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Examine Your Fundamental Skills

Contact: New Essentials

This workshop invites the participants on a tour-de-force to de-construct and re-construct our perception of what Contact Improvisation (CI) essentials and fundamentals are.

with Andrew Harwood and Ray Chung
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Essential Information

photo by Andrew Harwood


March 20 – 22,
Friday - 6-10pm,
Saturday & Sunday - 10-6pm
Finnish Hall, 1970 Chestnut St. Berkeley, CA 94702

Wojciech Mochniej & Ray Chung




Andrew Harwood (Canada) and Ray Chung (USA/Sweden)
sharing their experience of teaching and performing together for decades.


Some of the “essential” skills to be embodied in our practice of CI include the ability to:
– Move while supporting the weight (1%-100%) of another mover,
– Fall and land safely from any level
– Follow and maintain the point of contact
– Be comfortable moving upside down and with disorientation, and be omni-directionally responsive
– Modulate the physical tone of ones’ body in relation to your partner and the dancing
Be emotionally clear and present while dancing

Some CI experience is preferred.

What Are The New Essentials?

old school fundamentals meet
new school strategies

We will seek to reinvigorate the form through the use of variable speeds, impulse, influence, reflex, initiation, resistance, disappearance, subtle and surprising ways of moving weight, flowing through unfamiliar circumstances, extending our personal range of movement and integrating our imagination.
Playing lightly / seriously with our ‘how to’, our ‘know-how’ and our ‘not knowing’ while we beef up our game.

Perceptual skills involving the proprioceptive and somatosensory systems will be examined and integrated into the greater set of essential skills, such as “seeing” through the skin or body. The role of synesthesia, as well as the synergistic relation of various bodily systems, will be addressed and incorporated into our learning and practice.

We encourage a greater range of experience with perhaps the following: Some familiarity with contact essentials is useful. Bring curiosity, an open mind and a keen desire to dance.

teachers bios

Meet Andrew and ray

Ray Chung


Ray Chung is a performer, teacher, engineer, and artist who has a passion for dancing which he likes to share with other people. His main focus is improvisation and he has worked with Contact Improvisation since 1979 as part of improvisational performance practice and integrates other movement forms into his work, including martial arts, bodywork and Authentic Movement. Ray has worked with the leading proponents of Contact Improvisation including Nancy Stark Smith, Steve Paxton, Nita Little, Lisa Nelson, Peter Bingham, Chris Aiken, Andrew Harwood, and regularly collaborates with dancers, musicians, and other artists. Ray’s work has been featured at numerous national and international dance venues and festivals, and has danced in works directed by Anna Halprin, Judith Kajiwara, and George Coates. He was certified as an instructor of shiatsu by the Shiatsu Education Center of America in 1982, and studied with Wataru Ohashi, Ryuho Yamada, and Shizuto Masunaga. Ray is currently based in San Francisco & Sweden.

Andrew Harwood


Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood began his dance career in 1975 and for over forty years has dedicated himself to the research, education, development, and dissemination of contact improvisation and spontaneous composition as sophisticated movement disciplines and performing art forms. His artistic work and pedagogy have evolved through ongoing collaborations and various investigations of performance, composition, spatial, set and lighting design, and has been influenced by a variety of movement techniques including gymnastics, the Alexander Technique, Aikido, release work, yoga, contemporary dance, and diverse somatic approaches. He studied and performed with Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith, and Nita Little, among many others renowned artists. Since 1978, his work has been taught and performed in numerous venues, international dance festivals, and most major Contact festivals throughout the world. Andrew performed with the improvisation collectives The Echo Case, the Improvisational Movement Fund, and Discovery Bal and has collaborated in creation and performance with Chris Aiken, Ray Chung, Peter Bingham, Lisa Nelson, Kirstie Simson, Benno Voorham, Julyen Hamilton, and Benoît Lachambre. He has taught classes to the world-renowned companies of Marie Chouinard, O’ Vertigo Danse, Dance Makers, Le Cirque du Soleil, and Les Sept Doigts de la Main. Harwood founded/directed AH HA Productions (2000–2014) and is the recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Jacqueline-Lemieux Award for the year 2000.

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