In March of 2012, Origins continued its foray into contact improvisation with a 4 day workshop facilitated by Erica Kaufman, a dancer, choreographer, yogini, creative expressionist and contact improviser from the
The workshop was conducted from the 12th to the 15th of
March in KAPA, Brigade Road
and it proved to be a wonderful experience for all involved.
We began on the floor, finding what Steve Paxton, one of the originators of CI, called “the small dance”. Reacquainting ourselves with the ebb and flow of our own breath and the minutest movements within our body was like stepping into an inner, mysterious world, for on the outside all one could see were still bodies. Slowly we established a relationship with the ground, from which we rose and fell back to with increasing ease.
All along, we got to interact with Erica everyday on a growing personal level, sharing our experiences and thoughts on CI and contemporary culture and dance in
The final day was a culmination of the process we had undergone with the added
element of live music. Bangalore band Thaalavattam graciously agreed to an
improvised contact jam and provided a surreal soundscape to the explosion of
energy from the dancers.
“It was truly a transformative experience, I felt,” shared one of the participants. Another spoke with passion of the surge of energy he had felt during the jam and how he felt CI was his language of choice. Some of the participants revealed that they had initially felt reluctant about CI, given it’s nature of full body contact, but the workshop had given them a glimpse into the depth of the work and changed their opinion.
If you missed out on this event, don’t be dismayed. Erica plans to return and is looking to collaborate with a larger group of dancers to create a production in the near future. We’ll keep you posted with the information.
Erica Kaufman, MFA, E-RYT500+ is a dancer, choreographer, founder of the Lîla Yoga Institute, creative expressionist and contact improviser. From her childhood in
she moved to the Israel for graduate
studies, then toured as a teacher/dancer in festivals and performances in the USA , U.S. , Germany , Yugoslavia
Hungary, and Bulgaria . Erica
Kaufman's dance and choreography is committed to movement experimentation and
contact improvisation as a vehicle of discovery, creativity, and expression.
Her dances are characterized by the weaving together of abstract somatics with
literal, cerebral word play. Since joining academia in 1989, Erica has been a
faculty member at Point Park College Dance Conservatory, Visiting Professor at Israel in University of Marburg , Adjunct Professor
at the Germany and currently on
faculty at University of Denver . Pennsylvania State University
To learn more about the artists who collaborated on this project, please visit
Erica - http://lilayogastudios.com/
Thaalavattam - https://www.facebook.com/thaalavattam
Photos courtesy of Saajan Thomas and Avinash Shetty https://www.facebook.com/avinash.shetty.96?fref=ts
Kalari Academy of Performing Arts http://www.kalaripayattu.org/academy.htm