Teachers

Warsaw Flow > Teachers

TEACHERS AND ARTISTS

MIRVA MÄKINEN

FIN

Antoine Ragot

FR/DE

Iwona Olszowska

PL

Pawel Konior

PL

Edo Ceder

IL

Nica Portavia

IT

Filip Wencki

PL/DE

Michał Ratajski

PL

Magdalena Brzozowska

PL

Paweł Kubiak

PL

Hanna Jurczak

PL

Tomasz Kowalski

PL

Colleen Bartley

UK

Zuzanna Bukowski

PL/DE

Klara Łucznik

PL/UK

Paulina Święcańska

PL

Sveta Bird

UA

Daniel Dragoescu

RO

Ksenia Opria

UA/PL

Julian Zubek

PL

Ewa Szubstarska

PL/IL

Nita Little

USA

MUSIC

KASIA TEKIELSKA

PL

MACIEJ REMISZEWSKI

PL

Phao Sanato

PL

MIRVA MÄKINEN

FIN

Mirva graduated as a Doctor of Dance from the University of Arts in Helsinki in 2018. Her doctoral research focuses on Somaesthetics of Contact Improvisation. In 2000, she completed her Master’s Degree (MA) in the Dance Department at the University of Arts, Finland. She also holds a master’s degree in Physical Education earned at the University of Jyväskylä.
From 2000 onwards, she has been a dance teacher, choreographer and lecturer for dance at the Kallio Upper Secondary School of Performing Arts. In addition, she has been teaching in several international dance and contact improvisation festivals. Mirva has been working with many different dance companies and choreographers. Here are a few of them: Dance company Karttunen Kollektiv, New Circus Company Circo Aereo, choreographer Joona Halonen, Echo Echo dance company, collaboration with Frey Faust and collaboration with Joerg Hassmann. At the moment, she is working with a Finnish choreographer Valtteri Raekallio.

Photo: Kim Saarinen, on photo: Mirva Mäkinen & Katja Mustonen
Face Photo: Borys Boryshenko

Antoine Ragot

FR/DE

Antoine is devoted to practice and research in the field of contemporary dance, improvisation, contact improvisation, athletic techniques and somatics. He runs a yearly educational program within an artist-run initiative, Lake Studios in Berlin, bringing many years of teaching and coaching through the lens of the Axis Syllabus.

For more details, see his website:

CI with Antoine:

IWONA OLSZOWSKA

PL

Iwona is a dancer, improviser, choreographer and dance teacher. She is a certificated Somatic Movement Educator in Body-Mind Centering; the founder and artistic director of Experimental Dance Studio EST in Kraków (Cracow, Poland). Her artistic and teaching practice draws from contemporary dance techniques and somatic movement practices. She studied extensively with Milan Kozanek, Rey Chunk, Eckhard Muller, Yaniv Mintzer, Benno Voorham, Steve Bats, Joerg Hassman, Adrian Russi and Nancy Stark Smith.
Her artistic practice includes choreographic works, improvisation projects, site-specific works, as well as collaborations with musicians. She dances, performs and teaches at festivals and workshops all over Europe. She performed at the Improvisation Festival at Judson Church in New York, at George Washington University and at Dartington College, England. Recently has worked with the musician Marcin Janus and the multimedia designer Grzegorz Kaliszuk, as well as, within the contact improvisation projects, with Renata Piotrowska, Michael Schumacher, Natalia Iwaniec, Anna Haracz and Pawel Konior.

Paweł Konior

PL

Paweł is a performer, dancer and teacher. After graduating from the Academy of Physical Education and Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, he worked as a dancer and performer in Holland, Belgium and Poland for several years. He collaborated with such artists as Rita Vilhena, Pedro Goucha, Einat Tuchman, More Shani, T.r.a.s.h Company, Ugo Dehaes, Tomasz Wygoda, Iwona Olszowska. In addition, in his childhood Paweł used to train in gymnastics, tennis, and running. His sports background had a significant impact on his way of dancing and thinking about movement. His way of teaching is based on an organic and fluid way of moving.

Improvisation is intertwined with technique, body awareness and playfulness.
Among others, he has studied C.I. with Iwona Olszowszka, Ray Chung, Andrew Harwood, Nancy Stark Smith, Tal Avni, Joerg Hassman and Daniel Werner.

Edo Ceder

IL

Edo started to dance in his late 20’s, and since then, he has been performing, teaching, creating and producing dance. He created and performed in Israel, China, Armenia, Germany and Poland. He has been teaching Contact and Improvisation in Israel and abroad since 2006. He has a 2nd Dan in traditional Japanese Jujitsu and has taught children and adults. He’s also worked with people through the somatic “Grinberg Method”. He is a member of the Israeli Choreographers Association and the Israeli Contact Improvisation Association. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and is an M.A Dance candidate.

Currently, Edo lives and creates in Tel Aviv. He teaches weekly CI and Improvisation classes and facilitates CI Jams.

He is also a CEO and co-founder of a startup developing a smart wearable breathing sensor enhancing emotional regulation

More about Edo’s work at

Nica Portavia

IT

Nica was born in Fano, the centre of Italy. She started studying dance as a child, cultivating also a passion for the theatre. After school, she moved to Bologna to attend the University of Letters with a BA in Italian Philology. In Bologna, she came across CI for the first time, and since then it has become her dance language and biggest love.
She started travelling and studying worldwide with many different teachers, such as Linda Bufali, Charlie Morrissey, K.J. Holmes, Otto Ramstad, Martin Keogh, Anjelika Doniy, Leilani Weis, Nita Little and Daniel Lepkoff.

She fell in love with Body Mind Centering, and started studying and practising it, combining it with dance skills. She followed a training on Material for the Spine by Steve Paxton, where she had a great pleasure to meet Steve and study with him, diving completely into his research. Then, she continued her own research on Material For the Spine in Contact Improvisation.

She has taught in numerous international CI festivals, including France, Germany, Ukraine, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Russia, Serbia.
She co-organises ItalyContactFest and is a part of the team of ECITE 2022 Portugal (International CI Teachers Exchange). She is also in the team of the CI Global Calendar, an organisation which disseminates CI worldwide.

Filip Wencki

PL/DE

Filip has been dancing and working in physical theatre for over a decade. Simultaneously, he has been sharing his accumulating knowledge about body and movement around the world i.a. Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, France, Sweden, Colombia, Mexico, Thailand and Malaysia). In recent years, he has been interested in exploring original teaching methods searching for the perfect mind-body fusion and intense expression.

Michał Ratajski

PL

Teacher, dancer, performer, peaceful warrior. For 27 years, a constant researcher, practitioner, seeker in the field of movement, martial arts, dance and theatre. He develops his knowledge through constantly fueled curiosity, the greatest driving force behind his actions.
Founder and Artistic Director of the International Contact Improvisation Festival – FRU and the KIJO Dance Theatre, co-founder of the Contact Improvisation Academy – AKI. Lecturer at the Academy of Music in Łódź (Institute of Choreography and Dance Techniques), curator of the AOIA Dance Stage, member of the Program Council – Touch the Theatre, creator of his original method I_GO_SYSTEM (Movement Practise Philosophy). Winner of several awards and scholarships, including the Alternative Academy of Dance Scholarship in Poznań and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage creative scholarships in Poland. By creating the stage movement, he collaborates with theatres in Poland.

What is I_GO_SYSTEM?:

Martial Arts in Contact Improvisation:

Michał Ratajski KO_n—TAKT:

It is the moment to STOP:

Magdalena Brzozowska

PL

Since the birth of her daughter, Magdalena has been interested in natural and free embodied development and non-verbal communication. In her work with children, she uses contact improvisation, free movement, and developmental movement approaches. She draws inspiration from physical games involving the adult and the child together, in a shared practice of contact and communication, with the principle of equal partnership and mutual listening through the body.
She developed her dance practice as a performer of international groups and at festivals and workshops in, i.a. Great Britain, Germany, Israel and Poland. She is a creator and dancer of multiple improvised performances. Coordinator of projects for children at the PERFORM Art Foundation. Teacher at the 11th edition of the Warsaw CI Flow and CI Lab for children and adults – “Creating with a body, shaping with movement”. She was awarded the “Contact with the child” Kultura w Sieci scholarship in 2020. She is a founder of the “Contact with kids” project, co-leading (with her daughter) movement workshops for children and adults that facilitate shared play through movement and dance. Host and originator of the project “Let’s see each other”
Maja Brzozowska – co-facilitator. A joyful and energetic 9-year-old who loves movement and challenges. Always eager to join “rollers”, frolics, jumps and flips. In her free time, she climbs trees or knits a hat.

Paweł Kubiak

PL

Paweł is an educator and dancer. He graduated from CUUD Breath Integration School. During his studies in Poznań, he worked in a forest kindergarten, led CI classes and movement workshops for parents and children. He is currently travelling around France repairing camping houses and looking for opportunities to dance in various places. In his spare time, he plays the didgeridoo and practices Feldenkrais Method. He enjoys learning new things, doing less and following his curiosity.

Hanna Jurczak

PL

Dancer, performer, psychotherapist. She has been practising contact improvisation for 12 years. Member of the Sztuka Ciała Foundation (FSC), cooperates with PERFORM Artistic Foundation, teaches at the Holistic Trainers School (PL). She graduated from choreographic training at Hurtownia Ruchu in Kraków (directed by Iwona Olszowska) and a year-long Laban Bartenieff Movement Systems programme. She co-founded an improvisation ensemble in Dorożkarnia (Warsaw, PL). Since 2018, she has gathered experience in directing the performances ( “DREAMING/WOMAN IMAGE” (2021), “LightShadows” with Thierry Verger, 2021), the site-specific piece (Passionate Associations, Wawer, 2019) within the framework of “Bielańskie Encounters with Art”, in Poland, and the film “Inner Dance”. Earlier, she led creative processes with amateurs within the framework of FSC activities and the “Summer at the Theatre” project. She creates visualisations for performances and workshops for various audiences. Hanna is also a co-founder of the “Center in the Field”, a holistic development centre in Mazuria (PL).

Contact improvisation interests me as an encounter, co-creation, a source of constant loss and finding harmony between individual expression and coexistence in duo, trio and a group.

Tomasz Kowalski

PL

Dance teacher, photographer, activist, educator of non-formal education. A graduate of the Academy of Music. Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz in Łódź, specializing in choreography and dance techniques. He experiences, develops and fulfils himself in motion, sourcing from such techniques as ci, improvisation, contemporary dance, dance theatre, traditional dances, and breakdance.

He is the originator of the Harmony Art idea, a meld of dance, spiritual development, film and photography – originating art from the surrounding world, with attention to the sense of harmony between the creator, viewer and form of expression. This idea allows finding a balance where it is needed. Through workshops, projects, writing and social action.

He studies and shares his passions in Poland and worldwide (including Portugal, Germany, Spain, Greece, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, Guatemala), working with theatres, non-governmental organisations, foundations, companies and artists. Among others: Chorea Theater, Rosanna Gamson, Arte Ego Foundation, City Council of Łódź, Sztuka Ciało Foundation, OSiR Wawer, Escola Superior de Danca, Agora Aveiro, Kreisau Initiative, Blossin Foundation, Helen Poynor, Pitsas Camp, Ma-Uri institute.

Collen Bartley

UK

Colleen co-edited Contact Quarterly CI Newsletter with Nancy Stark Smith from 2012 – 2020 and is currently on the team for CQ’s online Rolling Edition alongside Karen Nelson and Rosemary Carroll edited by founder Lisa Nelson. She edited dancelifeworld in Steve Paxton: Drafting Interior Techniques the catalogue of the Culturgest exhibition in Portugal. She was in the Round Robin Project creating the Global CI Calendar and Archive. She co-authored Cultivating Emergence: Poiesis and Research in Contact Improvisation with Nita Little. She’s organized documentation of ECITE in Spain, France, Poland and Hungary.

She’s currently researching Cripping CI – the perspective of dancers who identify as disabled and their artistic practice with CI to be published in a book of critical essays for CI@50:Critical Mass. Her invisible disability informs all of her work and CI has been a resource in daily life. She believes that its everyone’s birthright to move, that people are inherently creative, that movement is our first language, and sees dance as a way to empower people, to effect social change and to build community.

London Contact Improvisation:

Zuzanna Bukowski

PL/DE

Zuzanna has been deepening her embodiment practice under influence of various international contact improvisation and contemporary dance teachers. At this moment, she is deeply interested in applying Axis Syllabus principles into CI, as well as the Underscore structure. Zuzanna started dance at the age of 4 and continued her embodiment practices through martial arts, ballet, yoga, modern dance, Body Mind Centering and Axis Syllabus.
She is passionate about the impact of connection between body and mind which she continues to discover through her work in coaching, IT, dance and yoga.
Teaching dance, co-organizing the Thailand Contact & Movement Arts Festival and working as an IT Consultant gives her the balance between headspace and movement art.

Klara Łucznik

PL/UK

Klara is a dance artist, improviser and researcher experimenting with multiple disciplinary collaborations for various settings, including galleries and public spaces. She explores both ensemble and CI tools, studying the nature of human interactions. She works with the practice of listening with all the senses to build a unique connection with others, in physical contact and through space. Klara studied with, i.a., Adam Benjamin, Nancy S. Smith, Kirstie Simson, Charlie Morrison, and Iwona Olszowska. She is in the Bristol Collab research group on somatic communication in dance improvisation (directed by Nita Little).
Klara is also a researcher; she obtained her PhD studying creative processes, communication and shared flow experience of improvising dance ensembles. In her current research, she uses somatic education and dance improvisation tools to deepen the understanding of embodied cognition.

Paulina Święcańska

PL

Multidisciplinary artist working in the field of dance, film, painting and broadly understood cultural animation alongside coaching through art.

Since 2011, she has been a co-founder of the Perform Art Foundation, where he develops educational and research activities in Poland as well as in cooperation with foreign partners within the ERASMUS + program. She actively works as a choreographer creating inclusive works for people with physical disabilities, seniors, and young people. In her artistic work, she engages with professional artists from multiple fields of art as well as amateurs and enthusiasts, creating projects at the border of art, education and social action. She is passionate about site-specific activities for local communities.

Her way of embodied working includes such methods as contact improvisation, authentic movement, improvisation, bodywork, floor work, animal flow and pilates.

Since 2019, she has been involved in intuitive painting VEDIC ART, pouring, and, since 2021, in naurography.

Sveta Bird

UA

Sveta is a professional dancer, performer, choreographer, dance teacher, organiser of festivals and workshops on CI and everything around CI. Certified massage therapist of Chiang Mai school (Thailand). She has been dancing since her childhood. For the last 16 years, she has been exploring Contact Improvisation, sometimes looking into other body-oriented practices.

Daniel Dragoescu

RO

Artist, dancer, director, music producer/DJ, founder and teacher of Metamotion. Also, a certified massage therapist (Chiang Mai School, Thailand). As a performer and dancer, he brings together different art forms (butoh, Contact Improvisation, hip-hop, freestyle) and collaborates with theatres and performance groups. In addition, he creates visual poetry and dance films.

Metamotion – an ongoing exploration of the human experience in the BodyMindSoul through various practices, including dance, contemplation, martial arts, qigong, ideokinesis etc. The art of free-flow as a way of knowing yourself and living from the heart.

Ksenia Opria

UA/PL

Born in Kiev, currently based in Warsaw, studied in Finland, connected to Israel. Ksenia is a CI dancer, Ilan Lev Method practitioner and movement facilitator, interweaving somatic practices into her work. She curates and produces somatic-based events for people with diverse backgrounds and experiments with self-organised structures. She takes part in the Moving-into-Soft-Skills project.

“Contact Improvisation has been and continuously is a source of experience, learning and practice for me. Recently I have been fascinated with the way movement creates forms and patterns. An invisible architecture of life”.

Ksenia and Linda duet:

Moving into soft skills:

Portret photo by Poruszone, Teresa Więcko

Julian Zubek

PL

A research fellow at the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Warsaw, a Human Interactivity and Language Lab member. He researches the border between psycholinguistics and artificial intelligence. He is fascinated with the dynamic aspects of interpersonal interactions and explores people’s ability to coordinate on many levels and time scales. He treats movement coordination that occurs spontaneously between people as the key to understanding the basic social mechanisms that determine the formation of language and culture. He dances CI and practices Chinese martial arts.

This year, together with Klara Łucznik, he is co-organising an event accompanying the festival: CI Science Day.

Ewa Szubstarska

PL/IL

Ewa is a Polish but Israel-based dancer, teacher and choreographer. She found CI as a contemporary dancer in 2005 at Milan Kozanek’s workshop and has been diving into it in many forms and gatherings ever since. She loves to explore new dimensions and stories within the technique. Essential influences for her work come from Body-Mind-Centering, Release-Techniques and Butoh. CI is an inspiration for her artistic work but also gives her tools to deal with everyday life.

Nita Little

USA

Nita is an activist for relational intelligence through improvisational dance practices that began with the emergence and development of Contact Improvisation (CI) in 1972, a path provoked by Steve Paxton. Nita has remained on the cutting edge of this practice for 50 years, training generations of Contact Improvisation practitioners and teachers worldwide, A dancer, teacher, choreographer, and dance theorist, Little received her PhD in Performance Studies in 2014. She now returns to international touring invited by dance companies, festivals, conferences and universities to teach, lecture, and compose emergent events. Her writing investigates ecological actions of attention and the creative potentials present in entangled relations. She directs an international network of dance research ensembles – the Institute for the Study of Somatic Communication (the ISSC) which has remained in suspension with the pandemic, but will return to practice soon.

KASIA TEKIELSKA

PL

A viola graduate of the Academy of Music. St. Moniuszko in Gdańsk and Koninklijk Vlaams Conservatorium in Antwerp. She also plays the violin, sings and composes her own music. She performs in both classical music concerts and those related to other music genres. She has worked with bands, such as The Frozen North (post-rock), Ba Bu (original cover arrangements for three voices and looper) and with Emma Bonnici (folk, traditional songs).

She engages with various art genres, i.e. composing music for dance performances (series of performances ‘Connected’ / Fundacja Sztuka Ciała) and drawing inspiration from painting and sculpture. In 2014, at the Museum of Modern Art, she presented, together with a group of independent artists, a series of concerts bringing echoes from the exhibition of the sculptor Maria Bartuszova. In 2015, she created music for the radio play based on St. Barańczak’s “Winter Journey” (Studium Teatralne). In 2017, alongside Dominika Jarosz, she played music for a concert inspired by Angelika Kauffmann’s painting “Ariadne Abandoned by Theseus” (at the exhibition of one painting, Łazienki Królewskie). In addition, she regularly connects with dancers, creating live music for improvisations.

Currently, she is working on solo material. She is passionate about baroque vocal music, which she explores under the eye and ear of Dr Agnieszka Budzińska Bennet.

MACIEJ REMISZEWSKI

PL

Maciej creates improvised music, using various instruments and basing it on being mindful of people participating in the event. For three years, he has been learning about contact improvisation, BMC and other forms of mindful movement and body awareness. He tries to incorporate music into those experiences. In both areas, he draws inspiration from various areas and regions.

Phao Sanato

PL

Phao is a vocalist, a multi-instrumentalist and a music producer. Since his first steps in love with movement and sound.

Music for Him is not only a nice way to decorate time. It is primarily a search for a common pulse of minds, hearts and souls. The goal is to find a transcendent way of communication. Reacting to the environment, hence improvisation is what he loves the most. Without limiting himself, Phao is drawing handfuls of colours, ethnicities and sides of the world of music. Travelling around the world and playing with whomever he could, he developed his music alphabet collected in music schools. One of his greatest inspirations is silence. It creates an opportunity to listen to the interior of the soul.

In addition to composing film music and solo acts, he plays with bands: Makiwara, Gaja, Jah Love Soundsystem. He has had several hundred concerts and long hours of experiments to his credit.

Ewa Szubstarska

PL/IL

Ewa is a Polish but Israel-based dancer, teacher and choreographer. She found CI as a contemporary dancer in 2005 at Milan Kozanek’s workshop and has been diving into it in many forms and gatherings ever since. She loves to explore new dimensions and stories within the technique. Essential influences for her work come from Body-Mind-Centering,  Release-Techniques and Butoh. CI  is an inspiration for her artistic work but also gives her tools to deal with everyday life.