The Future of CI

A 3-day international online conference

April 23, 2021 - 12:00am to April 25, 2021 - 11:00pm

Programming category: 


Join in a global conversation about the future of contact improvisation!

CI is nearing its 50th birthday. The world has changed in many ways, as has dance itself. 


Nancy Stark Smith left us this year.
The dance field has been deeply affected by COVID-19. 
Most CI jams and festivals have been stopped for nearly a year.
Many CI artists and teachers saw their practice disappear entirely.
People and institutions have had to change and adapt. 
The dance field that emerges after the pandemic will not be the same as before.
We cannot go backwards. 
So we must lean forward.


We have a tremendous opportunity right now. COVID-19 has paused our dancing together and given us time to reflect. Will we step back in right where we left off? Could this be a pivotal moment to make a change?

With presenters from around the world, this conference will offer ideas and reflections on major topics like Equity and Access and CI in a Changing World. From presentations to panels, movement workshops and facilitated conversations, together we’ll broach topics on Consent, Queerness, Equity, New CI Forms, the Pandemic and more.


Versión en Español 


Interested in being a presenter at the conference?
Apply now. Accepting proposals through February 15. 



While English will be the primary language for this conference, we welcome proposals for workshops in your primary language (with or without simultaneous translation).
Whenever possible, sessions will be subtitled in English.

Projected Conference Timing

Each day will have 6 hours of scheduled lectures/workshops/discussions and 3 hours of open lab time for spontaneous conversations/offerings.
We will rotate which time blocks are used for lectures/workshops and which is used for the lab session each day. 

The three time blocks are:

Session 1: 9am-12pm EDT (UTC -4) 
Session 2: 2pm-5pm EDT (UTC -4)
Session 3: 8pm-11pm EDT (UTC -4)

Recognizing the challenge of welcoming dancers in different time zones around the world, we have planned program offerings across 3 timeslots per day. Our hope is that most participants will be able to comfortably access 1-2 slots daily. As much as possible, programming will be recorded and made available to registered participants. 


Fee Structure

In recognition of the diversity of economies CI dancers live in around the world, we do not have a single fee structure for participating in this event.
We understand this is not the typical approach and that it not only relies on the honor system but it asks you to particpate in your consideration of payment exchange.

Our suggested fee is what you would pay for three days of workshops in your home country.

For example, for those coming from the U.S. (or a similar economy) we suggest the following fees:

  • $75-$100 (those with lower incomes)
  • $120-$150 (those with a medium income) 
  • $175-$225 (those with higher incomes) 


Financial information:

We recognize that costs in different countries vary widely. We invite you to self designate the amount that is appropriate to the economy you live in.
We also acknowledge the wide range of impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and understand the importance of accessibility. If the suggested fee structure is not accessible to you right now, we invite you to pay what you can.

On the other side, for those that have the ability, we welcome generous donations to subsidize other attendees, or support our not-for-profit host Earthdance.

The money raised by the Future of CI conference will honor the work of the presenters and also support Earthdance in hanging on to its beautiful studios and forests so that they will be available as a global home for CI for years to come. Earthdance is struggling to survive the pandemic and our support is much needed!



Access Needs: We welcome any registrants or potential registrants to contact us about access needs.


Questions? Feedback? Contact the organizing team at:
Organizing Team: Sze-Wei Chan (Singapore), Ariadna Franco (Mexico), Kristin Horrigan (USA), Diana Thielen (Germany) and others TBA


Organizing Team:

Sze-Wei Chan is a dance maker, filmmaker, arts journalist, mum, and a contact improv practitioner and facilitator based in Singapore. Her journey with contact improvisation is enmeshed with embodied activism - understanding the body with the wider context of how we move in society, how we perceive ourselves and are perceived, how we experience privilege, ability, identity, association and discrimination.

Kristin Horrigan is a politically-minded CI dancer/teacher/organizer and college professor living in the woods of Vermont, USA. Her doorway into questioning CI has been a focus on the intersections of CI, gender, and queerness. She also works on issues of consent, race, equity, and access in CI.

Diana Thielen teaches practices in dance, performance, body politics and yoga. Based in Berlin, Germany, Diana gave birth to a child during the pandemic and is now doing further training as a doula- birth companion. She holds growing concern for how anti-vaccination campaigners and conspiracy theories are also taking hold in the CI scene. It is all the more important that this time of unrest and upheaval is also used to think about the future of CI. //

Ariadna Franco (MX) is a performer, psychotherapist and Contact Improvisation practitioner. She lives in Mexico City where with  EPIICO collective she organizes classes, jams, laboratories and Contact Improvisation Encounters. Epiico seeks to work horizontally, creating safe and accessible spaces for all bodies. Her current research in CI (and in life) is collective creation, community work, caring for the land and social justice.

and others TBA


Photo Credit (top): Sze-Wei Chan