Contact Improvisation Basics

Class covers basic principles of Contact Improvisation.
Bradley Teal Ellis and Eryn Rosenthal in 60% OFF ALL CUSTOM FRAMING.* Photo by Natalia López Muñoz.

(See also
Dance and Democracy:
Movement Improvisation and Liberation Pedagogies
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Contact Improvisation Basics

Tuesdays in November from 6:30-8:30pm

January 25: Wednesday pre-jam class, 6-7pm

100 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

  • Tuesday class $20, Wed. pre-jam class $15, cash or Venmo at the door
  • Contact organizer Elise Knudson for scholarship opportunities (airelise [at] gmail [dot] com)
  • Proof of vaccination required

Class covers basic principles of Contact Improvisation.
** All bodies, abilities, and levels of experience welcome! Class is especially geared toward beginners.

This fun, laboratory-style class will investigate the fundamentals of Contact Improvisation (CI), a dance form that evolved in the early 70s as an experiment in democracy. CI involves a heightened sense of listening, sensory perception, and attuning of physical reflexes, as well as a careful attention to weight, momentum, orientation to gravity and physical connection or contact with one’s partner. Informed by developments in modern dance, improvisation, the martial arts, as well as political currents of the time, it can become highly acrobatic once a mastery of basic concepts has been achieved. CI is like a jungle gym but with humans instead of plastic or metal equipment; through its focus on the center of gravity, experiential anatomy, and principles of physics such as counterbalance, plumb lines, trajectories and friction, participants build a strong sense of balance, core, and an embodied relationship between center and limbs. Participants also gain agility in movement invention and creative, game-based spatial problem solving.

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Eryn Rosenthal and Jennifer Harge in Freedom Suite: Transaction Being Processed. Photo by Andrea Rivera.

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Work in this class also fosters a grounded sense of weight and presence in solo, duet and group composition, useful for performers in theater and dance. Through an embodied investigation of roles and habits in self-other relationships, CI can also carry thematic connections with human rights and social justice activism; gender and cultural studies; game design; architecture and visual arts; politics, anthropology, physics, psychology and journalism.

Please be in touch with any questions! I look forward to dancing with you soon.

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Students in Dance and Democracy: Movement Improvisation and Liberation Pedagogies, Yale University

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Teacher Bio:

Eryn Rosenthal is an active member of international Contact Improvisation (CI) research and teacher exchange networks, teaching, performing and facilitating at the Freiburg Festival (Germany), the Market Theatre Lab (South Africa), ECITE (Hungary), Teatro Montealegre (Chile), Gravity Tank (US), and elsewhere since 2003. She is also one of the co-founders of the NYC Underscore. Her classes investigate joy and play, building confidence, physical listening skills, movement-based agility and relational awareness through the body. In addition to her work in CI, Eryn is a choreographer, performer and social practice artist, collaborating with artists and activists in South Africa, Spain, US, and most recently in Chile, connected with their Constitutional process. Her ongoing series, The Doors Project, investigates transitions–political, social, intimate–through site-based performance in different doorways around the world. Eryn teaches CI, improvisation and interdisciplinary performance at Yale University, in Dance and Democracy: Movement Improvisation and Liberation Pedagogies, and Making Performance on Socio-Political Questions. She is delighted to be back teaching in New York.  www.erynrosenthal.com

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#contactimprovisation, #improvisation, #contactimprovisationnyc, #dancenyc, #danceclass

Photo of Eryn Rosenthal by Gabriel Tolliver

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© Eryn Rosenthal, 2007-2022. Please share far and wide, and cite with artist’s name and link to website.