Intermediate to Advanced Level Contac Improvisation Classes
Saturday mornings/afternoons 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Sat Oct 22, 2022
Sat Nov 5, 2022
Sat Nov 19, 2022
Sat Dec 3, 2022
Take them all or drop in for one.
Home studio in the Roncesvalles Toronto Area
8 people max due to studio size
$75 For all five workshop
$25 For Drop-ins
Take all the workshops or drop by for one or two
- Masks are optional unless a significant Covid wave occurs in the fall.
- There will be HEPA filter at the entrance and in the studio
Kathleen danced with Canada’s Ballet Jorgen, National Ballet of Canada, and Tiroler Landestheater. Kathleen's life’s course changed 24 years ago when she fell in love with contact improvisation and has devoted her career to this dance form ever since. She has choreographed over 50 dance works and been nominated for 7 DORAs. Kathleen has autism and a learning disability that results in writing taking 8 times longer than average. It is a surprise and mystery for her that despite these struggles she developed a love of writing and is a published author (“The Healing Dance”). She has a master’s degree in Expressive Arts and has a passion for functional movement through her study of the Axis Syllabus. She is the director of REAson d’etre dance production, producing dance-theatre productions, Contact Dance International Film Festival, a weekly Toronto-based jam, and dance classes and workshops.
WHAT IS CONTACT IMPROVISATION?
It is a dance form that is not codified and therefore not easy to define which many feels is one of its attributes.
Each person can therefore have their own definition.
"Contact Improvisation is a social dance involving touch, in which momentum between two or more people is used to create and inspire dance movements. Contact improvisation evolved from the exploration of a group of dancers in the early 1970s, including Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith, Danny Lepkoff, Lisa Nelson, Karen Nelson, Nita Little, Andrew Harwood, and Ray Chung. Steve Paxton brought his former training in Aikido to the form, using the idea of "surfing" momentum to communicate, dance, and express. Dancers move and "stay-with" a constantly changing physical reality. In Contact Improvisation there are no set leaders and followers as in other social dance forms. Instead of having these roles set, the role of the dancer shifts from one to the other, sometimes leading, sometimes following, and all the variations in between these two roles. The form requires deep “listening” and responding "in the moment" to one’s partner. The dance form is practiced with or without music. Techniques include rolling point of contact, balancing over a partner's centre of gravity, and "listening" with one's skin surface. While there is technique involved in the form, the aesthetic I reach for is the quality of the relationship within a dance.
The form is potentially accessible to all people, including those with no previous dance training and people with physical disabilities. I say potentially because "-isms" such as racism and ableism historically have reduced or inhibited access. The -isms that are embedded in the broader cultures in which Contact Improvisation is practiced are acted out in Contact Improvisation communities