Contact meets Waterdance Gathering

In the CI meets Waterdance Gathering we are working with experiential somatic disciplines we explore inner and outer states, discovering where movement arises. With practices to enliven the sense and develop our somatic communication skills, we experiment with movement and touch in a safe, held container. We invite the healing elements of nature into our research through exercises on the beach. An evolutionary journey from water, to land & onto the dance floor!

Arambol Beach, Goa

The home of the Goa Contact Festival is our place Forgotten Land at Arambol Beach, north Goa, India. Here we will play, eat & workshop during the day, in the evenings and nights we will jam and celebrate on our big dancefloor directly on the beach.

In the Contact meets Waterdance Gathering we explore and celebrate Contact Improvisation, Waterdance and Experiental Anatomy. We allow our senses to enliven, investigate our moving, touching and relating bodies and invite the nurturing elements of nature to support our practices.

In this one week journey we explore movement and touch in water and on land. With and without partners we practice somatic awareness, explore developmental and evolutionary movement patterns as well as other elements inspired by Body-Mind-Centering and wonder how that informs our Contact Improvisation dances in different environments.

The individual and the group process will be supported by other practices such as Singing, Sharing and Authentic Movement.

Why go into the water?

Evolutionary and developmentally we are all coming from the water. The water in our bodies makes up to 70 % of our body weight and also 70 % of the planet is covered with water. So, water plays an important role in our life. Going back to the water in a somatic awareness and dance context can help us to reconnect to this element, to its qualities, its sensations and can enrich and inspire our movement experience.

For us, the richest inspirations from moving and being moved in water is remembering softness and permeability in the body as well as three-dimensionality, slowness, lightness, effortless flow. The water gives us the chance to establish a state of being rather than doing. Being surrounded by water can also be very comforting and healing.

The dance journey we have created starts in the water – inspired by the evolutionary and the developmental movement process we have gone through as human infants. This particular exploration of the movement patterns is inspired by a somatic practice called Body-Mind-Centering which is brought into the world by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen. During the week we will alternate the sessions in the water with the sessions on the land. Exploring how the moving and touching in the different environments inform each other. Eventually we will land in the world of gravity, weight and structure.

We wish to create a safe container where we can integrate the qualities of the water as well as the earth into our body-mind and also inviting a sense of innocent playfulness, curiosity, lightness and joy.

Who are we?

The Contact meets Waterdance Gathering is mainly facilitated by Marielle Gerke, Dolores Dewhurst Marks and Vega Luukonen. Dolores Dewhurst Mark and Marielle Gerke will hold the space in the Water-Beach-Motion sessions and the Somatics into Contact Improvisation sessions which have an explorative character working on the qualities and sensations of the movements. Vega Luukonen will facilitate Authentic Movement and the Contact Improvisation classes which look more on the useful technical aspects of the form and that will feed and support the explorations in the other sessions and vice versa. Matthieu Panassie is supporting the journey with his beautiful and touching Singing Circles.

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Early Bird Price: €320

Cost of Event: €350

Indian Nationals Early Bird: INR 17.000

Indian Nationals Cost: INR 18.500

What's Included:

• Contact Improvisation
• Somatics Practices
• Waterdance
• Beach-Ocean Sessions
• Ritual & Music
• Daily Lunch and Dinner

Meet Your Facilitators


Marielle Gerke

Marielle discovered her passion for dancing –
specially for Contact Improvisation in 2012. Since then she is continuously fascinated by this unique and exciting danceform. In her practice as a dancer and teacher the exploration of developmental movement patterns described by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, principles of leading and following over the soft tissues of the body and water work are very useful and exciting. She is interested in exploring anatomical structures in hands on work and while dancing.

Marielle assisted twice Daniel Werner’s and Joerg Hassmann’s CI Training Programme in Berlin. In Witzenhausen she organises the weekly Contact Improv Jam together with Katja-Bahini Mangold and teaches Contact Improvisation in regular evening classes, different workshop-formats and on various Contact Impro festivals in Germany and internationally in Austria, India and Portugal. Since 2016 she is also teaching in the school for contemporary dance Sozo Visions in Motion in Kassel and is involved in a couple of different performance projects. She is investigating somatic practices such Body-Mind-Centering and the Axis Syllabus as a point of departure for solo movement and Contact Improvisation in water and on land.

Dolores Dewhurst-Marks (UK)

Vega Luukkonen