// SFDI 2014 CLASS DESCRIPTIONS + FACULTY BIOS //

Kirstie Simson_DSC_6332_Dan Merlo

Photo Dan Merlo

INTENSIVES // Kirstie Simson / Faye Driscoll / Eric Beauchesne / Michael Schumacher / Tom Koch / Neige Christenson

DROP-IN CLASSES // Darrell Jones / Linda Austin / Eric Nordstrom / Haruko Nishimura / Richard Gilman / Roel Hammerschlag / Kirstie Simson / Eric Beauchesne / Faye Driscoll / Michael Schumacher / Tom Koch / Neige Christenson / Tamin Totzke / Rachael Lincoln / Stuart Phillips / Lila Hurwitz / Alia Swersky / Amelia Reeber / Elia Mrak / Tahni Holt / Kate Wallich + more

> All Drop-in classes are $20

Go back to SFDI Main page >>

INTENSIVES

// MORNING INTENSIVE //

Alexander Technique and Improvisation Skills // Morning Somatic Intensive with Tom Koch
REGISTER July 28-30 + August 1 / 9:00-11:00am
Century Ballroom

Improvisation requires that you be in the moment, that you think in movement, that you be present without judgment, and that you remain aware of your relationship to gravity. These are also specific skills developed in learning the Alexander Technique. Day 1 will focus on the primary control of the self. Day 2 will explore constructive rest and inhibition as tools for finding freedom in movement. Day 3 will examine habitual movement compared to authentic movement. Day 4 will focus on solving specific problems through application of general principles.

New Basics of the Alexander Technique
Monkey Position
Constructive Rest

TOM KOCH (US / NL) certified to teach in 1987 by the American Center for the Alexander Technique in New York, has taught the Technique to members of Ballet Frankfurt, Nederlands Dans Theater, the Dutch National Ballet, Charleroi Danses, anoukvandijk dc, Tanztheater Wuppertal (Pina Bausch) and others. He has taught workshops in combining Alexander Technique with dance techniques together with Daniela Graça (ballet), Michael Schumacher and Vitor Garcia (improvisation) and Paul Estabrook (modern). Among his students are some of the foremost performers and creators of European dance, such as Michael Schumacher, Dana Caspersen, William Forsythe, Amanda Miller, Anouk van Dijk, and many others.


// MID-DAY INTENSIVES //

Dance Improvisation and Performance as an Approach to Life // Mid-Day Intensive with Kirstie Simson
REGISTER July 28-30 + Aug 1-2
Founders

Kirstie’s teaching draws from her knowledge of contact improvisation, dance techniques, Aikido, meditation and her extensive experience of improvisation in performance. Her work is her life practice, and as such she shares her insights into the application of this art form as a way to approaching life. She will share the knowledge she has gleaned from thirty years of practicing improvisation and performance, and the extraordinary gift this has been in her life.

KIRSTIE SIMSON (UK) Called “a force of nature” by the New York Times, Simson is an award-winning dancer and teacher who has “immeasurably enriched and expanded the boundaries of New Dance”. Kirstie is renowned as a teacher, captivating performer and leading light in the field of Dance Improvisation. She holds a position at the University of Illinois, and continues to teach and perform all over the world.

Kidd Pivot Workshop // Mid-day Intensive with Eric Beauchesne
REGISTER July 28-30 + Aug 1-2
Century Ballroom

This workshop focuses on exploring excerpts from Kidd Pivot’s repertory as well as investigating the improvisation principles which support the work. The workshop is explorative and non-performative and aims to shed light on Crystal Pite’s artistic approach.

ERIC BEAUCHESNE (CANADA) Performing with Crystal Pite’s Kidd Pivot since 2004, Eric has collaborated as rehearsal & staging director in the remount of Pite’s repertory for Cullberg Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, The Royal Swedish Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. Based in the Netherlands, Eric regularly conducts improvisation workshops has danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal as well as with Canadian contemporary dance icons such as La Fondation Jean-Pierre Perrault, Paul-André Fortier, Louise Lecavalier and Crystal Pite.

Practice More Failure // Mid-day Intensive with Faye Driscoll
REGISTER July 28-30 + Aug 1-2
Kawasaki

Let’s propose performance as a radical, messy, transformational practice where more not less is possible. In Practice More Failure we will explore the rigor of play. We will activate sensorial aliveness, move through image based improvisations, make belief, and the exploration of ecstatic states as tools to relax our perceptual rigidity, and bring more of ourselves into the practice. We will use our voices and our stories. We will get sweaty and move into our flesh. How do we experience ourselves in active relationship to our bodies, images and fantasies of ourselves, and the space and social experiences we inhabit? How do we “play” with the material of that experience?

FAYE DRISCOLL (NYC) is celebrated as one of the most original artists of her generation. A Bessie-award winning choreographer and director Driscoll is widely known for creating new forms of theatrical works presented by The New Museum, the American Dance Festival with Dance Theater Workshop, and Dance New Amsterdam. She was a member of Doug Varone and Dancers and has collaborated extensively with theater artists Young Jean Lee, Cynthia Hopkins, Taylor Mac, and NTUSA.

// AFTERNOON INTENSIVES //

Improvisation and Instant Composition // Afternoon Site-Specific Intensive with Michael Schumacher
REGISTER
July 28 / 3:15-7:15pm
July 29 / 3:15-7:15pm
August 1 / 4-8pm
August 2 / 2:45-4:45pm
In Situ

The versatile dance artist, MICHAEL SCHUMACHER (US / NL) will return to SFDI to share his extensive experience with improvisation and instant composition. For the 21st edition of SFDI, Michael will conduct a five-day intensive workshop focusing on improvisation in performance at site-specific locations. The aim of this workshop is to develop conscious presence while practicing and presenting improvised compositions, at any given location.

Shortly before the festival begins, visual artist Karl Burkheimer will re-construct his off-kilter wooden platform named InSitu at a selected location in Seattle. This beautiful architectural structure/sculpture will be the centerpiece and point of departure for the workshop with Michael.

Each session will begin with exercises that explore relationships between the immediate environment, sensory perception, and movement impulses. Underlying this practice is the constant challenge of developing our ability to both observe and participate at the same time. The dialogue between internal and external impulses will gradually be extended to include the dialogue between participants, expanding the work from solo to ensemble statements. This work will continue with a variety of structured and open scores in which the participants collectively experience spontaneously created compositions.

Introduction to Contact Improvisation // Afternoon Intensive with Neige Christenson
REGISTER July 28-29 + August 1 / 3:15-5:15pm
Kawasaki

A Contact duet can be so many things: a game, an experiment, a conversation; it is a practice of honesty and agility of both mind and body. Can we listen to each other from our spines, letting our movements radiate from this central axis with alert softness and receptivity? Can we open ourselves to the present moment, and dance with the bodies we have, right now? We will practice tuning in to our partners, reading each other’s structure, blending the leading/following roles, cooperating to enhance momentum, and listening for what the “third mind” between us wants the dance to be.

NEIGE CHRISTENSON (BOSTON) has been an avid Contact Improviser for over thirty years, as a devoted jam facilitator, teacher and performer. Her teaching encourages opening the improvisational mind and body to full physical expression and connection. She is engaged in ongoing research on the Underscore with Nancy Stark Smith and others, and supports the CI programming at Earthdance ImprovisationalRetreat in Massachusetts. Her writing on Contact Improvisation has been published in Contact Quarterly and Proximity Magazine.

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: $200
  • Velocity Class Cards not available for SFDI Drop-ins

SIGN UP FOR UNLIMITED DROP-INS AND SAVE!

sissy vogue vop // Darrell Jones
July 28 / 9:00-11:00am
Founders

sissy: …a timid man or boy considered childish or unassertive. vogue: …the popular taste at a given time. vop: … a high-spirited kick tossed in the air. This class will borrow from the aesthetics of Voguing to investigate the poetics of “battling” gracefully. Through a combination of guided dancing, movement skills and channeling states, we will play form against fluid, flight against fight, while trying to recreate the movements and mood for this (e)feminized performance ritual. The experience culminates in sparring scores that aim to release the fierceness of attack that can drive Voguing’s improvisations.

DARRELL JONES performs in the United States and abroad with a variety of choreographers and companies including Bebe Miller, Min Tanaka, Ralph Lemon, Urban Bush Women, Ronald K. Brown and KOKUMA Dance Theater. He has collaborated with other choreographers (Fiona Millward, Jeremy Wade, Angie Hauser), writers (Cheryl Boyce Taylor), musicians (Brian Schulur, Jesse Manno, NOMAD), and designers (Mahwish Syed), in dance films, documentations and interactive multimedia installations. Darrell’s choreography has been presented at The Place Theater in London, Kwanju Biennale in South Korea, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC and Judson Memorial Church in New York City and he has taught workshops and master classes throughout the United States and in other countries such as South Africa, UK, and South Korea darrelljones.net

Eyes Wide Open // Roel Hammerschlag
July 28 / 9:00-11:00am
Kawasaki

Emotional or spiritual fulfillment through contact improvisation (CI) does not come by closing your eyes and blissing out. This skills workshop emphasizes eyes-open awareness, readiness to react, and tuning in to your partner. Work begins with exercises that increase both visual awareness outside the body, and sensory awareness within the musculoskeletal system. Add CI’s ethic of taking care of yourself first. Add some skills to handle surprises, especially falling. And then learn to connect to your partner strongly, physically, energetically. THEN the magic happens.

ROEL HAMMERSCHLAG is a dance improviser, choreographer, performer and researcher. His studies began with Beth Soll in 1986, and have continued over the years with Barabara Mahler, David Dorfman, Karl Frost, Hannah Wiley and many others. Roel focuses his work in the field of contact improvisation, where the challenges of two or more bodies moving together combine demands for technique, adaptability, sensitivity and storymaking. He is particularly interested in bringing the vocabulary of contact improvisation to choreographed works. The intersection of CI technique with developmental movement theory and practice is a particularly rich source of inspiration.

(RE) ORGANIZING // Tahni Holt
July 28 / 9:00-11:00am
In Situ

The class is centered around our perceptions, sensations and feelings in regard to how we habitually situate ourselves and make decisions. By proposing new readings on complex relations (RE)ORGANIZING asks: How do we organize in relation to self, others and to environment/landscape? How do we negotiate our collective and individual assumptions and beliefs? (RE)ORGANIZING employs rigorous questions and remains open to a terrain of inquiry.

TAHNI HOLT is a choreographer, performer, teacher and organizer, based in Portland OR. Her work and teachings have been presented all over the United States. She has had the pleasure of being an Artist in Residence in Alaska, France, Greece and most recently in Romania. She is honored to be a NDP Touring Award recipient for her current work, DUET LOVE and is Executive Director of Portland’s new dance center: FLOCK. FLOCK is a dance center for movement exploration, creation and artistic practice.. All of Holt’s endeavors are shaped by her believes; convictions which invigorate proactive projects of artist-driven empowerment. www.tahniholt.com / www.flockpdx.org / www.frontpaper.tumblr.com

Seven Options // Eric Nordstrom
July 28 / 3:15-5:15pm
Century Ballroom

This class uses contact improvisation to investigate a compelling range of possibilities for movement. After a playful warm-up to encourage weight sharing, the class will introduce “Seven Options”, inspired by Carolyn Stuart, as a guide to inspire movement at the point of contact. Class culminates with a movement score offering exploration and full body dancing. Open to all levels. Beginners welcome.

ERIC NORDSTROM is a dedicated dance performer, filmmaker and teacher. His performances include years dancing with the lovely Mary Oslund and the great late Keith V. Goodman. Improvisational performances included a collaboration with Karen Nelson. As a director and editor, his films feature such prominent dancers and scholars as Ann Cooper Albright. Eric teaches dance at colleges and universities including the Ohio State University, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts. Currently, Eric is a guest artist at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

Practice More Failure //  Faye Driscoll
July 28 /  3:15-5:15pm
Kawasaki

Let’s propose performance as a radical, messy, transformational practice where more not less is possible. In Practice More Failure we will explore the rigor of play. We will activate sensorial aliveness, move through image based improvisations, make belief, and the exploration of ecstatic states as tools to relax our perceptual rigidity, and bring more of ourselves into the practice. We will use our voices and our stories. We will get sweaty and move into our flesh. How do we experience ourselves in active relationship to our bodies, images and fantasies of ourselves, and the space and social experiences we inhabit? How do we “play” with the material of that experience?

FAYE DRISCOLL (NYC) is celebrated as one of the most original artists of her generation. A Bessie-award winning choreographer and director Driscoll has become widely known for creating new forms of theatrical works that provoke feeling, stimulate the senses, and activate the mind. She was a member of Doug Varone and Dancers and has collaborated extensively with theater artists Young Jean Lee, Cynthia Hopkins, Taylor Mac, and NTUSA.

Embodied Writing Workshop // Jan Trumbauer
July 28 / 5:30-6:30pm
Kawasaki
Your writing and dancing tendencies are both manifestations of your physicality. In this workshop, you can expect to tone and stretch your writing by pushing at the timbres, textures and tempos of your physicality.

JAN TRUMBAUER moved to Seattle in the summer of 2012 from the great Midwest. She writes, creates images and plays at the intersection between movement and theatricality

Kidd Pivot Improvisation Class // Eric Beauchesne
July 29 / 9:00 – 11:00am
Founders

This improvisation class focuses on investigating and uncovering articulations and timings in the body. In this exploratory and non-performative class, participants will be invited to heighten the awareness of their senses, make inquiries about the spine’s rich possibilities, and invest their creative mind in a conversation both within their own bodies and with other partakers. Aiming to give equal opportunities to instinct and intellect this workshop is influenced by mindfulness techniques as well as an extensive collaboration with choreographer Crystal Pite.

Born in Québec, ERIC BEAUCHESNE has danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal as well as with Canadian contemporary dance icons such as La Fondation Jean-Pierre Perrault, Paul-André Fortier, Louise Lecavalier and Crystal Pite. Performing with Kidd Pivot since 2004, Eric has also collaborated as rehearsal & staging director for Cullberg Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, The Royal Swedish Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater in the remount of Pite’s repertory. Based in the Netherlands, Eric regularly conducts improvisation workshops and has recently collaborated with Peter Bingham and Christian Burns on several improvisation research projects.

What The Hell // Stuart Phillips
July 29 / 9:00-11:00am
Kawasaki

As we delve into receiving & surprising ourselves in this form, through this form, what we put into our dance affects the output. How do we deal with the nitty gritty stuff that we experience in ci dancing relationship? This class allows us to concentrate our reception on being with what & how our signals present, upgrading how we deal with what we’re dealing with with positive experiential results through addressing perception. What we get from the dance informs & affects how we experience life as constant metaphor from this ever so important dance.

STUART PHILLIPS has been & continues to devotionally Teach, Perform & Research CI Dance since the early ’80s throughout America, Canada, Europe & New Zealand. He concentrates his viewpoint on the Poignant Psychology inherent in each dance, so we get out of this dance exactly what there is, concentrating on how we perceive, hence how we change. Website at www.stulip6.wix.com

verge // Darrell Jones
July 29 /  3:15-5:15pm
Century Ballroom

This c;ass focuses on bringing who we are into the room (sexually, racially, gendered…) and moving individually and in partnership with that idea. Many of the exercises come out of my work with Bebe Miller Company where “the event of touch”, the situations that happen before and after the moment of contact, supply as much information as the arrival. This is used as a starting place to go into skills such as reading other bodies, perpendicular/parallel relationships and problem solving through movement.

DARRELL JONES performs in the United States and abroad with a variety of choreographers and companies including Bebe Miller, Min Tanaka, Ralph Lemon, Urban Bush Women, Ronald K. Brown and KOKUMA Dance Theater. He has collaborated with other choreographers (Fiona Millward, Jeremy Wade, Angie Hauser), writers (Cheryl Boyce Taylor), musicians (Brian Schulur, Jesse Manno, NOMAD), and designers (Mahwish Syed), in dance films, documentations and interactive multimedia installations. Darrell’s choreography has been presented at The Place Theater in London, Kwanju Biennale in South Korea, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC and Judson Memorial Church in New York City and he has taught workshops and master classes throughout the United States and in other countries such as South Africa, UK, and South Korea. darrelljones.net

Time/Space Flexing Desire: Dance // Linda Austin
July 29 / 3:15-5:15pm
Founders

If dancing is a mashup of time twined with space flexing impulse brewed by desire and aversion….how do we trace what we pay attention to? Especially when interacting with competing constellation of space/time/desire surging forth from other dancers? We will use strategies gleaned from Deborah Hay, Lisa Nelson’s Tuning Scores and my years of working and playing in the studio to experience, measure and shift our movement energies, perceptions, interests, responses to stimuli and levels of intimacy with the space, other dancers, and witnesses.

LINDA AUSTIN both delights in and is provoked by how her own dance practices and obsessions contradict each other. She has been creating and performing improvised and composed dance and performance for more than 30 years, while fostering the creation of her own and many others’ work through Performance Works NorthWest for more than a decade. Her work has been performed at Danspace Project and PS 122 in New York; at Conduit, Performance Works, On the Boards and TBA Festival in Portland. Awards include Fellowships in Choreography from the Oregon Arts Commission and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Drop-in Class with Michael Schumacher
July 30 /  9:00-11:00am
Founders

Class description coming soon!

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER (US / NL) has been a member of several groundbreaking companies, including Ballet Frankfurt, Twyla Tharp Dance, Feld Ballet, Pretty Ugly Dance Company, and Katie Duck’s Magpie Music Dance Company. Working as dancer, choreographer, and teacher Schumacher has developed a unique approach to the discipline of improvisation. He resides in Amsterdam and conducts workshops in movement analysis and improvisation worldwide.

Trio Superpowers! // Neige Christenson
July 30 / 9:00-11:00am
Kawasaki

Contact Improvisation is primarily a duet form, but there are wonderful possibilities when a third partner becomes a creative and exciting enhancement to a dance, accentuating momentum instead of interrupting it. We will explore ways to connect with multiple partners to encourage lovely lifts, melting falls, and moments of easy suspension and flow. For experienced Contact dancers who are ready to expand the usual dyad-bubble and engage in some delicious disorientation.

NEIGE CHRISTENSON (Boston) has been an avid Contact Improviser for over thirty years, as a devoted jam facilitator, teacher and performer. Her teaching encourages opening the improvisational mind and body to full physical expression and connection. She is engaged in ongoing research on the Underscore with Nancy Stark Smith and others, and supports the CI programming at Earthdance ImprovisationalRetreat in Massachusetts. Her writing on Contact Improvisation has been published in Contact Quarterly and Proximity Magazine.

Inner/Outer Topography // Alia Swersky
July 30 / 9:00-11:00am
In Situ

In this site-specific focused class, we begin with paying attention to how we inhabit and relate to our inner landscape. We will play with the sensations of our internal impulses, our desires and our inherent connection with our perceptual responses to inner and outer landscapes. Our explorations will expand into a direct relationship with the topography of the In-Site structure.  Our sensory experience of the site will culminate in solo and group improvisations within the frame of Lisa’ Nelson’s Solo Replay score.

ALIA SWERSKY is a movement artist, performer and teacher. She has been teaching improvisation and creative process techniques at Cornish College of the Arts since 2005 and has been an active artist in the Seattle dance community since 1998. Alia is also a Nutritional Therapist and her work as a movement artist is imbedded in her interest in guiding people towards embodied healing states.

Alexander Technique, Monkeys, Lizards and Us // Tom Koch
July 31 / 1:00-3:00pm
Founders

The Alexander Technique teaches us that a lengthening spine is the basis for healthy coordination, but almost all of us have developed habits that interfere with this natural state. In this workshop we will draw inspiration from our recent and more distant evolutionary cousins to find simple ways to avoid this interference and so move with more length, grace and ease.

TOM KOCH (US / NL) certified to teach in 1987 by the American Center for the Alexander Technique in New York, has taught the Technique to members of Ballet Frankfurt, Nederlands Dans Theater, the Dutch National Ballet, Charleroi Danses, anoukvandijk dc, Tanztheater Wuppertal (Pina Bausch) and others. He has taught workshops in combining Alexander Technique with dance techniques together with Daniela Graça (ballet), Michael Schumacher and Vitor Garcia (improvisation) and Paul Estabrook (modern). Among his students are some of the foremost performers and creators of European dance, such as Michael Schumacher, Dana Caspersen, William Forsythe, Amanda Miller, Anouk van Dijk, and many others.

Feldenkrais® for Dancers // Lila Hurwitz
July 31 / 3:15-5:15pm
Founders

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 for the past 19 years. 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, designed Contact Quarterly magazine for 11 years, co-produced SFDI for 18 years, and was Associate & Communications Director of Artist Trust. She currently is helping artists, bodyworkers, and other individuals and organizations navigate the vast world of communications (www.doolittleandbird.com).

The Samurai Project: Master Class // Elia Mrak
August 1 / 9:00-11:00am
Founders

This master class will be an overture of the 3 week residency we are doing in partnership with Velocity Dance Center beginning the week after SFDI ends. It will highlight the way we teach technique, improvisation, and composition, and explain how it fits into the scope of our larger year-long project.

We are building the project through the 3 host cities of Buenos Aires, Seattle and Mexico City. In each city, we will research and compose through the workshop and with the community, culminating in a presentation of 3 dancers. We will start in Buenos Aires, and use the workshop to play with ideas, research and create a trio of 3 local dancers to present at the end of the workshop. Viko, Martin and Elia will then travel to Seattle, bringing along 1 dancer (not necessarily paid for) from the Buenos Aires workshop, and continue working in Seattle with a similar structure. We will use the 2 weeks of workshop and community class in Seattle to continue refining our research. For the final week (residency week) we will select 3 dancers refine the work further, creating a final product for them to present as a final piece. We will invite (not necessarily paid for) a dancer from Seattle to be part of the process as it continues in Mexico City. There, we will present the trio of Viko, Martin and Elia, in a larger piece with 3 Mexican dancers. In each city, we will teach a workshop and we will leave a finished trio that can continue to be presented and toured. Each trio in each city will be distinct, but connected by the same roots and process.

VIKO HERNANDEZ. contemporary dancer. former engineer. mexico city.

MARTIN PILIPONSKY. folk dancer. former architect. buenos aires.

ELIA MRAK. bboy dancer. former economist.

The Samurai Project is about 3 guys, from 3 continents, who share a language — often english, sometimes spanish, and always a physical technique that enables them to be storytellers. Yhrough teaching, directing, and performing, they share their imagination through their body.

Duets // Rachael Lincoln
August 1 / 9:00-11:00am
Kawasaki

This class will explore the often instant but constantly changing relationship between two people dancing within the particulars of each present moment. Dancing with, performing for, and witnessing each other, we will focus on retaining, recalling, or scoring these temporary partnerships in order to become more aware of the physical, theatrical, emotional, energetic, and intangible choices we make.

RACHAEL LINCOLN makes, performs, and teaches dance. She is particularly interested in collaboration, improvising set material, and the indeterminate relationships between movement, sound, images, and meaning. She has performed her work and taught in venues including Sophiensaele Theater in Berlin, Theater Artaud in San Francisco, The Bytom Dance Festival in Poland, and the Indonesian International Dance Festival. In addition to her own work, Rachael co-directs Lean-to-Productions with collaborator Leslie Seiters and has danced with The Joe Goode Performance Group and Bandaloop. She recently moved from San Francisco to Seattle to join the dance faculty at UW.

Elements Within // Amelia Reeber
August 1 / 3:15-5:15pm
Century Ballroom

In this class we will connect to the principles of the 5 elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, recognizing and embodying qualities of each in a fluid way to restore balance and harmony within our own bodyminds.

AMELIA REEBER is a Seattle based choreographer, performer, improviser, and BodyTalk Practitioner. She works with dance as a medium of self-knowledge, inquiry, celebration, and transformation; performance as a vehicle for deep connection, currency, dialogue, imagination, and clear presence in flow…both facilitating the transformation and movement of energy. Amelia has created/toured her own work as well as had the pleasure of touring the work of Pat Graney and seminal choreographer Deborah Hay.

Dance Improvisation and Performance as an Approach to Life // Kirstie Simson
August 1 / 3:15-5:15pm
Founders

Kirstie’s teaching draws from her knowledge of contact improvisation, dance techniques, Aikido, meditation and her extensive experience of improvisation in performance.

Her work is her life practice, and as such she shares her insights into the application of this art form as a way to approaching life. She will share the knowledge she has gleaned from thirty years of practicing improvisation and performance, and the extraordinary gift this has been in her life.

KIRSTIE SIMSON (UK), has been a continuous explosion in the contemporary dance scene, bringing audiences into contact with the vitality of pure creation in moment after moment of virtuoso improvisation. Called “a force of nature” by the New York Times, she is an award-winning dancer and teacher who has “immeasurably enriched and expanded the boundaries of New Dance. Kirstie is renowned today as an excellent teacher, a captivating performer and a leading light in the field of Dance Improvisation. She currently holds a position at the University of Illinois, and continues to teach and perform all over the world.

Dance Church // Kate Wallich
August 2 / 9:00-11:00am
Century Ballroom

This class is tailored not only for the highly trained dancer but also to those who have little or no training.  Based on a series of images and metaphors, the class is lead through various movement states and cues (ie. shaking, softness, thickness).  While we attempt to push beyond aesthetics, we are also able to bring awareness to our habitual bodies, noticing without judgment how we move as individuals and within a group. The class culminates into an hour and fifteen minutes of listening, exploring, acknowledging, and dancing on pop music.  It’s like the dance party you wanted to have last night.

KATE WALLICH is a choreographer who creates dance performance and films mostly in collaboration with her company, The YC.  Her work with The YC has been presented by Velocity Dance Center, On The Boards, Seattle International Dance Festival, Bumbershoot, Rauschenberg Project Space, and Northwest Film Forum among others.  Kate’s choreography has also been commissioned/presented by Northwest Dance Project, Strictly Seattle, City Arts, Henry Art Gallery and Springboard Danse Montreal.  Kate has received creative residencies for her work with The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, MANA Contemporary/Armitage Gone! Dance, and Velocity Dance Center’s Creative Residency and Made in Seattle dance development program.  She received her training from Interlochen Arts Academy and holds a BFA Magna Cum Laude from Cornish College of the Arts.

Playful Legs, Curious Spine // Tamin Totzke
August 2 / 9:00-11:00am
Founders

Class focuses on a playful exploration of accentuating our legs and spine to enliven our contact dancing. We work to sensitize the legs to be as gentle and articulate as the hands, while maintaining their strong and stable nature. Connecting into our centers, our legs find mobility to push/pull, counterbalance and create newfound ledges. Our curious spines find freedom in guiding us off balance to connect back to our partners through our newly activated legs. Expect to move at slower pace, moving with eyes open and eyes closed, remaining conscious and not shying away from clumsy.

TAMIN TOTZKE has danced CI for 18 years and will never stop. She is an improviser, choreographer and dance educator with an MFA in dance from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Tamin has taught throughout Asia and the US in universities and festivals including West Coast Contact Festival, Earthdance, Moab and SFDI. She has danced with Kirstie Simson in an improvisation company, Compost Q, and worked with Jennifer Monson, BodyCartography and Benno Voorham. Tamin most recently finished a film project that toured through Mongolia, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan exploring dance improvisation as a vehicle for the storytelling of sacred places.

Dancing with Objects // Richard Gilman
August 2 / 9:00-11:00am
Kawasaki

In this class we will explore the challenges of creating solo dances with objects. Bring an object that you want to dance with to the class, sometimes it is useful to bring a costume as well. We will explore developing a character for the dance, creating a relationship with the object, finding a shape for the piece, and discovering what kind of movement the object suggests. We may then combine some of the solo work into group improvisations. The pieces may be comic or dramatic, and we will look at finding an appropriate style for the dance.

RICHARL GILMAN has been teaching Acting and Improvisation at Emerson College in Boston for twenty years. He has performed in theaters from San Diego to Edinburgh to Moscow. He has studied Viewpoints with Mary Overlie and Anne Bogart, and has participated in SFDI for twelve years. During that time he has created a number of solo dances with found objects. He will be sharing his experiences in developing these dances in his class.

I get lost. . . // Darrell Jones
August 2 / 3:15-5:15pm
Century Ballroom

This class inquiry is grounded in my extensive investigation with Ralph Lemon into structures and tactics for training the body to go to the edge of the physical experience. The idea of altered states is important to this trajectory, and we will explore entering these from a physical vantage point. Through disorientation studies, solo forms and group provocations, we will address the body and performance space as a site for transgression, transcendence and transformation.

DARRELL JONES performs in the United States and abroad with a variety of choreographers and companies including Bebe Miller, Min Tanaka, Ralph Lemon, Urban Bush Women, Ronald K. Brown and KOKUMA Dance Theater. He has collaborated with other choreographers (Fiona Millward, Jeremy Wade, Angie Hauser), writers (Cheryl Boyce Taylor), musicians (Brian Schulur, Jesse Manno, NOMAD), and designers (Mahwish Syed), in dance films, documentations and interactive multimedia installations. Darrell’s choreography has been presented at The Place Theater in London, Kwanju Biennale in South Korea, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC and Judson Memorial Church in New York City and he has taught workshops and master classes throughout the United States and in other countries such as South Africa, UK, and South Korea darrelljones.net

Darrell has performed with artists such as Ronald K. Brown, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Min Tanaka and has had long-term creative relationships with artists Bebe Miller and Ralph Lemon.

Collaboration is prominent in his choreographic practice and he has worked with other choreographers, Kirstie Simson, Angie Hauser, Lisa Gonzales, writers, musicians, and designers, in dance films, documentation and interactive multimedia installations.

Along with his own choreographic work, he continues to research improvisation and the voguing aesthetic as vital parts of his artistic practice. Darrell is presently a tenured faculty member at The Dance Center of Columbia College in Chicago.

Imagery → Improvisation // Eric Nordstrom
August 2 / 3:15-5:15pm
Founders

This class explores playful and powerful images to broaden your improvisation palette. Come experience how rich and specific imagery can expand your movement options. Class starts slow and simple with a focus on breath, and then builds into an hour and a half of continuous motion through solo and duet work. Class culminates with a movement score offering moments of observation and vibrant contact improvisation. Throughout, carefully chosen images give insight to anatomical structure and quality of movement. Prior experience with contact improvisation recommended.

ERIC NORDSTROM is a dedicated dance performer, filmmaker and teacher. His performances include years dancing with the lovely Mary Oslund and the great late Keith V. Goodman. Improvisational performances included a collaboration with Karen Nelson. As a director and editor, his films feature such prominent dancers and scholars as Ann Cooper Albright. Eric teaches dance at colleges and universities including the Ohio State University, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts. Currently, Eric is a guest artist at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

Embodiment and Presence // Haruko Nishimura
August 2 / 3:15-5:15pm
Kawasaki

This class will explore what it means to be moved through deep listening and the guidance of sound and specific imagery. We let go of our individual will to manifest shapes and surrender to the richness of the present. My training is rooted in butoh dance, physical theater, improvisation and music. We will practice tuning into what the space, our body’s subtle energies and our  physical memories can move through us. We will practice both playfulness as well as pushing ourselves to our edge.We will hone our embodiment and observation, bearing witness to each other’s discoveries. In addition to dancers and performers, creative and curious people from all walks of life are welcome  including those with no movement experience.

HARUKO NISHIMURA is a dancer/choreographer and co-director of Degenerate Art Ensemble(DAE). She creates large scale collaborative experimental dance and theater projects, concerts, site-transforming spectacles and ongoing public experimentation. Her work with DAE was the subject of a major exhibition at the Frye Art Museum in 2011, was commissioned by director Robert Wilson in 2012, collaborated with the Kronos Quartet in 2013 and is currently undertaking a collaboration with Olson Kundig Architects. Haruko is constantly pushing the boundaries of her medium; dancing in the street, creating rituals for strangers and performing and directing experimental ensembles.

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