SEATTLE FESTIVAL OF DANCE + IMPROVISATION
AUGUST 6 – 13
The RESEARCH Week is a full eight days of intensives, workshops, and events centering improvisational dance practice and research. This interdisciplinary and intergenerational gathering brings together both local and inter/national faculty in Seattle each year to share their practice with movers new to improvisation alongside artists who have been dancing for decades. Immerse yourself in a nurturing and rich environment where embodied research in somatics, contact and group improvisation, and creative and social practice create a week of extraordinary possibilities.
Registration for the full week of the RESEARCH Week lets you create your own immersive schedule of intensives, classes, jams, and events. Enjoy the 3-day intensive, one 4-day intensive, and your choice of one of the 5-day intensives. You’ll also get tickets to all sharings + events, and be able to participate in all the jams, morning practices and drop-ins your schedule can hold!
Registration for the full RESEARCH Week includes:
- One 5-day intensive with Ryuta Iwashita OR Faye Driscoll (your choice)
- One 4-day intensive with Mariana Valencia or morning drop-ins (your choice)
- One 3-day intensive with Alia Swersky or afternoon drop-ins (your choice)
- All morning practices, drop-ins, and jams
- Tickets to all RESEARCH Module sharings + performances
Learn more about the five-, four-, and three-day intensives included in this year’s festival.
In this creative process workshop we will work from images, memories and imagination to become other beings, other selves. We will work with immediate sensation through presence practices and touch as portals to the associative. How do we stay in the interior and relational simultaneously? How do we time travel while being right here? In this sensational labor we are altered, layered, we wear our many selves like loose clothing. We cultivate the ability to tune our presence, shape-shift, and shimmer.
CI + 祖体 (SOTAI: Ancestral Body)
This Contact Improv workshop is infused with Ryuta’s life research called 祖体 (SOTAI: Ancestral Body). You will be guided through different awareness practices of sensing and moving your body, journaling, and vocalization.
SOTAI provides deep rest for our ancestral bodies to say goodbye to the western approach of “filling up space with information” and “getting to the point”.
Flavored with Japanese cultural concepts and nuances, SOTAI emphasizes our cellular wellness and abundant love that was passed down from our ancestors.
This offering is not limited to movers/dancers. Anyone can benefit from ancestral deep rest, which prepares you to show up to your community and yourself with more 余裕 (YOYUU: a Japanese word for “ease and spaciousness of the self”).
check back for more information on this foundational intensive focused on contact improvisation and partnering.
DROP-INS, JAMS + MORE
These two-hour drop-in classes are led by Seattle-based and visiting faculty and explore topics of dance creative and improvisational practices, somatics, contact improvisation and more. These classes are included in full festival registration, or can be purchased for $18/class. Pre-registration encouraged, but day-of drop-ins are available if space allows, with preference given to full festival participants.
Faculty: Fox Whitney, Allie Hankins, Victoria Jacobs + more
RESEARCH IN PERFORMANCE
There will be opportunities to catch faculty research in performance as well as the opportunity to share your own performances and research in participant sharings. Check back for more details!
These are three-hour jam sessions facilitated by local and visiting faculty. Some spaces will be open free jam, while others will have prompts, scores, music and other invitations. Jams are included in full festival registration, or are $10 to attend a la carté. Pre-registration encouraged, but day-of drop-ins are welcome as space allows.
Faculty: to be announced
There are always additional discussions, events, sharings and practices offered throughout the festival. These events are still coming together, so check back for more details!
PAYMENTS + DEPOSITS + REFUNDS
PAYMENT + DEPOSITS
To reserve your spot you can either pay in full* or hold your place with a non-refundable $250 deposit. Full payment to confirm your registration is required by June 30.
Registration for a la carte intensives, classes, workshops, and jams in both modules will open on July 1 and spaces will be available on a first-come-first-served basis. To register a la carte you will pay in full, though let us know if you need to discuss a payment plan.
Velocity’s refund policies were created to offer as much flexibility to our community as possible, while still protecting SFD+I from risk and instability.
The refund schedule for the Full SFD+I Pass, TRAIN Module (all cohorts), or RESEARCH Module is:
- Before June 30: All registration fees, less the $250 non-refundable deposit, are fully refundable for any reason.
- After July 1: All registration fees, less the $250 non-refundable deposit, are 50% refundable for any reason.
- After your first class begins: All registration fees are non-refundable for any reason, including illness or injury.
The refund schedule for all a la carte intensives, workshops or classes (available after July 1) is:
- After you register: All registration fees are 50% refundable for any reason.
- After your first class begins: All registration fees are non-refundable for any reason, including illness or injury.
Velocity’s Summer Work/Study program provides the opportunity for participants to receive discounted attendance to the Seattle Festival of Dance + Improvisation in exchange for festival support. The deadline for this program is May 1st. Please email email@example.com with any questions.
TBIPOC Tuition waiver
As a part of Velocity’s Seattle Festival of Dance + Improvisation we are providing $10,000 in fee waivers to dancers who identify as Transgender, Black, Indigenous, and/or as People of Color, in an effort to shift power to Transgender and BIPOC communities. The deadline for this program is May 1st. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Velocity is working with the University of Washington to provide SFD+I participants with housing for the summer. Participants will sign up through a website link provided by the University of Washington. The link will be provided in the next few weeks and will be sent out via email to participants who already signed up for SFD+I.
$1,518.00 per person, double occupancy
$2,288.00 per person, single occupancy
Check in: Sunday, July 16 2023 after 2 p.m.
Check out: Sunday, August 13 2023 by 11a.m.
$1,143.50 per person, double occupancy
$1,721.00 per person, single occupancy
Check in: Sunday, July 16 2023 after 2 p.m.
Check out: Sunday, August 6 2023 by 11 a.m.
Registration link coming soon!
REGISTER FOR YOUR IMMERSIVE SUMMER EXPERIENCE
ULTIMATE SFD+I gives participants Velocity’s best summer dance experience by combining your PERFORMANCE Cohort and RESEARCH Week with a money-saving, bundled price.
$995 for full participation in 4 weeks of SFD+I
Ryuta Iwashita (they/them) currently lives and improvises in Bulbancha (also colonially known as New Orleans) in the USA as a movement/performance/visual artist and educator after living in Japan for 25 years. Their artistic lexicons are rooted in dance improvisation, social justice, somatics, martial arts, child education, and ancestral work including 祖体 (SOTAI) of which Ryuta is its conceiver.
Their work and teaching move and respond to mystic juxtapositions of phenomena, systems, and galaxies, — the one between their Japanese heritage and their westernized life in the Southern US, between a day of organic farming and a night of MSG-heavy instant noodles, between their beloved’s indulge in watching TikTok and their grandfather’s indulge in eating raw chicken gizzards, and between their internal organs and their ancestors moving and pausing as stars.
Their work and teaching have been accepted by internationally renowned organizations such as Chang Theatre (Thailand), Kirishima Open Air Museum (JAPAN), Contact Improv Dance Chengdu (CHINA), Jacob’s Pillow (MA), Tulane University (LA), University of Colorado (CO), Judson Memorial Church (NY), New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center (LA), and Seattle Festival of Dance Improv (WA).
Their current interest is to know who I am in love with today.
Faye Driscoll is a Doris Duke Award-winning art and performance maker who has been hailed as a “startlingly original talent” by The New York Times and “a postmillenium postmodern wild woman” by The Village Voice. She uses an alchemy of bodies and voices, objects and live sound to conjure worlds that are, like ourselves, alive and forever changeable. She was the 2021-2022 Randjelovic/Stryker Resident Commissioned Artist at New York Live Arts, and is the recipient of a Doris Duke Artist Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Bessie award and the Jacob’s Pillow Artist Award among many others. Her work has been presented at Wexner Center for the Arts, Walker Art Center, ICA/Boston, MCA Chicago and BAM, and internationally at Tanz im August, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, La Biennale di Venezia, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Melbourne Festival, Belfast International Arts Festival, Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens and Centro de Arte Experimental in Buenos Aires. In 2020, her first-ever solo exhibition, Come On In, opened at Walker Art Center and then went on to Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, On the Boards, and Esplanade in Singapore, offering gallery-goers an experience of six distinct audio-guided experiences called Guided Choreographies for the Living and the Dead which were celebrated as “experiential training in how to inhabit this unbearable new world” (Miriam Felton-Dansky). She is working on a series of sculpture/performances and recently premiered two; Calving (2022) at Theater Bremen (Bremen, Germany), and Weathering (2023) at New York Live Arts.
Choreographer and performer, Mariana Valencia is based in New York City. She received a BA at Hampshire College in Massachusetts in 2006 and her work has toured nationally and internationally in the UK and the Balkans. Valencia works through dance, text, and sound using humor, abstraction, and self-representation. Valencia has held numerous residencies and received awards for her choreography including the Creative Capital Award 2023, a Bessie Award for “Outstanding Breakout Choreographer” 2018, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award to Artists 2018, a Jerome Travel and Study Grant 2016. She was a 2019 Whitney Biennial artist. Her commissions include, Baryshnikov Arts Center, The Chocolate Factory Theater, Danspace Project, The Shed, Performance Space New York and Abrons Arts Center. Valencia is a founding member of the No Total reading group and she has been the co-editor of Movement Research’s Critical Correspondence. She’s worked with artists AK Burns, Elizabeth Orr, Em Rooney, Fia Backstrom, Geo Wyeth, Guadalupe Rosales, Jazzy Romero, Juliana May, Jules Gimbrone, Kim Brandt, Lauren Bakst, Lydia Okrent, Morgan Bassichis, MPA, O’Helen, robbinschilds and Heera Gandhu. Valencia has published two books of performance texts, “Album” (Wendy’s Subway) and “Mariana Valencia’s Bouquet” (3 Hole Press).
Alia Swersky is a movement artist, performer and educator deeply engaged in dance improvisation, durational time-based art, film, site-specific work, and environmental installation. She is an artist and an educator with degrees from Cornish College of the Arts and an MFA in dance from the University of Washington.
Her artistic path over the last two decades has been shaped by this yearning for deep and meaningful connections with people and places. As a co-creator, ritual maker, and a “horizontal” director, Alia seeks to touch others through dance, somatic presence, vulnerability, and fierceness. Her work ranges from full audience participation to intimate acts of One-to-One performances, site-specific dances for film and live performance, as well as durational time-based art that includes physical acts of endurance, repetition, stillness, subtlety, singing, soft energetic grace, abstraction, caricature, and a deconstruction of clichés such as extreme high femme expressions. Her teaching and art-making seek to create practices that embrace endurance on stage and in life as acts of resistance, resilience, release, and beauty.
As a performer, Alia has also toured nationally and internationally as a member of the LeGendre Performance Group and has performed in the works with many Seattle artists, some of which include The Maureen Whiting Company, Khambatta Dance Company, Jurg Koch, KT Niehoff, and Salt Horse.
As an educator, she has taught at Cornish College of the Arts for sixteen years and in the Seattle community at Velocity’s Strictly Seattle Festival, and the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (SFDI). She was a long time Co-artistic director of Dance Art Group (DAG), a non-profit organization that promotes the practice and appreciation of dance and somatic education in the Seattle area, including the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation.
Victoria is a certified SPRe Somatic Educator and Bodyworker as well as a certified GYROTONIC and GYROKINESIS trainer. She has been teaching embodied practices in New York and Seattle since 2004, including contemporary and classical dance, improvisation, somatic writing and artmaking.
Victoria’s work begins with anatomy understood as an interconnected fascial system where all the parts affect one another. From there she layers how emotional and historical patterns also shape our moving, feeling bodies. She works to create language that accurately expresses your own body’s sensations/emotions. Artistically this creates multi-layered bodies of work, and as a student, this process can help you make more sense to yourself and feel equipped to speak and act on your needs, wants and desires. The movement and creation is our way of attuning to the sensations of your tissue, as well as updating your structure to match your emotional understanding.
There is nothing she loves more than coming to understand each person’s story as your body speaks. She approaches this work with gentle, abundant curiosity about how your body is communicating your history, your feelings, your ambitions, and your blocks. Structural anatomy is the blueprint for all of our work, whether it’s movement-based rehabilitation, or emotionally intelligent bodywork. She is always working with all the parts of you.
“I believe that movement is life, and where there is flow there is pulsation, abundance, creativity and growth. Where there is tension or a lack of movement, there is information about our experience. “
Allie Hankins is a dancer, performer, and choreographer. She is a resident artist and steward of FLOCK Dance Center, a creative home to Portland’s experimental dance artists founded in 2014 by Tahni Holt. In 2013 Allie co-initiated Physical Education, a critical and casual queer cooperative/support group comprised of herself, keyon gaskin, Taka Yamamoto, and Lu Yim. Physical Education hosts open reading groups and lectures, curates performances, and teaches workshops nationally. Most recently she has performed with Linda Austin (PDX), Milka Djordjevich (LA), and Morgan Thorson (Minneapolis). She has been an Artist in Residence at Headlands Center for the Arts, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, the Robert Rauschenberg Residency, Caldera, the Wassaic Project, Ucross, and Centrum. In July 2023 she and her collaborator Rachael Dichter (SF) will be artists in residence at Greywood Arts Center in East Cork, Ireland. When she’s not working on performances, she is doing step aerobics and learning American Sign Language. Her website is alliehankins.com
Fox Whitney’s queer + transgender point of view is at the heart of his interdisciplinary performance project, Gender Tender founded in 2012. GT engages a team of artists trained in Fox’s unique methods modeled on visual art practices, cults, riots and QT history. He is also a musician, filmmaker, actor, dancer, writer, yoga + meditation facilitator and teaching artist. Fox and collaborator Otto are the lead artists of the queer + trans centric indie rock, pop punk, performance art/psychedelic band Light Aloud. This project grew from their collaboration inside of Gender Tender and a conceptual sound project that grew from the performance Melted Riot SPECTRA(L) that happened at On the Boards in 2022 called the Gender Tender Experiment. Light Aloud features special guest artists from all disciplines.
Fox’s ongoing project, MELTED RIOT is the main focus for his performance centric interdisciplinary art making. The project is ongoing and includes a series of in person and digital performances, videos, sound pieces and text based works. MELTED RIOT uses tactics rooted in dance, durational performance, and visual art to investigate the effects peaceful and violent forms of support and sabotage have on the bodies, minds, and spirits of the transgender and queer community. MELTED RIOT softens the word riot (a violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd) replacing the word VIOLENT with: somatic, satirical, surreal, psychedelic. Inspired by the Stonewall Riots, this performance research project uses a crowd of close and socially distant voices, bodies, and sculptural interventions to investigate radical extremes inspired by the photographs taken during the Stonewall Riots of 1969, investigations into music and artworks from various collections (Henry Art gallery, Stonewall Inn jukebox playlist of 1969) and the QTBIPOC viewpoint of lead artist Fox Whitney. MELTED RIOT is a surreal protest song, a queer meditation, a psychedelic research project, a punk prayer.
Fox’s work has been commissioned and produced by the Henry Art Gallery, On the Board’s NW New Works Festival and Solo Festival; Velocity’s Next Fest NW and Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation; the Seattle International Dance Festival; Yellow Fish Epic Durational Performance Festival and was selected for the inaugural season of Seattle’s Gay City Arts. Fox was the Artistic Director of Velocity Dance Center 2020-2022. He has performed in work by Will Rawls, Heather Kravas, keyon gaskin, Morgan Thorson, CommonForm Dance Project, Malic Amalya and Gabrielle Civil and has exhibited his dance films and visual art nationally. His most recent projects have included full length performances of Melted Riot at Treefort Music Festival in Boise ID and as part of Artists at the Center on the Armory stage at Seattle Center this past spring. He also premiered the full length interdisciplinary Gender Tender performance Melted Riot: Spectra(l) co-produced by Velocity and On the Boards featuring a cast of 20 artists this past June at On the Boards.
He has also been an active gigging musician playing with the collaborative band iteration of Gender Tender- The Gender Tender Experiment at various venues in Seattle as well as touring and recording with his other band project Rachaels Children. Fox is the drummer for RC; highlights have included playing The Underground Music Festival in Denver and touring through Boise and Salt Lake City, playing the Capitol Hill Block Party and various venues in Seattle like The Sunset and Cafe Racer.