Falling Matters

How does an authentic play with gravity look like? Does it exist? What is potential energy and where is it located? How much resistance, how much letting go? How about falling up and how small can a micro fall be? These and other questions around falling are subject of this workshop which invites to surrender, pretend, beat or meet gravity, sometimes a beast sometimes a magic wizard.

Falling matters because it can be feared or harnessed for making movement effortless. We will work on disarming the fear and cultivate falling as a primary impulse for movement development, partnered and solo improvisation and make falling the overall filter to perceive our anatomy and structure.

Expect lively contact between theory and practice, hands on work, experimenting, movement research and falling as dancing.


The Axis Syllabus can be considered an information resource pool filled with tools, tactics and knowledge for continuously improving movement education and training practices for dancers and everyone that desires to move. The AS claims to be a detailed systemic and a continuously redefining movement analysis that is based on on-going empirical, multi-scientific and pedagogical inquiry. Knowledge is gathered, organised and tested by a community of teachers and students from all walks of life. Safe falling reflexes, transitions, finding healthy range of motion, injury prevention or kinetic efficiency are some of the key objectives. An Axis Syllabus class aims to create a collaborative learning environment and effective space for personal research.

Kira Kirsch

Kira Kirsch is a movement artist, community organizer, mother and initiater/curator born in East-Berlin. After many years abroad she now works and lives with her family in Berlin as residents of Lake Studios - an artist run dance, production and performance place.
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She is deeply invested into creating and shaping spaces for people to experience,learn about and sensitize their mind-body-movement continuum. She has pioneered, taught and continuously researched through the lens of the Axis Syllabus (AS) for over a decade, is a co-organiser of the Nomadic College at Earthdance, leads teacher laboratories and has build a community for AS research in the Bay Area, California from 2006 - 201​3​
. In 2014 she started co-curating a new annual dance festival called “SENSING IN” and is establishing a regular educational program​ for the AS​
under the ​umbrella
of Movement Artisans together with Antoine Ragot at Lake Studios.

She currently has a lectureship at the HZT University of Arts in Berlin and is invited to festivals and institutions such as Impulstanz/Austria, Ravnedans/Norway, TQW-Vienna or the Goa Contact Festival among many other as well as private initiatives of the grass root type.

Current projects are a short dance film "The Earth will Come" with film maker Katelyn Stiles and musician/poet Barnaby Tree, research within ensemble improvisation, somatic communication and her garden.

dancing- playing - flowing

We will discover the different colours of contactimprovisation. We will explore the dancing while we are connected to our partner(s) and research the liberated forces. With playful exercises and games we will work with our instincts and reflexes. Based on that we will find our flow in the dance. Building up on the basics of CI like sharing weight, rolling, perception,... we will research and experiment into the depth of CI. We will also touch themes like permeability and stability, upside down from the technical aspect and also improvise creatively with it. Dancing, playing with divers dynamics, combatively, playful, soft, rough – through all this colours we will dive.
Dancing together, improvising and having fun together are also a goal of this afternoon.
This workshop is for beginners and advanced contacters.

Muriel Jeanne Mollet

Muriel Jeanne Mollet CH is teacher at the Höheren Fachschule for contemporary and urban performing arts Zürich. She is working as a free lanced dance teacher, performer, instructor of Kampfesspiele® and water therapist. After her graduation as a pedagogue for dance & gymnastic (SBTG-Diplom 1989) she studied „Elementarer Tanz“ at the University of Sports Köln. She continued studying different dance- and improvisation techniques and martial arts (Capoeira, Shinson Hapkido and Escrima). She was founder and director of SURIEL dance theater (1993-97). For a long time she was a member of the research-, improvisation- & performance-group „x-group“. Performances with the Capoeira Show group and dancing in different dance productions guided her as a dancer through Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Brasil. Since 18 years she is teaching Contactimprovisation for different groups (dance-companies, disabled & normal people, +60, kids & teens,..). She will transfer her passion for Contactimprovisation in her teaching.

Joyful dancing, games, experimenting with movement and physical forces, discovering the extremes and limits, rhythm, music and flow are the most important in her teaching and dancing.



Kinetic Potential and Full Presence

Contact improvisation can be seen as a postmodern technique in which the dance is continuously being inspired by the direct physical connection between two or more bodies. It is characterized through an array of dynamics and qualities and not limited by aesthetics or shape. It is particularly intriguing that the movements aren’t being sourced from our creativity but rather from the physical communication with the partner(s). That’s what prevents this dance from becoming predictable or formulaic, it remains fresh and is actually improvised. And that’s also what these classes are about: We’ll acknowledge the participants’ possibilities, and we’ll try to be fully present in each situation. In addition to that, we’ll work on not letting our imaginations, wishes and ideas get the best of us. The amazing part is that this process of raising our awareness and recognizing the kinetic potential of the bodies’ constellations already comprises the dance. It doesn’t have to be fabricated. And therefore it naturally is meaningful for us and yet surprising. At last, when we allow our dance to spatially express itself, our possibilities multiply evidently, and it’ll be incredibly interesting for us to find out which journey our dance will embark us on.

Ralf Jaroschinski

©2015 OsterImproFestival