Suspension [of Weight, Time, Balance, & Disbelief]: A Contact Improvisation Workshop

with Andrew Harwood

Programming category: 
April 21, 2016 - 5:00pm - April 24, 2016 - 3:00pm

In this workshop, we will explore the many facets of suspension: the suspension of our weight in the air, permitting a stretch of time and allowing freer movement as we float or hang, delaying a fall; suspension as a system of springs or shock absorbers in our bodies which cushion the impact of our mass into the floor; and the postponement of a judgment, impulse, decision, or opinion, as in "suspension of disbelief."

"I view improvisation as a highly sophisticated idiom that necessitates a training of body and mind. The practice of improvisation requires a very high level of concentration, a fertile imagination and the ability to make immediate decisions. Contact improvisation is a demanding form of instantaneous composition in which dancers, attuned to an abundance of information, must make in-the-moment choices as they fashion a dance piece in present time. [...] I believe this work is about finding a way to perform without pretense, so that the ability to respond freely and unselfconsciously becomes the goal. In order to do this, the performer has to let go of preconceived notions of performing and begin taking real risks, even risking making a fool of themselves." - Andrew Harwood

Andrew is as masterfully adaptable teacher who has facilitated thousands of groups over 40 years of teaching contact improvisation internationally. His workshops have attracted many dancers in university programs, professional dancers, beginner to dedicated Contact practitioners, teachers and performers of Contact and other work, various creators and interpreters, body workers, actors and musicians, and lovers of movement. This workshop is for dancers with a strong grasp of Contact fundamentals but will accommodate mixed levels. Please contact Andrew at a1harwood [at] yahoo [dot] ca if you have questions.

Photo Credit: Christian Lapp

Tuition, Room & Board (tiered for accessibility)
Professional: $425
Full:                $375
Subsidized:   $325

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Faculty
Andrew Harwood

Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood began his dance career in 1975. After three years of study in contemporary techniques, he quickly gravitated toward instantaneous composition and Contact Improvisation which allowed him a greater freedom of expression while incorporating other disciplines such as gymnastics, athletics, yoga, meditation, martial arts, and various somatic approaches. Formerly artistic director of AH HA Productions, Andrew has dedicated himself to the research, education, development, and dissemination of improvisation as a performing art for 40 years. He studied and performed with Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith, and Nita Little, the founders of Contact Improvisation, and danced for the companies of Marie Chouinard, Jean-Pierre Perreault, Jo Lechay and Fulcrum, as well as the improvisational ensembles The Improvisational Movement Fund, Echo Case, and Discovery Bal. He has also collaborated in performance with Benoît Lachambre, Lisa Nelson, Chris Aiken, Kirstie Simson, Ray Chung, Lin Snelling, Peter Bingham, and Marc Boivin, among others. He is known and respected internationally in the field of instantaneous choreography and contact/compositional improvisation since 1980, and has taught and performed in numerous international festivals throughout North America and Europe as well as South America, Central America Mexico, Australia, Eastern Europe, Israel, and Russia. Harwood has also taught classes to the world-renowned companies of O’ Vertigo and Marie Chouinard as well as the Montreal circus group Les Sept Doigts de la Main. He is the recipient of the Canada Council’s Jacqueline-Lemieux award for the year 2000.

Photo credit: Paula Zacharias

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