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Vienna, Austria
Contact Improvisation Workshop: Move Together!
26th to 29th May 2022

portugal open score

Move together!
Contact Improvisation
as an Ensemble Practice

The idea of these four days is simply to move together as a group though sharing the practice of contact improvisation.

My greatest joy in dancing CI is the ensemble form; to embark on an improvisational journey through time and space with a group of fellow travellers. Along the way solo personal journeys intersect with others in the form of duets, trios, quartets or more; from longer lasting engagements to fleeting movements of shared connections.

While this is always a possibility in public jams, there’s no better place to experience the possibilities of ensemble contact improvisation than within the container of a group formed with the intention to practice and study how we can dance together … and this is what I offer to facilitate during these four days.

Underscore or not Underscore

During the 30 years or more that I’ve been practising contact improvisation, I was lucky enough to study regularly with Nancy Stark Smith from 1994-2001. Over those years, she was busy developing what in 2001 she finally named the Underscore.

In those days, there were many other supporting practices that we explored together with Nancy besides the Underscore itself. These days when I encounter the Underscore, I often find it presented and practiced in a way that I experience as narrower and less playful than I personally remember and enjoy.

My experience of Nancy’s work will support our exploration together but this will not be an Underscore workshop per se. At least, I will share my knowledge of the Underscore playfully. No long lectures or lists of diagrams! And I have many other skills and interests as a dance artist and somatic practitioner that can also support our practice together.

If you have been put off by previous encounters with the Underscore, don’t worry, this will be different; if you are someone who loves the Underscore, don’t worry, then hopefully you’ll love this too and it will only serve to deepen your understanding of the Underscore; and if you have never heard of the Underscore, don’t worry, just bring your curiosity and your dance pants.


Level – In principle all are welcome. Some basic knowledge and experience of contact improvisation will be assumed. I will not teach how to dance CI. I will teach some CI technique but always in service of ensemble dancing. If in doubt then feel free to email me.

Accessibility – The studio is on the mezzanine floor and there is one short flight of stairs to negotiate in order to enter.

Group size – the studio can comfortably hold 16 people. In the unlikely event that covid restrictions are re-imposed (previously there was a limit of nine plus the teacher in the space) then the workshop places will be offered to those who signed up and paid first.

Facilities – There are three toilets, three showers, and a long corridor used as a changing room. There’s a kitchen and a comfortable lounge area that we can also use. (Under covid measures, the kitchen and lounge is not available.)

Schedule – The space is reserved for us from 10.00 am to 10.00pm each day. We’ll begin on the first day at 10.00am and figure out a schedule from there. I will offer at least five hours facilitation every day, mostly during the daytime. When I’m not facilitating the space will be open for us to use as we like. We can have some evening jams too.

Covid – Contact Improvisation during a pandemic is always going to be problematic – the clue is in the name! The pandemic has effected us all, no matter how. Personally, because of my work with vulnerable children, then since we will be working closely together I am asking for participants to show a negative covid test taken no more than 48hrs before the workshop begins. In addition, I will provide antigen tests for us to use on Saturday morning.

Practical details

Dates: 26th to 29th May 2022
Times: 10.00-16.30 (typical day – times may vary to include evening sessions)
Level: Open to the curious with some CI experience
Place: RAUM für TANZ,
Neubaugasse 31, Stiege 2 im Hof, 1070 Wien

Booking and payment

There will be two work-study places available – a sizeable reduction in exchange for cleaning and key duties (opening and closing the space). Feel free to contact me if you are interested.