Anya Cloud

Anya Cloud

Originally from rural Alaska, Anya is based in California, US. She dances, make dances, and teaches dance in multiple contexts. Collaboration and activism are central to her artistic practice. Anya believes in dancing with the bodies that we have in order to cultivate radical aliveness. In addition to choreographing and performing, she teaches/facilitates contact improvisation, improvisation, and contemporary dance internationally at festivals and institutions most recently in Guatemala, Mexico, Germany, Sweden, Ukraine, Israel, and across the US. Important teachers/collaborators include Nancy Stark Smith, Sara Shelton Mann, Ishmael Houston Jones, Karen Nelson, Kirstie Simson, Karen Schaffman, Eric Geiger, and Kristianne Salcines among others. Anya teaches in Dance Studies at California State University San Marcos, is in the third year of the Feldenkrais Method® Training program, and regularly produces and organizes performances and workshops for dance artists. Anya holds an MFA in Dance Theatre. www.anyacloud.comDancing with the Politics of Being and Unintentional Magic.

Dancing with the Politics of Being and Unintentional Magic

This intensive will foster a space and skills for high-stakes, accountable, and responsive contact dancing. I propose that we dance with the bodies that we have, as the people we are, and tune our capacities toward unintentional magic. I organize from a highly technical and strongly political research-oriented approach to training contact improvisation through an open system contact body. We will practice practical anatomical, physical, and perceptual skills to open up avenues of awareness. As we increase options/sensitivity for internal connectivity, sustainably supporting/dispersing weight, finding disequilibrium, transferring force, and negotiating gravity we will also cultivate skills that support an unrelenting willingness to stay in. We will take this work INTO SPACE as an active partner. Generosity, endurance, subtlety, transgression, composition, and responsive articulation will help frame our practices. We will work with solo body, with partners in small constellations, and as a whole group. We will practice setting boundaries and be real about power/consent. Let’s say yes to difference within shifting proximities. Strategies will emerge through our practice. How can our dancing tenderize our states of being while our states of being tenderize our dancing? I believe that we are the politics of our dancing. My approach to teaching CI is increasingly informed by my study of the Feldenkrais® Method and the writing of Bell Hooks. Right now my CI research includes working with cycles of recuperation inside of exertion, gentleness, states that come out of other states, power sources, precarious edges, resilience, generosity, reversibility, duration, nuance, orientation/disorientation, and more and more and more. This intensive will be a lot of work with learning that can happen in many directions.

All of my work prioritizes agency and honesty as we practice radical independence and responsible citizenship through our dancing. Bring your questions, grit, politics, and brave dancing selves into this contact improvisation research.