Who we are

Mind the point is organized by a Group for investigation of Contact
Improvisation that is a self-initiated group of international dancers, organizers,
researchers, and pedagogues who all share an interest and years of
experience practicing Contact Improvisation.

The research week in Paris is the second event organized by this group.
The first one was held in Ibiza in the spring 2012 and it focused on questioning and
reflecting upon the values in CI, as well as discussing the diverse forms and
developments it currently takes in various practice groups and festivals.
As a result of the first meeting, there was a need to create a structure that
would provide a space for deeper research among peers, but also serve as a
meeting point with the larger community of practitioners. We aim to approach
Contact Improvisation as a holistic practice applicable to and connected with
several other practices that give tools towards greater awareness.

The group consists of 11 members:

ASAF BACHRACH (France/Israel) has practiced contact improvisation for over 15 years, he studied at Tel Aviv, New York, Paris and Boston. Among his most influential teachers are Steve Paxton, Kirsty Simson, Lisa Nelson, Andrew Harwood and Dieter Heitkamp. Since 2000 he has taught in Europe (Paris, Amsterdam, Fribourg Festival, Ibiza Festival, Kiev Festival …), the United States (Boston, Earthdance, and IC 36) and Buenos Aires. Asaf is a founder of the Collective Contact in Paris. He currently lives in this city, where he conducts investigations in cognitive neuroscience of language.

KATJA MUSTONEN is a Finnish dancer, teacher and dance maker, who currently works and lives in Frankfurt, Germany. She graduated from the Vocational Dance School in Outukumpu, Finland 2004 as dancer, and holds a MA degree in “Contemporary Dance Pedagogy” from the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany.
In the artistic field she is curious about the diverse possibilities and ever-changing landscapes within movement and improvisation, especially when it comes to performance and states of presence. She believes that art and life are not separate, and keeps pondering upon the question, how dance as a tool can be useful in making difference in individuals?

ANNA JUSSILAINEN (Finland) is a mover, dance and performance artist, and teacher. Her dance education was based on somatic techniques and she has been exploring the body through improvisation, BMC, release technique, authentic movement, Feldenkreis, yoga, and voice. She has been studying and teaching contact improvisation for several years and organizes the Finnish Contact Festival Skiing on Skin. Her workshops aim at strengthening the personal voice, listening skills, and different dynamics in dancing, as well as finding the playful aspect in movement. Lately she has been inspired by the poetics of spaces and times in-between movement.
Anna is a member in the performance artists’ company Reality Research Center in Finland and her work has been largely focused on bodily interaction with the audience. This led her also to study a Postgraduate Programme on Sensorial Language and Poetics of Play in Barcelona.
Besides the dancer’s education she also holds an M.A. in Cultural Research, majoring in the Study of Religions. She has always been interested in different cultures and spirituality, different ways of interaction and of creating realities, which has brought her to work a lot in community settings. During the last years she has directed and
coordinated various community dance projects for non-dancers, last one in Nicaragua, Central America.

OTTO AKKANEN (Finland)
Discovered CI in his twenties, got so involved that went to study dance for three years, graduating at the vocational school of Helsinki and has ever since worked as a artist, performing his solo works as well as performing within different improvisation groups and choreographies: kitka-group, Alpo Aaltokoski, Hanna Brotherus. He has been teaching CI in Moscow, St. Petersburgh, Siberia, Ibiza, Berlin, Buenos Aires, and of course in his “home” town Helsinki, Finland. For the last 4 years his most inspiring teachers have been the fellow teachers and dancers of Helsinki CI community with whom he is also organizing the “skiin on skin” Festival in Finland.

MONIKA GALLARDO ROSELL (Spain)
I start dancing at the age of 4. I studied ballet, flamenco and contemporary, graduating in the dance school of the Institut del Teatre de Barcelona in 2003, specializing in contemporary. I studied different techniques from aerial dance, juggling to music and several other techniques in the field of Contemporary dance, such as release, Limon, Graham and flying low.
After various experiences of dancing in companies, I had a moment of confusion in which I was no longer motivated to continue repeating the movements that others proposed me. For a while I left dance and got into practicing yoga and meditation. Nearly a year later after leaving a Vipassana retreat I came across Contact Improvisation in Barcelona year 2007.
Since then, I have not stopped dancing, studying, sharing and organizing CI events, traveling to Argentina, Germany, USA, Finland, France and Israel to expand my knowledge. I have studied with many different teachers during this time: Cesc Gelavert (ES), Marta Monzó (ES), Avelina Argüelles (ES), Marc Mann (EEUU), Charlotte Griffin (EEUU), Bebeto Cidra (BRA-ES), Eckard Müller (GER), Daniela Schwartz(ARG), Jorg Hässmann (GER), Charlie Morrissey (GB), Mirva Makinen (FIN), Nancy Stark Smith (EEUU), Nita Little (EEUU), Jess Curtiss (EEUU). At the same time I have been sharing the knowledge of CI as a teacher.
Since 2008 I have formed a part of the organization and creation of Ibiza Contact Festival.
As a dancer I’m still interested in dance and improvisation techniques as well to share information and explore curiosity with others. Release and flying low has been a great help to my movement in Contact Improvisation and has helped me to easily learn the principles of CI.

MARTA BONET CODINA (Spain), was born in Barcelona, living in Ibiza since 5 years. Since she was 5 years old, Marta has been practicing dance and studying different body techniques.
She started with Popular Dance from Catalonia, and after 9 years opened up the body research with Butho-improvisation. This was followed with Hip hop, Salsa, Brazilian dances, Capoeira, Physical theatre, Dance –Theatre, Movement-Voice, Contemporary Dance, African dance, Yoga, and Contact improvisation, which is the form that after 12 years of practice it is still in her exploration & motivation.
She has taken regular classes in Barcelona and Argentina throughout the years and participated in several intensives, workshops and Contact Improvisation festivals over the world (Usa for CI36, Germany, Finland, Uruguay, Brasil and Argentina).
She started to teach regular Contact Improvisation classes few years ago in Ibiza, and she has been teaching in some dance festivals (Namaste Connection festival-Uruguay, Flow Festival 08-Ibiza, Oster improv festival-Germany, Auroville community-India)
In Ibiza she also is one of the Organizer’s of theInternational Ibiza Contact Festival -since 5 years, Flow Festival (improvisation festival for different arts forms), OnBody Festival (body technique festival), and ECITE2011 (European Contact Improvisation Teachers Exchange) in Ibiza.
In ibiza Marta has been working as a Performer with Lokeay company (Contemporary, Improvisation and Contact Improvisation), and the last peace where she participated as a dancer was a piece “Waking up”, choreography by Monika Gallardo Rosell.
Marta is one of the founders of Dance Studio la Nave in Ibiza Island.
In her work she combines 2 areas: Children Education and Dance-Body research in terms of job and as well Formation.

IRINA SBAGLIA (Spain) comes from the production of audiovisual media, providing channels for others to express themselves. “I met a need, to open new paths, and a radical change of direction put me more in the exploration of my own expression. From there I begin to relate with the body, mine and others, through several years of massage in a personal research of a own method, and walking this steps is when I found the contact improvisation,
approximately 7 years ago.
This practice has amazed me from the beginning and immediately became a central activity of my actions, to find life reflected in the dance, to find myself. Since then I have been actively involved in this practice, its diffution, organization of events, festivals and jams.
Now I feel the call to start sharing my process in this beautiful journey of the movement, my dance, your dance, the one that we created together or separated, which modified my space, your space, the space, which in turn is modified constantly.”

KEREN BEN ALTEBET (Israel)
I’m dancing all the time in my life, work as a professional dancer in various projects in Israel.
I practice contact improvisation as a way of life, and teach it as well in the “kvoza beyafo” – an independent dance school in Tel Aviv. I am also a practitioner of the ILAN LEV method.

DANIEL J. HAYES (not participating in this event)
is a Medical Doctor, public health scientist, eco-anarchist and practical idealist who has been playing, dancing, meditating and conversing CI for over a decade and has been actively sharing his curiosity and knowledge for the past five years. He is the founder of the Touch&Play Project, which explores the edges of Contact Improvisation by inviting our alchemical bodies (emotions, fears, fantasies, thoughts, sexuality) into the dance. He engages with Contact Improv as a practice to create authentic connections to the self and the other. He was one of the core organizers of the 1st Spanish Contact Teachers and Organizers Meeting (EMOCIE) and the first ever ECITE held in Spain. His current interest is to open-up ‘classical’ CI taking the form beyond the Dance world and into the realms of play, meditation, communication, BDSM, healing, education, sexuality and more through rigorous artistic and academic research.

ATHOS GERMANO (Spain)
Athos is a curious about the phenomena body-mind and a devoted spirits. His own storywriter, painter, dancer and poet of the heart. Witness of the profound mystery of the body initiated in different techniques of movement and body awareness; yoga, butoh, meditation, flying low, release, improvisation, laboratory, contact improvisation, clown, conscious breathing and other therapeutic experiences with contemporary masters like Jessica Walker, Erick Devon, Minako Seki, Yumiko, Imre Thorman, Eugenia Estevez, Sambrano, Hargobin and others.
Currently he designs moments and spaces where those who feel the call to see themselves and others as phenomena of expression can encounter and meet.
He lives in Ibiza, a paradise in the planet Earth, where with a beautiful team of dreamers organizes IbizaFlow, IbizaContact and Onbody-Festivals.
He also participates in various creative processes, workshops, happenings, art therapy labs, and experiences of silence, education and performances.

Martin Lledo (not participating in this event)

In the second meeting we also have 6 full time visitors:

EVA KARCZAG
Independent dance artist. For the past four decades has practiced, taught, and advocated explorative methods of dance making. Performs solo and collaborative work internationally, and was a member of the Trisha Brown Dance Company (1979-85). Recent performances include improvised durational performance/installations with visual artist Chris Crickmay and composer Sylvia Hallett; Red Thread, a longterm collaborative performance project with Lisa Kraus and Vicky Shick; and Slapping Legs and Stepping Out, a collaborative duet with Gaby Agis. Has a Master of Fine Arts degree (Dance Research Fellow) from Bennington College, VT, USA, and is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. Her performance work and her teaching are informed by dance improvisation and mindful body practices.

NOAM CARMELI (1971, Israel)
Noam is a Dancer, Teacher, body-work therapist and Manager. He studied Architecture in Israel and Amsterdam and dance in London. Since returning to Israel in 2003 he is combining working in both the architecture and dance worlds.
Noam has been teaching and performing since 2004, and he is a practitioner of the
Ilan Lev method of body-work therapy since 2008. He Established – “Oktet”- Dance group in Tel Aviv and danced with “Echo Echo” in Northern Ireland and with “C.I.C.O” in Japan. With these groups he performed in improvisation based performances.
Today Noam is the general manager of the “Israeli C.I Association” and manager of the Ilan Lev Method of body-work therapy training. Noam practices C.I, Aikido, Gaga, group improvisation and Ilan Lev Method on a regular and consistent basis.

MARIE ROUSSEAUX (Paris, France)
For seven years Marie has been practicing contact improvisation intensively, and she goes on exploring its fundamentals while nourrishing her pratice with other pyshical approches as Feldenkrais, Qi-Gong and Axis Syllabus. In her pratice, she gives a great importance to research and transmission; through classes, her participation in the CI partage in Point Ephemere, and her involvement in a number of research labs.

HEDI ZAMMOURI (1984, France) studies movement through martial arts (Viet Vo Dao) during seven years. He begins to dance quite late, studying contemporary technique and contact improvisation simultaneously and equally. He has mainly been taught by Yves Riazanoff (company Les Attrape-Corps, choreographies by Korean Hee Jin Kim and Tunisians Aicha N’Barek and Hafiz Dahou) and Isabelle USKI (The Subtissors), who initiates him to tools of instant composition and to the world of performance. He then performed with Judit Keri (Roma, Vienna), Mathilde Monfreux and Elisabeth Saint-James (plastic designer), Dominique Brun and Sophie Gerard. Then he involved himself into more personal choreographic creations : Envers, Rosamour (Grenoble, Berlin), Extimité (company Inanna) and his solo : Ghost Dance and Four Rituals.
He is now dancing for Circus Cahin Caha (Marseille), The Débordante Company (Paris), is a choreographer assistant for the Fire Stone Company and a member of the Art Dealer Collective.
He is now writing a PhD thesis in religious anthropology and is particularly interested in the links between ritual and performance.

JÖRG LEMMER SCHMID (Germany)
During my first experience dancing Contact 10 years ago, I was deeply touched by a feeling of wholeness. It felt like coming home after a long time being separated. After studying psychology in Marburg (Germany) I wrote my PhD in the field of Psychomotricity – the Science of Body, Mind (Inter-) Action. In my research I focused on the question: how Contact-Improvisation influences our psychological heath and the quality of life. Since 2006 I was dancing and teaching Contact all over the world. Interviewing experienced dancers, giving work-labs and conducting experiments to explore the two mental states of being in the “Flow” and “mindfulness” while dancing. I have discovered for myself, that one key to finding the Flow is Mindfulness. Although these concepts are very different, they overlap in the experience of wholeness. Contact is for me a beautiful and very playful way of training these gateways to Oneness.

LEILANI WEIS (Chile/Italy) Teaches Contact Improvisation and Tango and researches and creates movement performance pieces. She is developing and researching Contactango Technical fundaments. Weis organizes LunatiContact events and is co-founder and art director of Central de Movimiento Company. She has taught and performed in Latin America, USA and across Europe. She is engaged in an ongoing learning experience through the fundamentals of Contact Improvisation.

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