Catalin Diaconu – Movement was fascinating for me since I can remember myself. Besides following the rhythm of music, as a child, I was trying to imitate dangerous stunts from movies, dreaming of becoming a stuntman. Later I practiced Kung Fu but stopped because it felt too violent for me. In my early youth I was called to a more fluid and inward-oriented practice. I practiced Tai Chi for many years and even today, in my dancing, I am using movement and breathing principles I have learned back then. In 2015 I discovered Contact Improvisation, which has been my main movement and dance practice. I instantly fell in love with it, and the more I danced, the more interested I became. Being a computer engineer and a musician at that time made me both curious about its technical, biomechanical aspects but also about the compositional and poetical tensions that it was pointing to. I delved deeper and deeper into researching, refining and understanding its principles and its initial artistic ideas. Beside Bucharest weekly classes for 7 years now I attended workshops and festivals with teachers that gave me great insights and inspiration: Virginia Negru, Sveta Pashko, Cyrus Khambatta, Sergey Golovnea and Alexandra Soshnicova, Steve Batts, Scott Wells, Malcolm Manning, Anjelika Doniy, Sebastian Flegiel, Sasha Dodo (CI), Kira Kirsch and Antoine Ragot (Axis Syllabus).

All this involvement led me towards teaching. At the moment I enjoy searching for ways to assist people in their process of understanding CI principles, and feel excited to bring my findings to the more experienced dancers. I am genuinely interested in every dance I have, setting my mind to function both as a scientist’s mind – being curious, never reaching a final conclusion, always trying to keep the experience alive – as well as having the joy and exuberance of a child. I see every CI dance as an opportunity of sharing experience and communication between dancers.

Contact Improvisation Festival - Classes

Don’t jump to conclusions. Dance!

I’m interested in ways of refining attention, of becoming more precise in reading nuances, and focused on what is actually happening moment by moment, in the dance; trying to lose the plans and the “known” pathways while we dance, in order spark creativity and invite our minds to function more as a curious researcher. So I invite you to join me in exploring ways to refine the “resolution” and level of details that we perceive in movement, and in stillness.

Starting from the small dance we’ll observe the tiniest reflexes of the body to maintain it’s vertical position. Then, by allowing and agreeing to these reflexes, we will witness our body starting to almost move by itself, without too much ambition and fixed expectations. We will turn this into an exploration on how to generate movement and how we can balance between doing and allowing.

Sometimes it is useful to train inside a fixed form, let’s say a lift, or a body-surf exercise, only to keep the mind relaxed, because it “knows” what is happening, giving it at the same time, the opportunity to become curious about trying other possibilities and depths. The downside of this learning “strategy” is that it can drag us into creating parasitic habits and later lead us to boredom and/or anticipating the next movement without paying much attention. So after training in this way we may need to leave patterns aside, and let the principle behind them to guide us. For this we need our full attention awake and in the present moment as much as possible, and not forget that it’s about listening and focusing on the dance.

So let’s try different patterns, dance and discover together where this journey will take us!

Italy Contact Fest