Monday, January 31, 2011

February Class with Karen Nelson - Seattle

Dance Art Group / Movement Arts Research (DAG/MAR) is a weekly dance class series featuring a different local teacher/topic each month. It's a great way to dip your feet into the joys/mysteries of dance improvisation and related dance forms. Come try a class!

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Dance Art Group / Movement Arts Research
Thursdays 6:15-8:15pm
Velocity Dance Center, 1621 12th Avenue, Kawasaki Studio
$15/class; $56/4-class series; drop-ins and all experience levels welcome
Info at Dance Art Group

We'll touch-in each class with "essential images" of Contact Improvisation including skeletal balance, muscular release, and momentum of rising and falling, in solo, duet and larger group modes. We'll fine tune: the effort/ease of giving/receiving into one's own/another's center and periphery/space. Then we'll compose improvisations using Contact Improvisation as the basis, and see what we learn about freedom/fortune in improvisation. All levels OK; great for all of us if you can do whole series, but drop-ins acceptable.

Karen Nelson's first Contact Improvisation class came in the form of a letter with stick figure drawings from a friend in 1976. Later that year she'd worked with Nancy Stark Smith, Curt Sidall, Steve Paxton, Danny Lepkoff and Andrew Harwood (who finally helped her to see she wasn't actually giving her center to her partners -- yes, the earth moved). In the mid-1980s, after years of practice, teaching and performing, questions regarding "what is contact improvisation vs. other improvisation" drove her to detailed study of Steve's original proposition. Videos such at "Chute," "Soft Pallet," and "Peripheral Vision" as well as writings published in Contact Quarterly were very supportive. Composition is a natural interest due to a long-time performance practice; collaboration with Lisa Nelson since the mid-1980s has encouraged invention of "senses-based" scores/games for dance-making.


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Dance Art Group (DAG) fosters and promotes the study, practice, and appreciation of improvisational dance in Seattle. DAG produces the annual Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (SFDI) and other events that encourage and support innovative research and education in dance. DAG is supported by 4Culture, the Mayor's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and generous individual donors. Click here to help support DAG with your tax-deductible donation.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Donate to the Dance Art Group Benefit Auction and Raffle

This 16th annual Hot Diggity DAG, benefiting the 18th annual Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation, will be held March 19, 2011, at Velocity Dance Center. Hot Diggity DAG features dance performances by some of the Northwest’s most exciting and innovative dance artists and musicians, a silent auction, raffle, and reception... which is where you come in.

We are currently seeking donations of silent auction and raffle items as well as food/drink items for the reception. In appreciation of your generous donation, the name of your organization/business will be displayed prominently in the concert program and on the item display placards. Your business can also receive two tickets to the event.

If you are interested in donating, contact Lila Hurwitz at lila (at) by February 18, 2011.

All proceeds from Hot Diggity DAG go toward producing SFDI, the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (July 31-August 7, 2011), a world-renowned annual dance festival featuring master classes, performances, panel discussions, and jams with leading dance artists. This is a world-class, internationally-recognized festival that needs and appreciates your support!

Hot Diggity DAG and SFDI are produced by Dance Art Group (DAG), a non-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Contact Improv in Olympia

Roel Hammerschlag is teaching contact improvisation at Evergreen College in Olympia on Tuesday nights from 6:30pm to 9pm. Roughly the first half of that time is a led warm-up followed by CI skills, and the second half is a more or less unstructured jam informed by the first half.

The class is free of charge, and takes place in room B1107 of the Seminar II building - driving instructions and a campus map are at

On Thursdays, Josiah Mitchell facilitates an open jam, same time and location. Questions? Email the Evergreen Dance Collective at dancematrixcollective (at), or contact Roel at (at) or 206-406-7792.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Seattle Contact Improvisation Workshop with Karen Nelson

with Karen Nelson

Sat. Jan. 22 (10am-4pm)
Sun. Jan. 23 (9am-1pm)
Grassroots Studio

The Workshop aims to take the idea of “skill levels” out of the dancing—even if only for this one weekend. What if we approached each partner and improvisation as a completely open, unwritten story? Are we prepared to care for ourselves on such an adventure? How can we learn from everyone we encounter? Drawing from classic principals and skills of contact improvisation, we will explore how we influence each other in the dancing. The workshop is appropriate for both beginning and experienced contact improvisers

Cost: $100-$125 before Jan 10th,
$125-$150 after.
Please write checks to Phffft! Company, Inc.
Mail to 5609 34th Ave. SW, Seattle WA 98126.
Phone: 206.935.0459 - Email: info (at)

KAREN NELSON’s 33-year dance and performance practice has been directly influenced by Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith and Lisa Nelson and their respective work in Contact Improvisation, Material for the Spine and Tuning Scores, and through collaboration with many others in venues around the world. She co-founded Joint Forces Dance Co, Breitenbush Jam, Dance Ability, Diverse Dance Research Retreat, and the performance group Image Lab among other projects.