Falling, Flying and Flow - Contact Improvisation

weekend 18 – 19 February 2023

Emerging out of postmodern dance explorations in the 1970s, Contact Improvisation is an open-ended exploration of bodies moving through physical contact: at different times quiet and meditative, wild and acrobatic, aesthetic investigation, or physical challenge and play. A bit like a “non-martial” martial art, CI builds on and integrates explorations from soft martial arts, meditation, contemporary dance, and acrobatics. We investigate the unique mechanical and sensory possibilities of bodies moving together.

The dance starts with physical listening. Through physical contact, we feel our own and our partner’s structures. With no explicit leader or follower, we give weight to each other, initiate and adapt through mutual support. Easy lifts and unpredictable movement opportunities emerge as we fall and fly together. Sometimes, the ride is a microscopic sensory experience. Sometimes, it is a wild rollercoaster through the air, challenging us to stay alert, physically ready, and adaptive.

Each workshop is a unique, improvised flow of technical exercises and open exploration of principles, following the interests and availability of the group. Bodywork is integrated into the workshop to slow down the mind and become more present in the body.

The workshop is beginner-friendly and “open level”.

For newer dancers, there is a focus on core practices and techniques. More experienced dancers explore how more advanced moves and lifts emerge organically out of attending more closely to fundamental principles. All are expected to be excited for focused work/play and be comfortable throwing themselves fully into a very physical weekend of dance exploration with lots of physical contact.

We’ll aim for a fun, playful weekend of body exploration together!

Karl Frost (USA)

He has been practicing, performing, and teaching contact improvisation and interdisciplinary, dance-based performance since the mid 1980’s in California. His work has been showcased over the last 3 decades across 5 continents, both in established institutions/universities and in independent studios and theaters. Known internationally for his dynamic movement style and for the edge-pushing nature of his work, both in process and performance, his performances take the body and emotionally and physically felt experience as their reference points. He is known for his articulate teaching and the depth of the material that he accessibly offers. He began his movement explorations in martial arts as a teenager, before expanding his studies to contemporary dance, contact improvisation, physical theater and a variety of somatic practices.

His performance work, via his company, Body Research Physical Theater, explores postdramatic works rooted in somatic psychology and paratheatrical exploration, alternating between stage productions and highly interactive performance happenings exploring audience agency and personal meaning. A base of his movement practice and teaching is the Passive Sequencing work which he has developed, cultivating ease and presence in motion, soft power through movement intelligence, and the pleasure of finer moment-to-moment awareness of self and partner in motion.

He has a BA in Physics, an MFA in Dramatic Arts, and a PhD in Ecology. Currently, he is a research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Human Behavior, Ecology, and Culture in Leipzig, Germany.

The workshop is intensive: Saturday 10:00 – 18:00 and Sunday 9:00 – 17:00. It is open to anyone regardless of age or prior experience.

Price 175 EUR. For place reservation the deposit of 48 EUR needs to be paid in advance.

Price 148 EUR if the deposit is paid before 13 February.

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