INNER OCEANS AND BREATHING SPINES
During this intensive I wish to offer you diverse range of core principles in contact-improvisation. We will work both technically, concentrating on building up functional understanding of underlying physical principles and structures of contact improvisation, as well as widening the trust to our instincts, impulses and intuition. Letting ourselves completely free, and following the flow. But also understanding how do our bodies work? How do our joints, bones, muscles and skin function?
I use lot of images of water. Inner oceans. Slow, soft liquid flow in us is inspiring me. If we move like water, we will never get tired, cause we don´t need to use our muscles to move. Following the organic flow of water will show us the effortless way. Also working with the breath is something essential for me. Expanding, unfolding & folding, allowing our breath-cycle to get deep and wide, we can fully surrender and tune in with our partners, and find shared rhythm in our dance. We can drop the doing, and fall more into being. And let the dance happen through this image of water moving, letting it show us the way.
I love to build up dance softly, from inside-out. Slowly ending up towards more technical material and challenges. We often start with individual floor-work, offering particular principles and tasks, and then gradually building up to standing using the natural spirals of the body. Material will alternate between contact- and solowork, and also connecting the group as whole. Creating an open, safe environment to explore. Emphasis will move on to improvised duets where we use each others energy to spin off into moments of freedom and individuality, then seamlessly reconnecting with our partner.
We will develop our dances from inside out, from down to up, exploring organic movement on different levels. Finding soft strength and support, preparing our bodies to listen and connect with the others, as well as with the space, and our surroundings. We´ll cultivate deeper awareness of listening, breathing, giving, receiving, and very importantly – timing.
We will explore basic tools of contact – as sharing weight, center-to-center, leaning and supporting, rolling point of contact. Using physical laws of momentum, suspension, inertia, bounce and swing to find most effortless ways into lifting and weight transfers. Different qualities of touch, impulses. Leading and following, falling and spiralling… Playing with the gravity, pushing and pulling, counterbalance and more…
We will explore the head & tail -connection, spinal push, and spirals of the spine. We are also going to look at techniques for lifting and being lifted. But thinking lifting just as a small weight transfer. Lifting should not have so much to do with effort. Using the momentum and right timing we can fly like a feather. Letting our breath to soften our bodies, and synchronizing with our partners. Finding effortless and easy ways to move together through the space – finding the flow, and joy of dancing.
We´ll also play with energetical space around us – flowing in and out of contact. Creating a sphere of listening with all our senses, touching without touching. Developing sensitivity to read and follow each others in movement, and cultivating playfulness – breaking the rules and being surprised.
We will also include different dance-scores into our practice, which allow you to get into the flow of your own dance, giving time and space to integrate the learnt technique into your own movement and spontaneity.
Vega Katri Luukkonen
I am dancer, dance-teacher, performance-artist and bodyworker made in Finland, but currently based in Berlin, India, and nomadic temporary moments in time and space. From the formal side of my life I have studied in Finland – in Theatre Academy of Finland (TEAK) and Metropolia AMK, graduated from TEAK 2008 as dance- and theatre-teacher (MA). Though – I guess my dearest high-school and university in dance and contact-improvisation has been finnish contact community, where I have learned so much, by sharing the dance and rolling point with the other spiralling beautiful finns…
About 15 years I have been teaching contact and dance all around the world, on many internationally acknowledged festivals and retreats, and especially recent years more focused on organising my own workshops, events and festivals. I am one of the organisers of Goa Contact Festival since 8 years, and that has become big part of my life – to live in India, to create platforms and possibilities for cultural exchange, dance and learning – throughout the whole season in Arambol, as I have spent my last 13 winters in India.
Contact Improvisation has been in my life 26 years, so – many kind of chapters I have gone through. More and more I look for lightness and grace in my dance – in the sense of organic, fluid, effortless and integrated movement. I love to find ease and smoothness in my dance, like water would do. Breath plays as well big part in my dancing, brings me naturally into moments of momentum, falling, flying, suspension, swinging, accelerating and bouncing. Other precious topic for me is the spine, never ending story with our head & tail, and the whole dialogue between them. Life-energy flowing through our spiralling, reaching, twisting spines – integrated and synchronised with our breath –
My dance is drawing inspirations from aikido and capoeira – loving all these spirals up & down, and deep understanding about the role of the center in our movement. Developmental movement patterns and flying low for all the lovely floor rolling-sliding-gliding-fun. Bodywork & massage for softening, surrendering and meeting. Listening our whispering fascias. Spicing up the soup with meditation and authentic movement, to look from inside out – to connect with our emotions, intuition and felt sensations.
For me dance is always combination of technique and intuition. Form and freedom. Being and doing. I try to find ways to explore and teach technique by understanding the underlying principles of movement, so that we can stay connected to our dance and expression, and learn in the spirit of exploration. Where our curiosity can stay alive, and we can always find new details on the way.