Gianfranco Celestino (Luxembourg)

CI into instant composing.


In this class we will explore the state of mind of being in the flow of the movement. We will focus on the awareness of our own moving body in relation to the moving body of our dance partner. We will play with leader/follower roles, becoming aware of their contribution to the compositional process. Being in contact is communicating with each other. Taking decisions is part of the act of composing. Relating and responding to decisions and their consequences are part of the communication process between dance partners. Being in the moment and in contact with the dance partner, not only physically, are some of the elements we will play with to become aware of the process of instant composing.


Gianfranco Celestino

After he accomplished his classical piano studies at Conservatorio « G. Verdi » in Torino (I), Gianfranco Celestino studied dance at the « Folkwang Hochschule » in Essen (D). In 1999 he studied in Venice at « Accademia Isola Danza », directed by Carolyn Carlson. In the same year he received the scholarship to take part into the « Dance WEB » programme at Wiener Tanz Wochen in Vienna. In 2012-2013 he has taken part in improvisation masterclasses with Rosalind Crisp and Andrew Morrish.


He has worked, between others, with Les Ballets C. de la B. (B), Unit.Control (L), ARAZZO Tanztheater (D).


Since 2002 he works on his own choreographic ideas.


Since 2015 he teaches Contact Improvisation.

Jo Bruhn (Steigemühle/France/GER)

Lifts - or playing with gravitiy


How can I weave a lift in my dance?
How can I stay in the softness?
How can I surprise my partners without overstraining them?
Can I surprise myself?

For me lifts and jumps are a wonderful part of Contact Improvisation.
A question that always keeps me busy is how these can happen as effortlessly as possible and without much muscular strength, whether with or without a lot of momentum.
In this workshop we will easily discover some "flying" facets of Contact Improvisation.
High and low, flying and falling, above and below... We will also investigate the question whether I can open my perception in such a way that I can consciously influence the composition in space despite being deeply involved in my own dance.


Jo Bruhn
is performer, dancer, CI teacher, mover, festival organizer.
More than 10 years ago he met Contract Improvisation. Fascinated by the universe that unfolded to him, he felt particularly attracted to the communication between the dancing bodies and the flowing acrobatics in dance.
Among others, he completed the "Dance Intensive" at Tanzfabrik Berlin and worked intensively with Nancy Stark Smith, Mike Vargas, Britta Pudelko and many others.

Jori Snell (Denmark)

Finding one’s Place..”


questioning placement, displacement and geography in CI

We are all familiar with the sensation of “right time, right place, right action”, but what does it mean?

 Is it possible to find tools towards fine-tuning one’s sense of “belonging”?

 Or what could possible ingredients be for awakening a sense of home-coming ín the dance, ín the space, ín this a particular moment, at a particular place or spot, -with a partner, the rest of the group or alone-?

What does it take to become more aware of these moments and is it possible to be more open and inviting to these moments, or even ‘create the circumstances’ for these moments to happen?

From a somatic approach and through bodywork, we will explore what this ‘being in the right moment- in the right place’ could mean. Continuing with improvisations in various forms and numbers, we will question if and how our inner sense of placement and ‘geography’ plays a role in our orientation towards the outer geographic landscape of an improvisation and vice versa.


Inspired by views on geography by James Hilman, Jungian psychologist:


...when turning our attention into land and landscape: into mountains, rivers, forests, deserts, jungles. Again: place and aesthetic sense. Geography is much deeper than History—it is there where you can find the richest archetypal images. You should look for the animal soul that is rooted in nature” *

* Extract from article: ‘From history to geography-conversations with James Hillman’


Jori Snell is a physical performing-and visual artist from Holland/Denmark (1972). She works as a freelance performer, improviser, director and teacher in Europe, transforming her training in physical theatre, contact improvisation (CI), butoh/martial arts and visual arts into a personal language. Companies she has worked with are: Odin Teatret (DK), Teatret OM (DK), Corona la Balance/ZeBU(DK) and Panthéâtre (Roy Hart Theatre, FR). Between 2008-2016, she was based in Cape Town, South Africa, creating works for/with companies such as FTH:K & Ubom! (Physical/Visual Theatres) and Remix Dance Company (Mixed Ability Dance). She initiated and sustained the CI scene in Cape Town. Her inspiration in CI and Improvisation has come from her work with Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood, Kirstie Simson, Katie Duck, Lucia Walker, Ray Chung, Nancy Stark Smith and many others.


In her work and teaching she aims to bring alive an authentic expression in body, mind and space, moving between dance, myth & poetry with a love for spontaneous, alive and improvised image-making.


Ksenia Isaeva (Russia)

Keys to the dance. Where does the Backspace begin?


We will have a question - the one in the title. Even if you think you know the answer, pretend that you are looking for it. Start to look for it. In the practical part of the class we will awaken the space behind our backs. In this part, we have no such a question like where does the space behind begin. We, most likely, heard this term, and something begins to occur simply when we hear it. This space is there, behind my back, where I do not see, where I go less often. There can be risk, trust, courage, bodywork, hearing.. many things. In another part of the class, we would suddenly realize that there is no space behind our backs. That we can see everything, perhaps, not with our eyes. And despite the fact that this could be the answer to the question that was in the title, we pretend that we are still looking for an answer. Because what is interesting - is the condition that opens in the search. Between question and answer. And, in fact, the class is about it.


Ksenia Isaeva (Moscow) 9 years ago I've met CI and step by step it pulled me in completely. Now I live in Moscow and travel a lot. I taught CI in Russia, Europ, Goa, Argentina, Brazil. I love dancing CI, to learn continiously from different teachers from all over the world, to teach and organize CI events. I am very inspired by such practices as Authentic movement, bodywork, somatiques, dance in the nature. With all this I nourish my dance and integrate it in my contact improvisation. I've graduated in the Institute for Holistic Dance and Movement pedagogy of Sabine Parzer. My current interest in CI: How to open the field of experiment and exploration in CI and.. be able to let it all go, when you fall in pure energy of the dance.


Laura Hicks (Frankfurt/Canada)

The Intuitive Body


This is class is a frame for tuning the body into dancing while working on a few details in between. The intention is to ‘tune’ our perceptual body into solo movement that allows us greater availability when connecting with others. We will pass through different states of awakening – skin, flesh, bones, into the more abstract – time and space. We will take the time to notice detail, and work on the role of improvisation when dancing CI.


Laura Hicks (1979) is a professional dancer, choreographer, and educator based in Germany. Inspired by a love of improvisation, movement patterning, and philosophy, her current research investigates states of the body as informed by relation; what we sense, changes how we experience ourselves, and the world around us. Practicing Contact Improvisation since 2004, she is influenced by the teachings of Nancy Stark Smith, Steve Paxton, Andrew Hardwood, and Chris Aiken, and Peter Bingham. Laura holds an MA in Contemporary Dance Education (MACoDE), and currently works as a professor for the University of Music and Performing Arts and choreographer for Hicks&Bühler in Frankfurt am Main. Http://

Simon Wenger (Switzerland)

«Poetry of Bodies»
In dance improvisation we can talk a lot about techniques of composing, and that’s a beautiful part of the work. Still, there is a area without words, something that is fascinating or irritating us, something ephemeral we just can experience but not catch properly with thoughts.
Let’s call it «Poetry». And let’s trust that our bodies have a sense for it, an intuitive understanding for poetic details, poetic moments, poetic atmospheres: We sense when it tickles under our skin or vibrates in the air, we sense when something poetical emerges in a single move, in a duet or in the hole space. And we sense when it disappears again, as suddenly and unpredictably as it poped up.
This class is a short exploration in physical poetry. We try both: We compose by choice and by chance, we compose consciously and we «just» notice how composition by improvising happens itself, how it passes by and occurs again almost in the same moment.

Simon Wenger
Graduated in contemporary dance with focus on improvisation I am working as a dance teacher, movement researcher and occasionally as a choreograph and performer. I live in Basel.