6 – 10 April 2023

Partecipants: Max 35

Gaia Terra, Udine, Italy

This retreat is designed for people with experience in contact improvisation who are familiar with the dynamics of the jam, and for those who wish to discover how silence and meditation can enrich and deepen their experience of dance.

Silence, The Contact Improvisation Jam, Meditation, the Talking Circle
The retreat is quite demanding as it has a tight schedule with the aim of facilitating the participant who has the desire to immerse himself in the practice and wishes to experience the relationship and knowledge of the other mainly through movement, body and meditation. Keeping silence helps us to remain steadfast on this intention and to protect our sensitivity which opens up day after day.

Intensive workshop Teacher

Steve Batts

I have been practising Contact Improvisation since around 1983 and dancing as a central part of my life for a couple of years longer. I'm based in Derry in Northern Ireland. I spent three years in full time study to be a teacher of The Alexander Technique. After creating companies and projects in both England and Netherlands I set up Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company with Ursula Laeubli in 1991. We created performances and projects all over Europe. We moved the company to Derry in 1997. We create and tour performances, participatory projects, classes, artist residencies and festivals. I now continue to make and perform solo and group dances and to teach locally and internationally. I have regularly worked with children, older people and people with all sorts of disabilities as well as with professional dancers and performers."

Intensive workshop

I understand Contact Improvisation to be, in a very simple way, just dancing. I don’t really separate it from the rest of my dancing. My own “definition” of Contact Improvisation is: “The exploration of the limits and possibilities of moving with poetic intent, but without a plan, in close proximity with other people, and the effect of what is learned there on the dance when we are further away”. With this in mind we’ll be exploring, in movement, some ideas and processes that are relevant to all dance practice and seeing how that exploration enriches the specific context of dancing Contact Improvisation (however each participant understands it). We have limited time so we will focus on one “theme” in particular; phrasing. We’ll look at the grammar and syntax of phrasing in movement and see how a developed sensitivity to this can enrich duets and group improvisations. This will provide the thread through the classes but of course we’ll also touch on other issues, particularly around the journey through vertical space (alone and together) and the profound experiences involved in changing proximity with other people (from far to full weight bearing).  These explorations will emerge from and return to solo and interactive. Hopefully this will enrich what everyone can bring to, and receive from, jamming. The processes in the workshop can be explored with any level of physical ability. 


There will be considerable conceptual material. I’ll attend to limiting the amount of talking I do by presenting the material in written and diagrammatic form. 

I suggest people bring a notebook in which to write and draw. 



08.15 / 09.00 Meditation

10.00 / 10.30 Silent Circle

10.30 Silent Jam

15.00 / 16.00 Talking Circle

16.00 / 19.00 Intensive

21.00 Silent Circle

21.30 Jam


 00.00 – 24.00 Silence in the platform
1st. 2nd. 3rd 5th day 21.00 – 13.00 Silence in all areas of the retreat

4th day 00.00 – 24.00 Silence in all areas of the retreat

5th day 00 – 11.00  Silence in all areas of the retreat


09.00 / 10.00 Breakfast

13.00 / 14.30 Lunch

19.30 / 21.00 Dinner

Retreat Focalizers

Nayeli Špela

About Nayeli Špela: In my profession and passion, I work as psychologist and psychotherapist, founder of Moave - psychology in movement NGO. My background in movement comes from growing up being a semi professional handball player for many, many years. This sport tough me about momentum, ability to fall without fear, trust my instincts, trust my body intelligence to adapt, observe the space and have a felt sense perception of it, being fast, but alert etc. etc. After starting dancing contact improvisation I realised, it is all there in the body and so for me felt like arriving home. All this informations came together. For me contact improvisation is about principles that need to be embodied, to be danced and they can only be embodied if they are felt and experienced, rather than understood. I have deep respect for this practice since in my perception it is a teacher of life. Thanks to many, many knowledgeable people I have met in the jams, festivals and workshops, their wisdom and body intelligence have touched me and reshaped me into a more aware, soft and humble human being. I look forward to meeting you in this workshop and learning from you!

Elisa Ghion

I am convinced that every aspect of us is trainable: the physical body, the perceptual body, the collective body. As well as the imaginative and emotional one. Just find the right training. My research as a dancer, teacher, human being moves on these levels, knowing that everyone is intercommunicating and at the same time can be investigated individually. It is a question of choosing where to pay attention, at any given moment. Studio Contact Improvisation since 2004, I have been teaching it since 2010, mixing it with other movement practices, daily life, the books I read, the conversations I meet, the people who leave their mark. I consider it fundamental to deal with the earth. Whether it's my father's vegetable garden, the dance floor, self-confidence, deep friendships. Without it you don't stand, don't dance, you don't get good results. Since 2018 I have been co-founder of the CorPoetica ASD association, which works for the dissemination, study and practice of the disciplines related to movement and body intended as a starting point for one's personal growth. CorPoetica supports and promotes the development of a body intelligence that integrates with a more conscious use of cognitive processes.


Emelie Sjöström and Linus Lundquist

Linus and Emelie are two professional musicians and sound healing practitioners from Sweden. Emelie has been studying classical percussion and chamber music at Örebro university in Sweden and is now freelancing with different artist and projects. Linus has been studying drums since childhood but changed his course five years ago to become fully dedicated to bansuri and Indian classical music. He has been studying with Igino and Virginia (Italy) and has been visiting India for the last five years deepening his knowledge with well-known gurus and musicians. Linus and Emelie has been studying the art of sound healing at Svaram Musical Instruments and Research in Auroville, India. They have been arranging sound bath sessions in yoga studios and retreats in Sweden.

How to get there

By train

Nearest airports: Trieste, Venezia

By Car


By train

Nearest Train station: LATISANA

then you’ll get a bus to FLAMBRUZZO

By bus

Linea 515
LATISANA – FLAMBRUZZO  ore 13:40 – 14.10


Prices and registration procedures

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