MORNING INTENSIVES: EVERY DAY, 10:00-13:00
What does it mean, and what is necessary to be ready to engage in CI physically, mentally, emotionally, and creatively? What level of mobility, agility, and flexibility can widen the spectrum of possibilities in one’s practice? Which cognitive faculties, both conscious and unconscious, facilitate a wider range of choice making? Could one’s level of experience be a deciding factor on how and what one wants out of their practice? How do we inform our practice via our experience?
These and related subjects will be the focus of this intensive. We will delve into various practices to activate and enable new ways of engaging in habitudes. The act of practising can tend to form habits and patterns of movement that repeat themselves. Such habits or patterns may be undesirable, but by totally embracing these movements that arise from such improvisations, one is embracing the unconscious and trusting in it.
BIG PICTURE PERFORMANCE LAB – CI through a Performance Lens
Nina and the participants will immerse themselves in dancing that focuses on forms naturally occurring in improvisational dance performance: Solo Body, Contact Improvisation Body, and Ensemble Body. Improvisational dance in performance challenges us to move comfortably within all three of these forms to embody the performance of improvisational dance as an art form.
Dance systems: Articulating the Solo Body, Contact Improvisation, and Ensemble Thinking (developed with the Lower Left Performance Collective from Martin’s embodied performance research practice) prepare dancers to experience the deep satisfaction of dancing as part of an ensemble that recognizes and supports the dancing of every individual in the group while also functioning as a cohesive performance ensemble. Warm-ups in Solo and Contact Body practices flow into Ensemble Thinking concepts as a frame for our open score dance in performance.
CONTACT IMPROVISATION AS A HIGH-RISK PRACTICE
Anya CloudThis contact improvisation workshop will research strategies for cultivating queer wildness in our dancing bodies. We will develop athletic endurance and soft patient specificity. We will foster round and permeable bodies as open systems as we cultivate pathways of aliveness, agency, and imagination. We will work with rolling, sliding, falling, flying, disorientation, momentum, duration, soft collisions, weight support, composition, and more. This will support and be supported by detailed work around sensitization, pressure, intention, tone, direction, timing, quality, and sequencing. We will develop skills for more attenuated listening, consent, boundary setting, and risk-taking. Some things may feel boring and some things will be thrilling — it will all inform the range and humanness of our dancing. This workshop will be deeply physical and deeply political. We will expand the possibilities of what a contact improvisation dance can be through intimately being in the unknown together. We will work with contact Improvisation as a high-risk practice that activates bravery, collective care, chaos, transformation, specificity, accountability, and more. We will question, we will research, and we will play. We will dance with the bodies that we have as the people we are.
RESONATING: SENSING ACTIONS IN SITE-SPECIFIC
Saturday – Monday afternoons
During our site-specific labs, we’ll play with various approaches to the environment we encounter on our way. Our intent is to deepen our understanding of the space, stretching the duration of our exposure to specific stimuli. We’ll connect with the surroundings. And with time, we’ll explore how we could possibly deepen and develop such connection further.
Some of it will come from resonating with the place – to reveal more about what this space is holding; what moves us there.
Some will come more from our senses and our mindful presence – clear and ready to choose what we want to play with.
Some from quickly reacting to what we are passing – taking it as the landscape provoking a certain way of moving.
Some could come from observing patterns of movement already existing in the space – matching them and developing further.
So, we will attune our bodies to be ready to observe, manifest, express, and create.
We will work with short scores – having some samples and mini-play-like performances.
MOVING ME, MOVING YOU – AXIS SYLLABUS INTO CI
Wednesday – Thursday afteroons
In the workshop we will dive into the world of researching our own movement patterns and breaking those, before we get into contact with one another. We will focus on different CI principles using the lens of the Axis Syllabus to refine our movements and create more potentiality in our moving structures. Exploring those alone, in specific patterns and partner work shall deepen the understanding of the concepts.
We will dive deeper into the concepts of landing pads, tensegrity and how our bones are moving in the body. Asking questions like: How can meeting the floor be a soft experience? How does biodynamics can make our moves smooth and strong at the same time? And how can we keep our own flow while moving with someone else? We will jump, roll, research, soften, listen to good music and have fun with great music. We’ll also incorporate choreographic patterns to smoothly transition into solo movement, ensuring a mix of learning and fun throughout the workshop.
Underscore is a mindful jam practice in Contact Improvisation developed by Nancy Stark Smith, one of the founders and global educators of CI. The Underscore structure allows for a full spectrum of energetic and physical expression, embodying a range of forms and changing states.
The Underscore practice is described and structured, yet unpredictable. It moves through a wide range of dynamic states, including long periods of very small, private, and quiet internal activity, as well as other periods of higher energy and group dance.
Before the practice, Klara will lead a 45-minute introduction, during which she will present the structure and make us familiar with Nancy’s language, vocabulary, and ideograms describing the possibilities and states of Contact Improvisation.
Closeness in Motion - kids & Children
Cultivating relationship through movement in a one-hour workshop for children and parents “Closeness in Motion” is an opportunity to connect with your child and with yourself. Parents and children will have the chance to experience a different form of communication and strengthen their parent-child relationship through movement activities based on elements of contact and improvisation, as well as working with metaphor. Touch is one of the most important elements of human development and the most important element of “Closeness in Motion”.
The fundamental principles of our meetings are pleasure, presence, and mutual mindfulness. This is a lesson in conscious and authentic movement, which is co-created in the parent-child relationship. Through movement activities, focusing on the body, and working with imagination, we integrate the activities of both hemispheres of the brain. This allows us to deepen the most important relationship in a child’s life and build it on safe touch, closeness, and trust. All of this is to be able to share experiences and needs, develop a sense of worth, being seen, and taken into account – important elements in a child’s life.
We will run, jump, roll, breathe, fly, and fall, laugh, and develop spontaneity. These are tools helpful in developing the four important elements of a good and supportive relationship: readiness to play, acceptance, curiosity, and empathy.
RESONATING (site-specific sharing)
Idea: Iwona Olszowska
Performers: Warsaw CI FLOW participants
Place: Ogród Krasińskich (The Krasińskich Garden)
The site-specific format focuses on the potential of working in non-dance spaces – in the unique settings of the city of Warsaw. It uses improvisation and choreographic tools, as well as movement and dance, to reveal a new perspective on the spaces, architecture, and nature that surround us. Discovering our relationship with our surroundings, how our presence organically transforms them, and how attention brings out the essence of experience.
It is a sharing finalising the RESONATING: SENSING ACTIONS IN SITE-SPECIFIC led by Iwona in previous days.
In an open format, this sharing encourages people to join in with the group. At the end, we plan to jam together in the garden.
Contact Improvisation began as an experimental activity in the field of performance practice – offering a unique approach to corporeality, structure, content and the relationship with the audience. This evening, we invite you to a performance with the festival’s teachers and artists. Although we already know more and more with whom, we do not yet know or in what shape. What will be our starting point? How open will the structure be? How do we see ourselves concerning performance and KI? And what about the relationship with you, the spectator? Where will be your space, your role? Do we need to know this before we start? Perhaps this description will still change… All in all, we are only just figuring out what our role as organisers is in the fascination of the creation of this evening. Perhaps we will just turn on the lights, and the rest will happen….
Klara, Zuza and Tomasz.
classes / LABS
CI LAB: CALMNESS AND SOFTNESS IN INVERTED POSITIONS
During the lab, we will explore how to maintain calmness and softness of the body while entering inverted positions with a partner. We will learn effective techniques for working with the body to support upside-down lifts. We will search for natural connections, using dynamics and weight transfer, which will naturally take us into inverted positions. Throughout the class, we will practice several transitions and lifts. The workshop is designed for movers with basic experience in handstands.
MORE LABS TO COME SOON…
CI WORKSHOP: EXPRESSION AND COMMUNICATION IN DANCE
Filip will share with us a distinctive approach to contact improvisation. He is intrigued by the delicate balance between allowing the body to respond naturally to a wide spectrum of stimuli, encompassing both the physical and emotional, the internal and external, and the necessity of exerting control. This is a state in which the body leverages acquired skills, such as the art of safe falling or fluid movement achieved through relaxation, alongside inherent reflexes and instincts, like evading potential collisions or injury-inducing scenarios. It represents the simultaneous coexistence of bodily autonomy and control, creating a unique state where the mind hovers in suspension while the senses sharpen to their fullest extent. It is a condition marked by total relaxation yet, paradoxically, an absolute readiness for movement. It encompasses working with a full spectrum of muscle tone, mastering the ability to harmonise with others while offering counterproposals. It represents a quest for beauty within motion, an exploration of the truth embedded in the body, and the electrifying force that propels expression and creativity. Well, it is fun too.