Dance your way to CONTACT.

and masterclasses
intensive classes,
labs and jams+
dance retreat
in wild nature


This festival started from the idea that "Contact improvisation has been a performance form since its inception" (Steve Paxton).

Over time, CI events and festivals around the world have brought the attention on social, philosophical, therapeutic, somatic, ecological, developmental, lifestyle, educational and other implications and questions that came out organically from this practice.

In Romania Contact Improvisation is still at its inception, so we would like to focus our event on CI as art and dance form for improvisation and performance practice. If you resonate with this approach or miss it in your CI experience, we will be happy to have you with us.

Our schedule includes CI intensive classes, movement technique and real time composition practices, interdisciplinary activities (video making). Watching and being part of performances before and during the festival is part of our didactic intention - how can you apply what you are learning here, in your own dance/artistic practice? This requires from participants full engagement in the programme and prior registration. The registration is available 4 months before the festival and closes 2 weeks before it starts.

We have invited internationally renowned teachers to facilitate, support and be part of this active learning process. They will be teaching classes dedicated to performers and dancers that are searching for new sources of inspiration in their dance practice but also classes for beginners and all curious human beings that want to explore their poetic side.

We offer the option of attending separately to each 3 parts, plus to all the performances before and during the festival. But we do not offer the option of partial participation inside each part.

and masterclasses
/ performances with international artists that practice dance improvisation and CI principles on stage
/ masterclasses for professional dancers and passionate amateurs
/ lecture on dance composition (Echo Echo Dance Theater Company, Ireland)
intensive classes,
labs and jams+
/ performance lab for the participants that want to develop their (instant) composition skills
/ video making lab for participants that want to explore the poetics of dance and video
/ single classes with guest teachers for beginners that want to deepen their experience in CI basics
/ practice space / focused jam sessions
dance retreat
in wild nature
/ dance workshops and jams
/ walking in nature together
/ singing circles and eating around the fire
/ research and practice space <
In this part we invite you to watch two performances with dancers that use CI and improvisation practices on stage, participate and learn from them in two master-classes, join a lecture and ask question on the practice of Poetic Movement.
80 EUR until 1st of April
100 EUR after 1stst of April
// Full access to performances and masterclasses
13 June
19:00 - 21:00
Performance > Emperor's clothes/ How do we watch dance

14 June
10:00 - 14:00
Masterclass > Poetic Movement with Steve Batts
18:00 - 21:00
Lecture > On Poetic Movement practice with Steve Batts

15 June
19:00 - 21:00
Performance >Intimacies by Alexandra and Sergey

16 June
10:00 - 13:00
Masterclass > Gravity free point with Alexandra and Sergey

14:30 - 17:30
Masterclass > Gravity free point with Alexandra and Sergey

18:30 - 21:00
Jam Session > Open to Everybody

Emperor's clothes/ How do we watch dance

PERFORMANCE - 13 June 19h00-20h30 - Steve Batts

Part the lyrical dance of a middle aged man, part polemical rant, part analytic lecture, part stand-up comedy.

This new work, many years in the making, is Steve Batts’ response to the feeling that dancing has been kidnapped... torn away from its roots in the natural poetic capacity that everyone has in their movement. Disconnected from the fundamental organic ways that people understand, and are moved by, other people movement.

We’ve been persuaded to think that dancing is about bodies, shapes, athletic tricks, static sculptural measures. We’ve been told that the aim is to perfect the body, make the perfect shape, achieve the most spectacular trick and look artfully sculptural in cleverly lit photographs. Apparently these are the measures of good dancing and they condition our thinking, judgement and taste... but these measures and the values they represent create a dissonance in relation to the fundamentals of how we make, discover, treasure meaning in movement. They underlie so much in the main forms of training, the language the social interactions in dance that even when there is an explicit commitment to different ethics and aesthetics these values creep themselves into the creative practice; into the movement, the disposition, the presentation, the framing of the dance.

Somatic practices are proposed as an alternative but the undoubted riches contained in the wide variety of such approaches tend to be enclosed in a bubble of individual private experience which can easily turn from self-development into random wiggling and self-indulgence while never really becoming activated as poetic resources.

This piece is about a different way to watch dancing.

Poetic Movement

MASTERCLASS - 14 June 10h00-14h00 - Steve Batts

This masterclass will give participants the opportunity to begin to engage practically with some of the ideas presented in the performance and lecture/talk. We will place the intuitive desire to create movement meaning alongside rigorous exploratory processes focused on disposition, time and space. We will touch on phrasing, proximity, vertical space and the idea of harmonics.

The genesis of the Poetic Movement work

LECTURE – 14 June 18h00 - 21h00 - Steve Batts

This talk gives some background to the way that my approach to dance and movement developed and the concerns behind it. It also gives a basic explanation of some of the ways that I approach time, space and presence in the work. It will be of interest to people who have seen the performance: “How To Watch Dancing” but it will also be accessible for people who have not seen the show. There will be an extended opportunity for questions and comments


PERFORMANCE - 15 June 19h00 - 21h00 - Alexandra & Sergey

Dance: Alexandra Soshnicova, Sergey Golovnea
Music: Daniel Weaver, England
Costumes: Tatiana Popescu, Moldova

Co Production: Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company (N.Ireland) and dance group “Voices” (ADDM, Moldova)

Steve Batts says of “INTIMACIES”:

“Sometimes I call my work “Poetic Movement” rather than dance because, although I have a background in contemporary dance, my interest has developed more and more towards the choreography of everyday life and the poetic possibilities in movement patterns which don’t fit into any particular dance idiom.

I have been developing choreography which is based on a detailed research into the elements of movement which we usually take for granted. I create choreography more from tonus, vertical and horizontal spatial arrangements, and the proximity of people to each other. I approach human movement from an interest in the physiology of functional movement, emotional states and resonances, and the poetics of architectural and interpersonal space.”

The performance is made up of sections of very tightly choreographed movement connected by fresh, open, playful, structured improvisations which rely on the amazing knowledge and sensitivity which Sasha and Serioja have developed between them over the years.

Gravity free point

MASTERCLASS - 16 June 10h00 - 17h30 - Alexandra & Sergey

Zero point. Point of emptiness. Suspension.
Silence between movements.
Point of start.

The point where is most easy to change direction. Where you can start like opening a new page. From where you can come to surprise, from where you can develop everything in different way or save and return to the source point. We propose to explore this kind of material for creating a small performance. We will start all together, then divide into groups and plan different areas of exploration. At the end of everyday lab we will gather again in the big group and share the material. Harvesting revelations, ideas, developing structures for creating visible material together.
We will include in this masterclass the main principles and elements that we are working with in our dance training and our process of generating performance material:

  • Jumping and support
  • Soft falling
  • the "zero point"
  • Redirecting the movement
  • Guiding the point of focus

Our proposals for the masterclass will offer a significant opportunity for professional dancers and theater performers to enrich their physical and creative resources, but also easy to adapt and inclusive towards beginners or different levels of experience in dance.

Register now
One week of CI intensive classes, video-making and performance laboratories,
jam sessions, discussions and meals together
+ towards the end, open events for public:
// street performance
// video projection of the films created in the festival
// participants performance
// teachers performance.
220 EUR until 1st of April
260 EUR after 1stst of April
// Full access to all intensive classes, laboratories, two meals/day and other activities

From Zero to Flying

Intensive classes - Scott Wells

Starting with contact as our foundation, we’ll traject towards a space that supports freedom of flight and expression. I’d like to inject some body systems material (BMC and Alexander Technique). For example: Jumping ≠ Flying because jumping is a muscular action, whereas flying is in the bones and is affected greatly by emotions and attitude. For the acrobatic maneuvers everyone will work at their own level and will learn best by building group safety and trust-- everyone will do something new.
I like feedback and will see what the group is up for. We’ll be doing my favorite contact exercises and current curiosities. Created or learned over the decades investigation and indulgence.

In 1981 Scott Wells (USA) discovered the pleasure of contact improvisation shortly after becoming obsessed with the struggles of modern dance. He stuck with both, received an MFA in dance from the University of Illinois (1991) and currently directs a company in San Francisco.
Scott’s style of contact is athletic and emphasizes freedom of movement, flying, fluid acrobatics (easy to advanced), safety, precision, pleasure and technique.

Inner Landscape

Intensive classes - Mirva Mäkinen

Main question in this workshop is choice making in contact improvisation. What kind of choices I make when I dance? What is my inner landscape? How do I connect with somatic presence, environment and nature while I dance? We will explore how somatic experiences of contact improvisation affects the choice making. We will also explore some of the main technical principals of contact improvisation, like moving with shared weight, spherical space and disorientation. We will explore floor work, movement through the space and by using experimental anatomy that hopefully will support the dancing.
Once we start exploring our questions about the choice making, we then can look at how this applies to our values in contact improvisation.Are we allowing the other person to see our bodily environments and our inner landscapes? Can we still have our sensations alive while being seen? Can we still connect to listening, seeing and sensing?

Mirva Mäkinen (Finland) graduated (MA) from the Dance Department from the University of Arts, Finland in 2000, before that she did masters of Physical Education from University of Jyväskylä. 2010 she start to do doctoral studies in University of Arts in Helsinki, her artistic research is about Somaesthetics of Contact Improvisation.

Ecosystem in MOTION

Beginners Intensive - Elisa Ghion

An Ecosystem is a biological community of living interacting organisms, in conjunction with nonliving components such as air, water and soil, that interact as a complex system. Each component has a specific identity and qualities that interact with all the other elements, in every moment, giving and receiving information in an open and constant exchange. What if we think of us as a moving ecosystem where each single element is part of the bigger picture?

In this paradigm, we can think of Contact Improvisation as our common land, the ground where ecosystem develops.

We will explore basic skills of contact improvisation such as transfer and sharing weight in motion, rolling point of contact, being off balance and upside down, dealing with gravity and momentum, moving with the floor, moving in the spherical space.

They will be the air, the water, the soil: the foundations of our moving ecosystem.

Each body is different, each person receives and elaborates information in a specific and subjective way. The same material, the principles of the dance form we share, will then be elaborated according to our personal lens, each one of us will find his path to embody, understand and dance the form. We will be able to relate to the others through the principles of the form, and still keep our original and creative individuality and unicity.

During the workshop we will also explore some elements of group composition and improvisation, in order to feed our moving ecosystem as well as our individual dance.

Poetry film LAB

Poetry film laboratory - Claus Springborg

Poetry films are short films (1-3 minutes) supporting the reading of a poem. Many poetry films are animations, however, in this lab we will work with creating poetry films where dance and poetry work together to transport the viewers into small atmospheric universes. They can be funny, poetic, grotesque, meditative, peculiar, or whatever you wish. Bring your favorite poetry, your cameras, and a good portion of curiosity and openness. On the last day we will hold a viewing of the poetry films created.

Claus Springborg (Denmark) has worked with dance since 1995 when he began studying modern ballet. He’s been studying tango since 1999 and CI since 2010. He has taught tango and CI in workshops and festivals in many countries across eastern and western Europe. He has also worked with composing and producing music and writing poetry/song lyrics. His style of teaching is highly experiential, relaxed, and humorous.

Poetic Movement

Composition laboratory - Steve Batts

This “lab” will give people the opportunity to explore the poetic movement approach in some detail and to apply it specifically to the process of performing improvisation. There will be lots of opportunity to watch each other and to discuss. The “lab” will finish with an informal public showing.
Our work will include direct physical touch but also contact of other sorts:
/ Attention to the relation between what one does and what others do across time and space.
/ Attention to how we create and interpret purpose and meaning in movement.
/ Attention to the process of collaborative real-time composition.
The intention is to connect the inquiry into how to do things to questions of why we do them. To understand better what we watch for when we try to make sense of movement. To become better at understanding the movement of our dancing partners and, through better embodied understanding, to become an enriched improviser.
The course will be of interest to actors, acrobats, dancers and musicians as well as to people with a background in Contact Improvisation. It is also open to complete beginners.

Steve Batts has been dancing and teaching Contact Improvisation and related practices for around 35 years. He creates work, performs and teaches internationally as well as being artistic director of Echo Echo Dance Theatre in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

Register now
post-festival retreat
Join us five days in a secluded place in Transylvania for a twelve hours intensive workshop, walking trips, relaxing, eating, singing by the fire, individual practice space, jam sessions, camping space +all that nature can offer.

Poiana is located far away from any road or village, on top of a hill, bordered by an enchanted forest, merging wilderness and civilization, solitude and communion, welcoming all.
120 EUR until 1st of April
150 EUR after 1stst of April
// Accomodation in your own tent, local guidance and care, 3 vegetarian meals/day, space for research and practice, dance workshops
max. 20 participants
17:00 Arrival
17:00 - 18:30 Walking trip to Poiana
18:30 - 20:00 Eating, Relaxing, Sitting by the fire
20:00 DanceJam and singing around the fire
26 - 29 JUNE
09:00 - 10:30 Breakfast
10:30 - 12:30 Morning Practices / Jam
13:00 - 14:30 Lunch
15:00 - 18:00 Tuning Scores - workshop
18:00 - 20:00 Dinner time, Relax, Fire making
20:00 DanceJam and singing around the fire
09:00 Breakfast
10:30 Closing circle and Jam

Tuning Scores

Instant composition workshop in nature setting- Nóra Hajós

Composition, communication and the sense of imagination in real-time composition, a method developed by Lisa Nelson.
Tuning Scores offer a multi-sensorial approach to the questions: what do we ‘see’ when we look at dance? what do we ‘see’ from within the dance?
The scores offer inner and outer communication tools and practices that make apparent the ways each of us sense and make sense of movement.
Initiating a playful and rigorous dialogue-in-action about space, time, movement, and the innate desire to compose our experience.

The workshop will be held by Nóra Hajós (HU/USA), dancer performer, teacher, who has been studying working, performing with Lisa Nelson for over 25 years.
Nora has been practicing and teaching Tuning Scores in nature setting for an extensive times in different countries. Her choices are made by her deep interest in search of authenticity in dance. As an improvisational performer she is interested in sensation-rooted movement-explorations, action painting, and juxtaposition with words, voices, imagery and motion.

Register now


Scott Wells

- USA -

Nóra Hajós

- Hungary/USA -

Steve Batts

- Ireland -

Mirva Mäkinen

- Finland -

Claus Springborg

- Denmark -

Alexandra & Sergey

- Republic of Moldova -

Elisa Ghion

- Italy -


Virginia Negru