A couple of years ago when I aquired the domain www.contactimprov.com, I noticed there were many CI related websites out there serving this community or that community, a festival here, a jam there, a workshop center, or an individual teacher, but very few sites that attempted the bigger mission of holding a cyberspace that would serve the whole growing and expanding CI world community. Part of my journey has included a thorough scouring of the web for what already existed, and this is how the following list was born.
Searching the web is an art form in itself. I'd like to reveal a few of my methods so that readers might continue to expand this list for themselves and for all of us. I generally use google to do much of my searching and start with the words "Contact Improvisation". The quotes are very important, because they limit your search to include only results that have the whole phrase in the quotes. Then I'll add a plus sign and the name of a place or person, also in quotes, to get the most pertinent returns. The more specific your searches the more specific your results will be. For example a search for "contact improvisation"+ "Santa Cruz"+"Nita Little" gave me 32 results, whereas just "contact improvisation"+ "Santa Cruz" was 477, and "contact improvisation" by itself - 41,300!!! Once I find a site I always check their links to discover other interesting sites. Some sites also have bibliographies, which can be very useful for coming up with new search phrases. Another great google search tool is if you type "link:" and then a website address (ie- link: www.contactquarterly.com) then the results are all the websites that link to that site! If you find any sites that you think should be represented in this list let me know. Use the Key below to understand what each annotated site has to offer.
Please e-mail me any updates, dead-links as well as new links that you would like to see listed here. Thanks, Moti
B = Bio/s of people or organization, WS= Workshop/class schedule and/or descriptions, J = Contact Jam Schedule/info, L = Links Page, W = Writings/Articles, PR = Performance info and/or Reviews, P = Photo gallery, V = Video, R = Online Registration, M = Map/Directions, S = Store/ items for sale, F = Forum, N = Newsletter
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CI36 - Contact Improvisation's 36th Birthday Celebration
This site is more than just information about the big event that happened June 2008 - There are also some great resources here.
CONTACT QUARTERLY, a vehicle for moving ideas
Contains tables of contents and contributor notes of recent issues, advertising and submission guidelines, list of back issues, subscription info, kneepad order info, DanceMap classified listings, Contact Editions books, Videoda CI video distribution info, and Performance/Workshop info for Contact Collaborations, Inc. parent company) projects. (B,WS,P,W,S,L)
E.C.I.T.E. (European Contact Improv Teacher's Exchange)
Every year a different European country hosts ECITE. This past year in Viljandi, Estonia. Next year Austria! Maybe Moscow in 2007? The Organizers are currently working on a general website for all ECITE's which will be an archive for past ECITE's as well as info on upcoming events. At the time of this writing the main site included links to Bern, Switzerland, 2001, Estonia, 2005, Austria 2007, and the 2007 ECITE in St. Petersburg, Russia. ECITE 2008 is not happening in 2008 so as to concentrate energies into CI36 in Pensylvania, USA. (B,WS,P,V,W,R,L)
Most recent ECITE: www.ecite.org
Switzerland 2001: 2001.ecite.org
Austria 2006: 2006.ecite.org
Earthdance Workshop & Retreat Center
OK, I admit it, I'm a bit biased here, I live down the road from Earthdance, but really, this is one of the best CI retreat centers in the world! Earthdance supports the practice and study of CI through four annual Residential Contact Jams, two monthly Sunday night jams (one with live music), and a multitude of workshops throughout the year. Volunteers and work-study positions are available to spend longer stints at Earthdance. (B,WS,PR,P,W,J,N,L)
Contact Camp at Burning Man, (Black Rock Desert, Nevada)
Burning Man Festival will happen this year Aug. 25 - Sep. 3 . Last year over 100 people came together from 8 countries to form Contact Camp within the larger context (40,000 people) of this amazing creative festival in Black Rock Desert, Nevada. They hosted regular jams, classes, and labs within the Burning Man Festival, in two geodesic domes at Center Camp, and around the playa. Hundreds of others were involved in a fresh and wide open but focused space of exploration. This will mark Contact Camp's 3rd year at Burning Man.
Malcolm's site is one of the most well written and resourceful sites I've found. You'll find detailed descriptions of CI and related forms such as somatics and Feldenkrais Method. You'll find workshop descriptions, quotes, writings, pictures, and projects in progress such as a Teacher's Tree- a big family tree of Malcolm's teachers and teacher's teachers. Also newly added is a great booklist with direct links to Amazon.com to purchase the books or get more info. (B,WS,PR,W,P,L)
Stolzenhagen/ Ponderosa Tanzland Festival
In 1999, a group of 22 volunteers came together to build a dance studio in an old cow barn in the village of Stolzenhagen, Germany. This is now the heart of the Ponderosa Tanzland Festival, offering CI classes, artist retreats, workshops, and performances. The first site listed here is the community site, the second is the festival, the third is Co-director and teacher, Stephanie Maher's site. All are filled with beautiful photographs and useful information. (B,WS,J,P,R,L)
One of the largest annual dance festivals in Italy, with a focus primarily on CI. Five days of improvisational dance and music with guest artists from several countries invited to collaborate in workshops, study labs, jams, and performances every night in two palatial historical theaters. The site is full of information, artists bios, archived performances and photos, historical background on the venues, and lots more. (Italian and English)
<proximity> is an Australian magazine devoted to new dance/movement and improvisation practice. It has a focus on CI, movement improvisation and other related forms. This site is a great resource! They have a great archive of articles from 1998-2002. (W,L)
Contact Improv Dance - tribe.net
This is an established online group that has useful CI forum. It's got over 750 members, interesting threads, and lots of postings. (F,P)
This is the longest standing web worldwide directory for CI with extensive lists of jams, workshops, classes, events, and teachers of CI from around the world. (B,WS,J,W,P,L)
The BodyCartography Project
A movement ensemble that performs in public spaces, creating a physical dialogue between the dancers and the environment. The work is both improvisational and choreographed originating from CI, release technique, butoh, Capoeira, Authentic Movement, Body-Mind Centering, and various forms of somatic movement. Founders Olive Bieringa (NZ) and Otto Ramstad (USA) travel the world teaching and performing. (B,WS,P,W,N,L)
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CI Teachers and Enthusiasts Sites:
I've tried to gather sites for some of the more well known Contact teachers as well as enthusiasts with particularly resourceful or beautiful CI related sites. I've listed the teachers starting with those who have been at it for the longest (Steve Paxton, our founding father, followed by early pioneers in the 70's) leading up to now.
Considering that Steve is the founders of the form, it's hard to find any website devoted to him. I did get 655 sites though when I googled "Steve Paxton"+"Contact Improvisation". You'll find lots of info scattered throughout these sites. Anyway, here's a nice historical article featuring Steve's role as founder. I found the article on the main danish CI site.
And here's an interesting page on a site that has a little clips of a video he made in Amsterdam, dancing to Goldberg Variations by Johan Sebastian Bach, with a written piece by Steve about the process of dancing to this music. (W,V)
Nancy Stark Smith
One of the first to practice, teach, and innovate the form, Editor of CQ magazine, and creator of the Underscore, Nancy currently travels throughout the world teaching and performing CI. Here is her home page. (B,WS,L)
Nita Little has been performing, choreographing and teaching improvisational dance for thirty years. This site has a nice simple layout with beautiful pictures. (B,WS,PR,P,W,L)
Andrew de Lotbiniere Harwood
Based in Montreal, Canada, Andrew has taught worldwide since the 70's. (B,WS,PR) (French and English)
Martin Keogh has been teaching and performing CI for over twenty-four years. He is a Fulbright senior scholar and has an extensive world teaching schedule. There are many of his articulate articles on this well designed and informative webpage. (B,WS,P,V,W,L)
Julyen is not specifically a contact teacher, but many contacters have studied improvisational dance with him for the last three decades. Julyen's site has some great poetry and writing hidden throughout. For a nice example check out: the kinesthetics of language- www.julyenhamilton.com/WRITINGS/kinest.html(B,WS,PR,W)
Since 1979, she has worked extensively, performing and teaching throughout England, Europe and the USA. No site of her own, but here's a bio on another site. (B)
Pauline de Groot
Pauline is one of the first CI teachers in Europe. Based in Amsterdam, she currently lives, teaches, and choreographs there. (B,WS,PR,L)
Based in Germany, Rusty has been teaching and performing since the mid 80's. This is a visually nice site with a great photo gallery. (B,WS,PR,P,L)
Allen & Karen Kaeja
Based in Toronto, Canada, this couple has a twenty-year partnership in choreography, performance, teaching. This is their company website.
Daniel started out teaching CI over 25 years ago and then discovered Tango. This site is mainly his teaching schedule as a tango instructor, but occasionally he gives workshops fusing CI and tango! (B,WS,W,N)
Jess Curtis is a San Francisco based director/choreographer, performer, and teacher of CI and interdisciplinary dance/performance. He works independently, and in the collective performance groups Cahin-Caha, Cirque Batard, and Contraband. (B,WS,PR,P)
Keith Hennessy is a Canadian-born performer, teacher, director, and organizer living in community in San Francisco since 1982. This is Keith's Dance Company, Circo Zero's webpage. (B, WS, PR, W)
Dancer, choreographer, improviser and teacher based in San Francisco for many years. In 1998 she relocated to Berlin where she continues to perform, organize, develop and teach in the community-based settings of K77 Studios in Berlin and the Ponderosa Tanz/Land Festival in Stolzenhagen, Germany. (B, WS, PR, P, L)
Scott Wells is a critically acclaimed and award-winning choreographer. Beautiful site. From the looks of his site he spends most of his time teaching and performing in San Francisco and Germany. (B,WS,PR)
Lives and teaches in the San Francisco Bay area. (B,WS,PR)
On her website you can buy and read excerpts from her three books "Contact Improvisation and Body Mind Centering", "From Conception to Crawling", "Sex and Spirit: A Healthy Sexuality Workbook." Also links on her home page go to such subjects as Movement Education, Body Mind Psychotherapy, Healthy Sexuality, Pre and Perinatal Development, and Playback Theater. (B,WS,W,S,L)
Originally from Australia, teaching for many years in Great Britain, she's just moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, where she continues to teach. (B, WS, PR, P, L)
Karl has been practicing and performing CI worldwide since the mid 80's. He runs the Dancing Wilderness Project, Axlotl Performance Project, as well as a three-month intensive training program in interdisciplinary, dance-based performance on rural Lasqueti Island in BC, Canada. (B, WS, PR, W, L)
Teacher, performer, choreographer, and BMC practitioner, faculty inSchool for New Dance Development in Amsterdam. (B,WS,W)
Teacher from Germany.
Based in Karlsruhe Germany.
Born in Southern Germany and grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Works in Europe and the Americas as a dancer, teacher and choreographer.
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CI Photo/Video/Art Galleries:
Go find out if there are any photos of YOU in a puppy-pile on these sites!
my own new photography business! My first medium of expression was painting, where I created surreal dreamscapes and represented the unconscious realm of the psyche. I then wanted more movement in my paintings, which led me to sketch dancers and to dance myself, and I’ve been dancing ever since. Throughout my years as a dancer, I began photographing dance. Through this evolution I have integrated photography with my desire to express movement, gesture, and the body in my art. For me, photography offers a direct approach to depicting the human form, which enables me to capture the physicality of dancers in the moment. Further digital manipulation of these images then allows me to create dream worlds where the impossible becomes possible, where a fusion of images stirs the imagination in new and unexpected ways.
Still Creation - Ronen Hirsch with Shahar Dor
StillCreation is a collaboration of Photographer Ronen Hirsch and dancer Shahar Dor.
"Set in the limitless boundaries of spontaneous live-art where there is no script, choreography or direction. We have been able to combine Live-Still photography into the performance space. The result is a unique experience of live-performance and still images that partake and survive the fleeting moment and hopefully carry some of the inspiration that appears during performance."
A growing bank of photo albums from Contact related events in Europe and North America including photos from ECITE 2001 in Berne Switzerland, Intensives with Nancy Stark Smith at Earthdance, USA and Cassina Settarte, Italy, and more. Some albums are only available for participants from those events, others are open to the public.
Craig Harmon has made this site available to all who wish to post their contact jam/class/etc pictures. He's got lots'o bandwidth, so send your albums here if you want to share your CI photos with the world.
John Bainbridge's Contact Improv Web Site
This site has a number of features and particularly emphasizing events in North Carolina and Virginia, but it's most impressive trait is a voluminous and well organized bank of photos that John has taken which you can look up by date or location. There are photos of events and workshops all over the USA, including workshops taught by Martin Keogh, Gretchin Spiro and Nita Little. Now you'll also find video clips of some of the more recent events listed.
Contact Improv Dance Photos
This is another site open to submissions of CI photos to be posted for all to view. Contact Enthusiast, Nataraj Hauser (WI, USA) moderates the site.
This is the site for a documentary film about CI by a German team of filmmakers directed by Gerald Bingemer. The film is currently in production. The site has a gallery of video stills as well as a detailed description of the project. (German)
Momentum - commented videos of contact improvisation
Momentum, a DVD released in 2005 plans to gather commented video archive of CI and publish a new DVD every 2 years. We encourage everybody to send in contributions. In this first volume we included all video entries we received, with many thanks to the contributors.
Producers: Peter Aerni, Tinu Hettich, Christine Mauch and Thea Rytz
Louise Bertelsen and Poshu Wang's photography, video, and performance work
On these three sites you'll find the work of the collaborating artist/dancer/performers Louise Bertelsen and Poshu Wang. Louise Bertelsen (Denmark) Po Shu Wang (Berkeley, CA) are site-specific Artists who fuses visual arts, performance, and video. In 1999, they co-founded Living Lenses Project, an on-going multi-disciplinary exploration of enhanced daily social interactions in public places fusing different media as a vehicle.
I put this site here because it's most prominent feature is the photo gallery with pictures from a number of Jams at Earthdance and other New England events.
A French site, hard to navigate, but interesting/artsy photos if you have time to search.
This is a great photo resource for any category of photos. Flickr allows anyone to upload their photos and view other's photos easily by using keywords -or "tags", and groups. You can watch all the photos in a group as a slideshow or view them individually. This link will take you to photos tagged "contact improvisation" - and you can easily add to the pile, or search under another tag topic.
Gene and Catherine show contact improvisation
A minute long video clip of a nice CI demonstration on Catherine Musinsky's homepage, a Boston based dancer.
Edgar Jansen Portrait Gallery
Edgar does beautiful sketches of dancers. In his online gallery you can find a whole section devoted to Contact Improvisation sketches as well as Tango, Ballet, Modern, African, Flamenco, and Butoh!
Susan Arnsten-Russell Gallery
Based in Upstate New York, Susan has been involved in the CI community both as a dancer and a visual artist for many years. Check out her beautiful artwork here!
The following are just a few of the many universities that have started to make Contact Improvisation a major part of their dance curriculum.
One of the first universities to offer Contact as part of their dance programs The famous first performance of CI, "Magnesium", was performed here.
This is one of the first universities to offer classes in CI back in the 70's
The School for New Dance Development (SNDO), Amsterdam
Founded in the 70's by Pauline de Groot.
Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, Salzburg, Austria
(German and English)
P.A.R.T.S., Brussels, Belgium
A dance school directed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, a well known Belgian choreographer. CI is part of their curriculum.
Here are a few general research tools for finding dance schools and programs world-wide:
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Joint Forces Dance Company (JFDC) & DanceAbility
Under the Artistic Direction of Alito Alessi, JDFC hosts CI and DanceAbility events, workshops, and performances with a mission of accessibility to all. In addition, teacher certification in DanceAbility is one of their programs. The Annual Breitenbush Hot Springs Jam is also run by JFDC. (B,WS,PR,W,P,S,L)
Founded by Steve Paxton and Anne Kilcoyne in 1986 at Dartington College, Devon, England, and now in Manchester, Touchdown Dance works locally and internationally giving mixed abilities workshops and performances which include CI, and are particularly focused for people with visual impairment. (B,WS,PR,W,S,N,L)
Vertigo Dance Company
An Israeli Dance Company in Jerusalem, with a strong background in CI and operating a school, whose mission is in part to enable anyone who desires, to study dance. (B,WS,PR,P,L)
Touch Compass Dance Trust
Touch Compass is a charitable dance organization in Aukland, New Zealand, producing performances and providing training for those of mixed abilities. (B,WS,PR,J,S,N,L)
This site includes an extensive International Directory of people and places involved in integrated/inclusive dance practices. Adam is a choreographer, teacher and the author of "Making an Entrance", the theory and practice for disabled and non-disabled dancers. (B,WS,PR,S,L)
AXIS Dance Company
Since 1987, AXIS Dance Company has created an exciting body of work developed by dancers with and without disabilities. AXIS outreach program, Dance Access, offers workshops for adults and youth of all abilities. You'll find extensive links to other Mixed Abilities Dance Companies. (B,WS,PR,N,S,W,L)
Blue Eyed Soul
Based in Shrewsbury, England, and touring nationally and internationally, Blue Eyed Soul has pioneered dance theatre for disabled and non-disabled people for over ten years. (B,WS,PR,V,N,L)
An association in Geneva, Switzerland that promotes encounters between dancers with and without disability. Classes, workshops and performances are regularly held activities as well as two training courses per year given by international presenters. (French, English) (B,WS,PR,P,V,L)
Danza Sin Limites
Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dance Without Limits mission is to create communities that give support to the creative expression of all the people beyond their disability, experience or culture. Alito Alessi has been brought here to teach DanceAbility Teacher Trainings on a regular basis. (Spanish) (B,WS)
Marnie Paul Arts Center, Austin, Texas
Their mission is to improve the quality of life of under-served individuals with disabilities, through the expressive arts. They offer CI classes as part of their curriculum, which ranges from one-on-one therapy to group classes and workshops.
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