Chemistry of Contact


tAlchemical Contact: The sensorial world and the emotional body in contact improvisation

  • July 21-23, 2017
  • Berkeley, CA
    • Friday 7pm – 10pm, Saturday Noon to 6pm
      • The Finnish Hall: 1970 Chestnut Street at University
    • Sunday Noon to 6pm
      • Western Sky Studio: 2545 8th Street at Dwight

Where the base practice of contact improvisation focuses on the physics of bodies moving through contact, the the felt experience of contact and emotional echoes and evocations are parallel, endless investigations!

Emotion, feeling, body-memory, imagination, abandonment to sensory exploration, states of being and awareness, collaborative poetics of physical experience, the de/reconstruction of structures of physicality and intimacy, the personal and interpersonal, and the possibilities of emotional bodies in motion…

We give ourselves more permission to explore the felt experience of the dance and explore how to hold space and provide a frame for another’s experience. When we explore the mechanics and physics of a dance, what is it to do this from a place of the felt experience, more than the idea. practices of mindful observation of emotion as it arises allows for more aware and creative relationship with our felt experience.

We can think of emotional exploration in contact with another in at least 3 ways…

  • The feelings that get provoked through the physics of compression, support, momentum, stillness, effort, release, and textures of physical contact: a private exploration in which our partner is an environment of physical exploration – somatic response and emotional metaphor
  • Interpersonal feelings that get teased out, provoked, or facilitated with partner standing in for an archetype: feelings are those of human relationship, but not personally about our partner.
  • Explorations of connection with a specific person, where the explorations of contact provide an alternate container for explorations of personal connection with the actual partner.


A dance can move around amongst all of these frames or rest in one. This workshop, as a practice space, will be centered in the first two frames, exploring the interplay of our personal explorations and holding space for another.  From this base, the exploration of personal connection become the richer. We create together a mutually supportive temporary community of personal exploration.

Material for the workshop is coming out of my practices as a dance theater director and as a facilitator of contact improvisation.  As a director, my work is highly interactive and very much about the exploration of experienced sense of meaning and the emotional body.  Somatic psychology and somatic practices are constant reference points in my work, investigating the self in relationship to other and the world.

All attending are expected to already have an introduction to contact improvisation.

Space limited to 25. Based on previous versions of this workshop, it is likely to fill, so registering early is recommended.


regular Very early earlier early
paid by July 20 May 30 June 30 July 12 at the door 
sliding scale  240-$340 $150- 340 $180-340 $210-340 $275-$340

to register, use the paypal button below. In the event of cancellation, fee will be refunded minus a $50 deposit.

Sliding Scale (pay what you can in range)

 Posted by at 10:03 pm