Being Touch Festival - Second Edition
a Radical Journey into Contact Improvisation
with Anya Cloud, Makisig Akin and Charlie Morrissey
August 15th - 20th, 2023
province of Siena (Tuscany, Italy)
This year our point of interest is Contact Improvisation as a radical approach to the change, as a revolution. A revolution of the senses, of presence and of relational dynamics with others and with the world around. A social and personal change, a space that generates questions and offers time to research together.
The approach of the Being Touch Festival is to offer the best conditions to enjoy the rich and challenging material offered by the teachers of the intensives, without overloading the participants with other classes and concepts, but leaving all the time and space needed to make it their own, develop it, integrate it with exchanges and discussions, and of course lots of dancing.
We wholeheartedly rely on the invaluable, inspired and original work of Anya Cloud, Makisig Akin and Charlie Morrissey to take us on a radical journey into Contact Improvisation, that will leave us fully nourished and enriched.
DATES: From 15th to 20th August 2023, arriving on 15th afternoon and leaving on 20th morning
WHERE: in a beautiful countryside hamlet near Siena, in Tuscany, Italy - we will reveal the precise location to the confirmed subscribers
PROGRAM: 20 hours of intensives between mornings and afternoons, then labs, talks, sharing also proposed by the participants, and Jams every evening and some mornings
SLEEPING: your own tent, or bunk beds in shared rooms 4-6pp
FOOD: vegan with vegetarian options
COST: Early Bird Sliding Price (available until June 25th): 380-420€ | after June 25th: 420€ | +50€ for bed accomodation
Sliding Price: those who can pay more support the event and people who are in more difficult situations; pay as much as you can, knowing that your generosity makes the event possible!
We are willing to support Ukrainians and BIPOC dancers, write us to
REGISTRATION: registration page
ANYA CLOUD + MAKISIG AKIN
Queer Love in a Time of Crises (i.e. Contact Improvisation)
The core of this Contact Improvisation workshop is a queer love centered survival practice of time travel / communion / habitat / performance / ritual where everything deserves to breathe. Drawing from our individual and collective identities, CI research, and choreographic research we dive into the possibilities of what rigorous and playful Contact Improvisation can be.
We will work with different qualities/types of touch, intention and impact, technical skill building, falling and falling together, bonding / grappling / napping / fainting, soul shaking practices, professing love, and hot sweaty dancing. We will take this on as a generous and high-risk practice. We will work with a kind of bonding that is only possible through bathing in one another’s sweat.
The central questions of our research are:
What can we do together that we cannot do alone?
How many ways can we move – move with – be moved by – each other?
What is possible when love is stronger than fear?
Bio Anya Cloud (she/her)
I am an experimental contemporary dance artist originally from Alaska and currently based between Colorado and Berlin. As a queer, cis-gender, female, white person I orient my work to cultivate radical aliveness as an artist-activist practice; collaboration is central.
I have taught/facilitated Contact Improvisation, improvisation, contemporary dance, and somatics nationally and internationally at festivals and institutions including at Guatemala Contact Improvisation Festival, Tanzfabrik Schule, ImPuls Tanz, Freiburg Contact Festival, Israeli Contact Improvisation Festival, wcciJAM, Ukraine Contact Improvisation Festival, Metamorphosis Improvisation Research Festival, The Field Center, and Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation among other.
Important collaborators include Makisig Akin, Sara Shelton Mann, Karen Schaffman, Eric Geiger, Ishmael Houston-Jones, and Nhu Nguyen among others. Makisig Akin and I co-direct dance projects under the name The Love Makers. I currently teach at the University of Colorado Boulder and am trained in the Feldenkrais® Method.
Bio Makisig Akin (they/them)
I am a queer, transgender Filipino born choreographer, dance artist, facilitator, and activist. I was raised in the Philippines and am currently based in Berlin, Germany.
My work focuses on the recognition of intersectional identities, reconnecting with my ancestry, and decentralizing Western ideologies in dance making. I co-founded The Love Makers, a project-based dance company, with Anya Cloud.
I have been practicing Contact Improvisation for 13 years and have taught in many different communities including HZT, UCLA, Tanzfabrik Schule, and The Field Center among others.
My orientation to CI is deeply interconnected with my training in Filipino Traditional Dance, Kung Fu, Jiu Jitsu, Improvisation, walking meditation, Authentic Movement, Bouldering/Climbing, and Contemporary Dance.
I examine how survival strategies can be translated into a communal physical practice, which I then use as a catalyst to a creative healing process.
In this workshop, I’m thinking about instability and uncertainty as states of potential. I’m interested in exploring ungrounding and destabilisation as sites of invention, where the queer and unfixable, mutable and unmaterialised, unsettled and precarious live, and where our senses are asked to reach beyond what is immediately available into spaces where change happens.
I’m curious about cultivating a place in which to share with others; one where we can be ourselves while negotiating our own particular sensory relationships with the irregularities of physical forces like gravity, momentum, friction.
We will work with different maps of our bodies that were born in the studio during Steve Paxton’s development of Material for the Spine, and have since been explored, extrapolated, undone, and re-examined through years of practice in relation to other influences from the work of Lisa Nelson’s Tuning Scores amongst other things.
These maps will be there as points of departure; things to play with, test and disrupt as we explore moving through a series of constantly shifting stabilities and instabilities. I’m interested here, not in facts, but in cultivating a constant state of curiosity about the forming/unforming of our experiences of reality. This aspect of forming and unforming will be played with very practically in the workshop.
The workshop title comes from a disco song by Cerrone from 1977 with lyrics by Lene Lovich and the mix of the supernaturality and disco culture appeals to me – the dance of beyond.
The workshop will offer practical exercises and improvisational scores to support us to take a series of physical rides in a lively and engaged conversation with each other. This workshop is just one more re-proposal of Contact Improvisation as a radical practice.
Bio Charlie Morrissey (he/him/they)
I’m a director/choreographer, performer, teacher, and researcher working in the field of performance for the last 30 years. I make performance to help me to notice more and to make experiments in what’s shared between performers and audience. Sometimes performance is a way to own up to or point to some of the many layers of experience and complexity present when people come together.
My work is influenced by long-term working relationships with Steve Paxton, Siobhan Davies, Lisa Nelson, Kirstie Simson, Scott Smith, Katye Coe, K. J. Holmes, Katie Duck and others.
I curate Wainsgate Dances with my partner Rob Hopper – an artist-led programme of dance workshops, residencies and performances at Wainsgate Chapel in Yorkshire.
www.charliemorrissey.com - www.wainsgate.co.uk/wainsgate-dances