IDOCs » Contact Festival Freiburg 2019 Teachers Meeting 5x5 - 06.08.2019
5x5 simple structure provides a peek into the individual’s life without listening to overwhelming, long life stories. At the TM lists with 5 time slots of 5 minutes each are provided where anyone who wants to talk can sign up to share (teachers & helpers). The topic - what you find important to share with the group of teachers - is up to you. It can be the project you are currently working on, teaching issues, life/work struggles as well as statements and personal stories.

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Below notes were taken by Joe Dumit and Dilek Üstünalan. Full content of the sharings can be found as voice and video recordings at the end of this idoc. Videos were taken by Defne Erdur and voice recordings by Dilek Üstünalan.

Konstantinos Mihos - taught last year. this year took responsability to do a film about the festival. when people see a camera, they feel a weapon - godard. but it is a support. i welcome you. i want to shoot the festival from very close. when we film ci like italian cinema from a distance moving around it doesn’t reveal what is happening between two people. that means your participants must feel comfortable with a third dancer. this is not easy. problem with scheduling. whoever feels comfortable can invite me to shoot this way their class. otherwise i can sit in corner and shoot. actually i already have 10 min film. to invite whoever feels comfortable to invite me to class. `````also i will ask for interviews, i will put questions to the precarious times we all live in.

q: what is film about?

a: about contact. the citizen kane of contact. famous movie.


Alejandro Karasic: yesterday talking with helpers and about the outside. i had an insight about sex and contact. i am getting certified in Sexological Bodywork = sexual therapy. When people talk about getting sex out of contact, i feel something bad in my body, bad sensation. i start to feel awkward. the thing that came yesterday to my mind. we are talking about abuse. argentina philosopher: rape is not about sex it is about power. difficult into jam because we don’t talk about it much. Also the field of improvisation: some festivals might feel like bringing it in to their curriculum would affect its image so they avoid it - no way to talk about it. put it under the carpet. then abuse becomes more subtle i feel. sensation something happening to you but no explicit thing so don’t know how to say no. my invitation is to include a curricular thing in classes and festivals to sensitize: the moment sex is not talked about you feel insecure. fear, flight will show up and your dances will not have openness to awareness. awareness is not defensiveness is not awareness. `defensive structures: this is why maybe so many people are interested in bones and muscles. Not systems: organs, pleasure (not genitals - that is a misunderstanding). Fight flight mode makes dance difficult.

most of sexuality expressed in jam is normative. then we are silencing normative sexuality and centralizing it at same time: queer sexuality not even part of discussion.


Alejandra Garavito/Jeanette Soria: both from guatamala (central america). we both had opportunity to experience contact outside of our country, moving. came back home had nowhere to practice. so we decided to start jams and classes. with our brackgrounds from contemporary, psychology, etc. good but also challenging and frustratting to share a practice we were already starting with. we wanted to jam and had no one to jam with. this was five years ago. very interested in how this practice that is so radical in so many senses to myself has the possibility to transform in a context not so far away from war. 30 years war ended in 96. central america is not peaceful 20 deaths/day minimum. nothing i nourished to flourish, have tenderness, contained, vulnerable, defensive all the time. we are sharing if later anyone has experience working in countries that have similarities, if you have insights in how to empower the body (first territory) first step to regain terrritory taken from us historically. this year, we did the first ci gathering in guatamala: theme: active body, social body. threw a lot of questions we had not asked ourselves, sexual assault, violent place, can the practice change things if the violators are not taking part. challenged our dynamics of power because of our experiences outside. next year second iteration of gathering, we want to address the native / indigenous people (22 cultures in Guatamala). we are the privileged people and there are other layers of it we want to invite. we don’t want to repeat the colonizer dynamic. happening April 2020. come join! beautiful landscapes, really affordable. combining ci with ancient practices before conquered / colonized. how to regain these situations together.


Alessandro Francescelli: Different experience of time. there was no night. you can sleep any time. I went with my family. We had an accident. My daughter fell down while riding a bike and hit her head. She said why did we come here. I thought for the first time’ how would be my life without my daughter and I was so scared. And sometimes I ask how could I live without CI’ or this community. I propose a project for the next days: How to get lost in the city of Freiburg. You can play this maybe in experimental day’ can be alone. What do you feel while you are leaving this community and slowly approaching into another world’ less safe and people speaking in german?


Katja Basaleva: speaks in Russian
It may take less than 5 minutes.
And I would like to share ideas which nourish my interest in what I call contact improvisation. I am going to tell a little bit about what we've been doing in lab frames. These labs involve those who are curious about contact improvisation and movement beyond social and personal context. Something about the movement of mind and matter from the perspective where those contexts don't exist yet.

 Just mind. Just matter. Might be, heretical approach.

 In the context of contact improvisation, one can often hear about a meeting, a point of contact, leading-following, respect to boundaries... And this means that we perceive ourselves as separate beings who seek for compatibility… and the majority of encounters happen on the surface where there's the abyss between me and not-me.

And here we see the whole spectrum of differences: social, political, gender, cultural, personal, status... But what if we could dive even deeper, to the very bottom of consciousness underneath those differences, where we are the one. What if in that layer of mind, we'll obtain even more abilities to be and move in one body.

We explore at the intersection of contact improvisation and ideokinesis. What if our mind is able to be embodied in any form? What if our mind can be disembodied out of known, habitual form, can stop identifying itself with something unalterable, familiar? Can our mind be embodied in just one cell, a single atom or one body system: blood, nervous, fascial, muscular? And be that as a whole. And therefore – in case the mind can be so flexible and steady at any location, can it be - in the same way - in the one body when we improvise.

And the next point is also worth mentioning. About sensations… as one of the ways to be in a dance for a long time, with ease, keeping dynamics. I'm interested to find such ways of movement, in which there are almost no sensations, or they get subtle to the limit. It may seem weird because many of us are in the chase for sensations:) But accurate, timely, not contradictory action causes almost no sensations (pressure, tension).

Sensations - are the effect of resistance and time lag created by movement. Active movement in the zone underneath sensations provides the ability to avoid lots of physical injuries. How to be on time and not to produce something which can wreck me or become an obstacle to what I do.

 If mind can give birth to ideas about movement, then, how matter can embody them at the same moment? Here I am talking about how I can avoid becoming an obstacle to myself and everything which is happening around.

There's much more to share but it is the right moment to finish for now.


Rosalind Holgate Smith: 

What is Art?

Recently I have decided that Art exists somewhere between The Authentic and The Artificial.

To explain, I will begin by defining what I mean by Authentic and Artificial, before considering how the two combine.

As a dancer I see that most things can be broken down into expressions of movement. For some years I have been studying Authentic Movement, a meditative, and spiritual movement practice, first developed by Mary Starks Whitehouse in the 1950’s, and further established through a lineage of women. Starks, Whitehouse was at first a dancer, investigating what she perceived to be innate, original movements.

What I have learnt from this practice is that an authentic or original movement is essentially an act of curiosity. Born from a pure and instinctual desire to attend. In this gesture I devote my attention to a sensation, towards which I am curious. Curious because I don’t know this sensation that I attend to and yet I open my senses to receive it more fully into my corporeal experience. Perhaps I might learn something of it.
Since movement and touch were the first of our senses to develop in utero I find it worth returning to our embryological development as a point of reference, when considering authentic movements. As a feotus we moved in response to sound, temperature and the sense of another, both away and towards sensations. Such authentic gestures were instinctual; spirited expressions. Our gestures, that as babies, moved towards sensations of attraction, such as the warmth of our mothers breast, I consider as acts of curiosity that out of love opened receptively and reached further towards sources of life, giving, growth and generosity.

I think of The Artificial as being concerned with the making of things, the work and skill involved in the shaping of form and all tangible matter. The artificial is about production and also how I do what I do, my work…whether it be the washing up or my professional career. We may consider there to be degrees of how artificial the things are that we live with. The furniture, our clothes, our shoes, our houses. Depending on how these materials are crafted exists the distinction between art and the artificial. Many of our clothes and the things we live with are manufactured by machines that do not know how to love, how to be curious, how to devote their attention to the action they have been programmed to perform. Some of this produce is so artificial it may as well be dead. Jobs can feel pretty artificial too, when your heart just isn’t in it.

To return to the idea that Art exists between the artificial and the authentic. When I consider how these two combine I’m thinking about a living art that involves attending to what we do with curiosity. What if you could make Art today, everyday in the simple work you do, like washing the dishes, feeding the dog, or serving a customer. And if, like me, your somebody that tries to do many things, can you consider just one? For to experience and deeply understand Art, I must fully devote my attention to the work in hand. I must let go of all other agenda’s to come to accept the qualitative feeling of the work in hand.
I believe that Art can exist in anything I decide to do. So long as I stay curious I can serve fish on the market… and the people that I interact with, and the money that I take…and the table on which I lay out my stock… if I am interested in it all, if I am still curious, maybe everyday I can make art.

I’m not dismissing art in galleries. They are stocked with wonderful sculptures and paintings; presenting examples of things, made by inquiring spirits. But if you want to practice art my guidance is follow your heart and don’t forget to feel when you are doing the dishes.

P.S. If your dishes come out cleaner or if you have any other reflections, I’d love to hear from you.

Rosalind Holgate Smith



This document is created based on the consent of all the participating teachers during the contactfestival freiburg Teachers Meeting 2019. 

If for some reason you (as one of the participants of this meeting) changed your mind and wish some or all parts of this document not to be published, please contact



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[type: mp45X5-FreiburgTM-2109-Ale.GJeanette
[type: mp45X5-FreiburgTM-2109-Alessandro
[type: mp45X5-FreiburgTM-2109-Katya
[type: mp45X5-FreiburgTM-2109-Konstantinos
[type: mp45X5-FreiburgTM-2109-Rosalind

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