// SFDI 2015 CLASS DESCRIPTIONS + FACULTY BIOS //


INTENSIVES
 
// Ralph Lemon / Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood / Jennifer Monson / Joy Davis / Jimena Paz / Ronja Ver

DROP-IN CLASSES // Onye Ozuzu / Karen Nelson / Cathy Madden / Scott Davis / John Dixon / Katherine Cook / Nóra Hajós / Ralph Lemon / Jennifer Monson / Joy Davis / Andrew de Lotbiniere Harwood / Jimena Paz / Ronja Ver / Dani Tirrell / Sarah Gamblin / Michal Lahav / Jessica Jobaris / Matt Drews / Corrie Befort

> All Drop-in classes are $20

Go back to SFDI Main page >>

 

INTENSIVES


// MORNING INTENSIVES //

Dancing the Systems and Scores of Local Urban Ecologies // Morning Site-Specific Intensive with Jennifer Monson
REGISTER July 27- Aug 1
Meet in the Velocity Lobby

In this immersive workshop we will explore how we use dance as a research tool to understand the patterns and systems of the environments we inhabit. In turn we will investigate the ways in which our experience of dancing in the urban environment influences our choreographic choices. Throughout the workshop participants will create their own processes and scores as well as be introduced to the methodologies and systems Monson has developed over the past several years. Improvisation will be a primary tool. The work of each day will develop and build into a culminating event/performance for each participant. Optional night and dawn walks will provide alternative ways of orienting our sense of place. This work builds concentration, resilience and adaptability and understands the dancing body as a highly specialized perceptual apparatus. From this, experimental choreographic possibilities emerge and persist.

JENNIFER MONSON (US) (Artistic director, choreographer and performer, iLAND-interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature and Dance) uses choreographic practice as a means to discover connections between environmental, philosophical and aesthetic approaches to knowledge and understandings of our surroundings. As Artistic Director of iLAND she creates large-scale dance projects informed and inspired by phenomena of the natural and the built environment. Her recent projects include BIRD BRAIN (2000-2011) iMAP/Ridgewood Reservoir (2007), NYC and Mahomet Aquifer Project (2009)in Illinois,  SIP(sustained immersive process)/watershed(2010) in NYC and Live Dancing Archive(2012). Her current project, in tow, is based in Urbana. Monson is on the faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign in the Dance Department and is currently a Marsh Professor at Large at the University of Vermont. She is an inaugural Doris Duke Impact Artist (2014).

Feldenkrais Workshop for Dancers // Morning Somatic Intensive with Jimena Paz
REGISTER July 27-29 + July 31 / 9:00-11:00am
Century Ballroom

The Feldenkrais Method® studies the works of our nervous system and our ability to recognize and create movement patterns that are both more efficient and more pleasant. The method emphasizes awareness, distribution of effort/action through the whole self, expanding self-perception and our ability to carry out our intentions. This class is ideal for dancers and people from different backgrounds interested in discovering more about their physicality in a pain-free way and enjoying a larger sense of well-being. Please bring your own yoga mat for floor work.

JIMENA PAZ (US/EU/AR) is an independent dancer, teacher and maker sharing her time between New York, Europe and Argentina. As a certified Feldenkrais Practitioner she has a private practice in NY and teaches internationally. Paz had the pleasure to work with Vicky Shick, Lance Gries, Susan Rethorst, the Stephen Petronio Company (‘99-‘06), Martha Clarke, Constanza Macras (Berlin), Iris Scaccheri (Buenos Aires), Burt Barr (video) Analia Segal, Virginie Yassef (France), Antonio Ramos and Todd Williams among others. Currently, she is developing a project on foreignness and a fictional and portable-landless Argentina.

// MID-DAY INTENSIVES //

 

common/SENSE movement // Mid-Day Intensive with Joy Davis
REGISTER July 27-29 + July 31-August 1
Century Ballroom

In this workshop, Joy will share her knowledge of the Countertechnique to create an environment for movement discovery based in the reality of space, time, gravity, and anatomy. The Countertechnique, a system of movement developed by Anouk van Dijk, provides a clear framework of exercises in which dancers explore ways to continuously direct and counter-direct the weight of the body through space. The workshop will veer from the technique class orientation of Countertechnique towards a guided space for improvisational research in which dancers will work with specific principles and tools for directing/counter-directing. Movement explorations with this common sense information will illuminate possibilities for attentive presence, dynamic balance, anatomical availability, and big wide smiles. Joy’s teaching also draws heavily from her experience in authentic movement/contemplative dance, capoeira, contact improvisation, meditation/yoga, and performed improvisation. *This class will incorporate learning some Countertechnique exercises but will be oriented primarily towards improvisation

JOY DAVIS (US) is a dance maker, performer, and teacher. She is one of four certified Countertechnique teachers in the US. Developed by Anouk van Dijk, Artistic Director of Chunky Move, Countertechnique is a dynamic movement system that offers a clear framework of tools in which dancers explore ways to continuously direct and counter-direct the weight of the body through space. Joy teaches her celebrated classes and workshops all over the US. Originally from Nashville, she has spent the last 15 years between Knoxville, Chicago, Amsterdam, and New England creating, performing, and studying contemporary dance and improvisation; including working with Chris Aiken and Angie Hauser, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Erica Mott, Shaina Cantino, and Delfos Danza.

Awkwardness, Failure and Redemption: Adventures in Contact Improvisation // Mid-Day Intensive with Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood
REGISTER July 27-29 + July 31-August 1
Founders

An advanced laboratory for teachers, performers, experienced students and passionate practitioners of Contact improvisation. A strong grasp of contact fundamentals is essential. At its origins contact improvisation combined moments of incredible beauty and flow with moments of incredible awkwardness, clumsiness and disorientation.  As contact has evolved and experienced dancers have developed amazing capacities for creating flow there has been a tendency to try to eliminate as many of the bungling moments as possible.  This often leads to running through the gamut of known physical techniques and making the same choices over and over, again and again. The freedom contact improvisation offers doesn’t come without the courage to accept what is already taking place in our bodies and in the space, to use all our known and unknown resources, to embrace the ever-present making-a-fool quality, and willingly turn even the most awkward circumstances and risky situations into brilliant creative adventures. The unknown becomes a friend, absurdity is worn well and the tyranny of trying to be interesting is overcome. We will seek to reinvigorate the form and challenge ourselves to embrace all aspects of the dancing even when it seems clumsy or strange. Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood’s current interests lie within the immediate and fullest use of all the senses, the subtle interplay between intuition and instinct, the dilation of the attention to it’s fullest, the finely tuned use of the perceptions in performance, and the unexpected interplay with an audience.  Material: finicky dances / precarious weight / rediscovering disorientation / obscure, mysterious dances / using conflict as a resource / praising all the bad dancing / Trisha’s falling duets / hand on shoulder duets and trios / imperceptibly slow continuous duets / holding your own train of thought (saying no!) / provoking change: pushy-sticky contact, disrupting flow, disappearing / in and out of contact, still moving duets and group score  Helpful Hints: consider everything an experiment / start with a fresh approach every day / being simple is ironically quite complex / pull everything out of your fellow students / you can fool the fans, but not the players / broaden your comfort zone, rather than trying to leave it / nothing is a mistake, there is no win and no fail, there is only make and do / do not try to create and analyze at the same time, they are different processes / to be disciplined is to follow in a good way, to be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way / be happy whenever you can manage it, enjoy yourself and others, it is lighter than you think

ANDREW DE LOTBINIÈRE HARWOOD (CANADA) is a leading international teacher, performer and creator, deeply influential in the development of contact improvisation and instantaneous composition since 1976. Andrew studied extensively and performed with Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith, and Nita Little. He also has a background in gymnastics, the Alexander Technique, Aikido, Release Technique, contemporary dance and yoga. Andrew danced for the companies of Marie Chouinard, Fulcrum, Jo Lechay, and Jean-Pierre Perreault. He has presented at international festivals extensively since 1980; and collaborated in performance with Chris Aiken, Kirstie Simson, Ray Chung, Lisa Nelson, Benno Voorham, Peter Bingham, Marc Boivin, Benoît Lachambre, among many others. He is the recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Jacqueline-Lemieux Award for the year 2000.

The Practice of Form // Mid-Day Intensive with Ralph Lemon
REGISTER July 27-29 + July 31-August 1
Kawasaki

Investigate how a daily personal practice and creative process inform an outcome and form; and how, through an open and guided discussion, the nature of form holds infinite possibilities of meaning. The questions of the group become the workshop methodology, as inquiry creates practice and practice facilitates a refinement of the questions. Participants may grapple with questions such as: “How does the creative practice in general, and humanity in particular, come to embody the memory of historical events or processes, thus acting as a meditative interface between memory and history?” The work begins with the body and a practical study of the body as cultural language, as place, as memory, as a virtual and digital image, and as architecture.

RALPH LEMON (US) is a choreographer, conceptualist, director, writer, and installation artist who is artistic director of Cross Performance, Inc. He develops intellectually rigorous and experimental performances that are as socially and politically resonant as they are personal, including the multimedia collaboration How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere? (2010); a commission for the Lyon Opera Ballet, Rescuing the Princess (2009); and the epic cycle, The Geography Trilogy (1997-2004). His honors include the Alpert Award in the Arts (1999), a Creative Capital Award (2000), the USA Fellowship (2006), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009), and the American Choreographers Award. In 2009, he was an IDA fellow at Stanford University. For the fall 2011 semester he was a Visiting Critic with the Yale University School of Art, Sculpture Department.

 

 

// AFTERNOON INTENSIVE //

 

Introduction to Contact Improvisation: Fluid Architectures // Afternoon Intensive with Ronja Ver
REGISTER July 27-28 + July 31 / 3:15-5:15pm
Kawasaki

Fluid architectures appear in the physical state between tension and relaxation, where the joints are open to move within their full range, and the body is optimally using the support of gravity to stay both grounded and light at the same time. We are working toward a constant availability for movement and for bearing weight, through re-aligning our structures between any points of contact, as soon as they emerge. The classes begin with a solo warm up, working from the ground up and looking at how the synovial joints offer possibilities for movement, direction and support. We will move from solos to duets to trios, investigating the stability and mobility of the architectures we create, and building our readiness to improvise in the three dimensional spherical space. This intensive offers a deeper look into the physical play of dancing Contact Improvisation for both beginning and experienced movers.

RONJA VER (US/FI) is a dancer and dance maker, a teacher, a mother, an activist, and a lifetime student of performance as meaning-making. Her choreographic work addresses current issues through movement and sound, technical but unpolished, often working with extreme physical states to invite her audience into a sensory nonverbal place of knowing. She has worked in Europe and in the United States, most recently with Nancy Stark Smith and Mike Vargas in New York City and San Francisco, Risa Jaroslow and Scott Wells in the SF Bay Area. She was a soloist at the National Theater of Findland and in Riitta Vainio Dance Company, and dances on Steve Paxton’s dvd Material for the Spine. Ver is co-organized of the West Coast Contact Improvisation Jam and co-founder of the Finnish CI festival Skiing On Skin. She holds an MFA in Dance from Hollins University/ADF.

REGISTER FOR ONE INDIVIDUAL INTENSIVE >>

 

DROP-IN CLASSES

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Technology of the Circle: Satellite – ing // Onye Ozuzu
July 27 / 9:00-11:00am
Founders

Satellite-ing, a segment of Technology of the Circle, is a duet between a soloist and a circle of people. What happens in the heated intensity of a breaking circle, of a community of family on a wedding reception dance floor, in a capoeira roda? What cultivates that heat? How is it composed? How does it change? What does the group allow in the one? What does the one allow in the group? This work will engage the frameworks that support group improvisation with a shifting soloist as focal point. Relationship manifests as geometry, as space, as form. Sensitivities are cultivated, communication deepened and the processes of both collective and individual choice-making refined.

Technology of the Circle explores the circle as a structure for improvised group interaction. The circle of playground fights and politics, of Brazilian Capoeria, of Jazz music, of B-boying/B-girling, of club culture sharing and battling will merge with contemporary dance and theatre improvisational techniques and emerge as a fluid tool for the crafting of layered, powerful individual and community expression. Participants may work with movement, poly-rhythmic sound, story-telling, and an acute awareness of personal and group sense of space, time, place, focus and anticipation. Embodied practice will exploit a shared “center” in order to offer participants the opportunity to cultivate, sharpen and expand their perception of physical state to encompass that of the group as a whole.  What results will be an integrated group performance of improvised sophistication. Participants can choose their level of participation/observation/listening in the moment and still be a part of the whole. The structure allows for stops and starts, for discussion and feedback as it progresses. The work is deeply stimulating and evocative of the potential for group collaboration, “group mind”. It quickly and in complex and participatory and voluntary ways surfaces the “story of the moment”.

ONYE OZUZU is a dance administrator, performing artist, choreographer, educator and researcher currently serving as Chair of the Dance Department at Columbia College Chicago.  Her administrative work is notable for a balance of visionary and deliberate progress in the arenas of curricular, artistic, and systemic diversity.  She has been actively presenting work since 1997.  Her work has been seen nationally and internationally at The Joyce Soho (Manhattan, NY), Kaay Fecc Festival Des Tous les Danses (Dakar, Senegal), La Festival del Caribe (Santiago, Cuba), Lisner Auditorium (Washington DC), McKenna Museum of African American Art (New Orleans, LA), among others. In October 2014 shE co-presentED River . Mouth . Ocean with choreographer Peggy Choy at Links Hall Constellation in Chicago. She has recently been Artist in Residence at EarthDance Workshop and Retreat Center, Bates Dance Festival and Chulitna Wilderness Lodge and Retreat and Camp Merveilles.

Porous Skin + Eye Aperture // Matt Drews
July 27 / 9:00-11:00am
Kawasaki

A deep dancing conversation to engage surface with intangible states. We will traverse the topography of our skin by activating many modalities and poetics of space. This movement practice dilates between individual and communal. Intimacy through eye contact and establishing energetic openness and connection will be explored. Through this experience a heightened sense of periphery will become activated yet porous, and the relationship to witnessing our experience, through the intentional control of our eyes. We will nourish our most expansive sense organ and hone into techniques to refresh our vision. Then create a compositional perspective of our bodies through the anatomy/psychology of the eye.

MATT DREWS is a movement artist who oscillates between the realms of dance, yoga + performance. His creative roles aqueous as choreographer, performer + teacher. He facilitates states of experience for bodies to investigate movement with a heightened lens toward healing, presence + ritual. He studied at Naropa University + holds a BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts. His work has been produced at Decibel Electronic Music Festival, On the Boards + Velocity Dance Center. He has collaborated with Ate9 dANCE cOMPANY, tEEth Performance, Saint Genet, Kate Wallich + the YC, The Pendleton House + Modern Recollections. He is currently developing a new work as a 2015 Artist in Residence at Velocity Dance Center. www.mattdrews.com

The Practice of Form // Ralph Lemon
July 27 / 3:15-5:15pm

Century Ballroom

Investigate how a daily personal practice and creative process inform an outcome and form; and how, through an open and guided discussion, the nature of form holds infinite possibilities of meaning. The questions of the group become the workshop methodology, as inquiry creates practice and practice facilitates a refinement of the questions. Participants may grapple with questions such as: “How does the creative practice in general, and humanity in particular, come to embody the memory of historical events or processes, thus acting as a meditative interface between memory and history?” The work begins with the body and a practical study of the body as cultural language, as place, as memory, as a virtual and digital image, and as architecture.

RALPH LEMON (US) is a choreographer, conceptualist, director, writer, and installation artist who is artistic director of Cross Performance, Inc. He develops intellectually rigorous and experimental performances that are as socially and politically resonant as they are personal, including the multimedia collaboration How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere? (2010); a commission for the Lyon Opera Ballet, Rescuing the Princess (2009); and the epic cycle, The Geography Trilogy (1997-2004). His honors include the Alpert Award in the Arts (1999), a Creative Capital Award (2000), the USA Fellowship (2006), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009), and the American Choreographers Award. In 2009, he was an IDA fellow at Stanford University. For the fall 2011 semester he was a Visiting Critic with the Yale University School of Art, Sculpture Department.

Outside Air, Inside Body // Michal Lahav
July 27 / 3:15-5:15pm
Founders

Get your shoes on, for you’ll soon be taking them off! We’re going outside. Explore contact awareness, thrill and sensation in the wilderness of our lush urban greenspace: Volunteer Park. Having recently birthed a baby, I’m interested in exploring the part of contact that is not intellectual– that responds and makes choices with the environment stemming from the language of the body. Raw and honest. We’ll explore the intersection of movement and environment, response and connection — bringing the fresh air and sounds of natural life into our cells.

MICHAL LAHAV began her love affair with contact improv in 1998. Since then she has explored it across the globe, in national parks, her living room, and perhaps yours too. She has taught numerous workshops at dance institutes and festivals around the Northwest USA, including Seattle University, Louis and Clark College, and SANCA Circus Arts school. She also organizes the annual Orcas Island Jam. Michal integrates studies of yoga and dance with a curiosity for movement, human behavior and a great lust for everyday life.

common/SENSE movement // Joy Davis
July 28 / 9:00 – 11:00am
Founders

In this workshop, Joy will share her knowledge of the Countertechnique to create an environment for movement discovery based in the reality of space, time, gravity, and anatomy. The Countertechnique, a system of movement developed by Anouk van Dijk, provides a clear framework of exercises in which dancers explore ways to continuously direct and counter-direct the weight of the body through space. The workshop will veer from the technique class orientation of Countertechnique towards a guided space for improvisational research in which dancers will work with specific principles and tools for directing/counter-directing. Movement explorations with this common sense information will illuminate possibilities for attentive presence, dynamic balance, anatomical availability, and big wide smiles. Joy’s teaching also draws heavily from her experience in authentic movement/contemplative dance, capoeira, contact improvisation, meditation/yoga, and performed improvisation. *This class will incorporate learning some Countertechnique exercises but will be oriented primarily towards improvisation

JOY DAVIS (US) is a dance maker, performer, and teacher. She is one of four certified Countertechnique teachers in the US. Developed by Anouk van Dijk, Artistic Director of Chunky Move, Countertechnique is a dynamic movement system that offers a clear framework of tools in which dancers explore ways to continuously direct and counter-direct the weight of the body through space. Joy teaches her celebrated classes and workshops all over the US. Originally from Nashville, she has spent the last 15 years between Knoxville, Chicago, Amsterdam, and New England creating, performing, and studying contemporary dance and improvisation; including working with Chris Aiken and Angie Hauser, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Erica Mott, Shaina Cantino, and Delfos Danza.

Storage and Retrieval // Katherine Cook
July 28 / 9:00-11:00am
Kawasaki

Our bodies automatically store, transform, and release physical and emotional energy. The storage process produces rich source material for creating dances in the moment, but how do we access it? Working in solo and duet and drawing from Contact Improvisation and Somatic practices, we will explore our bodies’ storage and retrieval systems, and how they can work for us. What happens when we manipulate the storage or retrieval process? What causes our stored energy to emerge with coherence or chaos? Come ready to dance hard and discuss deeply. Open to all levels.

KATHERINE COOK is a dancer and teacher living in Seattle WA. She facilitates the Seattle Underscore, has worked with artists such as Nancy Stark-Smith, Karen Nelson, and Cyrus Khambatta, and has taught and performed at CI festivals around the US. She approaches dance with honed rigor and a delicious, full-bodied sense of play.

Technology of the Circle: When I … I … After that I // Onye Ozuzu
July 28 /  3:15-5:15pm
Century Ballroom

Movement, sound and language, woven as fabric, easy as a delicate summer scarf, or thick and complex as a rug or tapestry is the focus here….rhythm, poly rhythm, rhythm as environment, as memory, as context for discourse. Sound, both vocal and percussive; and story, verbal and physical, narrative and non-narrative, will be supported by a cultivated scaffolding of chorus. Buffeted by the steady responsiveness of the circle, the story-teller’s tale spreads and stretches.

Technology of the Circle explores the circle as a structure for improvised group interaction. The circle of playground fights and politics, of Brazilian Capoeria, of Jazz music, of B-boying/B-girling, of club culture sharing and battling will merge with contemporary dance and theatre improvisational techniques and emerge as a fluid tool for the crafting of layered, powerful individual and community expression. Participants may work with movement, poly-rhythmic sound, story-telling, and an acute awareness of personal and group sense of space, time, place, focus and anticipation. Embodied practice will exploit a shared “center” in order to offer participants the opportunity to cultivate, sharpen and expand their perception of physical state to encompass that of the group as a whole.  What results will be an integrated group performance of improvised sophistication. Participants can choose their level of participation/observation/listening in the moment and still be a part of the whole. The structure allows for stops and starts, for discussion and feedback as it progresses. The work is deeply stimulating and evocative of the potential for group collaboration, “group mind”. It quickly and in complex and participatory and voluntary ways surfaces the “story of the moment”.

ONYE OZUZU is a dance administrator, performing artist, choreographer, educator and researcher currently serving as Chair of the Dance Department at Columbia College Chicago.  Her administrative work is notable for a balance of visionary and deliberate progress in the arenas of curricular, artistic, and systemic diversity.  She has been actively presenting work since 1997.  Her work has been seen nationally and internationally at The Joyce Soho (Manhattan, NY), Kaay Fecc Festival Des Tous les Danses (Dakar, Senegal), La Festival del Caribe (Santiago, Cuba), Lisner Auditorium (Washington DC), McKenna Museum of African American Art (New Orleans, LA), among others. In October 2014 shE co-presentED River . Mouth . Ocean with choreographer Peggy Choy at Links Hall Constellation in Chicago. She has recently been Artist in Residence at EarthDance Workshop and Retreat Center, Bates Dance Festival and Chulitna Wilderness Lodge and Retreat and Camp Merveilles.

Raising Hell // Jessica Jobaris
July 28 / 3:15-5:15pm
Founders

Play with polarity themes of brutality/mercy, satisfaction/the impossible, and savage/sophistication. Raising Hell is a practice in presence and influencing your experience consciously, playfully, through continuous movement, the voice and the soma.  We discover our impulses, both free and bound. Moving from imagination to belief, diving into touch, gravity, and the supernatural environment, Raising Hell is revealing the spirits among us and moving through us, inviting us closer to our internal paradise.

JESSICA JOBARIS Curiosity of the expressive body brings her to study, perform, teach and choreograph in Seattle, NYC, and the EU. She has been awarded residencies/commissions throughout the U.S., creating 25+ dance works. Jessica performed with Seattle all-stars Lingo dance theater, Scott/Powell Performance, Maureen Whiting Co., Salthorse, Carr Dance Media (NYC), and Mark Haim. While in Berlin, Jessica worked for German MTV, Kristin Berger, Felix Ruckert, Jess Curtis/Maria Scaroni, Alessio Castellacci & visual artist Eloise de Hauteclocque. Her latest community theater project, “The thing worth fighting for” was commissioned by City Arts Magazine for the Gender Bender Festival. Jessica has taught throughout Seattle at The Evergreen School, Cornish College, Gage Academy, Seattle Pacific University,Velocity Dance Center, as well as various Yoga studios in Seattle and the Bay Area. Jessica is the Movement Director for Freehold’s Engaged Theater, taking Shakespeare into prisons, under the direction of Robin Lynn Smith. Jessica’s latest work“Everytime I get sure about something it gets ugly” premiered at On The Boards renowned NWNW Festival in Spring 2015. She is currently pursuing her Expressive Arts Therapy certification at Anna Halprin’s Tamalpa Institute, in Marin County.

Logomotion with Nóra Hajós
July 29 /  9:00-11:00am
Founders

Dive into Simone Forti’s improvisational dance/narrative form, in which movement and language spontaneously weave together to explore thoughts and feelings about the world. Nóra began working with Simone Forti in the 80’s and has toured throughout the US and Europe with her. Experience Logomotion in it’s authentic form.

Nóra Hajós is an improvisational performance artist, dancer, visual artist. Her choices are made by her deep interest in search of authenticity in dance. She is interested in sensation-rooted-movement-explorations, action painting, juxtaposition in art making and in-the-moment to moment-improvisation with words, voices, movement and paint.! She started her dance studies at age 4 in her native Hungary. As a young adult, she searched in the direction of authentic movement and New Dance in the USA. For the past 26 years, she has been exploring, teaching and performing dance improvisation. Nóra studied in-depth with Steve Paxton (the originator of contact improvisation), Lisa Nelson (Tuning score), , Simone Forti (Logomotion). Amy and Arny Mindell (process oriented movement). Nóra has created and performed her solo improvisations in the USA and Europe. She toured with Simone Forti, dancing Logomotion. She has also performed with, Kossuth prize-awarded composer/pianist, György Szabados a Duet  Improvisation Performance Series in Hungary. She has collaborated with Steve Paxton, Lisa Nelson, K. J. Holmes, Karen Nelson, Ray Chung, Keith Hennessy, Daniel Lepkoff and many others. Nóra produced & directed the series Las Meninas~Dances under the St. John`s Bridge ( Portland OR ) and Come Now Go and Soon Go See a process work inspired, dance duet with Craig Baker. She has been teaching dance & performance improvisation at various festivals and private workshops, in the USA and Europe.

Introduction to Contact Improvisation: Fluid Architectures // Ronja Ver
July 29 / 9:00-11:00am
Kawasaki

Fluid architectures appear in the physical state between tension and relaxation, where the joints are open to move within their full range, and the body is optimally using the support of gravity to stay both grounded and light at the same time. We are working toward a constant availability for movement and for bearing weight, through re-aligning our structures between any points of contact, as soon as they emerge. The classes begin with a solo warm up, working from the ground up and looking at how the synovial joints offer possibilities for movement, direction and support. We will move from solos to duets to trios, investigating the stability and mobility of the architectures we create, and building our readiness to improvise in the three dimensional spherical space. This intensive offers a deeper look into the physical play of dancing Contact Improvisation for both beginning and experienced movers.

RONJA VER (US/FI) is a dancer and dance maker, a teacher, a mother, an activist, and a lifetime student of performance as meaning-making. Her choreographic work addresses current issues through movement and sound, technical but unpolished, often working with extreme physical states to invite her audience into a sensory nonverbal place of knowing. She has worked in Europe and in the United States, most recently with Nancy Stark Smith and Mike Vargas in New York City and San Francisco, Risa Jaroslow and Scott Wells in the SF Bay Area. She was a soloist at the National Theater of Findland and in Riitta Vainio Dance Company, and dances on Steve Paxton’s dvd Material for the Spine. Ver is co-organized of the West Coast Contact Improvisation Jam and co-founder of the Finnish CI festival Skiing On Skin. She holds an MFA in Dance from Hollins University/ADF.

Fall, Engulf, Deliver // Sarah Gamblin
July 31 / 9:00-11:00am
Founders

This class will explore tools for improvised performance by fostering awareness of the physical body, the emotional body and the composing body. We will begin by tracking independent and connected journeys of multiple body weights, then explore Linklater-inspired vocal techniques and finally practice reading emergent narratives as they arise in our bodies.

SARAH GAMBLIN was a member of Bebe Miller Company from 1993-2000 and Bill Young and Dancers from 1996-99 and toured various cities throughout the world. In 2000 she earned the MFA in Dance from the University of Washington. In Seattle she performed with Rob Kitsos, Lingo dancetheater and Amii Le Gendre. Gamblin joined the dance faculty at Texas Woman’s University in 2002 where she teaches modern technique, composition, choreography, improvisation, and experiential anatomy. As an independent choreographer/performer her work has been produced by the Fort Worth Dance Festival, the Out of the Loop Festival, the Houston Fringe Festival, Seattle Festival of Dance and Improvisation, Bates Dance Festival, Bard College, the University of Washington, The Northwest New Works Festival at On the Boards and in New York City at the Flea Theater, Hundred Grand and Dia Center for the Arts. Gamblin has developed several works as a solo artist and in collaboration with others that contribute to the ever growing body of work known variously as improvised performance, improvography, and spontaneous composition. Her collaborators have included dancer/choreographers KT Niehoff, John Dixon, Ray Schwartz, Jordan Fuchs, Nina Martin and Andrew Wass, and Amii LeGendre. For Gamblin, improvised choreography fosters artistic agency in performers, intensifies performance environments by destabilizing emergent meanings, and by utilizing pre-set choreographic arcs, provides reliable frames for performer subjectivity.

Butch Queen, Fem Queen and Vogue Performance: Exploring the Feminine Make/Female in Vogue // Dani Tirrell
July 31 / 9:00-11:00am
Kawasaki

Vogue Fem and improvisation will be the base of this class as we explore movement based in our ideas of what is feminine/masculine.  Runway, Dramatics, Hand performance and posing will be incorporated to add layers and depth to our movement.  Kneepads are strongly encouraged and please bring heels to Vogue in (optional).

DANI TIRRELL was born, raised and proud to be from Detroit, MI. After years of trying to find his footing in Contemporary dance, he is now happily exploring House and Vogue dance while incorporating contemporary dance in his practice. As he explores each dance expression, he is more intrigued by why they exist than how to execute the movement. It is in the understanding of the why that you will only be able to authentically execute the how.

Laboratory: Tuning Scores—Composition, Communication, and the Sense of Imagination // Nóra Hajós
July 31 / 3:15-5:15pm
Century Ballroom

Get a glimpse into Lisa Nelson’s approach to spontaneous ensemble composition and performance.  Use your senses to shift into action, engaging the body as a container and generator of imagery. Lisa Nelson elaborates: “By altering the way our senses are used while moving and watching movement, we can identify the genetic, cultural and idiosyncratic movement patterns our senses use to read our environment and contribute to constructing our experience. These patterns both inform our desire for action and what we perceive when we are attending to anything. Practices include tuning the senses (vision, hearing, touch, kinesthesia, intuition) to follow features in both the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ environments; sensing and measuring stillness and movement through each of the senses; and shifting from sense to sense and sensing to action, activities we engage in every waking moment. Fueling this research is the perception of the body as both proscenium and performer, as container and generator of imagery, as thought and feeling.”

Nóra Hajós is an improvisational performance artist, dancer, visual artist. Her choices are made by her deep interest in search of authenticity in dance. She is interested in sensation-rooted-movement-explorations, action painting, juxtaposition in art making and in-the-moment to moment-improvisation with words, voices, movement and paint.! She started her dance studies at age 4 in her native Hungary. As a young adult, she searched in the direction of authentic movement and New Dance in the USA. For the past 26 years, she has been exploring, teaching and performing dance improvisation. Nóra studied in-depth with Steve Paxton (the originator of contact improvisation), Lisa Nelson (Tuning score), , Simone Forti (Logomotion). Amy and Arny Mindell (process oriented movement). Nóra has created and performed her solo improvisations in the USA and Europe. She toured with Simone Forti, dancing Logomotion. She has also performed with, Kossuth prize-awarded composer/pianist, György Szabados a Duet  Improvisation Performance Series in Hungary. She has collaborated with Steve Paxton, Lisa Nelson, K. J. Holmes, Karen Nelson, Ray Chung, Keith Hennessy, Daniel Lepkoff and many others. Nóra produced & directed the series Las Meninas~Dances under the St. John`s Bridge ( Portland OR ) and Come Now Go and Soon Go See a process work inspired, dance duet with Craig Baker. She has been teaching dance & performance improvisation at various festivals and private workshops, in the USA and Europe.

Awkwardness, Failure and Redemption: Adventures in Contact Improvisation // Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood
July 31 / 3:15-5:15pm
Founders

An advanced laboratory for teachers, performers, experienced students and passionate practitioners of Contact improvisation. A strong grasp of contact fundamentals is essential. At its origins contact improvisation combined moments of incredible beauty and flow with moments of incredible awkwardness, clumsiness and disorientation.  As contact has evolved and experienced dancers have developed amazing capacities for creating flow there has been a tendency to try to eliminate as many of the bungling moments as possible.  This often leads to running through the gamut of known physical techniques and making the same choices over and over, again and again. The freedom contact improvisation offers doesn’t come without the courage to accept what is already taking place in our bodies and in the space, to use all our known and unknown resources, to embrace the ever-present making-a-fool quality, and willingly turn even the most awkward circumstances and risky situations into brilliant creative adventures. The unknown becomes a friend, absurdity is worn well and the tyranny of trying to be interesting is overcome. We will seek to reinvigorate the form and challenge ourselves to embrace all aspects of the dancing even when it seems clumsy or strange. Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood’s current interests lie within the immediate and fullest use of all the senses, the subtle interplay between intuition and instinct, the dilation of the attention to it’s fullest, the finely tuned use of the perceptions in performance, and the unexpected interplay with an audience.  Material: finicky dances / precarious weight / rediscovering disorientation / obscure, mysterious dances / using conflict as a resource / praising all the bad dancing / Trisha’s falling duets / hand on shoulder duets and trios / imperceptibly slow continuous duets / holding your own train of thought (saying no!) / provoking change: pushy-sticky contact, disrupting flow, disappearing / in and out of contact, still moving duets and group score  Helpful Hints: consider everything an experiment / start with a fresh approach every day / being simple is ironically quite complex / pull everything out of your fellow students / you can fool the fans, but not the players / broaden your comfort zone, rather than trying to leave it / nothing is a mistake, there is no win and no fail, there is only make and do / do not try to create and analyze at the same time, they are different processes / to be disciplined is to follow in a good way, to be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way / be happy whenever you can manage it, enjoy yourself and others, it is lighter than you think

ANDREW DE LOTBINIÈRE HARWOOD (CANADA) is a leading international teacher, performer and creator, deeply influential in the development of contact improvisation and instantaneous composition since 1976. Andrew studied extensively and performed with Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith, and Nita Little. He also has a background in gymnastics, the Alexander Technique, Aikido, Release Technique, contemporary dance and yoga. Andrew danced for the companies of Marie Chouinard, Fulcrum, Jo Lechay, and Jean-Pierre Perreault. He has presented at international festivals extensively since 1980; and collaborated in performance with Chris Aiken, Kirstie Simson, Ray Chung, Lisa Nelson, Benno Voorham, Peter Bingham, Marc Boivin, Benoît Lachambre, among many others. He is the recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Jacqueline-Lemieux Award for the year 2000.

Diversity in Dancing: start where you are // Karen Nelson + Corrie Befort
August 1 / 9:00-11:00am
Century Ballroom

We invite movers of all diverse abilities to explore, share and enjoy their unique physical languages. We offer scores and skills to befriend and deepen connection to our bodies’ current expression and extend that sense to relationships with partners and with the group as a whole. This improvisational approach includes aspects of Contact Improvisation, Tuning Scores, Contemporary Dance Technique and creative expression.

KAREN NELSON brings her 35-year practice of Contact Improvisation and Tuning Composition, dancing, performing, teaching and touring internationally. She co-founded DanceAbility, Breitenbush Jam, Diverse Dance Research Retreat, and the performance group Image Lab and lives on Vashon Island, Washington state, USA.  www.explomov.weebly.com

CORRIE BEFORT is a Seattle-based dancer, choreographer, designer, teacher, and filmmaker whose collaborative performance works have been presented and commissioned nationally, in Japan and Belgium. She has been teaching through STG’s Dance for Parkinson’s Program for the past five years, holds an ACE certificate for Health and Wellness Professionals through the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, is a Certified Level 2 Autism Movement Therapist and has been teaching physical conditioning to dancers and non-dancers since 2005.

Technology of the Circle: The Being // Onye Ozuzu
August 1 /  9:00-11:00am
Founders

Being work is a performance score for improvised character study. A group collaborates on an image of collective being-ness and acts on it. Practical problem solving focuses and grounds the exploration.  Movement functions as orientation, embodiment as cognition, bodies as components of a whole. Where IS the sensation of being? Can it be intentionally shifted, expanded? Can it include multiple bodies? How does our being learn? Can our being remember? Who are we as individuals in relationship to it? And who is this Being to us, to itself?

Technology of the Circle explores the circle as a structure for improvised group interaction. The circle of playground fights and politics, of Brazilian Capoeria, of Jazz music, of B-boying/B-girling, of club culture sharing and battling will merge with contemporary dance and theatre improvisational techniques and emerge as a fluid tool for the crafting of layered, powerful individual and community expression. Participants may work with movement, poly-rhythmic sound, story-telling, and an acute awareness of personal and group sense of space, time, place, focus and anticipation. Embodied practice will exploit a shared “center” in order to offer participants the opportunity to cultivate, sharpen and expand their perception of physical state to encompass that of the group as a whole.  What results will be an integrated group performance of improvised sophistication. Participants can choose their level of participation/observation/listening in the moment and still be a part of the whole. The structure allows for stops and starts, for discussion and feedback as it progresses. The work is deeply stimulating and evocative of the potential for group collaboration, “group mind”. It quickly and in complex and participatory and voluntary ways surfaces the “story of the moment”.

ONYE OZUZU is a dance administrator, performing artist, choreographer, educator and researcher currently serving as Chair of the Dance Department at Columbia College Chicago.  Her administrative work is notable for a balance of visionary and deliberate progress in the arenas of curricular, artistic, and systemic diversity.  She has been actively presenting work since 1997.  Her work has been seen nationally and internationally at The Joyce Soho (Manhattan, NY), Kaay Fecc Festival Des Tous les Danses (Dakar, Senegal), La Festival del Caribe (Santiago, Cuba), Lisner Auditorium (Washington DC), McKenna Museum of African American Art (New Orleans, LA), among others. In October 2014 shE co-presentED River . Mouth . Ocean with choreographer Peggy Choy at Links Hall Constellation in Chicago. She has recently been Artist in Residence at EarthDance Workshop and Retreat Center, Bates Dance Festival and Chulitna Wilderness Lodge and Retreat and Camp Merveilles.

Integrative Alexander Technique Practice for Dancers // Cathy Madden
August 1 / 9:00-11:00am
Kawasaki

Bring your moving and choreographic needs to this interactive clinic to get practical keys to taking your skills to the next level and liberate your creativity.

CATHY MADDEN is an internationally respected teacher of the Alexander Technique. Based in Seattle, she is Principal Lecturer at the University of Washington Professional Actor Training Program, Director of the Alexander Technique Training and Performance Studio in Seattle, and Associate Director/Research Director for BodyChance in Japan. She is also the author of Onstage Synergy: Integrative Alexander Technique Practice for Performing Artists, published last year.

Feldenkrais Workshop for Dancers // Jimena Paz
August 1 / 3:15-5:15pm
Century Ballroom

The Feldenkrais Method® studies the works of our nervous system and our ability to recognize and create movement patterns that are both more efficient and more pleasant. The method emphasizes awareness, distribution of effort/action through the whole self, expanding self-perception and our ability to carry out our intentions. This class is ideal for dancers and people from different backgrounds interested in discovering more about their physicality in a pain-free way and enjoying a larger sense of well-being. Please bring your own yoga mat for floor work.

JIMENA PAZ (US/EU/AR) is an independent dancer, teacher and maker sharing her time between New York, Europe and Argentina. As a certified Feldenkrais Practitioner she has a private practice in NY and teaches internationally. Paz had the pleasure to work with Vicky Shick, Lance Gries, Susan Rethorst, the Stephen Petronio Company (‘99-‘06), Martha Clarke, Constanza Macras (Berlin), Iris Scaccheri (Buenos Aires), Burt Barr (video) Analia Segal, Virginie Yassef (France), Antonio Ramos and Todd Williams among others. Currently, she is developing a project on foreignness and a fictional and portable-landless Argentina.

Listen // Scott Davis
August 1 / 3:15-5:15pm
Founders

I’m drawn to the verb “to listen.” It implies close attention, focus.  When we dance we say “listen to your partner”; when confronted with choices we say “listen to your intuition”; when we want others to focus on us we say “listen to me.” And in the presence of music, we listen.  This class will examine how, in our contact improvisation dances, we tune our bodies to one another like we tune-in to music.  In addition to the focus on listening, this class will explore the relationship between spaciousness and stillness and spaciousness and silence. What impact do stillnesses and silences have on our dance?  On this last day of the festival you’re invited to bring your satiated body to this soft landing of gentle approaches to contact improvisation.

SCOTT DAVIS is a longtime Seattle-based dance improviser and educator. He first studied contact improvisation at Princeton University in the 1980s and has subsequently studied, performed, and taught CI technique in multiple venues, most recently at Inesperadamente in Murcia, Spain. Scott’s approach to contact is influenced by years of work and collaboration with Cyrus Khambatta, Karl Frost, and Amii LeGendre. From 2000 to 2007 he was a company member of Lingo dancetheater, a contemporary dance company under the direction of KT Niehoff. During that time his improvisation work was influenced by Katie Duck, Nina Martin, and Karen Nelson. He has toured and taught in Japan, Cuba, Ecuador, Germany, Canada and throughout the States. Scott has also collaborated with members of the dance faculty at the University of Washington and produced his own work in Seattle, New York, New Jersey and Ecuador. He was the artistic director of the Princeton Mime Company and co-founder of Loon Soup, a mime and physical theater company.  He is a founding member of the Seattle CI Lab and on faculty at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp and the Northwest School.

Dancing the Systems and Scores of Local Urban Ecologies // Jennifer Monson
August 1 / 3:15-5:15pm
Kawasaki

In this class we will explore how we use dance as a research tool to understand the patterns and systems of the environments we inhabit. In turn we will investigate the ways in which our experience of dancing in the urban environment influences our choreographic choices. Participants will create their own processes and scores as well as be introduced to the methodologies and systems Monson has developed over the past several years. Improvisation will be a primary tool. This work builds concentration, resilience and adaptability and understands the dancing body as a highly specialized perceptual apparatus. From this, experimental choreographic possibilities emerge and persist. We will meet in Kawasaki and travel together elsewhere.

JENNIFER MONSON (US) (Artistic director, choreographer and performer, iLAND-interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature and Dance) uses choreographic practice as a means to discover connections between environmental, philosophical and aesthetic approaches to knowledge and understandings of our surroundings. As Artistic Director of iLAND she creates large-scale dance projects informed and inspired by phenomena of the natural and the built environment. Her recent projects include BIRD BRAIN (2000-2011) iMAP/Ridgewood Reservoir (2007), NYC and Mahomet Aquifer Project (2009)in Illinois,  SIP(sustained immersive process)/watershed(2010) in NYC and Live Dancing Archive(2012). Her current project, in tow, is based in Urbana. Monson is on the faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign in the Dance Department and is currently a Marsh Professor at Large at the University of Vermont. She is an inaugural Doris Duke Impact Artist (2014).

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