queering CI?

29th July-4 August 2024

first week of Studio 24

Contact Improvisation – Politics – Somactivism

Three curated weeks of dance, study, jams, labs

Contact Improvisation: a dance form inviting masses to mix and mingle, to roll on the ground and meet mid-air. A form with weird gender politics: inspired by Magnesium, a rather homoerotic piece from 1972, CI has proceeded into becoming one of the first dance practices where the binary roles of men-lifting-women were suspended, in favor of a more gender-fucked way of sharing weight between creatures-partners. In the 1980s, the main jamming space in San Francisco was also a BDSM dungeon, and crowds mixed, importing into CI the vocabulary and care for consent & gender dissidence. Quite a few queercestors have deeply informed its history: from Keith Hennessy to Ishmael Houston-Jones to mayfield brooks, a more-or-less subterranean stream points to a long history of gender and sexual dissidence among the ranks of Contacters.

This gathering seeks to celebrate and claim that legacy. The format is a long jam: from dawn to late night, two studios, a dance deck outside, a luscious forest and river, 25 to 50 people and some dedicated dancing. Workshops in the mornings, laboratories in the afternoon, jams all day every day. Sprinkled over that, everyday will have offerings by facilitators: here a Moving Library reading queer theory, here a collective conversation on CI & sexuality, there a consent lab, and there a weird somatic dive. And next to that you do what you need: long afternoons at the river, gardening, sauna, reading, writing, making your own offerings, doing-nothing.

Creating a safeR space for ourselves

This CREATURES jam, much like anywhere in the world, cannot promise to be a safe space. Even as CREATURES facilitators will make our best to create a safeR space, we still will be a microcosm within the macrocosm and a multitude of oppressions will still be at play here internally, interpersonally, and systematically. We can only invite ourselves to commit to working on our internalized transphobia, pan/biphobia, racism, ableism, ageism, misogyny… and we expect you to be as well.

CREATURES intends to be a brave space, where we are encouraged to be bold, make mistakes and take responsibility for correcting harms and making amends. Or as anarcha-feminist poet Beth Strano phrased it:

There is no such thing as a “safe space” —

We exist in the real world.

We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.

This space

seeks to turn down the volume of the world outside,

and amplify voices that have to fight to be heard elsewhere.

This space will not be perfect.

It will not always be what we wish it to be.


It will be our space together,

and we will work on it side by side.

CREATURES is a self-organized gathering, therefore if folks face difficulty, we would like it to be taken care of collectively. For that purpose, we will create an awareness and support team, involving whomever wants to participate in this attention to the collective care.


38Facilitators and guests

Defne Erdur (she/her)

Defne Erdur is trained in Contemporary Dance (PhD), Sociology (BA,MA), Intermodal Expressive Arts Therapy and Creativity, Meditation (World Peace Initiative), and Trauma Healing (Somatic Experiencing, Integral Somatic Psychology, Full Embodiment, TRE, Deep Tissue Release and Trigger Point Massage Therapy). /*/ She has been actively practicing and researching towards a deeper understanding of the body as a bio-psycho-social whole. Invested in building safe, inclusive, and collaborative creative environments she offers workshops (Hunting Gathering Cultivating, Every Body Knows, Consent Improvisation) and holds residencies (MA-Pregnant Nothingness, Moving Library, Into the Light) around the world. In the last years, she prioritized founding and coordinating humanitarian task forces for trauma prevention and healing (SE Turkey Covid-19 Support for Health Practitioners, SE Ukraine Task Force, World Human Relief-SE Turkey Earthquake Solidarity). /*/ Today she is recovering from burnout, reconnecting to her own resources and building her home. She moves for sharing trauma informed movement practices and resting practices. She believes in joy.

Offerings: Consent Improvisation laboratory + Kitchen Table Conversation on CI & intimacy

Emma Bigé (she/her)

Emma Bigé studies, writes, and translates between the fields of dance, trans*feminism and environmental studies. /*/ She recently published her first monograph, Mouvementements. Écopolitiques de la danse (La Découverte, 2023), and has spent the last years translating and transmitting the works of queer theorists and writers (Sara Ahmed, Jack Halberstam, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Eva Hayward). She is currently preparing a book on trans ecologies with art historian Clovis Maillet. /*/ She curated two dance-exhibitions for museums (Gestures of Contact Improvisation and Steve Paxton: Drafting Interior Techniques) and co-founded L’oeil et la main, a collective aimed at promoting dance, somatic and academic practices around Contact Improvisation. /*/ A lover of queer archives, she recently contributed to the launch of the W-Archive Contact Improvisation, a website collecting and celebrating the activist trends within CI hirstories. /*/ She really loves to roll on the ground.

Offerings: dancing-while-listening-to-queer-theorists + a short queerstory of Contact Improvisation

Marcela Santander Corvalán (she/her)

Born in Chile, Marcela Santander Corvalán trained in Milan and then at the CNDC Angers. She also graduated in history and dance from the University of Paris 8. Since 2011 she has been working alongside choreographers Dominique Brun, Faustin Linyekula, Julie Nioche, Ana Rita Teodoro and Volmir Cordeiro.Her collaboration with choreographer Mickaël Phelippeau included the artistic direction of À DOMICILE, in Guissény, Brittany. Since 2014 she has put her name to Époque with Volmir Cordeiro (2015), her first solo Disparue (2016), MASH with Annamaria Ajmone (2017), and Quietos (2019). In 2020 she co-authored the performed conference CONCHA – Histoires d’écoute on the theme of listening, with Hortense Belhôte. Marcela Santander Corvalán was associate artist at the Quartz theatre in Brest from 2014 to 2017 and is currently at La Manufacture, CDCN Nouvelle-Aquitaine Bordeaux La Rochelle.


Offerings: two morning classes (day 4 and day 5)

Registration process: Overwhelming queer majority

While it is true that there is a queer history of Contact Improvisation, there is also a history of erasure and oppression within CI spaces, from sexism to queer and transphobia, to racism, ableism and classism. This event will not be based on the principle of chosen mixity (for example: nobody will be checking who y’all are sexing with), but in the registration process, we want to give priority to people facing different forms of oppression that often intersect with queerness.

This is why without excluding registration from any walk of life, people of color, people with disabilities and trans* & non-binary people are given priority in the registration process. We understand that these intersect with queer and with each other, as well as with myriad other names one may have for oneself; we chose to give priority to these, hoping it will inspire similar and/or different foci in the coming iterations of the event.

March 20 st to April 20th: registration for BIPOC, people with disabilities and trans* and non-binary folks.

///Priority Registration are OPEN-Les inscriptions prioritaires sont OUVERTEs\\
CREATURES priority registration: people of color and/or people with disabilities and/or trans* & non-binary people are given priority in the registration process from March 20th to April 20th / after that day registration are open to every body.
1) Fill up the form-remplissez le formulaire:
Practical info:
We can welcome about 40 participants. Accommodation will be available in shared rooms/dormitories as well as the camping space (or your own truck).
The price of the event includes studio space, evening classes, lodging and all the food necessary for the preparation of the meals. We will prepare the meals as a group and we will collectively take care of the life and the spaces (cleaning etc..).
Arrival on monday (late afternoon shuttle to train station)
Departure sunday (morning shuttle to train station)
Price: General price is 48.3€- 55€ a day = 290€-330€ for the week, including food, housing and access to studios and all activities (see budget below).
DOBST‧NOTAFLOF (Doing Our Best So That No One’s Turned Away For Lack of Funds): You may ask for gratuity or a reduced price (no justification needed) upon registration. If the functioning cost of the event is paid for, Larret will give away free and reduced-price spots. If you need financial help to get to Larret, please let us know.
LOMTSOFLOF (Leaving Our Money To SomeOne Lacking of Funds): You may give more money so as to help others to get reduced pricing.
23 Impasse du Chalard, Larret – Saint Saud Lacoussière 24470

Since June 2020 Larret is a place of collective life, creation and hosting where projects around dance, farming, cooking, building, thinking are developed in their ecological dimension. An eco-somatic place for those who live there and those who come, dancers, researchers, philosophers, craftsmen, the curious…

Accessibility and life on the land

The studios and collective space are 25 minutes by car from the nearest train station (a shuttle will be in place). The studios, collective dining areas, showers and dry toilets are not wheelchair accessible, and the circulation paths are a mix of dirt and pebbles. There are stairs to access the three-people bedrooms and the 10-people dormitory, but not the studios. From the studios, the river is a 15 minutes walk through the forest, with sometimes steep paths.

Larret-en-Mouvement is a collectively run space on a land that is privately owned by two self-identified cis straight white men. The land is stewarded by a (majority-white, majority-queer) collective and involves dancing, gardening, building, cooking food, and engaging in group-decision training.

Surrounding the studios is a forest, a small part of which is privately owned (not by us), and the most part of which is stewarded by the Parc naturel régional du Périgord Vert. Downhill, the river Dronne runs amid volcanic rocks and regional trees. Its stream and banks are public spaces, although there’s a large part that is seldom visited by locals or tourists. Nudity has been known to happen at the river, please check with your neighbors if that’s okay with them (coz consent is beautiful)!

[Transparency on budget spending]

  • 2900€ renting of studios & land (* the land that is hosting us was purchased in 2020 and is still under construction, and loans are still being reimbursed to banks; part of the daily price goes to this, as well as to the functioning costs for electricity, water, gas (=450€)…) 
  • 2100€ food (* including cook salaries)
  • 1500€ logistics (* including salaries for Larret’s logistical team, emailing, etc.)
  • 1400€ facilitation (* including salaries + transport + food for (4) facilitators)

= 7800€

This amounts to 314€/person (if 25 people register).

Brought down to a ratio per person per day, this means: approx. on average 53€/per/day, of which

20€ go to renting spaces (38%)
14€ go to food (27%)
9,5€ go to logistics (18%)
10€ go to facilitators (17%)

Any extra money will go to reduce the pricing or helping for transportation for those needing it.