„Are you with me?“

This class is about communication through touch in a CI-duet. We explore principles of leading and following by giving directions into the soft tissues of our partner´s body using a touch with the commitment to stay where it is. We focus on the different sensations of pulling and stretching as well as gliding and swimming underneath the skin as a base for communicating directions, change of direction and an option to offer counter direction.

We spend time on sensitizing our skin, the layers underneath the skin and their connections within the body to make them available for touch and permeable for impulses of a partner. We work with clear roles for some time, letting the roles dissolve later and then try out what happens if we are both just listening to the movement and to the proposed directions in the point of contact.

How much or how little pressure and tension is needed to make this fine way of communicating work? How can we become clear and precise in leading as well as in the listening? What can we learn from misunderstandings? How can the point of contact stay alive and receptive for directions when we share more weight?

We practice honest listening and working slowly. There will be solo explorations, partner exercises, time for dancing and verbal exchange.

All levels welcome.

Marielle Gerke

Marielle is born in Berlin, living in Witzenhausen near Kassel since 2010. There she discovered her passion for dancing – especially for Contact Improvisation in 2012. Since then she is continuously fascinated by this unique and exciting dance form. She loves the playfulness that lays in it and the diversity of movement options that become available when moving together with shared weight. For her is remarkable how clear nonverbal communication can become if both dance partners allow their bodies to truly fall into each other while listening to the proposed directions of movement under the skin. In her practice as a dancer and teacher the exploration of developmental movement patterns, principles of leading and following over the soft tissues of the body and water work are very useful and exciting. She is interested in exploring anatomical structures in hands on work and while dancing.
Teachers that she feels inspired and influenced by are mainly Jörg Hassmann and Daniel Werner, but also Kira Kirsch, Frey Faust, Bernd Knappe, Christoph Schütz, Roland Nordeck and her colleague Katja-Bahini Mangold. She has been studying with Jörg Hassmann and Daniel Werner in their Basic Training Programme in Tanzfabrik in Berlin for three years – one as participant and two as assistant. Since 2012 she organises the weekly Contact Impro Jam in Witzenhausen together with Katja-Bahini Mangold. Marielle teaches Contact Improvisation since 2015 in regular evening classes, different workshop-formats and on various Contact Impro festivals in Germany and Austria. Since 2016 she is also teaching in the school for contemporary dance Sozo visions in motion in Kassel and is involved in a couple of different performance projects. She started to investigate Axis Syllabus and Body-Mind-Centering which she would like to continue and deepen in the future.