Karl Frost (Leipzig/USA)          Contact Improvisation: a holistic approach


A strength of contact improvisation in its avoidance of clear definition is its nature as meandering engagement with our whole selves: the physical, the poetic, the aesthetic. Release through dynamic, athletic movement intrinsically works on core holding patterns. As we cultivate an inner calm, it facilitates the exhilaration of 3 dimensional flight together through space. A willingness to engage with mental/emotional state facilitates a more sophisticated experiential art-making, novel movement pathways, and a richer physical poetics. In taking a “holistic” approach, we keep circling back around to different aspects of ourselves and different modes of exploration in contact, seeing how they are interwoven and how each contains the seeds of the other.


Fulfilling the need for rest and nurturing, the thrill of the roller-coaster ride of bodies flying together through space, the getting lost in sensory exploration, the enigmatic sense of personal process and unwinding of social stress, playful aesthetic collaboration shared creative games… contact fulfills multiple needs and curiosities.


We calm the mind to allow for more aliveness, cultivating a spaciousness in the experience of time that allows for more fluid and present relationship to unfolding mechanics, more functional body awareness.




A mix of technical work, open ended investigations, athleticism, bodywork, mind work, and a fair bit of sweat.


Karl Frost has been practicing and teaching contact improvisation and related investigations since the late 1980s in California and has shared his work in over 25 countries. He began his movement explorations in martial arts as a teenager, before expanding his studies to somatics, contemporary dance, contact improvisation, and physical theater. His performance work, via his company, Body Research Physical Theater, explores postdramatic works rooted in somatic psychology and paratheatrical exploration and alternates between stage productions and highly interactive performance happenings exploring audience agency and personal meaning. He has an MFA in Dramatic Arts and a PhD in Ecology and has a 2 year position at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Human Behavior, Ecology, and Culture in Leipzig, Germany.