Check out our awesome 2020 teaching team!
Single Class Teachers
mayfield brooks (All Levels Intensive, Full Commitment/No Drop-ins)
Intensive Description: We Got Soul: Improvising While Black as Movement Practice
This workshop will explore mayfield's ongoing dance practice and project "Improvising While Black/IWB" using voice/body, somatics, contemporary dance, contact improvisation, afropessimist theory and practices specifically from mayfield's upbringing in the pentecostal church. mayfield queers praise dance by speaking in tongues, trembling and catching spirit, as a way to build embodied, collective power--participants investigate movement that moves the soulful body. There is an awareness of ancestors, ancestral land and an interplay with what the body remembers and forgets. We witness each other! There is play, dynamic partnering, deep belly laughter, wandering, reading, writing, resting, questioning, critiquing, seeking, democratizing, deconstructing, and whatever else we find in the wildness of improvisation.
mayfield brooks improvises while Black, and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York working as a movement-based performance artist, vocalist, urban farmer, writer, and wanderer. They studied contemporary dance at the School for New Dance (SNDO) in Amsterdam, Moving On Center in Oakland, CA, and hold a MFA in Interdisciplinary Performance from UC Davis and a Masters in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. mayfield was a 2017 artist in residence at Movement Research New York, a 2019 dance and process (dap) artist at the Kitchen NYC, and is currently an artist in residence at the Center for Performance Research (CPR) in Brooklyn, NY. mayfield teaches urban farming courses for Farm School New York (FSNY), and teaches & performs dance and vocal improvisation nationally and internationally.
Photo by: Cole Hatcher
Karen Nelson (All Levels Intensive, Full Commitment/No Drop-ins)
Intensive Description: "Centering Edge "
2 colliding topics: CI and Tuning//consent and aesthetic: Center Survey CI practice will provide direct one to one feedback about the elusive subject of center. The dancing naturally explores consent practice physically + verbally, seeking + giving or not, and somatic, physical, emotional + social centering in a dance space. Center work inherently develops CI skills that your body wants to learn as we follow your intuitive style. Improvisation as craft and communication will be further explored using verbal calls and actions of Tuning Scores. Celebrating accountability, self-agency and collective dance making, these simple scores of physical play offer dialogue around personal aesthetic + creative choice in dancing we love to do and witness.
Karen Nelson 40+ years in the field brings classic approaches and evolutional admittance, somatic and embodied insistence, curiosity and willingness to learn on the job. Karen continues to inhabit a crossroad of dance improvisation in the US’ Pacific Northwest and abroad. A dance explorer, teacher, maker, touring performer, author/contributor to Dancing with Dharma and Contact Quarterly, she has been a practitioner and mutator of the form Contact Improvisation (CI) since 1977. She co-founded mixed-ability experiments Dance Ability and Diverse Dance Research Retreat and integrates Material for the Spine (Steve Paxton) and Tuning Scores (Lisa Nelson) into her practice along with interrogating impacts of whiteness in her own white body, and across communities she encounters and lives within.
Cathie Caraker & Rajendra Serber (All Levels Intensive, Open/Drop-ins Allowed)
Intensive Description: "Fundamental Paradoxes of Contact Improvisation"
In this open intensive, we will explore some of the paradoxes inherent in the practice of Contact Improvisation: responsibility / freedom, boundaries / permeability, and physics / feelings. Each day we'll dive into experiential anatomy, embodying a different body system to find its structural support and energetic expression. We'll explore the tonal continuum from passive to active, fluid to solid and grounding to flying. We'll invite awareness of our habits and practice strategies for movement repatterning. In every class there will be time for integration and opportunities to work with individual feedback from Cathie and Rajendra
Cathie Caraker is an international dance artist and teacher based in San Francisco. She has been practicing and teaching Contact and other improvisation for over 35 years. She fell in love with CI while still a dance student in Amsterdam and worked extensively with Nancy Stark Smith, Steve Paxton, Lisa Nelson and others in the 80’s and 90’s. Her interest in movement research led her to the School for Body-Mind Centering®, where she became a certified Practitioner of BMC with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen. A pioneering teacher in the field of dance and somatics, she has shared her work at dance institutes and festivals worldwide, including the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam, Contact Festival Freiburg, Movement Research NYC, the New York and Seattle Improvisation Festivals, Goa CI Festival, l’Association Hayyou’Raqs in Tunis, Contredanse Brussels and ODC in SF. She has been on the organizing team of wcciJAM since 2013-ish. Her writings on somatics and dance education have been published by the Belgian dance journal Nouvelles de Danse.
Rajendra Serber has had the privilege of collaborating with many wonderful artists including Sara Shelton Mann, Scott Wells, and The Residents. He was born the same year as Contact Improvisation and grew up wrestling as a playful and loving practice; Starting with his father, who was a national wrestling champion in Argentina, and continuing with his own two sons. He has studied a variety of physical and energetic forms including Contact Improvisation, Body-Mind Centering, and Release Technique. Some of his teachers have been Anna Halprin, Nita Little, Simone Forte, Daniel Lepkoff, and Cathie Caraker. Rajendra began teaching Contact Improvisation in 1999. Since 2012 he has been part of the organizing team of the West Coast Contact Improvisation JAM.
Photo by: Jojo Lamboy
Photo by: Rob Kunkle | Good Lux Photography