Beth Graczyk, and IMPALA, a reading series that took place in her grandmother’s car. She combines movement theater and meditation practices with poetry and plant and landscape awareness to teach outdoor experiential workshops on synesthesia and imagination. She also leads writing classes for people in long-term hospital care.

 

REGISTER FOR UNLIMITED DROP-INS >>

Back to SFDI Main page >>

2,344 total views, 2 views today