The founder of Somatic Body Training program, Christine Cole displays a radical trust in embodied experience as the primary way for groups to co-create knowledge. She has practiced and taught CI since 1981 and has taught Body-Mind Centering® worldwide (Russia, USA, Europe, Thailand, and Australia). Christine has long term practices in contact improvisation, post-modern and improvisational dance, authentic movement, improvisational theater, writing, and voice.
SomaticBODY exists to re-ignite the amazing truth of the body, guide movers through the embryological and evolutionary pathways to become who we are. She has radical trust in embodied experience and now teaching the roots of CI – rediscovering the ways CI was danced in the 70’ties.
NITIPAT ONG PHOLCHAI
Nitipat “Ong” Pholchai (Spine Party Movement) is a dance artist, physicist and educator. His practice lies at the intersectionality of dance, healing, and activism with a focus on communal rituals and emergent collaboration. Ong views life and art as intertwining forces that nourish and inform each other in a becoming flux of his being and environment.
Professionally, Ong has gathered more than 10 years of experience teaching creative physics and improvisational dance in multiple platforms including universities, alternative schools, meditation centers, social activism spaces and international dance festivals. He has enjoyed leading artist communities and giving consultation to teachers/facilitators. He has choreographed works, curated activities and directed many community-based artistic projects in Thailand and internationally. He has received institutional support from Dance Nucleus (Singapore), MyDance Alliance (Malaysia), Asian Cultural Council, Kelola Foundation (Indonesia), Wanny Angerer’s Moving Cultures, Alliance Francaise Bangkok and British Council Thailand.
Among his most influential dance teachers are Kathleen Hermesdorf, Sarah Shelton Mann, Augusta Moore, Lizz Roman, Daiane Lopez Da Silva, Karl Frost and Katie Duck. Since 2015, he has enjoyed collaborating and building a soulful network with many Asia-based dance artists. Since his pioneering work “Blind Rituals” with Thai blind dancer Toffee during 2017-2022, he has grown a strong interest in activating collective discourse about art and spiritual accessibility in society. When it comes to the art of dance, it becomes clear to him the saying “sharing is caring.”
has been facilitating movement and dance practices since 2013 throughout Southeast Asia and the United States. His personal practice includes Contact Improvisation, deep-tissue myofascial release, Thai Massage, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Hatha Yoga, Partner Acrobatics, and Capoeira. Inspired by the changes in his own body, mind, and relationships, he loves to share these practices with others. Core to his philosophy is that we are all connected, and that each person can choose their own path towards fulfillment and wellness. For more info about his hands-on healing practice: www.dynamicrestructuring.com
and his CI-related facebook page: www.facebook.com/ContactBodyworkImprovisation
Has been dancing contact improvisation for almost 20 years and teaching for over 10 years in Russia, Europe, Israel, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia. Based in Moscow, she is one of the main teachers supporting regular classes, jams and other events in the city. Over the years Maria has participated in performance projects involving contemporary dance, movement and contact improvisation in Russia and other countries.
She is inspired by the approach of poetic movement developed by Steve Batts and Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company (Northern Ireland). Her deep interest is to dance with people of different ages and abilities, believing that dance is a natural skill and joy that all of us share.
Maria is a certified Somatic Movement educator, teacher of IBMT Somatic Institute and co-organizer of IBMT in Russia. Co-founder of international CI festivals in Russia and Thailand.
Currently she continues to develop in the somatic field, exploring the mystery of body and mind and the possibilities for movement and presence.
And as well she enjoys the physicality of movement and endless fun of acrobatics and contact technique.
Social psychologist, coach, certified embodiment facilitator (EFC), certified practitioner of Bodymind Gestalt therapy, international teacher of contact improvisation and body awareness.
Practitioner of the Deep Listening method, teacher of author courses for people in helping professions, developer of methods for teaching underwater dance (Ocean Dance), freediver, host of retreats and festivals, and author of the blog “Body My Home”. Guide for regular Contact Improvisation events on land and water in Tepoztlan.
I dance CI since 2007. CI changed my whole life, I met my husband in CI community, and now we have two sons and we all dance together 🙂
I teach classes and workshops in CI, somatic movement, Authentic Movement. I develop my approach “Authentic way of witnessing kids”.
Organizer of CI festivals at Ladoga lake, Thailand, Saint-Petersburg.
Dance-movement therapist, graduated IBMT Somatic Movement Program.
Teacher of dance in water, watsu and aquahara therapist, freediving instructor, co-owner of “Freedive Nusa” freediving school, mother of a little mermaid.
I got to know contact improvisation in 2007 and instantly felt that I found what is just right for me – the practice that inspires, expands boundaries and makes me purely happy. My main interest in dance and in life – is the readiness to continue, to carry on. Continue to dance even when is seems already boring, or tiredness builds up, or the the sparkle fades away. Continue to dance when my dance seems not interesting. Continue to dance when it takes an effort even to begin. My interest is in long dances and stories that develop there. When I think – what I can do, so that my dance (as well as my life) is filled with things that I value… the answer comes clearly – just carry on 🙂
For several years now my professional life has been connected with water. It inspires me that in water we can feel as comfortable as on land. At our freediving school we teach students to dive apnoe – while holding the breath. Since 2015 I have been practicing aquahata and watsu – relaxing bodywork techniques in water, which can be a deep journey of release, letting go and trust… And connecting this with contact improvisation led to dancing in water – the essence of my most valuable and beloved practices.
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.
Each year we invite a special team of experienced CI practitioners and teachers with a “secret” task to support jams at the festival. Each year Jam Team find new and creative ways to explore and hold jams – scores, talks, labs, one2one sessions, warm-ups etc. We love and cherish jams as the main space for CI practice.
Has been dancing CI since 1998 with Mark Tompkins, Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith (..) and facilitates it around the world. He also offers Kundalini Yoga classes, Wuo Tai massages and Wataflow sessions in water. He is about to publish an essay on CI in French with Alain Montebran.
Practitioner of CI and touch. First encountered CI in 2010, since then has been dancing, teaching, organizing festivals and workshops, supporting CI communities – first in Moscow, then Ekaterinburg, and for the last 1,5 years in Almaty.
Explores connection between mind and matter, shared body of dance, community development and practices of bodily togetherness. Loves being in nature, drinking good tea and creating spaces of free choice and deep connection between people.
I have been dancing CI since 2011 and teaching since 2016. Was teaching in Russia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan. Why do I love CI? For me it is a dance of possibilities.
It is a manifestation of freedom of choice.
It is an opportunity to learn from your body.
In teaching, I love to take a complex form into parts, do an introductory exercise and voila – the whole group is getting the hang of it.
I enjoy working with mixed groups, when beginners and advanced students are together. I believe that in any form of contact improvisation we can bring the movement experience of our whole life, no matter if it was dance or just everyday actions. That’s enough. It’s always enough to get you started.
Other favorite body awareness practices of my life are mountaineering and rock climbing. So I have some experience with embodyment the fear of falling, the experience of feeling physically weak (“I could never do this movement”), and the opportunities to turn all this thoughts into the experience. And keep moving again.
FRANCISCO “Fran” BORGES
Today, the truth is Fran feels like a humble nobody.
Here’s a short story:
About 10 years ago, the man suffered a massive identity crisis caused by the age-old question: who am I? (no joke, it was a harsh one) He found great support for integration in the practices of Aikido [Marco Solemeni] Buddhism [Mingyur Rinponche] The Power of Now [Eckhart Tolle] Yoga [Sadhguru], Advaita Vedanta [Rupert Spira], the Book [Alan Watts], the Tao [Lao Tzu], Qigong, etc.
In 2020, radical change striked again. In Thailand, poetry and the dance found him. There he met most of his inspiring friends and teachers including Sasha Dodo, Dolores Dewhurst-Marks, No An, Sasha Bezrodnova, Geraldin Acevedo, Sujata Yoko, Christina Dohr, Zuzanna Bukowski, Nitipat Ong, Mikis Taguchi, Bari Kim, Yasukichi Suzuki, etc.
In the same year he started sharing the dance through: dancing, teaching, writing, performing, talking, labbing, co-organizing gatherings, jamming, video-makings, etc. Today he is mostly interested in the matters of care, truth, feeling whole, witnessing the beauty, allowing the becoming and on the experience of unity-belonging-togetherness.