The International Contact Improvisation Festival ?Warsaw Flow? is being held by the PERFORM Artistic Foundation for the fifth time already. This year the event will be graced by Nancy Stark Smith, who co-created contact improvisation in the 1970s, along with a range of excellent teachers and dancers arriving from the USA and Europe.
2014 Warsaw Flow will also see the Polish premiere of the Global Underscore, a dance event held annually by Nancy Stark Smith in 50 countries around the globe at the same time.
The festival?s partner is the Centre for Contemporary Art. From 18 to 3 June the place will offer a wide array of attractions to dance professionals and contact improvisation beginners alike. The programme focuses on workshops, enabling the public to take an active part in the events instead of simply watching performances being presented on stage.
Previous editions of the festival would end with a public performance by all the dancers and teachers involved. This year?s jubilee edition will culminate with a performance gathering Nancy Stark Smith, Ray Chung, and Andrew Harwood, all experienced CI practitioners and teachers, set to live accompaniment by Mike Vargas. The night will be an exceptional opportunity to see the co-creator of CI and world-class dancers together on stage.
On the same day at 7pm the Centre of Contemporary Art will also host the performance KOBIETY. Retrospektywa szaleństwa (WOMEN: A Retrospective of Madness), which is an outcome of a 3-month project carried out with the participation of Warsaw’s female residents. Admission to the event is free.
About the artists:
Nancy Stark Smith first trained as an athlete and gymnast, leading her to study and perform modern and postmodern dance in the early 1970s, greatly influenced by the Judson Dance Theater breakthroughs of the 1960s in New York City. Nancy danced in the first performances of contact improvisation in 1972 with Steve Paxton and others, and since then has been central to its development as dancer, teacher, performer, writer/publisher, and organizer. She travels extensively throughout the world teaching and performing contact and other improvised dance work with favorite dance partners and performance makers including Ray Chung, Julyen Hamilton, Andrew Harwood, Peter Bingham, Karen Nelson, and musician Mike Vargas. She co-founded Contact Quarterly, an international dance journal, in 1975, which she continues to coedit, produce, and publish along with other dance literature.
Nancy?s work and writings are featured in the books, Taken By Surprise: A Dance Improvisation Reader and Composing While Dancing: An Improviser?s Companion,and in the film The Poetics of Touch. Her first book, Caught Falling: The Confluence of Contact Improvisation, Nancy Stark Smith, and Other Moving Ideas, came out in 2008. She lives in western Massachusetts.
Andrew de Lotbini?re Harwood began his dance career in 1975 with Linda Rubin in Vancouver, Canada. After three years of study in contemporary techniques, he quickly gravitated toward instantaneous composition and contact improvisation which allowed him a greater freedom of expression while incorporating many other disciplines such as gymnastics, athletics, yoga, meditation, martial arts, Alexander Technique and Release Technique. Formerly artistic director of AH HA Productions, Andrew has dedicated himself to the research, education, development and dissemination of improvisation as a performing art for 38 years. His work has evolved through on-going collaborations and various investigations of performance, composition, spatial design, multi-media and movement techniques. He studied and performed with Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith and Nita Little, the founding members of contact improvisation and has been influential in the development of contact improvisation worldwide since 1976. Andrew danced for the companies of Fulcrum, Jo Lechay, Marie Chouinard, and Jean-Pierre Perreault, performed with the dance improvisation collectives The Improvisational Movement Fund, The Echo Case and Discovery Bal, and has collaborated in creation and performance with Chris Aiken, Peter Bingham, Marc Boivin, Lisa Nelson, Kirstie Simson, Benno Voorham, Ray Chung, Lin Snelling, and Benoît Lachambre among many others. He is known and respected internationally in the field of instantaneous choreography and contact/compositional improvisation and has taught and performed throughout North America and Europe as well as South America, Mexico, Australia, Eastern Europe, Israel and Russia. He is the recipient of the Canada Council?s Jacqueline-Lemieux award for the year 2000.
Andrew de Lotbini?re Harwood?s current interests lie within the immediate and fullest use of all the senses, the subtle interplay between intuition and instinct, the dilation of the attention to its fullest, and the finely tuned use of the perceptions in performance.
Ray Chung is a performer, teacher, engineer, and artist who has a passion for dancing which he likes to share with other people. His main focus is improvisation and he has worked with Contact Improvisation since 1979 as part of improvisational performance practice and integrates other movement forms into his work, including martial arts, bodywork and Authentic Movement. Ray has worked with the leading proponents of Contact Improvisation including Nancy Stark Smith, Steve Paxton, Nita Little, Lisa Nelson, Peter Bingham, Chris Aiken, Andrew Harwood, and regularly collaborates with dancers, musicians, and other artists. His work has been featured at numerous national and international festivals. He currently lives in San Francisco and Sweden. Ray regularly teaches abroad.
Mike Vargas began playing music in 1959. His curiosity and love of collaboration have led him through many contexts and cultures, from cocktail lounges in Indonesia to New York?s Lower East Side, from cancer wards to the Kennedy Center. He started specializing in music for dance in 1978. He works as a freelance composer across the USA and internationally performing, teaching, recording, and improvising. For the past 14 years, he has been working around the world with Nancy Stark Smith. He has released 9 CDs of his music and is currently on the faculty in the dance department at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
More about the festival on http://www.polandcontactfestival.com/