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Auroville Intensive from 13th Feb - 17th Feb 2024

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About Festival

India Contact Festival 2024, hosted by ProDancer is a vibrant celebration of movement and connection, dedicated to exploring Contact Improvisation as a profound and transformative movement practice.  Dive into diverse learning opportunities, including intensives, workshops, and jams led by incredible teachers from various countries. 

 

Engage in artistic expression through captivating performances that demonstrate the beauty and potential of Contact Improvisation as an art form. Explore the depths of somatic practices, fostering a deeper connection between your body and mind. Our festival is not just a dance event; it's a transformative experience that goes beyond the dance floor, nurturing personal growth, creativity, and self-discovery.

 

At India Contact Festival 2024, inclusivity is at the heart of our celebration. Our festival provides the perfect space for community building and forging connections. Engage in discussions, conversations, and interactions that foster mutual understanding, empathy, and trust. Enjoy moments of rest, walks in nature, bodywork sessions, saunas, water contact, and more, designed to nourish your body and soul. Embrace the magic of Contact Improvisation and be part of this extraordinary journey of self-discovery, artistic expression, and community building. It's a celebration of movement, connection, and personal growth, where everyone is welcome!

What is Contact Improvisation?

Contact Improvisation (CI) represents a unique dance form that centers around the fundamental physical concepts of touch, momentum, and the sharing of weight. CI involves a practice where two or more individuals come together through a common point of physical contact, embarking on an exploratory journey to sense and respond to one another's movements and impulses. Within the realm of dance, CI enables dancers to harness their intuition, delve into their personal interests, and carefully examine their own physical boundaries and capabilities. In the process, CI cultivates a heightened awareness of the present moment, emphasizing a deep connection to the 'here and now.' Each partner engaged in CI becomes an integral part of a constantly evolving landscape, influenced by their individual perceptions of time, space, and energy. Through the language of touch and proprioception, CI practitioners effectively 'listen' to their bodies and those of their partners, continuously observing how human forms can coexist in a seamless and rhythmic flow.

 

The roots of Contact Improvisation can be traced back to 1972 when Steve Paxton, a pioneer in this art, amalgamated his experiences in contemporary dance, acrobatics, and Aikido to create this unique practice. Over the years, CI has absorbed influences from a variety of techniques, trends, and research, along with the distinctive approaches of its practitioners and teachers. This dance form explores an array of skills, including falling gracefully, achieving balance, effortlessly lifting partners during 'flights,' and the ability to communicate and respond to both fellow dancers and the environment. Dancing within the context of CI does not necessarily provide clear-cut answers; instead, it immerses participants in a perpetual journey of exploration and discovery, rendering this practice consistently fascinating and endlessly engrossing.

AMProDancer Infotech PVT.Ltd is a private organization founded in the year 2018 to create opportunities for the dance community and the general public to engage in dynamic programming globally. ProDancer as an umbrella organization evolves on a different level from its members. It is not connected to any particular dance school, company, federation or other institution.

Our Host

India Contact Festival

Meet Our Team

  • Shifu Ash // Organizer, Teacher

Shifu Ash is a dance movement researcher, philosopher, choreographer & visual artist based in Mumbai, India. His expertise lies in movement practices such as Wing Chun, Aikido, Modern Contemporary Dance, Ballet and Contact Improvisation with an experience of 20 years. He is also a former member of CID-UNESCO Paris (International Dance Council) and the founding member & CEO of ProDancer. As a movement practitioner he has trained with number of masters like: Grandmaster IP Chun, Nancy Stark Smith, David Zambrano, Frey Faust, Sara Shelton Mann, Kira Kirsch, Andrew De Lotbinière Hardwood, Akram Khan, Desmond Richardson, Era Jouravlev, Stephanie Godino, Terence Lewis, Mia Michael, Sonya Tayeh, Anjelika Doniy, Danny Ezralow, Ohad Naharin… to name a few. ​ He has been invited to teach at some of the prestigious dance festivals & companies in India & abroad like Impulstanz Vienna International Dance Festival, Goa Contact Festival, Portugal Contact Festival, Goa Dance Residency, Berlin Contact Festival, Contact Meets Contemporary Festival Goettingen, Tokyo Nomadic Residency, Chinchintalu Festival Dubai, Divadlo Studio Tanca, Henny Jurriens Studio Amsterdam, Terence Lewis Contemporary Dance Company, Dance Perfect Prague, Nritya Shakti, Institute Of Classical & Modern Dance India, Saint Petersburg Conservatory Dance, Radi Sveta Art, SDVIG Studio Saint Petersburg, etc. ​ In the year 2021 Shifu Ash was titled "The Saint Beast" by the International Martial Arts Federation Japan and was also featured as the cover artist for the martial art magazine Jissen.

India Contact Festival
  • Catrin Kaitaro // Organizer, Teacher

Catrin Kaitaro is a dance artist currently based in Helsinki, Finland. She works as a freelancer moving between performing arts, pedagogy and filmmaking. In addition to her professional dance studies in Finland, she has trained in contemporary dance in France (Centre Chorégraphique James Carles) and Senegal (Ecole des Sables). She has also completed studies in dance pedagogy and cinematography, and at the moment she is learning about dance and movement therapy. Catrin works as a performer and facilitator in contemporary dance, improvisation and contact work in various contexts, from amateurs to professionals. At the moment, in addition to organizing and teaching workshops all around Finland, she also leads a community dance project with the elderly people in care homes and leads hiking retreats in nature. Thanks to her Axis Syllabus studies, training as a sports massage therapist and years of studying pilates, she has a solid understanding of the anatomical and biomechanical starting points to guide students to move in a sustainable and efficient way. Recent years, she has also been strongly influenced by play-fight/liquid body (Bruno Caverna) -practices, martial arts and other eastern practices such as Qigong and yoga.

India Contact Festival
  • Abhilash Ningappa // Organizer, Teacher

Abhilash Ningappa is the Founder and Artistic Director of Play Practice Artists Residency based in India. He is recognized as a performer, choreographer, and teacher both nationally and internationally. Abhilash holds post-graduate degrees from SEAD (Salzburg) and APASS (Advanced Performance and Scenography Studies) (Belgium) and is a trained yoga practitioner and martial art teacher in Kalari Payattu and contemporary dance. Abhilash has won the Pecda award for “Architect of Self Destruction” and has taught in many studios around the world. He has choreographed works and collaborated with artists, and is known for his workshops on Story Boarding, "Embodying Critical Situation," improvisation and composition, all focused on performance as a practice. For the past 5 years, Abhilash has been organizing Play Practice Apprenticeship program and Yoga Practice Teachers training program. In 2019, he launched the first Fight Practice martial arts workshop and also organizes yearly residencies for artists in India.

India Contact Festival
  • Aric Master // Teacher

Aric Master is a dance movement researcher, educator and choreographer based in Mumbai, India. His expertise lies in movement practices such as Flying Low, Passing Through, Martial Arts, Contact Improvisation, Modern Contemporary Dance, Jazz and Ballet with an experience of 15 years. He is also a former member at TL Inc (Terence Lewis Inc) and the founding member & one of the Organisers of PDF (Partner Dance Festival India). His current project involves assisting in choreographing for Reality Show Indias Best Dancer and an upcoming Webseries in India. He is also co-curating Omniverse.art which focuses on bringing AI and Art together. As a movement practitioner he has trained with a number of masters like: David Zambrano,Terence Lewis, Peter Jasko, Joe Alagado, Laura Aris, German Jauregui , Corinne Lanselle, Marta Coronado, Kathleen Hermsdrof, Vega Luukkonen, Hugh Stanier, Katja Mustonen and many more. After having trained in Contemporary under various renowned teachers around the world, he has developed a new approach called EXFLOOR (Explore The Floor) in which the aim is for a dancer to find the connection of the whole body with the floor; going through the roots and channelising the whole energy to interact with the floor in different levels. The fundamental area of Exfloor plays with the idea of a relationship of the body with the Moving Floor a 3 dimensional space full of spirals and constant momentum using tools from different techniques like Flying Low, Physical Momentum, Centrifugal Empowerment and Connection of Breath and Sound with Movement.

India Contact Festival
  • Sasha Vorobiova // Teacher

Sahsa is a movement practitioner, contact improv dancer and facilitator from Ukraine, trained in CI, contemporary, yoga, and physical theatre. Practitioner of bodywork techniques - rebalancing therapy, Thai massage Started movement exploration journey with ten years of practicing and teaching yoga, with a background of outdoor sports as rock climbing, slacklining and tracking. Last four years her movement journey led to contact improv, contemporary dance, authentic movement, somatics, physical theatre and butoh.

India Contact Festival
  • Jeevak More // Teacher

Jeevak is an innovative and versatile performer, skilled in theatre, Movement, and Contact improvisation. He comes from Pune but is currently based in Goa, India, where he explores and practices movement and performing arts. His passion for experimentation shines through in his captivating performances, where he has showcased his experimental performances in various spaces like cafes, restaurants, studios, streets,theatres and black boxes. These performances are characterized by their extended durations, aligning with his research interests. Throughout the past six years, Jeevak has dedicated himself to refining and mastering his contact improvisation skills, leading jam sessions and workshops. He also organizes a monthly workshop called "Back to Basics," aimed at introducing the principles of contact improvisation to interested individuals. His ultimate goal is to bridge the gap between performing art and contact improvisation. He emphasizes the importance of understanding one's own awareness and that of others, adapting to ever-changing environments, and comprehending the presentation of contact improvisation as both an art form and a means of communication between the performer and the observer.

  • Adrianna Michalska // Teacher

Contact Improvisation dancer, facilitator, performer, and independent artist with background in somatics, Contact Improvisation, creative writing, and various improvisation methods studied across the globe. Adrianna graduated with a Dance and Culture degree from University of Surrey, UK and Next Choreography course at Siobhan Davies Studios, UK, and is a certified DanceAbility teacher. With her work Adrianna traveled, performed, and shared with many diverse audiences in India, Thailand, Romania, Poland, Moldova, United Kingdom, Singapore, India, and more. Examples of some of the collaborations include: Stopgap Dance Company (2013-2015), Candoco Dance Company (2016), Curba de Cultura (2018), Swaraj University (2020), Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (2021), Moksha Contemporary Dance School (2021), Contact Improvisation Residency and CI@50 Conference in Oberlin, Ohio (2022). Adrianna is interested in embracing artistic practices from different cultures into a creative process, and looking at the trans-disciplinary potential when working with text, image, sound, and movement. With her work she aims to develop a better understanding of an artistic ensemble as interdependent on the exchange of attention, perception, judgment, and decision-making of its members. She is also curious about working with instant composition in performances and pushing the boundaries of spectator-performer relationship through participatory and experiential pieces. Currently Adrianna is collaborating with Contact Improv India and InContact - organizations that foster the development of Contact Improvisation scene in India through movement arts residencies, workshops, regular classes, jams, performances, and discussions.

  • Harmandeep Singh // Teacher

Harman is a Contact Improvisation practitioner and facilitator who comes from a technical background of building mobile apps and websites. He studied Electronics And Instrumentation Engineering, earned a living as a software developer and much later, got introduced and immersed into the experience and exploration of art and body movement. He was moved by the practice of Contact Improvisation 5 years ago and got deeply touched by it. Since the beginning of his journey with Contact Improvisation, his body has experienced other movement practices which stem in and out of Contact Improvisation, which includes contemporary dance floor work, somatic practices, body work etc. He is also fascinated by the art of facilitating, creating and holding spaces for collaborations of various art forms and practices with Contact Improvisation. He is inspired to explore existing and new applications of Contact Improvisation in different aspects of life as an experience. He likes to travel to different places, spaces and cultures while sharing the practice of Contact Improvisation along the way.

  • Brigitte Breternitz// Teacher

Brigitte Breternitz is a versatile artist with extensive experience in dance and choreography, having worked on large TV productions, theater stages, films, and advertising. She began incorporating yoga into her artistic work in 2015, and now the focus in her work is on the development of her own dance-pedagogical technique called BUDY Flow. Her creations are driven by her imagination, experience, and love, which she combines to create magical moments of creation that she considers the essence of her being. She is a dancer, choreographer, dance teacher, and coach, and her strengths include experience, teamwork, depth, and passion.

  • Aditya Sasidharan // Teacher

Aditya Sasidharan is a movement practitioner, who enjoys experimenting with different kinds of movement based forms. His being and occupation finding echo in the common concept of movement. His journey of movement started in jovial childhood dancing, pre teenage times getting into martial arts (Karate), later falling in love with football and slowly towards intense and disciplined dance forms when he ' Graduated in Dance ' through Terence Lewis Dance Foundation Scholarship Trust (TLDFST) ' by Terence Lewis. He also invested himself in learning the basics of various martial art forms like capoeira, muay thai, akido, etc & finding love in parkour purely for its efficient way of organising ones own body to execute simple to complex maneuvers smoothly eventually being led to the universe of contact improvisation (CI)

  • Heini Haapaniemi // Guest Teacher

Heini Haapaniemi is a performing artist who enjoys exploring movement and helping others find joy in dance and theatre. She loves working especially with children and elderly. Heini has a background and education in both physical theatre and contemporary dance. She has also practised couple acrobatics - children usually love doing different tricks with her! Heini has a wide experience performing for children, embodying characters such as the christmas elf at a christmas market in Finland. The yet funniest job she ever had was performing the lead role in a children’s TV program in Sweden - as a gorilla! She has recently graduated from a dance school with the focus on somatic approaches and is excited to find new paths on her journey with exploring movement!

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