MASHA GRUDSKAYA (RUSSIA)
Maria Grudskaya (Moscow) – somatic therapist, teacher of contact and dance/movement improvisation, performer.
IBMT Somatic Therapist, graduated Institute of Intergative Bodywork and Movement Therapy Program (ISMETA-certified program directed by Linda Hartley, UK). IBMT includes Body-Mind Centering ®, Authentic Movement and Somatic Psychology (ibmt.co.uk). In her practice she also used elements of Bartenieff Fundamentals, Laban Analysis, Feldenkraiz Method. Coordinator of IBMT Russia ibmt-russia.ru.
Has been dancing CI since 2003, teacher of Moscow Center of CI (contactimprovisation.ru), teaches in Russia and other countries.
Participates in performance projects in collaboration with dancers, musicians, painters, worked with TabulaDanza dance theater company, with choreographers Steve Batts (UK), Benno Voorham (Sweden) and others.
Maria is inspired by dance and movement in water – its beauty as an art form and its potential for somatic therapy.
Maria is an organizer and teacher of Russian and international CI festivals: Winter Festival in Moscow Region, Festival of CI and Water Dance in Thailand “Catch the Wave” (ci-thai.com), CI Festival on Ladoga Lake in Karelia (ladoga-dance.ru).
ALEXANDRA BEZRODNOVA (RUSSIA)
By education I am a social psychologist. In last years CI has become my main interest and direction in life, which I am very happy about. I practice CI and Authentic Movement since 2002, teach regular classes in improvisation and performance group in Praktika thatre in Moscow, as well as jams, labs, workshops for beginners and advances in different cities and countries. I participated in performance projects with Steve Batts, Karl Frost, Konstantinos Mokhos, Andrey Andrianov. I am happy to be a part of Moscow Festival team.
Themes and focuses interesting to me now are:
• Anatomical and structural fundamentals of movement
• Evolutional patterns and animal movement in CI
• CI for parents and kids, CI for kids with special development
• CI on the lawn, on the sand, in the water, on the stones…..
Teachers who influenced on my vision of CI are Andgela Dony, Steve Batts, Natanja Den Boeft, K J Holmes, Danny Lepkoff, Nita Little and Arye Burstein.
ANASTASIA SAEVICH (RUSSIA)
For a while I didn’t dance and I was looking for my dance. The dance which combines improvisation and interaction, which has lots of freedom and also technique. And when I found Contact Improvisation I realized that my previous experience in ballroom dance, gymnastics, historical dance, choreography, movement theatre – it all prepared my body and mind for CI. This experience helps to open my dance, to open myself in the dance.
I participated and studied a lot and with pleasure at many festivals – in Moscow, Finland, Kiev and at workshops of different international teachers in St. Petersburg.
My favorite and important teachers are Adrian Russi, Angela Doni, Nancy Stark Smith, Ekaterina Basalaeva, Steve Batts, Benno Voorham and many others.
I teach since 2008, including Altay Festival 2009, Moscow Festival 2010, workshops in Minsk, Novgorod.
I am one of the organizers of Ladoga Contact Festival in Karelia and CI Festival in St. Petersburg, I organize regular classes and workshops of CI, performance and somatics.
I participated in projects with dancers and choreographers: Benno Voorham, Alexandr Andriyashkin, Karl Frost, Ekaterina Basalaeva, Ruslan Santah.
ULLI WITTEMANN (GERMANY)
A passion for movement and growth has drawn Ulli to new directions since he was a child.
From practising Ballroom Dance and Hip Hop as a teenager and many years of studying different Martial Arts forms (Judo, Aikido, Kickboxing and Boxing) he finally fell in love with Contact Improvisation in 2001 during his actors studies at the University of Performing Arts in Frankfurt, Germany. After eight years of performing more than 1000 shows as an actor in the German State Theater system he decided to change his focus from performing to sharing his ideas in Contact Improvisation, Acting, Awareness and Communication in Munich and abroad.
In the last years he taught intensives, workshops, classes and retreats in India, Thailand, Israel, Palestine, USA, Turkey and many European Countries. He is one of the founders and organizers of the Tempelhof Contact Festival in Germany and the Conscious Flow Festival in India and co-organized two editions of the Touch & Play Festival. The inspiration coming from nature, Buddhism, travelling and authentic human relations are a significant part of his personal journey and his teaching.
“For me a good class consists of the sensation of growth of every individual and the joy of the collective experience.”
ALEX SIEBENSTERN (GERMANY-MEXICO)
Alexander Siebenstern, Aguahara, AquAnima, Aquatic Dance, Liquid Movement
Coming from a shamanistic background, he discovered waterworks in 2008.
Since the he is very passionate about the water, as a space of exploration of movement of oneself and with others. Since 2011 he uses the word Aguahara for his work,
with the idea to create an aquatic community dedicated to an ongoing investigation of the infinite possibilities of the water and also of oneSelf.
By now the aspect of free movement and dance in water is the main focus in his investigation,
as also aquatic artwork, what led to the Co-creation of Aquanima, together with MARina Sans,
to have a platform for presenting and sharing the beauty of dance in the magic of the water in workshops, classes, images and videos.
MARINA SANS (SPAIN-MEXICO)
*LiquidMovement*WaterDance, Embodied Cosmos*CI*BMC* WaterBodyWork*
Was born pisces, named Marina… & lived most part of her life next to mediterranean sea immersing herself daily in it’s waters as her own personal ritual.
So she is a quite an aquatic being.
Her path had been very intuitive: explorer of body-mind movement possibilities & states of being, her instinctive curiosity pulled her towards improvisation forms of dance & bodywork which she applies & transforms in water & it transforms her.
She is in an already long and deep trip through disciplines like:
-Contact Improvisation *as fertile base for investigation*
-Body Mind Centering *SME formation in process*
-Butoh *from Atsushi Takenoushi aproach*
-RitualDance & Dance in nature *from Anna Halprin’s aproach*
At the moment her research in water is focused on the richness of possibilities that the shore offers as transitional *no-place*, *in between infinite space*… between water and earth, tangible and fluid, concrete and subtle, in&out, me&other… in a geographic, physical, somatic and metaphorical sense.
She loves approaching to body and geographic landscape in same way.
And believes therapeutical results appear out of non-intentional states, so chooses living & sharing from artistic & anatomical point of view trusting it’s transformative power.
She founded Aquanima *aquatic art collective* together with Alexander Sieberstern & with other collaborators. They are developing all forms of art in liquid space.
Also founded EmbodiedCosmos as a pandora’s somatic investigation opened box where land&body geography, microcosmos¯ocosmos meet.
KATYA BASALAEVA (RUSSIA)
dancer, performer, CI teacher, organizer of art and educational projects
Since 1998 founder and dancer at “Vampiter” dance theatre company. Since 2001 organizer of educational projects in contemporary dance, contact improvisation and performance, among which «Art of Contact», where she teaches regular classes, seminars and lectures. Founder and participant of a performance project “System of digits” (performances, video-art, multimedia). Since 2002 teaches CI, contemporary dance and performance in Novosibirsk and other cities/countries.
2009-2017 organizer of CI Festival in Altay.
“At present I continue to learn, practice and teach CI.
For me CI and performance are the most interesting way of being in dialogue with the world, and also a good base for exploration and development of body and mind.
My interest is to integrate in CI different practices of body and movement exploration. I find big inspiration in ideokinesis, axis syllabus, martial arts, rock climbing, contemporary dance and performative practices.
Teaching for me is a priceless experience of communication. It clarifies, specifies and transforms knowledge and experience, shows their relevance and sustainability, creates environment for change.”
MARIO BLANCO MARTINEZ (SPAIN – ARGENTINA)
I come from a Yoga background, practiced and teached Yoga for some time so I got used to steadiness and stillness in order to recognise body and mind states. Later I studied Zen Shiatsu, I realised how soft touch, reflective listening and attentive contemplation makes body and mind reveal.
I got into CI in Argentina, mostly in the National Arts Institute (IUNA) and with the Contemplative Dance Laboratory, regularly dancing and performing. I was so lucky to met CI in a place where festivals, meetings and events were going on all the time, Buenos Aires, Rosario, Córdoba, Brasil, Uruguay, Chile. I see CI as a free and beautiful way to go into dance and movement, for sure brought those qualities to me. Maybe for the previous imprints, I also find in CI an amazing way to know about myself and others and at the same time to open attention to the enormous surrounding.
I don`t see water as a different element of the world, instead I see it as another dimensión, in wich it`s needed to learn everything new. I notice I can barely rely on my usual senses for spacial information, since they are totally distorted. On the other hand different inner sensations seem to get stronger and clearer, the diaphragm, the organs. And touch, it`s such an extraordinary event in that water homogeneity.
I believe Dance is an amazing vehicle for exploring this water dimension and at the same time water is an amazing place for exploring dance. In this Water/Dance/Sense exploration I`m excited just by thinking in the overwhelming possibilities.
KIRILL POPOV (RUSSIA)
Since childhood my relationships with water haven’t worked well. I grew up in the region of semideserts, with no place to swim, so it was quite late when I learnt to swim, or rather to float in water.
Then contact improvisation came into my life, after that – diving, and later – freediving, and CI in water as a blend of all these things.
I was driven by freediving so quickly and strongly, that it has been the main occupation in my life for four years already. My relationships with water are so close that I can’t imagine my life without the sea.
At first I learnt to dive. 20 metres, 30, 40,… After, I learnt to swim well and now I am keen on taking long swims for several kilometers in open water.
I am constantly moving to different countries and continents in search of new exciting places for freediving.
Immersing along coral walls; diving with graceful manta rays; swimming with whale sharks; practicing deep water dives, when you see only the rope passing by; dynamic and static apnea…
Freediving is very diverse!
Everyone can dive! And everyone can find his/her interest in all this diversity.
Freediving is a fascinating world and I want to help others to enter into this world.