Contact Improv Summer Camp 2020: Elements of Contact

Aug. 31 – Sept. 11, Burlington, Vermont

w/ Carly Czach, Daniel Bear Davis, Jonathan Lilly, and Kyle Syverson

Immediately followed by the Burlington Annual Jam

This two-week intensive is intended for dancers seeking a deep immersion in the study and practice of contact improvisation within a structured learning environment. For two weeks we will train and explore, with creativity and rigor, while sleeping under the stars beside the beautiful Lake Champlain.

This class-focussed intensive, with four hours of instruction per day on each of eight full days of training, offers offers a unique opportunity to propel our dancing to a new level. Another twenty-eight hours of jam time over the two weeks offer a wide-open horizon for exploration, assimilation, and play.

In an innovative format, four different teachers, with four very different backgrounds, will take turns interweaving their personal visions of contact improvisation. These “elements” of our rich and multifaceted dance form will cross-pollinate, co-inspire, and combine into an alchemy of learning.

Carly Czach — contemporary dance, yoga, anatomy, poetry
Daniel Bear Davis — The Axis Syllabus, bodywork, performance, composition
Jonathan Lilly — aikido, Feldenkrais, meditation, physics
Kyle Syverson — gymnastics, tree climbing, tango, improvisation

The intensive is in two halves, which can be done separately or together. In each half there will be four full days of classes and jamming, together with an opening and closing jam on the first and last days.

Week I. Materials, Aug. 31 – Sept. 5
Week II. Alchemy, Sept. 6 – Sept. 11

The first half is suitable for all dancers with prior experience with contact. The second half is intended for dancers at an intermediate level and higher, with at least two years of experience, or those who have attended the first half.

The intensive is timed to dovetail with the Burlington Annual Jam, which begins the evening of Friday, September 11. Stay for the weekend and make it a full 13 days of dancing.

Visit for more information and to register.

[Photo credits, clockwise from top left: with Tim O'Donnell by Patrick Beelaert, by Grusha Tsiolkovskogo, by Moti Zemelman, with Frances Idlebrook by Homer Horowitz.]

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Jonathan Lilly trained for more than twenty years in the martial art of aikido, before transitioning to contact improvisation and improvisational dance as his primary movement practices in 2013. In addition to thousands of hours of experience teaching aikido, he has taught movement fundamentals and/or contact improvisation at a half-dozen locations in the US, Canada, and Europe. His movement and teaching styles are deeply informed by a period of in-depth study of the Feldenkrais method of somatic education in the mid-1990’s, as well as by a daily meditation practice in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. In his day job, he is a scientist studying ocean physics.


August 31 – September 11, 2020


Sliding scale: full intensive $900--$1100, either half $475--$575



Published March 5, 2020