Workshops w/ Andrew Harwood


5-Day Contact Improvisation Workshop w/ Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood

for advanced CI practitioners/performers
Mar 25–29, 2019
cost: $200

At the outset Steve Paxton's experiments with Contact Improvisation (CI) were closely connected with the act of performance and corresponded with specific practices of sensing and perceiving. CI was and is part of a movement that both questions the values of spectacular produced shows and frequently calls up different values in the ways it is practiced and presented. In this workshop we will take a closer look at the layers of complexity and levels of subtleness in this evolving dance form, aiming to cultivate an ease and gracefulness in those crossing fields while maintaining an inquisitive attitude and encouraging our performing skills to come into play.

We will work with tuning our own experience and innate presence while studying/focusing on awareness, sensation, perception, impulse, influence, reflex, and reaction in order to create an intimate sense of connectedness, ease and spaciousness between them. Allowing for introspection and dialogue as we go, we will deepen our understanding of the micro-dynamics and fine points that reveal themselves in our dancing. In addition, we will examine and practice states and qualities of improvising, investigate a variety of relationships between imagination, action, time and space, whilst we scrutinize how we sense, see and are seen by each other. How do we act with a sense of clarity as we move? How do we witness others and ourselves in the subtle and small range and in the bigger, wider range? Bring curiosity, a keen desire to dance and a willingness to be seen.

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Weekend Contact Improvisation Workshop w/ Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood

open to adults of all ages with curious bodies and open minds 
12–5pm, Mar 30–31, 2019
cost: $150

This intensive workshop invites participants to reconsider our perception of what CI essentials are as we focus on some specific and fundamental facets of CI such as: sensation, space, time and our relationships with the other dancers. Perceptual skills involving the somatosensory systems such as “seeing” through the skin or “tasting” weight will be examined and integrated into the greater set of essential physical skills such as: moving while supporting the weight (1%-100%) of another dancer, falling and landing safely from any level, modulating the tone of one’s body and being omni-directionally responsive while dancing with a partner. Release techniques, hands-on work as well as numerous scores for dancing, warming down and discussions will be included. The workshop intends to facilitate the development of a heightened and subtle presence in our solo, duet and trio dances, while remaining attentive to the ever-changing creative climate generated in our group compositions.

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Andrew Harwood and Nancy Stark Smith; photo Rafal Nowak

Andrew Harwood and Nancy Stark Smith; photo Rafal Nowak


Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood (Montreal) is an internationally recognized pioneer and master teacher of contact improvisation. He began his dance career in 1975 and for over forty-three years has dedicated himself to the research, education, development and dissemination of contact improvisation and compositional improvisation as sophisticated movement disciplines and performing art forms. He studied and performed with, among many others, Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith and Nita Little, (the founders of contact improvisation) and has danced for the companies of Marie Chouinard, Jean-Pierre Perreault, Jo Lechay and Fulcrum, as well as the dance collectives Discovery Bal, The Echo Case and the Improvisational Movement Fund. Formerly artistic director of AH HA Productions (2000-2014) his work has evolved through ongoing collaborations with many renowned artists (Peter Bingham, Marc Boivin, Benoît Lachambre, Chris Aiken, Kirstie Simson, Julyen Hamilton, Lin Snelling, Benno Voorham, Ray Chung, Lisa Nelson, Jori Snell, etc.) and through various investigations of perceptual awareness, performance, composition, spatial design and installation. Passionate about teaching, he transforms his training in gymnastics, the Alexander Technique, Aikido, release technique, contemporary dance, yoga and various somatic practices into a personal language, which he has shared throughout the world since 1976. He was awarded the Canada Council's Jacqueline Lemieux Award in 2000.