Contact Improv workshop and jam with Mark Young, June18-July1

Leviathan Studio provides the ultimate environment to study and train in Contact Improvisation. The studio was designed for Contact Improvisation. The floor is suspended on car tires for soft landings. The food is plentiful, high quality, both high in protein and fat. The workshop format of 12days allows for learning, assimilation and practice. The evening sauna unwinds tension before bed. Situated at the top of hill on an island, off-grid, no wifi distractions, no sirens, no traffic…it is ideal.

I have been encouraged to name this workshop, ’Contact Mechanics,’ or ‘Contact Improv Mechanics.’ We are looking at the ways and shapes in which two bodies move together with smooth flow, ease, feathery light touch, and speed. Spiral movement, as studied in tai chi, is essential in good CI. Utilizing tai chi and Paxton’s helix rolls, we adapt these movements to the duet form of Contact Improv. We find ease of movement, flow, feathery light touch in elevations and soft descents. 

The aikido roll informs us of how to conserve energy when coming down and how to redirect that energy towards up. We are not here to cuddle. We are here to dance. We will explore ways of how to incorporate the aikido roll into our dances.

The daily routine is a 2hr morning class, long lunch break of 4hrs, afternoon Contemplative Dance Practice(CDP), and an evening jam followed by sauna. Food is always available and this isn’t the usual beans and tofu. Wild Sockeye salmon is served along with free range organic chickens raised on the property, wild lamb, Lasqueti raised pork and beef, as well as, lots of fruit and fresh kale from the garden.

Contemplative Dance Practice was created by Barbara Dilly. It is practiced in three sections. The first 20min is silent meditation. The second 20min is personal warm-up. The third section 40min of group work or collaborative, often leading to really good Contact Improvisation. It is the quality of listening that is enhanced that, in turn, leads to a feathery light quality in duets, with qualities of fast, soft and subtle. Listening is not something we do with our ears. That is hearing. Listening is what we do with all our senses when we direct attention. Listening leads to enhanced awareness. 

Most participants notice a change in their dance by the third day. This sensation continues for every day of the workshop, a sense of having better, more meaningful, more fulfilling dances. It becomes evident to the observer of the evening jams, that the group has improved as CI dancers. Old patterns of blocking or stopping the flow are eliminated as new pathways are discovered. There are good choreographic sequences to be gleaned from this workshop for any professional dancers. Check out the videos below.

Arrive on Sunday June 18 for orientation, dinner, jam, sauna. Class begins on Monday morning at 10am. The final jam is Friday, June30 with departure on Saturday at 8am or 11am ferries. $1500Canadian includes all tuition, taxes, food, lodging, and transportation on Lasqueti. Go to ‘Contact Us’ on the right side of the page to register. If you don’t hear back within 48hrs, check your spam folder.

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