Scott Wells (USA)                    Ensemble States


Ensemble States
We start with connecting to our bodies and then take it into group explorations. We play with the freedom of expression found in ecstatic, 5 rhythms, soul motion forms and the somatic (body awareness) found in contact improvisation, and build that into group connections, expression and play.
Practices include:
Contact improvisation, ensemble tuning, authentic movement, bodywork, group lifts, scores, and performance jamming.
Sourcing--connecting with your body, impulses + spontaneity
Ensemble states—contact improv. tuning exercises, composition
and non-composition, playful ways to connect
and structures to get us going and to distract a busy mind
We’ll dance with contact improvisation, in silence, with music as
we make connections through space, time and movement. Access creativity. Encounter the moment through exploratory play...
All levels welcome.


In 1981 Scott Wells discovered the pleasure of contact improvisation shortly after becoming obsessed with the struggles of modern dance. He stuck with both and currently directs a company in San Francisco and tours annually to Europe. Wells has created works for skateboarders, boxers and recently choreographed West Side Story. In 2005 Scott received the Izzie for Outstanding Choreography and was selected by Dance Magazine as “one of the 25 To Watch”.

After receiving his MFA in Dance from the University of Illinois, Scott moved to San Francisco and started a dance company with everyone’s favorite dancer, Kathleen Hermesdorf. This first company consisted of fellow graduates form Illinois who decided of make a go of it. The first show had an audience of 15, but hey, Joe Goode came. By that summer the SW&D performed to large houses at Theater Artaud and excited the critics:

“Wells’ movement phrases are uncommonly lush and fluent…His control of the viewer’s eye is masterly beyond his years” David Gere, Oakland Tribune 1992

“We will be hearing alot more from this intelligent choreographer…..Scott wells is a choreographer to watch” Marilyn Tucker, S.F. Chronicle 1992

“Wells has hair split timing and hair raising results. He has been in the Bay Area for barely a year, but judging from the crowd at Theater Artaud, word has gotten around. Scott Wells is a fresh voice and one to be watched” SF BAY GUARDIAN.

“Don’t rent them your house as a rehearsal space. They’re as hard on the furniture as they are on each other.“ SF SENTINEL

Although to some it seemed SW&D was headed straight to the top, the company has hung around San Francisco and made some fine work without becoming world famous or rich (enough). However, Wells has toured to many countries (Turkey, Canada, Germany, Romania, Croatia, Denmark, Holland and Hungary) to teach and perform because of his renown in the world of Contact Improvisation. In 2009 he tought in Germany, Spain and Austria created new works and had a baby in Budapest.