Moti Zemelman, MFA, began practicing Contact Improvisation 32 years ago. Over the past 24 years he has taught and performed across the USA, Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Europe and Israel. In 2008-09 he taught as Professor of Dance at the Instituto Naciónal de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Over the last 10 years in his desire to integrate communication, intimacy skills, and teaching he has studied Non-Violent Communication, Tantra, Butoh, BDSM, Byron Katie’s “The Work” and most recently Betty Martin’s “Wheel of Consent”. Moti has been both a teacher and a board member at Earthdance Retreat Center in Plainfield, MA where he currently directs the Touch&Play Festival (http://earthdance.touchandplay.org/). Additionally he is a featured dancer in Sanford Lewis’ documentary film about CI “An Intimate Dance.” (Video Clip from Film – http://vimeo.com/38268635 ) He also designs and moderates the International Contact Improv resource website www.contactimprov.com
Honoring Land Through Somatic Practice
Acknowledging the land, the indigenous people who inhabit/ed this land and what oppressive colonialist behaviors happened and/or are still happening here is a practice of becoming an ally. We have to start somewhere and that is wherever you are now. Forming an intimate relationship to land that we inhabit means being vulnerable and seeing/feeling how ourselves and our ancestors are part of an oppressive culture and that we can now be part of decolonizing our bodies communities and land. Explore how Authentic Movement, Contact Improv and other somatic practices can be a doorway towards reconciliation. BIPOC Voices will be prioritized and amplified in this space.
The Underscore, a long-form dance improvisation structure created by Nancy Stark Smith, incorporates Contact Improvisation (CI) into the broader arena of improvisational dance practice. Global Underscore (GUS) centers around a yearly event in which the Underscore is practiced simultaneously for a 4-hour period by people all over the world near the summer solstice (northern hemisphere).
Blindfold Contact Jam: A Veiled Voyage of the Senses
When we Blindfold ourselves and let our sight go we are able to develop and heighten our other senses. This is essential to training our bodies to expand beyond our patterns and open to a broader range of movement and sensation. Being blind in a dance or a cuddle is a whole new experience that helps to let go of our prejudgements, agendas, and movement habits. By being disoriented in blindness we can reorient ourselves without all those judgments and stories that our minds create from ingrained patterns and assumptions. By listening with all our other senses we can forge new pathways.
ConSensual: Contact Improv & The Art of Consent
Contact Improvisation is a deeply intimate dance. Essential to CI is: egalitarianism; rejection of traditional gender roles and social hierarchy; and inclusivity for all body shapes, sizes, and abilities. It is an honoring of our own bodies and every body we encounter. At the core of CI is the constant dance of consent. In this class we will be practicing this dance of saying and hearing “No” & “Yes” both verbally and non-verbally. This act of trust brings us into deeper intimacy when we hold ourselves and partners with respect. This listening practice guides our dances toward greater empathy and presence. By incorporating Non-Violent Communication, Tantra-inspired exercises, stillness, eye-contact, and energetic awareness, we’ll explore being more deeply sensual, consensual, and present with each other. (Feel free to come with a partner or on your own.)