Nancy Stark Smith -Dance in Peace

Nancy Stark Smith, fondly known as the mother of contact improvisation, died on the 1st May, 2020. In celebration and memory of a life that inspired and touched so many, Alyssa Lynes, Sonja Bruhlmann and Mike Poltorak would like to make our documentary -Five Ways In-free to view. As the International Contact Festival Freiburg owes a profound debt of gratitude to Nancy Stark Smith’s tireless enthusiasm and teaching of the form, Five Ways In in turn would not have been possible without her. Her underscore inspired the structure of the film. At… Read More

NYC: Inclusivity as a physical, musical and spoken Conversation

INCLUSION:  “Yeah-even when you are on the fringes you are really still a part of it. I love that about CI-when we are creating that kind of general vibe.” January 14, 2017    New York City Premiere at Jack (a cozy film and performance space in Brooklyn)  ( A variety of people showed up to this event.  There were 3-4 people who had never danced CI before and a few teachers of CI and a bunch of CI dancers who range in level and interest, race, age, and background.  I found the… Read More

An Interview with CI Virgins!

Ever wonder what people who don’t know anything about CI would say if they came and saw the film as their very first impression and then entered the JAM? Alyssa (A) interviews two brand new beginners  (B & C) at the showing & Jam,  Darmstadt, Germany  Oct. 2, 2016  A: So you guys came and saw the film. Did you also see Fall After Newton- the early film shown? Two Beginner Women: Yes. A: I am just curious since it’s brand new to you, 1. How you found out about Contact Improvisation… Read More

Dance IS Peace

Dance is Peace Festival, Lviv, Ukraine- May 2015 The question of how contact improvisation is political was at the heart of the Dance is Peace festival in the beautiful Ukrainian city of Lviv in May 2015. We had seen Poured Out, the powerful video of spontaneous dances in Maidan square, Kiev,  at the Bern Jam the year before. It was not difficult to resist the temptation to offer Five Ways In as a way of exploring what was meaningful for people at the festival. Their manifesto for the festival moved Sonja and… Read More

Mirva, Bastien, Alyssa and 16 others’ discussion at Les 1001 et une Festival Contact Improvisation Grenoble July 2015

Setting the scene:  Grenoble Festival, July 2015   Getting ready to watch ‘Five Ways In’ one evening in the middle of the festival:      A full house of Contacters watching: +/-65 people  Who was present at the feedback session: Mirva Makkinen was one of the Contact Improvisation Intensive Teachers of the Grenoble Festival. She was also teaching an intensive during the film.   She saw the film for the first time at this screening and gave feedback.              Mirva MAKKINEN (FI) –Featured intensive teacher in the film (2012) Photo… Read More

Reflections on Vision and a Community Research Visit

The need for a core group with a coherent vision is often regarded as vital to starting a community that lasts. I reflect on feedback on our Monastery of Dreams intensive in relation to visits to several formed and developing communities in Catalonia in 2013. We visited Kanawen, Arcadia, Arlequi, Cal Cases, Can Masdeu, Esblada, Irehom, Cala Fou and Molinàs. I also offer a brief history of the group that formed to set up the Monastery of Dreams and the extent of our mutual involvement to provisionally suggest that a lack of… Read More

Two Weeks at the Monastery of Dreams

At the former Seminary of the Marist Brothers, Outdoor Pursuits Centre (Casa de Colonies Ca n’Oliver) and Festival Location of MAPA.   I spent some time thinking about how to summarise or even give a taste of what happened during the two weeks I spent at the Monastery of Dreams, the first week spent preparing for the second, a intensive process of dancing, sharing, performing while thinking, living and imagining community. I realised it would be impossible. The richness of the experience, the fact that my understanding and appreciation is still forming… Read More

Screening within the CONTACT IMPROVISATION TRAINING INTENSIVE (May 2015, Freiburg)

Ecki Mueller, Alyssa Lynes and Bernd Ka teach a Compact Training Program in Freiburg with a small consistent group of dancers over the course of 4 months: This May, 2015, they decided to devote an evening to film and discussion as part of the CI Training.  They first viewed “Fall After Newton” (  and then “Five Ways In”. Here are a few of their comments: Ecki (one of the organizers of Freiburg CI International Festival): It’s very interesting to see which different questions these people come to the festival with and to realize… Read More

Italy CI Fest (May 2015 – Amelia (Umbria, IT): What is your interest/question and how are you exploring it in this festival now?

Five Ways In Showing Discussion at: Italy Contact Fest: May 2015      Thank you to the ICF Team: Leilani Weis, Leonardo Lambruschini, Mario Ghezzi for supporting this showing.   Setting up–getting comfortable There were around 75 people at the screening including Lior and Alyssa.    Most people went directly into Jamming afterwards and 13 people stayed to create this discussion. Alyssa:  We like to dig into a question after a screening, call it a discussion, call it research.  In different places the topic is different. It… Read More

A lunch screening at: LONDON & VENICE… DANCE!! with Alyssa

LONDON & VENICE… DANCE!! Sunday, May 3 at 3:00pm C.T.R. (Centro Teatrale di Ricerca) Giudecca 621, Venezia Organized by: Carla Marazzato & Monica Giacomin After the film we had a short sharing of how the film resonated. In this photo: we are with our eyes closed for one minute to find the thought, image, statement, moment we wanted to share. * Carla first saw the film at a screening Alyssa hosted at Earthdance in January.  Carla was there as an artist in residence for two weeks.  Afterwards we spoke and she shared how she felt really excited… Read More