THE PROGRAM

The Festival will run for 7 days – 20th March – 27th March, 2019. 6 full days of workshops and jams with 1 day focused on dancing in water and enjoying the beautiful surroundings. We will begin with welcoming dance on afternoon of 20th. The closing ceremony will be the morning of 27th. We recommend you give yourself time either side of the festival to enjoy Koh Phangan and join the pre and post workshops week before and week after, soon to be announced…  

Thailand Contact & Ecstatic Arts Festival

CONTACT IMPROVISATION

Contact Improvisation (CI) is a dance form based on the physical principles of touch, momentum and shared weight. It is an open exploration in which two or more bodies meet through a shared point of contact, and together explore the feeling and impulse of each moment. Rather than following a pre-defined series of motions, dancers use their intuition, their abilities, interests, needs, desires, and importantly their boundaries to dance. CI can also be seen as a movement meditation, as it requires us to be open and attentive to the present environment. Every dance-partner poses an ever changing landscape that varies in time, space and energy. Through listening with our senses and touch we tune into each other and continuously solve the mutual puzzle of how human bodies can co-exist in holistic rhythm and flow. General format for CI dances is a open dance space called a Jam. Supported by a group warm up to open the bodies perception, and sometimes accompanied by improvisation music. Witnessing is also an important part of the Jam; when not on the dance floor we actively support and inspire each other by being attentive to the space. Jam’s will be a every evening at the festival and usually continue into the night, until the last dancers feel the end. CI is the foundation of the festival. We offer daily focus through the morning intensive; 4 hours per day with the same teacher to steadily build skills in listening, supporting, flying and improvising.

ECSTATIC DANCE

Ecstatic Dance is a free-form dance event. It is a group journey through rhythms and beats, and pulses. Rising to ecstatic states of sound, movement and celebration. A drug and alcohol free, wordless space to express ourselves through dance. The music during the event begins with gentle rhythms, supporting us to connect with ourselves and the space. The musical pattern slowly grows stronger and rhythmically faster, rising energetic states as a group of sound, movement, expression and celebration. Building to an ecstatic climax near the end. And closing with a grounding finish often with live music. Ecstatic Dance is a creative, judgement free place to explore freedom of expression through the body. Share with others our energy and joy. The festival will include two ecstatic events in the schedule. They are a great opportunity to free up some inhibitions, release or gather energy and together celebrate our bodies love of movement.

Ecstatic Dance Koh Phangan
Water Dance Koh Phangan

WATER DANCE

Water dance is the exploration of fluid principles of Contact Improvisation. Discovering how they translate in a weightless place, floating on and under the surface of the water. Using nose clips we can calmly submerge and release muscle tension and mental holding’s. Connecting to both our inner fluid environment and our partner’s. Water Dance opens channels into a fluid consciousness: Letting go of the action of doing and knowing, surrendering to be moved and inspired by nature. When we attune to the liquid element, we inhibit our evolutionary lineage. We all began as fluid and through this medium we can re-experience this simple, effortless, peaceful state of being. Physical and emotional tensions release, space opens within us, liquid moves through joints, organs, bones. Life flows through us freely as we spiral and dance with the organic rhythm of the waters currents. There will be two optional afternoons of water dance in the ocean, where we will explore foundations for floating and supporting each other, vertical and horizontal planes of spiralling. One afternoon of the festival we will all visit the water together to jam and enjoy the ocean.

YOGA

Morning Yoga classes will be restorative in nature, especially working with postures to help ease compressions and tightness in the lower back, neck, and shoulders. Each session will help encourage balance and spaciousness within the body, inviting the dancing to feel and remain effortless during the festival week. Daily yoga offers and calming way to connect to ourselves each day, warm up and prepare for the movement ahead.

Yoga Michelle Berrange
Singing Circle Koh Phangan

SINGING CIRCLES

A wonderful way to start the day together is with singing. After morning yoga we will be singing Kirtans and singing circle songs to open our voices and lift the spirits. 

Acro Yoga

Acro yoga is the combination of yoga and acrobatics. The main principle of this practice is partner balancing, in which one bases the other through their feet to fly, balance and stretch. It works to strengthens the body, improves concentration and is a lot of fun! We will have two Acro Yoga classes during the festival; one solar and one lunar series. The solar version is a strong and acrobatic focus, sharing skills for basing and balancing. The lunar is a more therapeutic Acro Yoga, which will allow us to massage & stretch our muscles. Arco Yoga is a great technique for exploring any trepidation we might have in supporting another’s body weight. We are amazed at the bodies’ physical possibilities with this discipline and muscles that can be gently released through the lunar series. 

Acro Yoga Koh Phangan

Schedule of the last festival