Future of CI

Photo Credit: Sze-Wei Chan

A 3-day international online conference

April 23, 2021 – 9:00am to April 25, 2021 – 11:00pm

*NOTE* Although the live conference has officially ended, most of the conference sessions were recorded and are available for 1 month to anyone that registers. Registration will remain open until May 25th, 2021. Over 40 sessions were recorded and available for viewing until May 31st, 2021.

*(Sessions that were NOT recorded include: Facilitated conversations and some of the Racial Affinity work.)*

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, Race, Queerness, Equity, New CI Forms, Climate Change, the Pandemic and more. 


Special thanks to all the behind the scenes AND infront of the screens support!

Organizing Team:  Sze-Wei Chan, Kristin Horrigan, Diana Thielen, and Ariadna Franco

Earthdance Staff: Taja Will, Jax Westhead, Spirit Joseph, Giordana Patumi

Monitors: Loren Groenendahl, Nancy Hughes, Kata Kovacs, Sue Lauther, Rythea Lee, Faye Lim, Alyssa Lynes, Mahalo Pilon-Choquette, Devin Pastika, Robin Prichard, Lea Richtmann, Paul Singh, Anna Vomacka

Care Team: Taja Will, Amii LeGendre, Meta Bobbe, Anna Vomacka, Anne Mulvaney

Interpretation and Translation: Bel Tornaghi, Jeanette Soria, Ryuta Iwashita, Pedro Penuela, Candy Liao

Language Pod Coordinators: Yuenjie Maru, Nitipat Ong Pholchai, Jeanette Soria, Stéphanie Auberville, Shoko Kashima, Chico Katsube, Dasha Sedova

Blog hosts and Anarchivists: Colleen Bartley, Rosemary Carroll, Karen Nelson, Sara Miura Zolbrod, Emma Bigé

Zoom Technical Support Team led by Ryan Taylor

Alternate language translations of the conference information are below:

Versión en Español 
中文翻译 Chinese translation
Text en Français
Translation in Russian

Please Follow These Links Below To Learn More

OverviewSchedule & DescriptionsFees & RegistrationOrganizing Team

Conference Themes:

We can no longer ignore that CI spaces have been unsafe and unwelcoming for many dancers who fall outside the norm of white, middle class, able-bodied, heteronormative, cisgendered dancers (including individuals who identify as BIPOC, trans, non-binary, and differently-abled). How can we address traumas surrounding consent, sexual harassment, inequality and social hierarchy – hierachies from broader society as well as hierarchies within CI communities?

RACE/EQUITY: What issues of racial inequity, injustice, or oppression play out in the CI community? What other inequities are prevalent in CI settings (around class, disability, language…)? What would a new CI look like based on the experiences of those who’ve suffered from oppression?

CONSENT: In the #metoo era, we cannot continue to allow the boundary crossings that have long been a shadow side of CI. How can CI culture develop new norms around consent? 

QUEERNESS: How are Queer CI and shifting definitions of gender influencing the CI landscape? What can the global CI community learn from ideas and practices in Queer CI?


PANDEMIC: How do we step back into our CI practices as the Coronavirus pandemic fades? What safety measures are needed to protect our jams and vulnerable dancers, now and in the future? 

CLIMATE CHANGE: How will climate change affect CI, travel, and festivals? What new vision of CI infrastructure might we create that supports the healing of our planet?

NEW FORMS: Where are people taking CI next? Researching CI, adapting CI to therapeutic and academic contexts, blending CI with other practices (Parcon, contemporary dance applications, mixtures with martial arts, connections with kink/sexuality work, etc.)?

LanguageWhile English will be the primary language for this conference, some sessions will also be another language. Whenever possible, sessions will be subtitled in English. Sessions in English will be auto-captioned.

Conference Timing

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. 

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)

Statement from Earthdance to the Future of CI Participants: Recognizing Harm and Addressing Finances

Earthdance Equity & Access Initiatives 



This project is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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