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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. www.oddpuppies.com
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. www.kristinhorrigan.com
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. www.movementactivism.com // www.dianathielen.com
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.
Thanks also to former team members Jolyn Arisman and India Harville.
The core organizing team behind ‘The Future of CI Conference’ includes Ariadna Franco (Mexico), Diana Thielen (Germany), Kristin Horrigan (USA), and Sze-Wei Chan (Singapore). The team is also grateful to have received support from Jolyn Hope (USA), India Harville (USA) and Laura Vial (Mexico). Team member bios can be found on the Earthdance webpage for the Future of CI conference.
From the team: In dreaming up this conference, we draw on our journeys with contact improvisation and our questions around politics of the body, social justice, intersectional feminism, equity and access (including race, class, ability, identity and other aspects). We draw on our desires to see CI grow and our experiences growing the next generation (including one new baby born during the preparation of the conference!) We draw on the individual experiences team members bring with colonization, minority status, queerness, whiteness, care-giving, and more. Together we observe how CI reflects societal structures and also creates spaces for questioning them.
A note on representation: We worked hard to establish an organizing team with a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) majority, but in the end we were not successful. Many factors including, but not limited to, personal life circumstances of some people interested to participate and to the predominance of white people dancing CI, contributed to our failure in this. We also acknowledge that Earthdance has failed BIPOC dancers at times in the past and is working to repair past harm and systematize anti-oppressive practices moving forward. (Representation also extends beyond race and we are prioritizing diverse representation of many sorts at the conference. At the same time, we acknowledge that we will fail to be fully inclusive, and we see in this a mirror of the oppressions operative in our societies and in CI. May this conference be a point of departure for growth, and may observing who and what is missing help set the aims for the future.)