Teacher: Toni Craige
Contact Improvisation (CI) is a partner dance form based on physical principles of touch, weight sharing, momentum, spirals, falling, and flying. Equally important are philosophical principles of presence, responsiveness, play, ease, honesty, and freedom.
CI is often practiced as a “social dance” outside of any context of performance, and is accessible to people who have no formal dance training. It is indeed a pleasure to practice: it’s play, exercise, deep rest, massage, and meditation all at once! CI is also quickly becoming an essential tool for contemporary dancers who’d like gain skill in partnering, improvisational performance, somatic awareness, and choreographic processes.
In this week-long series, students will gain confidence in the physical and philosophical skills of contact improvisation. Sometimes we will break down specific skills with technical exercises. Other times the instructor will use imagery to guide students through a progression of exercises and games – new possibilities arise as principles simmer into expanded freedom in dancing with a partner.
Toni's teaching is influenced by Body-Mind Centering, experiential anatomy, performance improvisation, the dynamic alignment principles of the Axis Syllabus, and many years of study and practice with brilliant teachers and practitioners. This class is appropriate for all skill levels.
completed her undergraduate degree in dance at Wesleyan University in 2009, where she focused her studies on improvisation, somatics, and process-oriented dance-making. Since discovering CI in 2007, Toni has studied with influential Contact Improvisation (CI) teachers including Nancy Stark Smith, KJ Holmes, David Brick, Scott Wells, Cyrus Khambatta, Tamin Totzke, Alicia Grayson, Aaron “Brando” Brandes, Brad Stollar, Kira Kirsch, and Frey Faust. Toni has been teaching CI in the Triangle area since 2012 and has had more than 100 people take her 6-week beginner CI series. These classes have helped infuse the growing dance improvisation scene in the Triangle with safety, skill, and rigor. Toni lives in Raleigh, North Carolina where she teaches and performs Contact Improvisation, has a private massage therapy practice, and is a full-time graduate student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program and NCSU.