A documentary focused on the Northampton, Massachusetts contact improvisation subculture, an intimate dance, will premiere at the Academy of Music on March 26, 2016. Get Tickets. The film, six years in production in the Pioneer Valley, illuminates the hidden world of contact improvisation, a dance form that merges the playfulness of social dance forms like tango with the body-mind skills of meditation and martial arts.
The film follows three Valley residents whose lives are transformed through dance. A skeptical beginner, Albert is drawn to the embodied presence and connection of contact. Contact catapults dancer Rythea Lee on a journey of self-discovery and healing. Inspired by the athleticism of contact, Eugene stretches physical and social limits from his wheelchair. Get Tickets.
As part of the celebration and excitement around the film’s completion, we are planning an exciting dance festival weekend in Northampton.everyBODYmoves, A festival of mindful movement, dance and curiosity for every body will be an exciting weekend long series of dance events, an opportunity for all kinds of people to test their edge, whether that edge is physical ability, healing and emotional safety, or the role of of acculturation ( race, class, gender and sexual preferences) in movement practices. The weekend will be a living laboratory on the theme of inclusiveness in movement and dance practices.
The everyBODYmoves festival will provide a living laboratory for participants to explore three different forms of inclusion in dance: physical ability, emotional safety, and the role of acculturation in movement practices. The festival will unite longtime dancers and newcomers. Registration grants access to numerous events in several area dance studios. Register Now.
Events Planned As of January 19, 2016 (Subject to change, and definitely will GROW)
• Friday night kickoff party with performances, dancing, and surprises. Gather and meet the diverse participants in the weekend!
• Two of the leading characters in the documentary an intimate dance, Eugene Williams and Rythea Lee, will kick off the Saturday morning with sessions focused on diversity of physical abilities (Eugene) and healing through movement and dance (Rythea).
• An array of workshops will take place in several downtown dance studios ( Studio Helix, Upstairs Studio, SCDT and the new Pole and Barre studio off of King St.) Among the other classes expected during the weekend will be Contact Tango with Daniel Trenner,” Authentic movement and Otherness” with Kent Alexander, improvisation games with Lani Nahele, Glenn Smith and Su Eaton, beginner’s contact improvisation, and making contact in daily life with Beth Dennison.
• Dance Spirit on Sunday morning with master cellist and improviser Steven Katz.
• Panel discussion about the film. Sunday after Dance Spirit there will be a panel discussion among the many participants in the film. If you were part of the film, we hope you will actively participate in this lunch time chat!
• Music and dance improvisation jam Sunday afternoon will be part of the final sendoff.
Schedule is preliminary and will gain additional details and events closer to the date of the event.
Register early for lowest registration prices.
The premiere and festival also celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Earthdance, where much of the film was produced, and the 40th Anniversary of the Northampton-based magazine, Contact Quarterly. A portion of any net proceeds will support efforts for inclusiveness, accessibility, diversity and trauma-informed movement practices at these two dance organizations, as well as the city’s new School for Contemporary Dance and Thought.
everyBODYmoves Festival Participant Principles
Mindfulness: curiosity, attentiveness, observing sensation, observing emotion, suspending expectations, recognizing that witnessing IS participating.
We are each responsible for our own physical and emotional safety, including taking more than adequate time to rest on our own and to integrate/ digest experiences
We are also each responsible for respecting others – the diversity of culture and life experiences, and rigorous attention to collaboration and consent.
Reversing/suspending traditional expectations about dance: we are always free to enter or leave an interaction on the dance floor.
• OUTREACH – Are you part of a group that would appreciate or benefit from the film’s message and experience of mindful movement and dance as a transformative and inclusive practice? Are you a college professor or student who can encourage others to attend? Independent living, disabilities rights, Holyoke, Northampton and Amherst-area arts groups emphasizing diversity and accessibility, and men’s and women’s empowerment and healing organizations?
• TEACHING AND PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES – Let us know of interest. We are holding off on setting additional workshops and performances until we see the how registration and interest in the weekend evolves.
• DISPLAY ADS – The premiere and weekend festival program will have display advertising opportunities. See rate chart at http://bitly/nohodancefilm
• WORK EXCHANGE – Numerous work exchange opportunities in lieu of, or to further reduce registration fees.
• MEDIA CONTACTS – Do you personally know reporters that would be excited about the film and the weekend? Would you like to pitch them our story?
• HOUSING Thanks to Tom Murray and Joann Lutz, a housing website for the weekend is already operational. We expect many out-of-town guests.
Inspired to help or want to share your feedback or excitement? Write to filmmaker Sanford Lewis sanfordlewis AT gmail.com or communications/outreach coordinator, Michaela Schwartz. michaela.schwartz216 AT gmail.com
Our Growing List of Event Sponsors and Partners
Amherst Arts Council