“If you want to reach the maximum of your technical abilities you need to work on jamming and improvisational skills.”

A recent workshop with our experienced Half Year Programme group in Berlin led me to this statement, which is refreshingly provocative for me.

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In meinem letzten Workshop tauchte der Wunsch auf an einer spezifischen Form zu arbeiten: Vom Beckenlift jemandem rückenaufwärts auf die Schulter zu rollen – und ich war überrascht wie vollkommen involviert und emotional ich einige Teilnehmer begleitet habe, als ginge es um Leben und Tod. Als würde sich in der Art, wie wir diese Form angehen entscheiden, ob wir den Wesenskern der Contact Improvisation nähren oder zerstören. Ich musste zum Glück auch ein wenig schmunzeln, denn es ist ja nur eine bestimmte, oft genutzte Form, die am Lauf der Welt so gar nichts ändern wird.

Was trieb mich so an und hin und her? Read more

A highlight and red thread of a workshop in Warsaw became a very simple hands-on exercise, kind of the most simple version of it: One person is moving, the other one follows with the hands on the movers body without giving any directions. That’s in a way it.

What is the work? The work is mainly to not do many things we usually do. Read more

Lately I got my calf and knee problems under control and now I can run again. I love it! After not being able to run for 7 years and not really practicing for another 15 years this feels amazing. A very basic sense of aliveness rises up in these runnings with a flavour of freedom and capability. It is not so easy to figure out what touches me so deeply. There is nothing super special, it is just running, I can do it or leave it, doesn’t really matter. But what does matter? – from those things that go beyond pure survival … Read more

Thoughts before and after a lecture on the Axis Syllabus Dance Festival ‘Sensing In’ in Berlin with the general theme of ‘Rhythm and Timing’

November 27th 2015

With 15 years I went through the obligatory dance school trauma. A main reason why I never wanted to get in touch with dance again was the Rhythm. ‘Herr Hassmann, Sie sind nicht im Takt (you are not in the rhythm)!’ was the melody of my dance. Read more

Thoughts for preparing an intermediate/advanced CI workshop in Warsaw

In my teaching I usually focus a lot on how to keep the shared weight moving while dancing through all spacial levels. How do we lift each other and how do we get smoothly and safely to the floor are core questions? In this workshop I don’t want to work on these transitions. Instead I want to explore travelling on floor level and on standing level very separately and neglect the question how to get from the floor up and from standing down to the floor again. Read more

This text is part of my preparation for a Contact Workshop I taught in Marseille (January 25/26 2014). I wanted to focus on something that helps exploring the basics (spine) but that included something more specific and also challenging for my own teaching (head & tale).

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One interest in my dancing is to be light, to not be a burden for my dance partner. Maybe a wish that – even though we are sharing weight – moving for my dance partner doesn’t physically be heavier than moving alone.

I don’t want to know which terrifying aspects of my personality a psycho analist would find in this approach. I love the result of quality in my body, in the connection to my dance partner and in the dance itself. I think it can’t be too wrong.

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I’d wish for a daily practice for me as a Contact Improviser. But I had to realized that CI as a daily practice doesn’t really work for me. I envy people who practice Yoga or martial arts. There is so much deepening possible by just repeating the basics over and over again. There is enough material that needs solo practice.

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The small dance is – first of all – standing. It has survived from the early days of CI until now. It is highly simple and in a way given by nature. You could just stand and make a million discoveries. Maybe that is the best way.

On the other hand the small dance is very complex and it might be hard to enter the fascination of the world of small dance if you don’t really know what you are looking for. With the following notes I want to share my discoveries, which I imagine to be helpful to find and enjoy the small dance.

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