TEACHING

Breitenbush Jam, March 15–23, 2018:
Lightness is a Direction
Intensive Workshop with Ronja Ver

Lightness is a direction. Lightness is an attitude. Inside the arc of flight, there are fine mechanics at work. How do we develop the sensory capacity to read and play with the multiple forces affecting our bodies, in motion, and off our own supports? How do we communicate our constantly changing relationships to these forces with our dance partners, even as they continue to affect our movement? My understanding of the arc of flight in Contact Improvisation is less of a linear arc or wave, and more of a constantly opening, fractal-like spread of potential directions, where our pre-established neural pathways play a great part in our choice-making, and in what kind of dances we end up having.

In this workshop we look at sensing direction through the soft underlayers of the skin, and the rhizome-like network of connective tissue. I want to offer ways to question assumed qualities of our physical bodies, and experiment with embodying imagery that may be contrary to those assumptions, yet equally possible or “true”. A mash up of physics, anatomy, idiokinesis, performance theory, somatics and a whole lot of “what if”, the class offers a framework for your questions to arise and morph into possible directions in an environment of research, listening and play.

More info and registration

West Coast Contact Improvisation Jam, June 29–July 3, 2018:
Patterning De-Patterning
All levels Intensive with Ronja Ver and René Alvarez

In infancy we learn movement through fundamental developmental patterns, which form a base for learning more complex movements. In our dancing we also learn and develop patterns, which support us in moving together, taking weight, falling safely, and many other ways. Yet Contact Improvisation in its core is about opening and responding to unknown. As useful as they are, our well established neural pathways can also impede our dances, and hinder us from noticing what else is possible. How do we learn to un-learn; to let go of assumptions in order to see a wider spectrum of possibility in each moment? How can we invite into our dancing something that we may not yet be able to imagine?  This workshop is about opening up to possibility in improvising contact: realizing that between our known pathways there is an infinite number of directions that can keep opening like a fractal, the deeper we delve into unlearning what we think are the limits of our movement. For all levels of experienced participants.

More info and Registration

Contact Improvisation Ground Research 2016:
Unraveling Normal
with Ronja Ver and René Alvarez

This is an invitation to rigorously challenge ourselves to expand our awareness within and around the dance form we love. What is normal for you? What are the areas you don’t like to think about? Where do you draw the boundary between CI and something else? Why are we triggered, what is it that makes us feel protective? Let’s look at the places of discomfort, not turn away, allow the unfamiliarity of being with the questions to teach us.

We are all tangled up in assumptions of ”normal,” the unspoken cultures around CI, the aesthetics, the duet form, the ways our dancing reflects the structures of oppression in our society, and the denial that enables those structures to still stand today. We are tangled up in our personal habits and patterns, and our habits and patterns around breaking those habits. Unraveling normal is an invitation to look at how we are inhibiting our vision of what is possible. We will be working with documenting our dances and our processes, in writing and wording the experiences from our bodies.

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Photo: Marko Kokkonen

March 13-17, 2016
Earthdance, Plainfield MA
More info and registration

Earthdance Spring Equinox Jam
facilitated by Ronja Ver, Sarah Konner and Neige Christensen

Come intertwine with friends old and new in the embrace of spring’s awakening! We melt away the layers of winter and find softness in the dance of Contact Improvisation. Open to all ages, backgrounds, levels, and styles of dancing.

March 17-20, 2016
Earthdance, Plainfield MA
More info and registration

Skiing On Skin – Contactfestival Finland 2016:
Uncontrolled Flight Patterns

We will look back to the early days of Contact Improvisation and experiment with material that was part of Magnesium, the performance piece pre-dating CI that Steve Paxton directed at Oberlin in 1971. Launch and land like the 70’ies never ended!

Supported by space – Alignment is everywhere

In Contact Improvisation we learn optimal alignment to stay mobile while supporting weight. This workshop asks how to align our bodies in ways that we can be supported by the space. Alignment is 3-dimensional, it is linear or spiral, but it is not flat. Alignment is an action. It is a way to relate through distance, whether that distance is in between parts of my body or through open space. Alignment is everywhere – and the more we play with it the more choices we have on how to align and what to align with when we dance.

Experience level: You will get more out of this class if you already have some experience with Contact Improvisation.

February 13-19, 2016
www.contactfestival.fi

 

Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation 2015:
FLUID ARCHITECTURES
Contact Improvisation Intensive with Ronja Ver

Fluid architectures appear in the physical state between tension and relaxation, where the joints are open to move within their full range, and the body is optimally using the support of gravity to stay both grounded and light at the same time. We are working toward a constant availability for movement and for bearing weight, through re-aligning our structures between any points of contact, as soon as they emerge. The classes begin with a solo warm up, working from the ground up and looking at how the synovial joints offer possibilities for movement, direction and support. We will move from solos to duets to trios, investigating the stability and mobility of the architectures we create, and building our readiness to improvise in the three dimensional spherical space. This intensive offers a deeper look into the physical play of dancing Contact Improvisation for both beginning and experienced movers.

more info: http://velocitydancecenter.org/program/sfdi/

Kinaesthetic Readiness
Contact Improvisation series for advanced dancers with Ronja Ver

The goal of the class is to understand how we can arrive at and maintain a kinaesthetic readiness, not only for movement, but also for bearing weight through using the release of the joints to re-align our structures between any two (or more) points of contact as soon as they emerge. We will explore the ways our bodies read gravity, momentum and tone, and how we can use that awareness in our dance practice, alone and with others. We will move from solos to duets to trios, building our readiness to welcome surprise and disorientation in the three dimensional spherical space.

Saturdays July 11, 18, & 25, August 22, 2015
12:15PM-2:00PM

Drop-ins welcome. ODC class passes accepted or pay a $15 drop in fee per class.
More info

Enchanted Forest Gathering 2015:
FALL-REXLEX-REBOUND
Contact Improvisation Fundamentals with Ronja Ver

Falling, rolling, meeting the ground – Contact Improvisation offers a new way to relate to gravity. This class deepens our connection with our own weight and the physics of falling. Tuning in to our senses we work on keeping our reflexes available, our bodies open to choicemaking in each situation that arises within the dance. Playing with gravity, letting ourselves fall from close to the ground and from higher up, we learn how to recirculate the energy of the fall to bring us back up and keep the dance going.

More info: www.enchantedforestmendo.com

Possible Architectures
Contact Improvisation series with Ronja Ver

This class provides tools for accessing both our strength and flexibility in the practice of Contact Improvisation. We aim to create a physical state of alertness and availability for a dance that is both rigorous and easeful. We work with technical focus for building inner spaciousness to allow for more possibility of directions both inside our immediate kinespheres and out in space. This series offers a work-out in motion to expand our possibilities in improvising contact.

Thursdays Pre-Jam:
September 25th 2014 6:30pm

October 2nd 2014 6:30pm
October9th 2014 6:30pm

Finnish Kaleva Hall
1970 Chestnut St, Berkeley, California 94702

FALL-REXLEX-REBOUND
Contact Improvisation Fundamentals with Ronja Ver

Falling, rolling, meeting the ground – Contact Improvisation offers a new way to relate to gravity. This class deepens our connection with our own weight and the physics of falling. Tuning in to our senses we work on keeping our reflexes available, our bodies open to choicemaking in each situation that arises within the dance. Playing with gravity, letting ourselves fall from close to the ground and from higher up, we learn how to recirculate the energy of the fall to bring us back up and keep the dance going.

Thursdays Pre-Jam:
April 10th 2014 6:30pm

April 17th 2014 6:30pm
April 24th 2014 6:30pm

Finnish Kaleva Hall
1970 Chestnut St, Berkeley, California 94702

FLUID STRENGTH 
Contact Improvisation class series with Ronja Ver

This class provides tools for accessing both our strength and flexibility in the practice of Contact Improvisation. We aim to create a physical state of alertness and availability for a dance that is both rigorous and easeful. We work with technical focus for building inner spaciousness to allow for more possibility of directions both inside our immediate kinespheres and out in space.

This series offers a work-out in motion to expand our possibilities in improvising contact.

Thursdays Pre-Jam:
Nov 7th 2013 6:45pm

Nov 14th 2013 6:45pm
Nov 21st 2013 6:45pm

Finnish Kaleva Hall
1970 Chestnut St, Berkeley, California 94702