Open Labs

During the festival there will be an open space for participant directed lab work. Contact Labs are semi-structured learning situations which focus more specifically on the development of the practice than Jams. As such, there is more explicit attention on discussion and feedback at the Lab. Labs at the T&P Festival will be both theoretical or practical with subjects both more or less related to CI. Lab spaces are limited and will be awarded to the most interesting and popular ideas. We invite you to submit your concepts in the comment box below or bring them with you and post them on the board provided at the festival for that purpose.

Comments and Suggestions


Touch is one of the basic ingredients in Contact Improvisation. Our intention is to explore touch as an invitation to move and be moved, to relate to one self and to others, to say yes and to say no. Our starting points are questions, how to invite, guide, seduce, turn away, ignore, support, respect through the touch? How can we read each others intentions and aims, desires or hesitations through touch and through our moving bodies? How do we know when to surrender and to let go, when to stand still or to hold on, when to use our power and when to wait?
If we see touch as the words of our non-verbal language, how do we communicate?
And then, what touches us?

“Trio: widened presence”

Trio in contact dance and other life situations. How do I feel when my partner’s attention is not on me? What do I do and what I feel when we are more than two? What is my responsability, and what happens by accident? Where is the joy? What can I do to make the myracles of trio happen?


Research in manipulation and materials.
A Manipulation that integrates the whole body in the movement of the object. The connection that is made with the object isn’t just about domination and being dominated. It is rather a fragile game, letting the body pass multiple metamorphoses.
Listening to the contact. Breaking the space & the perception, beginning the game.
… Clothing – habitat – being …
… vesture – to vest – travesty … Transformations in the costume of a game.

We will inspire our movements by those of the material. The object/clothing will be our main partner with whom we will develop a duo of mutual manipulation.
Approaches of CI, massage, elements of the “Laboratoire des Etudes de Mouvement” (LEM – Jacques Lecoq), bodywork & impulses with human partners, objects and costumes.

Kim Nelson & Lindsay sworski


Please join us as we explore the magic chemistry of Contact Improvisation and Authentic Movement. In this workshop we will track between inner and outer, self and other, body and soul – as we open to the dance that dances us! Here we will explore making love with impermanence, physically embodying the unknown, letting go of what we think Contact Improvisation looks like, what we think should happen, and who we think we are. Transcending its classification as a sport or an art, we invite you to enter CI as an awareness practice in relationship, a way to live. Join us beyond objectification, where dancers become living subjects, pulsing with awareness, filled with volition, articulating their wisdom, and having the time of their lives.

We will imbue CI with with essential elements of Authentic Movement: ritual space, cultivation of inward presence, listening and waiting for our inner impulses, clear tracking and articulation of our experience in the dance, and opening to seeing/sensing the other, just as they see and sense us. This workshop is great for CI beginners navigating how to stay connected to their truth in the wilderness of a CI jam, and perfect for experienced dancers who are longing to bring their full human selves into their dance.

Rest Fullness

My core movement practice is Craniosacral work. The defining feature of this work is learning how to sit, patiently waiting for nothing to happen. Learning how to be as comfortable with stillness & as present for nothing happening as for something happening. This cultivates a state of restfulness that allows the body to unwind (internally) in a spontaneous, authentic way.

When I started dancing contact I found that the idea & practice of “The Small Dance” was related to all this. But away from that practice I often felt that the moments of stillness encountered in the dance were somehow like pauses, the bits in between the dance, rather than integral to the dance.

So I’d like to explore questions of resting & stillness.

I’d like to explore our resistance to or difficulties with resting & being still with one another – is part of the difficulty that it simply becomes too intimate, too close for comfort?

& I’d like to explore what happens to us when we really rest with one another in the dance, when the dance unfolds from our restfulness.

Dissolving Duality

How can we access non-dual consciousness in the dance, where there is no dancer, only dancing?

For me the magic of C.I. is in the quality & depth of meeting that unfolds when I manage to get out of my own way & let the dance unfold. I’d like to share my experience of finding, losing & finding again this transcendent quality of contact & I’d like to hear of yours.

3. Silence In Court

When people who’ve not danced contact ask me what it is I often say it’s dance with no steps & a lot of curiosity, not knowing, trust & commitment; you don’t know where you’re going but you do know you’re going there together.

Contact tends to attract people who are averse to dogmatism. But there’s a funny thing that happens as soon as people start investing in something & having opinions about it, even in something as inherently “rule free” as C.I. – the form starts to conform to these opinions, they form the culture which defines the form.

Why is this?

For me, the idea of being able (let alone wanting) to separate physics from chemistry in a practice as deeply humanizing as contact is bizarre – take away the chemistry & there’s no body there.

So I’d like to do 2 things in this lab.

Firstly to provide a forum for everyone to flag up the aspects of C.I. that they feel or have felt are constricting (whether tacitly or explicitly).

& Secondly to explore how to move from this sense of constriction to a freer way of being in the dance.

For the second of these I’d like to use the question of silence & talking as a vehicle. On this front I’ve been to two kinds of jam – the more usual in which talking is actively discouraged as distracting & unhelpful – & the more unusual in which talking & making noise is actively encouraged, probably as a way of registering protest at the “Silence In Court” ruling. Again, as a human without their chemistry is no body at all, a human denied a voice is a long way from liberation. Personally I’ve found it very liberating to open up the verbal channel in the dance – to speak the awkwardness, the lack of confidence, the confusion & the joy, in the unfolding moment.

So I’d like to work & play with this as our vehicle for dissolving the dogma.

“Every ism makes a schism,
I’m for anti-ism ism.”

(Red Mitchell)

CI meetz le Parkour

Parkour or l’art du déplacement is the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one’s path by adapting one’s movements to the environment. It is a non-competitive, physical discipline of French origin in which participants run along a route, attempting to negotiate obstacles in the most efficient way possible. Skills such as jumping and climbing, or the more specific parkour moves are employed. The object of parkour is to get from one place to another using only the human body and the objects in the environment. The obstacles can be anything in one’s environment, but parkour is often seen practiced in urban areas because of the many suitable public structures available such as buildings and rails.

Can it be interesting to explore the possibilities of jumping and climbing in CI? How fits the idea of obstacle/barrier/wall/climbing object into dancing?

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