Doing what I need & want? – Thoughts about Jamming and Workshopping

I am more and more intrigued by the mystery of focussed spaces. I guess it is a mayor part of my dedication to Contact Improvisation. I am almost getting used to being in a space, where people follow their own interests, diving into a personal investigation that is still in touch with the group. Moments when this dense and generous atmosphere disappears make me realize how special and also fragile a focussed space is.

In a good jam or a well created dance frame in a workshop I feel the space to go for what I need and the freedom to do what I want. I guess most contacters share this experience. But how aware are we, that it is actually not true? We are very much not free to do whatever we want! Continue reading

Beglückende Überforderungen und Irritationen – ein Tanz mit Katja Mustonen

Katja Mustonen und ich hatten ein sogenanntes Dancedate in Berlin: ein bisschen reden, ankommen, checken wer was braucht und dann die simple Struktur eine Stunde lang zu schauen, was so passieren will. Sie als Contact Skeptikerin wünscht sich Gewicht zum Anfangen, ich als Contact Monofokussist wünsche mir Phasen von purem, nicht direktivem Hands-on. Nach 40 Minuten fühle ich mich erinnert an meine Anfangszeit. Es ist alles so viel, irgendwie viel zu viel, so atemberaubend komplex. Continue reading

My Teaching Journey – slow developments & crutial phases

Recently I got asked several times about how I approach my teaching and if that has changed over the years. So, I felt like looking at my own process of how I prepare workshops, and how my attitude and my values might have shifted.

Maybe one thought beforehand, that I discovered pretty early in my teaching career:

A crucial part of filling the teachers role is to know what I know and what I don’t know and to be honest about it with my students. Continue reading

Hands-on work – Why does it touch me so much?

A highlight and red thread of a workshop in Warsaw became a very simple hands-on exercise, kind of the most simple version of it: One person is moving, the other one follows with the hands on the movers body without giving any directions. That’s in a way it.

What is the work? The work is mainly to not do many things we usually do. Continue reading

Running – How I see it enriching my dance

Lately I got my calf and knee problems under control and now I can run again. I love it! After not being able to run for 7 years and not really practicing for another 15 years this feels amazing. A very basic sense of aliveness rises up in these runnings with a flavour of freedom and capability. And it is not so easy to figure out what touches me so deeply. There is nothing super special, it is just running, I can do it or leave it, doesn’t really matter. But what does matter? – out of those things that go beyond pure survival … Continue reading

Round Robin Transformations – an alternative or addition to Jamming?

I never really liked the Round Robin structure and wasn’t sad that it seemed to almost disappear in the last 25 years. Many fresh practitioners might not even know what it is, though …

The Round Robin is the core format to practice and perform Contact Improvisation in the very early days of the form, when jams hadn’t been invented yet. Continue reading

Lernen – Geist und Körper im Dialog? Ist die Trennung von Geist und Körper nicht längst überholt?

Am 24.2.2016 war ich zu Gast bei Katja Münker zum Somatischen Salon zum Thema ‘Lernen in und durch Bewegung – Kooperation und Skepsis zwischen Körper und Geist’.

Mit voller Begeisterung dozierte ich über den fruchtbaren Dialog von Geist und Körper in meinem Lernen. Diese irgendwie mittelalterliche Trennung von Körper und Geist, die wir in der somatischen Arbeit meinen endlich überwunden zu haben – ich krame sie leidenschaftlich wieder hervor, nur mit verkehrten Vorzeichen. Continue reading

Suspension – The Art of Waiting … and Accelerating

Thoughts before and after a lecture on the Axis Syllabus Dance Festival ‘Sensing In’ in Berlin with the general theme of ‘Rhythm and Timing’

November 27th 2015

With 15 years I went through the obligatory dance school trauma. A main reason why I never wanted to get in touch with dance again was the Rhythm. ‘Herr Hassmann, Sie sind nicht im Takt (you are not in the rhythm)!’ was the melody of my dance. Continue reading