Alyssa Lynes

Alyssa Lynes (US) is a dancer and teacher of many styles of dance, and an English language teacher. A dancer her whole life, she grew up in Boston, Massachusetts until she attended Sarah Lawrence College in New York. There she began studying Contact Improv (CI) in 2002 and ultimately received a BA in Contemporary Dance four years later. She stayed another 6 years in NYC where she continued training in CI, release technique, and Salsa. While there, she received her Masters in Education and worked as a freelance dancer and bilingual school teacher. An intensive CI training with Nancy Stark Smith in 2010 catapulted Alyssa on a CI devoted trip to Europe, and she has resided there ever since, training and working as a free-lance dancer and teacher of Contact Improvisation, Contemporary Dance, English and Spanish. Alyssa is a founder of Contact Improvisation Kollectiv Freiburg, and is currently a member of the CI Freiburg Jam Team. She has taught at CI Jams at Earthdance (MA, US) where she was a Diversity Committee member (2009). In Europe she has taught at festivals such as Contact Meets Contemporary (DE), Ibiza CI Festival (SP), the French International Acrobatic Convention (FR),  in Touch & Play Festivals (SP & UK) and at the Israel Contact Improvisation Festival.

‘I have always been interested in culture and anthropology, communication styles and interpersonal dynamics. This has led me to live in many places throughout the world, and train in non-violent communication, teaching and learning languages. Over the past 10 years the Contact Improv community has continued to be a place for me to develop my current interests, explore meaningful questions, and experience authentic vulnerability and play. I view CI as an excellent way to support one another in developing awareness, embodying the power of expression and listening, and connecting with others beyond culturally learned blocks, prejudices, and ‘isms.

In 2010, I began to explore the medium of video as a way to capture expression through dance and share it with a larger more varied audience. I was excited to co-direct ‘Five Ways In’ because it reveals personal processes within the larger 300-person context of a CI festival culture. I hope that this film will promote further questioning and reflection about Contact Improvisation as a form for personal and community expression and communication in multiple contexts.

I am personally interested to continue to use CI and learn how others use it in CI communities, in non-CI community development workshops, in creating choreography & performing Contact Improvisation. I believe ‘Five Ways In’ can inspire continued research and interest in Contact Improvisation as postmodern dance and as an effective form of non-violent communication.

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