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Steve Batts

Steve Batts
Master-class: «Phrasing»

I consider all of my teaching to be part of an ongoing research project into the poetics of movement. This intensive course will give participants an opportunity to join me in further developing and clarifying some ideas and practices related to the theme of phrasing. The course is open to all. However, it will probably be most valuable for people with some experience of Contact Improvisation, who are confident in “jamming” and in longer improvisations, and who are interested in investigating and developing a deeper understanding of principles of movement and movement consciousness. It will be demanding and challenging for the attention but no particular level of athletic ability is needed.

We will take a practical approach to the investigation of phrasing in Contact Improvisation. We will explore the way falling, balancing and breath relate to phrasing. We will develop our awareness of the way that we can accept, enjoy and adapt to the organic form of phrases as well as intervene in them with subtlety and sensitivity to guide them towards interesting and pleasurable experience. We will use the concepts of Passive Equilibrium, Active Equilibrium and Disequilibrium as a framework for understanding the grammatical structure of phrases of movement and to begin to sense, feel and understand the way that movement can become embodied poetic meaning. We will become aware of the interplay between the differing phrasing of the partners in duets and group dances and enjoy becoming conscious of the complex counterpoints that can appear. We will watch each other a lot as well as dancing. The material will be of great benefit in allowing dances in jam situations to develop depth, resonance and clarity and we will consider that dancing in the festival jams is part of the research which will feed back into the classes.

Steve Batts
Steve Batts (Ireland). I am Artistic Director of Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company in Derry, Northern Ireland where we have very wide programme of creative and teaching work. I also teach and perform internationally. Contact Improvisation has been at the centre of my movement practice since 1983 when I began teaching it because I wanted some people to dance with after being introduced to CI in a couple of workshops with Kirstie Simson and Clare Hayes. I have an ongoing artistic concern with the integration of the movement understanding developed in the research and practice of Contact Improvisation into the broader context of poetic movement. I love to dance with just about anyone and as I get older I enjoy more and more to have the privilege of watching other people dancing.
Intensive teachers   Projects and labs   Special Workshops teachers
Ekaterina Basalaeva Adrian Russi Itay Yatuv
Gabriele Koch Ilya Domanov and Katya Velichko Yaniv Mintzer
Leilani Weis    
Steve Batts    
festival program

July 7-10 - Workshop Contact improvisation
for all levels with Itay Yatuv;

July 13th - Teachers performance;

July 14 - 21 - Main part of The Festival
8 days of dancing;

July 25 - 29 - Contact improvisation lab for teachers and advanced dancers with Yaniv Mintzer;

July 25 - 29 - Jam week in Moscow
for everybody contact dancers


The longest and the most important workshops at the festival. Four teachers do their classes separately during five days. Intensives begin at 9.30.


At the festival you can participate in one of the Projects. Project is a lab that continues for 5 days. Projects are facilitated by teachers, but it is not a workshop, as teacher is only support the process of exploration, keep time and offer structure for the work. If you choose to be in a project, please participate all 5 days, so that the group can really go deep in exploration. This year we have two projects:
-Adrian Russi
-Ilya Domanov and Katya Velichko

If you want to explore your own themesorganize the process yourself and have an opportunity to take different themes every day with different people, than instead of joining a project, you can participate and organize laboratories. Laboratory is an opportunity to work with a theme that interests you with a group of interested people.

Laboratory is an opportunity to work with a theme that interests you with a group of interested people  We invite every festival participant to offer ideas and questions for labs. In the lab you can explore any aspect of CI and performance. Themes can be various, for example: contact trio, street performance, how to land softly when moving with a partner etc. Theme can be taken from morning intensive, if you want to explore something deeper. Labs can continue for 1 or more days depending on the interest of participants. The role of facilitator is to offer a theme and support creative exploration of the group.

We will have an information board for lab offers.
Welcome on board of exploration, curiosity, insights and creativity!!!

Some ideas on how to create a lab.
General Points:
 • Be passionate about your question or theme
 • Questions do not have to be answered. Question might produce more questions.
 • Motivate people to explore rather than give your own answers
 • Be open to let the explorations go in unexpected direction
 • There is no right or wrong way to lead a lab

Practical Points
1. Introduce the question or theme – in verbal or practical way as appropriate.
2. Discuss and agree the working methods – make best use of time available. It’s often useful to dance more, to explore the theme in movement.
3. Time keeping – watch the clock
4. Give time for feedback and sharing
5. There is a possibility to share your results in various ways
 - Documentation
 - Performance
 - Further lab

Creative Time


This is a special time of the day when you can concentrate on whatever is important for you.
Probably you would enjoy these options:
• Have some time alone, digest your experience, write down your thoughts…
• Talk to someone, share your feelings
• Make a small lab (e.g. work on the material of today’s intensive)…
• Give or receive bodywork…
• Make a photo shoot or video performance…
• Go on a dance date…
• Announce and facilitate a discussion on a topic that interests you – share your thoughts and find out what other people think…
• Make an unannounced performance for random audience…
• Announce place and time of your performance and perform (try out some creative ideas, collect feedback)…
• Rehearse for the evening performance…
• Connect with nature (go out for a walk or swim in the river)…
• Just have rest and sleep…
• Relax and think of something of your own…

If you want someone to join you at tomorrow’s Creative time, put an announcement on the information board in the “Creative time” section or speak up in the cafe during food break.

If you need support for your ideas feel free to ask teachers, organizers, friends and other participants.


These are 20 min long individual sessions with teachers. In the begining of the festival there will be list of teachers and time where you can write your name to reserve this time for your lesson.