Teachers and guest speakers

Who is there?

Duet of teachers

Catherine Contour (France)
& Leilani Weiss (Chili, Germany, Italy)

Matthieu Gaudeau (France)
& Emma Rozgoni (Sweden, Israel)

Asaf Bachrach (France, Israel)
& Dieter Heitkamp (Germany)

Guest speakers

Boris Nordmann (France), Dina Roberts (France), Nicole Harbonnier (France, Canada), Romain Bigé (France), Joerg Lemmer Schmid (Allemagne)

Who are they?

Catherine Contour

CC zèbre polaroidCatherine Contour is an artist and an explorer. Coming from a double background in contemporary dance and scenography (from the Ecole nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs of Paris), she questions the notion of relationship by studying the body, the means of (re)presentation and mouvement. She is the founder of Maison Contour, simultaneously an artistic trademark, an evolving website and a means of nomadic creation based on temporary co-habitations. She works with researchers and artists in various fields of interest (gardening, landscape, hypnosis) from which she explores educational and artistic possibilities and creates tools for artists based on autonomy and emancipation. From these encounters, she creates intimate spaces of sharing for a dance which intensifies one’s presence in the world and helps cultivate one’s personal resources with the art of resting.

Leilani Weis

photo Leilani WeissI’m deeply interested in the physical relationship of Contact Improvisation, which I also experience when I dance Tango. Two or more bodies that create a dance that could not be done alone. Where my point of reference is my own experience of what it’s happening in relationship with others, in a highly sophisticated way of responding to the many impulses, in a survival mode, that is highly creative and expressive. This natural poetics of an efficient  and aware moving body is one of my big interests at the moment. How I keep and enlarge my range of awareness while dancing? One image that comes back to me is the “eye of the hurricane “. That still place inside the chaos, where from I can read and trace what it’s happening, being an observer of my own experience. Something important in the process of understanding the experience of a dance or creative process, happens when I verbalize it, when I make the effort of putting precise words to a physical or emotional sensation. How to do this is an other big interest and learning tool that I explore in my practice.

 Matthieu Gaudeau

Projet Festival Contact Improvisation Paris 2015_html_m3be69a16Matthieu Gaudeau has been practicing CI for fifteen years. In parallel to his career as a comedian and dancer, he is developping a pedagogy oriented by Alexander Technique, being a certified professor since 2013. The principles of body-mind unity, of inhibition and directed attention are central to his work, with a constant focus in linking the forces at play in supporting and disorienting. He has worked with Gilles Estran (Alexander Technique professor), Ray Chung, Urs Stauffer, Daniel Mang, Mirva Makinen… He regularly teaches in Paris at studio Keller and Canaldanse, and proposes dance workshops with Alzheimer patients.

Emma Rozgoni

480685_10151077293555351_977749687_n - Version 2Emma Rozgoni graduated in 2009 with a BA in Dance from the National Academy of Arts, Oslo. After years of researching Gaga, freelancing and performing in Amsterdam and Israel, and a year at the Gaga Teacher Program, Emma became a certified teacher in Gaga. She is also an Ilan Lev Method Movement Theraphy practitioner.

She is based in Tel Aviv, where she teaches Gaga for dancers and non-dancers, as well as in Scandinavia and Europe. Emma is teaching for various companies and schools among others; CullbergBaletten, Carte Blanche Dance Company, Skånes Dans Teater, DOCH University for Circus and Dance..

GAGA/Class Description: The Gaga movement language originated from the belief in the healing, dynamic, ever-changing power of movement. Choreographer, Ohad Naharin, developed Gaga over the course of many years and it is now applied in the daily practice of Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company.

Gaga provides a framework for discovering and strengthening your body and movement awareness, and adding flexibility, stamina, and agility while lightening the senses and imagination. The work improves instinctive movement and connects conscious and unconscious movement, and it allows for an experience of freedom and pleasure while exploring the body’s wide potential.

For me the exploration of Gaga is a beautiful way to go deep into research while at the same time connecting to the simple and pure pleasure to move.

During the last few years I brought as well the CI into my personal practice and I find it very interesting to combine Gaga and CI. I’m curious to explore further how these two can support and challenge each other on different levels and aspects, alone and with others.

 Asaf Bachrach

Asaf h10537250_10152499386292252_3604609053116416549_oas been studying and practicing Contact Improvisation for over 20 years. His exploration  started in Israel and continued in NYC, Boston and Paris, where he is currently living and teaching (exploratiosspheriques.wordpress.com). Among the teachers that most (in)formed his dance are Kirstie Simson, Lisa Nelson, Min Tanaka, Steve Paxton and Hubert Godard, with whom Asaf is now studying to become a Rolfer. Asaf is also a cognitive neuroscientist and a linguist. Over the last few years he has been developing a neuro-phenomenological research project on dance and cognition (labodanse.org) which brought new questions to his dancing. At night, when he is not too tired, Asaf can often be found in a local milonga.

Prof. Dieter Heitkamp

Di - BS 1Dieter Heitkamp is a Professor for contemporary dance at the University for Music and Performing Arts Frankfurt a.M. and director of the Department for Contemporary and Classical Dance| ZuKT since 2001. Parallel, he is on the Board of Directors of Tanzlabor_21/ Tanzbasis Frankfurt_ Rhein_Main since 2006 and in 2009 he initiated the interdisciplinary research platform THE ARTIST’S BODY

Since 37 years he has been involved with studying, teaching and performing Contact Improvisation (CI). His on-going interest in developing and documenting CI as a social dance form and a choreographic tool took a new direction, with contactencyclopedia.net, which he developed in cooperation with Norbert Pape and with the support of the HfMDK Frankfurt a.M.

For 20 years (78–98) he worked with Tanzfabrik Berlin as a choreographer, dancer, teacher, collective member and one of the artistic directors (until 1995). Besides creating over 18 full evening length pieces for Tanzfabrik,
he also worked as a guest choreographer for Ballet Frankfurt / „Pizza Girl“, choreographed two theatre productions (Peter Palitzsch, Holger Schulze)
 at Freie Volksbühne Berlin and made works for Video and TV. In 1997 he created both the choreography and the set design for „Le Disperazioni del Signor Pulcinella“, a ballet by Hans Werner Henze, for the State Opera Berlin. In his choreographies and lecture performances Dieter Heitkamp combines movement, text, concepts, images, objects, light, film and music. His choreographies have been presented throughout Germany, in 15 European countries, Canada, the USA, Japan, Hongkong and Brazil.

He was a founding member of the German Forum for Contemporary Dance in the 90ies, is a member of ITI Germany and ID_Frankfurt/ Independent Dance and also worked as curator for Tanzplan Deutschland, Fonds Darstellende Künste and Kunststiftung NRW.

 He was the Artistic Director of the 3rd. Dance Education Biennale 2012 Frankfurt am Main and has been one of the speakers of the german dance education conference for 7 years.

Boris Nordmann


As an artist and a researcher, Boris Nordmann’s work goes back and forth between science and art.
He is the artistic and scientific coordinator of the Old School, a school for inter-species relationships, an a

ccidental teacher of human echolocation, a biologist by training, and a 2004 graduate of the Fresnoy Studio National des Arts Contemporain. He has been conducting research on cetacean societies within the Social Sciences department at the Centre Norbert Elias (UMR 8562, CNRS-EHESS).
As an artist, he has developed projects alongside biologist entrepreneurs (Inasmet); researchers in the fields of psychology of seeing/eyesight psychology researchers (Laboratoire de la Vision Montréal), image analysis (LIRMM, Montpellier), the semantic processing of language, (Institut des Sciences Cognitives à Lyon), marine bioacoustics (pretty much everywhere), and animal biology (MNHN, Paris); a stage director (Mirabelle Rousseau); an acoustician (Kerwin Rolland); developer/programmer-artists (Alexis Chazard, Gaël Cobert); a poet (Dorothée Volut); sailors; an archeologist architect (Yves Ubelmann); and a 3D cinematographer (Alain Derobe).
To circumvent the various efforts of making material work, he engages in a type of “prescription sculpture”: first by creating a non-localized audio-guide (Spoken Vision), which gives the listener instructions in seeing; then, by developing Body Fictions, which are literally methods for feeling other: feeling spider-like, feeling Marseilles-like, feeling sperm whale-like…
Upon becoming a father, his interest for the potential relationships with marine mammals has intensified: How can humans put themselves in a position to learn from dolphins, belugas, sperm whales and other odontocetes? To this end, he has been pursuing a number of trainings: human echolocation, with blind teachers (Daniel Kish and Tom de Witte), vocal technique (with the performance artist Natacha Musléra), free diving, kayaking, Contact Improvisation and Spontaneous Composition (workshops with Mathilde Monfreux and Robin Decourcy), Vipassana meditation, and Intuitive Communication®.
In the Caribbean, he encountered an insane con-artist sailor. Upon returning home, safe and sound, he has taken his research into the academic field of social sciences in order to apply the tools of human anthropology to cetacean societies.
Eating, the parties’ debate. Proposal for the jam-conference on Monday July 13th.
Come hungry, with napkins, food, and clean hands.

Dina Roberts

Dina Roberts is a M.D. and hypnotherapist. She works in psychiatry and teaches Hypnosis at the AFEHM (French Association for the Study of Medical Hypnosis). photo NB DinaBefore going to medical school, she started studying Applied Arts at l’Ecole Estienne. She changed career but kept a relation with the artistic field. Her actual research on hypnosis crosses her medical practice of hypnotherapy, and the work she has been doing with artists the last 4 years.

She views hypnosis as a specific technique to enter the state where you’re the most available. But she considers that this state isn’t specific to hypnosis and that it’s especially used and looked for by artists. This is how she started a research with them, trying to cross different points of view and experiences of that state. She offers to artists the possibility to try the hypnotic experience and she has been initiated to some of their practices that she views as other doors to enter that state (Vipassana, CI).

Nicole Harbonnier


Nicole Harbonnier has been, since 2004, Professor in “movement studies” at the Dance Department of the University of Quebec in Montreal (http://danse.uqam.ca/departement/personnel/professeurs/68-nicole-harbonnier-topin.html). After her Master’s degree which focused on the dancer’s stretching training (Paris 8, 2000), she got a doctorate degree in Science education (2009, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Paris). Her thesis was concerned with dance teaching from the Activity Analysis perspective (Barbier, http://crf.cnam.fr/). Certified in Dance Movement Functional Analysis (AFCMD, http://www.afcmd.com/) from the Centre National de la Danse (1997, Paris,), she was a dance performer, a dance teacher and a dance teacher’s instructor in several institutions in France. She is now teaching in the fields of movement analysis and somatic education. Her current research aims to link together the expressive and functional dimensions of movement while using a psycho-phenomenological methodology (Vermersch, http://www.grex2.com/).

Romain Bigé

idInitially a philosophy scholar (agrégé of philosophy and ENS alumnus), I stumbled upon CI a few years ago as I came in the US to teach French. Back to France, I resumed teaching philosophy, but with a growing intertwining with the movement practice, I decided that I should try and elucidate with my favorite philosophical tools (phenomenology, philosohy and anthropology of techniques, philosophy of perception…) what it is we actually do in CI. So there was my PhD research launched, with this yummy title Movement’s sharing — Poetics of CI: and it’s been a continuous joy to be able to explorethose two activities at the same time, with the same conviction that they contain endless directions of research and pleasures.

This encounter, which I co-organize, is a nice ending point for this semester, as I will have just spent three months in the US visiting the masters and initiators of the form in their home land, bringing back from my trip some hopefully juicy interrogations on the practice.

Jörg Lemmer Schmid

Lemmer SchwarzweißDr. Phil. Jörg Lemmer Schmid wrote his PhD in the field of psychomotricity – a science investigating the “Body – Mind Interaction”.  As a dancer and cognitive psychotherapist his thesis focused on the question: how Contact-Improvisation influences “psychological heath” and “quality of life”. In his research he is interested in altered states of mind like the “Flow-Experience” and “Mindfulness”. (see article on CI, Mindfulness and Flow).

To receive an email upon the opening of registration, please write to rici.paris.2015@gmail.com


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