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ContactFestival : ContactFestival Gttingen: Contactimprovisation/Kontaktimprovisation
ContactFestival : ContactFestival Gttingen: meets
ContactFestival : ContactFestival Gttingen: Contemporarydance/Zeitgenössischer Tanz
ContactFestival : ContactFestival Gttingen: Contactimprovisation dancefestival in Göttingen for dance, contactimpro, improvisation. Tanzfestival für kontaktimprovisation und Contemporary Dance.

Classes 2014

On most days of the festival in the afternoon there will be three classes happen parallel. One of them is focusing on fundamental principles of CI. This class is meant to be a support for CI new comers but also for everyone who takes CI as their main focus for the personal journey through this festival. The other two classes will offer some diversity out of the field of CI and contemporary dance - partly targeting more experienced participants. In all classes there will be a common focus on the improvisational side of the dance to widen the awareness about the choices we make.



Our teachers group is a very yummy mix of well established teachers (in the european festival landscape) and others who haven't been seen so much yet on these events.


Guest teachers



Alyssa Lynes (USA/ Germany)


Alyssa is predominantly a dancer and teacher interested in how communication and creative expression play out in partner dance forms.  Alyssa grew up dancing many performative dance styles (Jazz, musical theater dance, Horton, Limon, ballet).  She received a BA in Contemporary dance and a MS in education in New York City where she worked as a freelance dancer and bilingual (Eng/Span) elementary school teacher.  In 2010, her Contact Improvisation training with Nancy Stark Smith catapulted her off on a CI devoted trip to Europe where she has lived ever since.  She has added Salsa and Tango to her Partner dance repertoire.  Alyssa explores the overlaps of movement forms through her choreography, New dance performance work, in her co-directing film collaboration and in her CI teaching.She is a founding member of the CI Freiburg Collective, a member of the CI Jam Team, a guest teacher at Bewegungs-art TIP School for Improvisation and Performance, and a teacher of the Fortbildung CI Kompakt Training Intensive.


Feel Free to learn? (... a contemporary phrase)

When is your "freedom of choice" and learning moment in a dance class? Is it when I tell you what to do or when I don't? Some dancers love to be told exactly what to do and how to do it and others want space in which to find their own movement learning. Alyssa is fascinated by the variety of teaching and learning styles. As a dancer she has trained in strict form based techniques such as Horton, Jazz, and Ballet, in improvisation, and in partner dance styles such as Salsa, Tango, and Contact Improvisation. In this class, students will dance with no teacher direction and gradually adapt to being given more and more specific movement directions. Ultimately, the students will learn a contemporary phrase. You are invited in a variety of ways to come explore your questions and meet you meeting CI meeting Contemporary.

or: Making something that lasts: CI to -- Choreography

This class explores movement composition. Contact Improvisation is often used as a method to create contemporary dance partner phrases for performance. We will warm up our improvisation creative selves and then capture movements to create phrases. Using multiple composition techniques we will build a partner phrase that we can ultimately repeat and share with others.

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Andrew Wass (USA/ Germany)

By experimenting with aleatoric processes, Andrew Wass finds that movement reveals an inherent awkwardness, a humor that echoes our own vulnerabilities. He formalizes the coincidental and emphasizes the conscious processes of composition that are the generative source of much of his works.

Influenced heavily by his undergraduate studies of Biochemistry at U.C. San Diego, Andrew works by creating a defined, almost crystalline palette in order to generate a myriad of possibilities. The possibilities are reduced and concentrated in the moments of execution and reception.

A member of the performance groups Non Fiction and Lower Left, Andrew has been investigating performance for 18 years. He has performed with Nancy Stark Smith, Nina Martin, Jess Curtis and Scott Wells among others. His own performance work has been shown in San Diego, LA, San Francisco, Marfa, Tijuana, Berlin, Tokyo and New York. Teaching has taken him to festivals and universities in Japan, Germany and the United States. He holds an MA in Solo/Dance/Authorship from the Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum für Tanz in Berlin.

A note from the organizer: Andrew will have his own research going on on our festival. He will video tape himself in different duets to understand better how (much) his dance is changing depending on the person he is dancing with. We are looking forward to the sense of investigation that will be put into the festival.,,


Ensemble Thinking: 3/2

Andrew will teach a Group Impro Training that was developed by Nina Martin. Starting in complexity, we will distill our possibilities to achieve greater clarity and facility in our ensemble practice.  By breaking down the improvised performance into simple variables such as facing, level, stillness, contact, etc., 3/2 offers a dynamic yet cohesive method for real time communication.  3/2 is one of the many scores of Ensemble Thinking, a performance modality that empowers the individual to craft an ensemble’s actions in space and time.

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Annemarie Kaufmann (Bern/ Switzerland)

Annemarie was born in 1984 and grew up in Switzerland. In 2009-2010 Annemarie studied contemporary dance at University of the Arts in Zurich, where she had Gaga as a weekly training and had her first experience with Batsheva repertory. After that year she joined Le Marchepied, a training program and company for young dancers in Lausanne. Curious about Gaga, Annemarie has travelled regularly to Tel Aviv since 2010. In 2011-2012, she participated in the first Gaga Teacher Training Program in Tel Aviv, Israel. Since August 2012, she is a certified Gaga teacher. Annemarie also holds a BA in education in pre-school and primary school and worked as a teacher in primary school and kindergarten. Annemarie is currently based in Bern, Switzerland and teaches Gaga.

Gaga as a morning practice

The language of Gaga originated from the belief in the healing, dynamic, ever-changing power of movement. Gaga is a movement language which Ohad Naharin developed over the course of many years and which is applied in daily practice and exercises by the Batsheva Dance Company members. The Gaga/people track was developed for everyone and at every age, and it is studied by an increasing number of people at the Suzanne Dellal Centre, in Jerusalem, and in other locations in Israel, New York, San Francisco, London, Belgium, and around the world.

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Christoph Schuetz (Göttingen/ Germany)

... is a performing artist and improviser. He used to work with ex nihilo, a street dance company of Marseille-France, with whom he is still associated. Strongly influenced by Anna Halprin and Butoh Dance he was always interested to bring the dance back to the site specific-it comes from there, isn't it so?

He danced and performed in oceans, rocks, woods and other natural environments as well as warehouses, urban places, on concrete and asphalt...


Urban Dance - Dancing in the Streets

In this laboratory we want to explore our dance in an urban environment. How does the environment influence our dance and vice versus? How can we find our place in the environment, the place that is already given by the site!? Rather than imposing a dance into the specific site we want to explore how to let the dance happen in something that is already more than a scenery.

We will improve certain channels of perception, like focusing on sounds, the visual, the rhythm, the objects and many others to be focused in the site specific dance. All our skills of technique and improvisation will be used and developed, solo, partnering and group settings as well. This lab will fiddle with the scoring rather than the performance aspect. The Warming up, the talking, the scoring, everything will happen already outside. When you dance outside you will be part of the environment...

Please, bring solid but flexible shoes you can dance with, kneepads and rough but daily clothes to get the streets dance...

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Daniel Werner (Göttingen/ Germany)

As one of the organizers I noticed that teaching on our festival helps me to not get stuck in my organizers mind but to connect more directly to the main purpose of this event: the practice of dancing and learning. I teach CI since 1997, and love to continuously discover new dimensions of this amazing dance form on stage, in teaching and in the jam. My teaching is nurtured by the passion to systematically understand and categorize the underlying principles in CI. I studied contemporary dance at the North Karelia College in Finland and enjoy to work internationally as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. Essential influences for my work also come from Body-Mind Centering, Release-Techniques and Asian Movement Arts. Further I am involved in the following projects:,, and


CI technique

I will share knowledge that has its origin in the CI  basic training programme in Berlin, in which Jörg and me developed our so called 'systeatic approach' to contact. To allow a smooth and committed CI duett we want to develop, keeping the shared weight moving through all levels and the space.

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Dino Spiri & Nadja Schwarzenbach (Berlin/ Germany)

Dino Spiri

I fell in love with Contact Improvisation and study the form continuously since about seven years by now. My experience of the moving body and teaching are strongly influenced by the Alexander Technique, working intensively with Eva Karczag, Jörg Hassmann, Daniel Werner and my beloved colleague Nadja Schwarzenbach. I am living in Berlin and I am a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. Currently I am following the Somatic Movement Education Program (BMC®).


Nadja Schwarzenbach

She is passionate about CI and its technique while she does not loose the very human layers of connectedness. She has a sense for subtle vibrations in group settings, where the line between inspired learning versus painful failing can be so thin. She is embedded in the CI community through dancing, teaching and organising CI relatet events. The years of assisting Daniel and Joerg in their training program accompanied her smooth way to develop her own teaching approach and she is now happily offering her qualities teaching alone or with her friend Dino. Her trainings and ongoing practice in massage and natural medicine informed her sense for touch and the understanding of the human body moving.


Appreciating Dependency 

Very delicious situations during a Contact Improvisation dance are the ones that wouldn't be possible without my partner. Most of them happen while traveling through space and levels with shared weight. We all have a certain knowledge of pathways, tools and patterns that easily work for us and that we tend to look for and repeat. We might even experience them as separate little episodes that have a beginning and an end. Can we appreciate the dependency on our partner, shift our attention and look at this very ending as a continuation or transition into something even more exciting than the place we just came from? At that very moment of transition we often either chose habitually and enter into the next well-known phrase or we get stuck, feel uncomfortable or loose the contact to our partner altogether. Taking a decision to follow through when we are totally dependent on each other if we keep sharing weight and stay committed towards the touch adds possibilities, three-dimensionality and a lot of joy and excitement to our dance. That awkward thrilling scary moment where we don't really know what's gonna happen next. 

During our two classes we wish to prepare our bodies softly and properly to be able to start playing with following through, staying connected and committed in situations where that seems impossible. We will share some ideas and little insights that might reveal fun- and surprisingly easy ways to play with sweet dependency. There will be leaning, traveling through space and levels while staying connected through our centers and of course at the very base of it all - listening.

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Jayna Cavendish (GB/ India)

I’m  a freelance dance artist, choreographer and singer, working across a wide range of projects, styles and artistic fields. Whether performing or directing, all my work comes from my interest in people, communication and self-expression. I graduated from the Rambert School in 2007 with a 1st class degree in Ballet and Contemporary Dance and since then I have been working on numerous independent and collaborative projects. Since graduating I have lived and performed in London, Berlin, New York and India expanding my knowledge in dance, improvisation, contact improvisation and other artistic forms.

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contemporary dance techniques

"I like teaching movement that can help people build confidence, ease and freedom moving solo in improvisation."

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Jörg Hassmann (Berlin/ Germany)

I am part of the festival team, taking care of the schedule and its content - like teachers and what they offer, and the different frames to practice and to share our knowledge.

For more than 20 years now I see myself in a slow but steady learning process with CI (as the center of my dance practice and profession) and I am amazed about the depth and complexity that is still unfolding. My work is influenced by anatomy based movement explorations, contemporary dance, ideas from BMC, Capoeira, play and the urge and joy of discovery. Teaching and performing has always been essential for me on this journey and I have been fortunate enough to teach all over the world. Seven years ago I started teaching CI training intensive programmes in Berlin together with Daniel Werner, where we developed our systematic approach to contact technique (


Lecture & Jam intros

I won't teach a class but share my knowledge through creating frames for focussed jamming and probably by giving a lecture.

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Kristin Horrigan (USA)

Kristin Horrigan is an improviser, choreographer, performer and teacher based in Vermont, USA.  A contact improviser since 1998, she holds an MFA in choreography from Ohio State University and has taught and performed contact improvisation at festivals and universities in the USA, Germany, Japan, and Argentina.  Kristin works as a Professor of Dance at Marlboro College in Vermont, USA, teaching her students contemporary dance technique, choreography, improvisation, contact improvisation and dance theory.  She also directs the intergenerational performance company, Dance Generators where she explores improvisation scores, partnering work and choreography with a group of dancers in their 20s through 80s.

A word from the organizers: Kristin gave a super inspiring interactive lecture about 'composition' last year and will offer another theme for this kind of format this summer.


Gender and Improvisation (interactive lecture)

Our bodies carry both conscious and deeply embodied notions of gender.  How do these ideas and behaviors influence the choices we make in our dancing?  Where do they expand and where do they limit our possibilities?  Even in a dance form as inherently un-gendered as contact improvisation, how do notions of masculinity, femininity, trans-identity, etc.  shape the decisions we make (and the decisions we see available to us)? 

Gender and Improvisation (class)

What aspects of your movement do you consider to be feminine? masculine? gender-neutral? In this class, we will explore the ways in which gender is embedded in our movement choices in improvisation and play with what options are available if we try on gender identities other than our own.   

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Malcolm Manning (Helsinki/ Finland)

... is a somatic movement researcher, educator, mentor and artist. In his classes, he shares his inquiry of what it is to be a thinking, feeling, moving subject in this world through developing a dialogue with ourselves and our environment in which we are empowered to be our own experts. He offers his work as a resource for performing arts professionals in dance centres, for dance companies, at festivals, and on higher education programmes. He also teaches a workshop series for every body called BodySchool in which applies his work to everyday life situations.

He is certified to teach the Feldenkrais Method® and the Body And Earth work developed by Andrea Olsen and Caryn McHose. He studied for two years at SNDO Amsterdam and has an MA in Dance Pedagogy. He made extensive studies of Contact Improvisation, Authentic Movement, Movement Shiatsu, Body Mind Centering and experiential anatomy. For more info visit


Spatial Support

We get support from orientation to space as well as to the earth. Spatial support brings lightness and expansiveness to dancing CI. It's the key to all the flying skills and a sense of independence in dancing with another. So a nice long personal exploration that starts slow and low with the support of the earth and opens up to spatial support. Followed by lots of dancing.

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Mokshia Frenzel (Canarian Islands/ Germany)

Moksha Ganesha is a passionate dancer, bodyworker, singer, movement and consciousness teacher
He created since the mid-90s liberating playgrounds for effortless and sensual experience of learning and Being.
Inspired by the diverse artistic and therapeutic systems, he enjoys himself more and more in letting go of all concepts.
Moksha lives in a community on the Canary Island Benahoare.

authentic movement, touch and dance in water

we will use the quality of the water element to connect to our inner flow
playing by heart developing the intelligence of our liquids
authentic movement, contact, sounding and bodywork melting in to a deep meditation of HERE & NOW

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Tanja Striezel (Bonn/ Germany)


... is a dancer and teacher for Alexander-Technique, Contact Improvisation and Experiential Anatomy. She has been involved in the field of New Dance/CI and Bodywork since 1994 and passionately practises and studies Contact Improvisation continuously with different teachers, in work groups, at festivals and on jams. Her teaching is influenced and inspired by the Alexander-Technique, Body-Mind Centering®, Authentic Movement, working with Nancy Stark Smith, and last but not least by the students that gave her the possibility to develop and define her work. Practicing CI for the last 20 years and teaching continuously for the last 8 years, she is still or even more fascinated by this complex and deep dance form and how learning and understanding on the many layers never ends.



 sharing weight - reading directions

In this class we will explore and practice sharing weight and reading the possible directions of mass in motion. My intention is to give you more and clearer ideas of how to organize and coordinate your body when dancing contact improvisation. By explicitly listening to and following the point of contact, we will learn more about the choices of directions in our bodies and thereby open up possibilities for improvisation. We will investigate the connection between center and periphery, and, in using balls, we will understand more deeply the art of balancing, extending and weight travelling. Playing with and leaning into balls supports moving from our center and helps discover new pathways for extending our legs, arms and spine, and thus finding out more about possibilities and qualities such as centered and strong, soft and responsive in our contact dance.

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Guest teachers


Bastien Auber (Grenoble/ France)

After ten years of practicing and teaching climbing, he discovers the contact improvisation in 2007 in Grenoble. He learns CI and instantaneous composition with I.Uski and, with the pleasure of travelling, he meets and works with different teachers in Europe, USA, India to explore more CI techniques, somatic practice and balances of life. Geologist, he is particularly interested by the similar forms and movements between nature and body.  With this material he research, and he makes some workshops of contact improvisation, but also some creation and performances in solo or with a group. His dance likes dynamic, spirals and surprises!!


Johanna Wyss (Switzerland)


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