Rossana Alves, born and raised in Brazil, is a dancer, dance teacher and performer. She has been practicing Contact Improvisation for 13 years, teaching classes and participating in festivals in Brazil, Argentina and USA. Currently based in the Bay Area, she recently graduated from Moving On Center and has been studying at the School for Body-Mind Centering, as well as performing with Oakland Improv Collective.
Bianca Cabrera has been creating new dance work in California since 2010 and teaches weekly in West Oakland at Project Bandaloop (Technical Practice for the Adventurous Dancer) and in San Francisco at ODC (Pop Up Choreo). She is the Artistic Director of Blind Tiger Society, a contemporary dance band based out of Oakland, CA. Blind Tiger Society premiered their first evening of work, Sunk in Sleep, at CounterPULSE in August of 2012. Bianca began her training in ballet and Graham Technique at the Chicago Academy for the Arts. Training at the Alvin Ailey School and the Martha Graham Center prefaced a BFA in dance at Cornish College of the Arts.
Cathie Caraker has been practicing Contact Improvisation since the early 80’s, when she was introduced to the form by Nancy Stark Smith while a dance student in Amsterdam. A dance artist and teacher, she has developed a body of work that investigates movement through Body-Mind Centering®, dance improvisation and other creative and somatic disciplines. A life-long learner, she loves to share her passion for movement research and deep play through her teaching. She was on the faculty of the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam for over 10 years and has performed and taught her work across Europe and the Americas. She has collaborated with many inspiring artists including Katarina Eriksson, Ray Chung, Rosemary Hannon, Vitali Kononov, Henry Kaiser, Daniel Lepkoff and others. When at home in San Francisco, she helps to run the CounterPULSE jams and the WCCIJam festival.
Daniel Bear Davis has been teaching and dancing CI and improvisational composition for 13 years. For 5 years his focus has been co-directing the dance theatre company, Shah and Blah Productions and performing with acrobatic stilt theatre company, The Carpetbag Brigade. He is currently an Axis Syllabus teacher candidate and his study with Frey Faust has been instrumental in developing the concepts that inform his CI practice in addition to his background as a bodyworker in myo-fascial release. His performance work has been presented in Estonia at The Imagining Bodies Symposium, at the SF International Arts Festival, and the SEEDS Festival and (with Kristen Greco) E|MERGE residency at Earthdance. Daniel has also performed with Felix Ruckert in Berlin, and on a suspended welded sphere with Copenhagen’s Live Art Installations (formerly Half Machine). He has performed full evening improvisations with Nita Little and Erika Tsimbrovsky in SF. His approach to CI is one of constant research into the expansion of range and choice.
Joe Edelman. High in the Himalaya, Mr. Joe Edelman first taught CI in the mountains of India. He’s been an adjunct professor in dance and once slapped Steve Paxton, inventor of contact improvisation, on the ass. He loves teaching undergrads, but his best students have been goats.
Kristen Greco has directed, performed, and taught internationally in Mexico, Canada, South America, and Europe both independently and with The Carpetbag Brigade since 2000. Kristen most recently performed with Syzygy Butoh (CO), Human Nature Dance Theatre (AZ), and Live Art Installations (Denmark). Kristen holds a BA in Studio Arts/Performance from University of Colorado and a somatic education certificate from Moving on Center’s School of Participatory Arts. Kristen serves as guest faculty at USF teaching CI and partnering techniques. Kristen’s current research includes how access to different perceptive lenses can affect our habits, somatic processes, and performance experiences.
Ralf Jaroschinski, born in Germany and raised in Brazil, was trained in classical, modern and contemporary dance techniques in Germany and New York City. He works as a freelance dancer, teacher and choreographer in the Americas, Europe and Asia since 25 years. He performed contact improvisation in scores designed by Brandin Steffensen (New York City) and Scott Wells (San Francisco) and has also produced and staged his own scores and entire dance concerts based on contact improvisation. He has been facilitating contact improvisation classes and workshops at various festivals, dance studios, schools and universities since over 10 years, and he has trained the members of the dance companies “Karen Peterson & Dancers” in Miami, the Peruvian “Compañía de ballet de Trujillo”, “Terpsicore Proyectos”, “Danza Viva”, and “Ballet San Marcos” in Lima, the Brazilian Curitiba Guaíra Ballet, the Swedish “GöteborgsOperans Danskompani”, and also the “Cullberg Baletten” in Stockholm in contact improvisation.
Diana Lara is a teacher, choreographer and dancer from Honduras. She graduated from the choreography program of the Center for Research and Choreography at the Mexican Institute of Fine Arts and from the Somatic Research and Participatory Arts program at Moving On Center in Oakland. In 2011, she graduated from the Embodied Developmental Movement and Yoga program offered by the School of Body Mind Centering. Diana teaches dance based on somatic principles for women recuperating from drug abuse and domestic violence at Purple Moon Dance Project, and yoga for elders at Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center. Since 1995, she has danced and choreographed for contemporary dance groups in Mexico and Honduras, participating in festivals in Mexico and Central America. She currently works as an independent artist developing projects based in the exploration of somatic elements and improvisation with performers in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Mexico.
Vitali Kononov is a movement artist, bodyworker and somatic movement educator, working with improvisation as a performance discipline, therapeutic tool and a contemplative practice. He was born in St-Petersburg, Russia, in 1966. He has been teaching contact improvisation since 1997 in Russia, Europe, USA and Mexico. His background includes contemporary dance, physical theater, contact and ensemble improvisation, Somatic Movement Therapy, Body-Mind Centering and yoga. He taught at Moving On Center – School for Participatory Arts and Somatic Research since 2002 and was a faculty member of American Dance Festival (2003-04). Vitali has a private bodywork and Somatic Movement Therapy practice in Berkeley, California.
Antoine Ragot is a performer and creative elementary school, sports and movement teacher from France. The past few years he has been passionately involved in teaching contact improvisation on a weekly basis in Paris and increasingly throughout France. He trained intensively in multiple sports like judo, swimming and handball until the age of 18. A few years later, he ran into contact improvisation and immediately felt in love… and began exploring the path of becoming a dancer. After 2 years of sometimes hilarious sometimes slightly depressing daily training in contemporary dance with 5-15 year olds at the Conservatoire de Nantes, he finally discovered the Axis Syllabus community and research. This encounter brought back enthusiasm, progressively enabled him to heal from a long lasting back pain and continues to nourish his natural instinct for movement research.
Rajendra Serber was born in San Franciso and has presented choreography for stage and screen in his hometown and internationally. His work has been nominated for Isadora Duncan Awards and a Lester Horton Dance Award. As a performer he has collaborated with many wonderful artists including Scott Wells, The Residents, and Sara Shelton Mann. He was born the same year as Contact Improvisation and grew up wrestling as a playful and loving practice. Starting with his father, who was a national wrestling champion in Argentina. Since that time he has studied a variety of physical and energetic forms: Contact Improvisation, Release Technique, Alexander Technique, and Chi Gung. Some of his teachers have been Anna Halprin, Nita Little, Simone Forte, and Daniel Lepkoff. He is one of the organizers of the West Coast Contact Improvisation JAM (June 29 – July 3, wcciJAM.org). For films, teaching schedule and more see RJNDR.NET.
Carol Swann is a teacher, facilitator, Improvisational performance artist, Somatic Therapist and activist. She has been teaching Voice, Somatics, Authentic Movement, Contact and Improvisation for 35 years in the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Israel and Russia. She is Co-founder and Director of “Moving On Center, School Of Participatory Arts and Somatic Education” which bridges Somatics and the Performing Arts for Social Change (1994-2013, now in Berlin). She has a private practice in Somatic Psychology (Hakomi/Process Work), Somatic Movement Therapy, Alexander Technique, Voice and is a Group Process and Conflict Facilitator. Her work is influenced by Nature, her parents Bob and Marj Swann, left politics, Balkan Singing, Bonnie Cohen (Body-Mind Centering®), Arnold Mindell (Process Work), Hakomi (Body-Mind Psycotherapy), John Cage, Meredith Monk, Steve Paxton, Somatics and everything else in her awareness.
Ronja Ver is a lover, explorer, performer and teacher of Contact Improvisation. Since 2000 she has taught both at festivals and in the academia, e.g. Freiburg Festival in Germany, American Dance Festival, Theater Academy in Helsinki, Prescott College, AZ, Hollins University, VA, Earthdance, MA, the West Coast CI Festival, and most recently she gave a week long intensive at the Finnish Contact festival Skiing On Skin. She has studied and worked with Contact Improvisation originators Steve Paxton and Nancy Stark Smith, and is much inspired by the continuous investigation of the form. Although technical, her classes offer an environment of learning that encourages improvisation, and supports the dancers in finding their own vocabulary within the dance. She loves to jam, which for her represents the heart of Contact Improvisation. When not dancing Contact, Ronja is kept busy with one year old Ainara, as well as dancing for Scott Wells and Dancers, Avy K Productions, and in other creative collaborations. Find out more about her at www.ronjaver.com
Ali Woolwich has been working in Contact Improvisation (CI) for 22 years, and has taught CI since 1996. Ali has produced workshops, live performance and media through HumilitySwim in the SF Bay Area, NYC, Seattle, and New Mexico. Ali teaches dance/performance in university, studio professional and recreational venues, and in years as a dance teacher has worked with professional dancers, children, gay teens, queer women and trans men, integrated classes of disabled and non-disabled dancers, and seniors. A Lighting Designer and Theatrical Electrician (union Local 16), Ali is a founding staff A/V Tech at CounterPULSE. Ali is Co-Director of CIRF: Contact Improvisation Research Forum, which provides year-round CI events and training (see: ci-rf.org). Ali credits Peggy Schwartz, Keriac, KJ Holmes and Karl Frost as primary CI teachers. Ali’s performance work and teaching is influenced by training as filmmaker and classical musician, and through 20 years of training in post-modern dance/theater, Release Techniques (Joe Goode Performance Group, Lower Left, Umo Ensemble, Kathleen Hermesdorf and Joan Skinner), yoga and massage practice. Currently, Ali is investigating queer tango as a source for partnering innovation. More info: www.humilityswim.org