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Ryuta Iwashita
(Deepening Class)
Class Description: "Us as One Organism: Ensemble as Partner"

Just as movement of a swimmer in a pool affects the water and other swimmers around him/her, there is always an ever-changing fluidity that influences the physical/emotional dynamics in Contact Improvisation. This class will support the dancer's practice of integrating awareness of both a single partner as well as the ensemble in order to experience oneness. Peripheral vision, zoom in/out and territorial play will be our main materials to play with as we ask questions. What if we were one organism that could breath in and out from different corners of the room? Can we as one organism have a feeling of nostalgia on the ceiling and restlessness on the floor? Can we include all living creatures of this reality in our body?  



Ryuta Iwashita, with his strong foundation as a Contact Improviser, is a performer who fuses several artistic forms such as Butoh, improvisational movement and sound-making with found objects. Within his home country, Japan, he has participated in an artist in residency with Futarikko Produce to create a performance piece based on his research on Japanese traditional paper, Washi. In the U.S., his recent project "Ultra Mongoloids (2017-2018)" explores the tension and fluidity of identity around race and ethnicity in the South, as inspired by his recurring encounters with neighbors addressing him (a Japanese national) by saying, "Ni hao (hello in Chinese)."  Hovering between comfort and discomfort, his mass shows the racial and ethnic typology as an obscure and insignificant matter. As an instructor, he has experience in teaching Contact Improvisation at numerous workshops in Japan and China as well as organizing a three day long retreat "Taste of Share" in a rural town outside Tokyo, which discards the traditional relationship of teacher and student and creates space for participants to co-learn from one another whose practices include Alexander Technique, Qi gong, Gaga, etc. Currently he resides in New Orleans and organizes workshops, jams and other events for Contact Improvisation. He also runs movement classes for toddlers, combining elements of Contact Improvisation and self-awareness practices.

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