• Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood

    Montreal, Canada

    Andrew is renowned as a leading light in the field of dance improvisation. He is an internationally recognized pioneer of contact improvisation (CI) and a master teacher/performer in both real-time composition and CI. For over forty-eight years he has dedicated himself to the research, development, education, collaboration and dissemination of these rigorous artistic practices as sophisticated movement disciplines and performing art forms. 

    He began his dance career quite unexpectedly at the age of 23 in 1975 and knew very early on that he had found his calling in life, which was to immerse himself in the practice of dance improvisation. He first studied and then performed with (among many others) Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith, Nita Little, Kurt Siddal and Daniel Lepkoff, the original developers of Contact Improvisation. He subsequently danced for the companies of Marie Chouinard, Jean-Pierre Perreault, Jo Lechay, Joint Forces and Fulcrum, as well as the improvisational dance collectives Discovery Bal, The Echo Case and The Improvisational Movement Fund. 

    Formerly founder and artistic director of AH HA Productions (2000–2014) his work has also evolved through an abundance of collaborative performances around the globe with many renowned artists such as Chris Aiken, Ray Chung, Peter Bingham, Kirstie Simson, Julyen Hamilton, Lisa Nelson, K.J. Holmes, Alito Alessi, Karen Nelson, Benno Voorham, Benoît Lachambre, Marc Boivin and Lin Snelling to name a few. His journey has continued to expand through the development of consciousness, ecological sensitivity and various investigations of perceptual awareness, as well as a keen interest in design and composition in everyday life and in all artistic endeavors. 

    Andrew has been a guest teacher with the world-renowned companies of Marie Chouinard, Le Cirque du Soleil, O’ Vertigo Danse, Les Sept Doigts de la Main and Dance Makers. He has also shared his enthusiasm and knowledge with thousands of students in Montreal at l’École de Danse Contemporaine de Montréal, Concordia University, l’Université du Québec à Montréal and The National Theater School of Canada. Still passionate about teaching, he transforms his training into a personal language, which he has shared throughout the world since 1977. Andrew was awarded the Canada Council of the Arts Jacqueline Lemieux Award in 2000.

  • Chris Aiken

    USA

    Chris is a dancer, performer, dancemaker, and teacher.  His work seeks to uncover the relations between dance, poetics, science, philosophy, ecology, and design.  He has been developing, for many years, an eco-poetic model of creativity and ethical behavior that seeks to connect the poetic imagination with ecological awareness and resonance.  Aiken is internationally recognized for his work in dance improvisation, performance, and pedagogy, as well as within the field of contact improvisation.  He tours throughout North America, Europe, and in Asia.

    Aiken’s career has been defined by several significant long-term collaborations.  His work with Angie Hauser has been commissioned and presented internationally as has his work with Andrew Harwood (Montreal), Ray Chung (San Francisco), Kirstie Simson (Wales), Joerg Hassman (Berlin), Patrick Scully (Minneapolis), Cathy Young (Minneapolis), and Oliver Besson (Boston).  In addition, he has engaged in collaborative projects with Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith, Mike Vargas, Ming-Shen Ku, Ka Rustler, and many others.

    Aiken has received numerous awards for his artistic work, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Bush Foundation, the Mass Cultural Council, and the McKnight Foundation.  He  has been commissioned by the National Performance Network, the Jerome Foundation, DanceLink, the Walker Art Center, Dance Theater Workshop, and has been presented by the Asian i-dance festivals in Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Dance Theater Workshop, the Bates Dance Festival, the Freiburg Contact Festival, the Florida Dance Festival, the Seattle Festival of Dance and Improvisation, Impulstanz festival in Vienna, Circuit Est, Studio 303 and Maison de Culture in Montreal and Open Look Festival in St. Petersburg Russia.

    Chris received his MFA from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and is the chair and professor of dance at Smith College.

  • Ray Chung

    USA / Sweden

    Ray is a teacher, artist, and engineer who has a passion for dancing that he likes to share with other people.

    His main focus is improvisation and he has worked with Contact Improvisation since 1979 as part of improvisational performance practice and integrates other movement forms into his work, including martial arts, bodywork and Authentic Movement.

    Ray has worked with the leading proponents of Contact Improvisation including Chris Aiken, Andrew Harwood, Nancy Stark Smith, Steve Paxton, Peter Bingham, Karen Nelson, Nita Little, and regularly collaborates with dancers, musicians, and other artists.

    Ray has also been certified as an instructor of shiatsu by the Shiatsu Education Center of America in 1982, and has studied with Wataru Ohashi, Ryuho Yamada, and Shizuto Masunaga.

    His work has been featured at numerous national and international festivals and venues, and he has performed in works directed by Anna Halprin, Judith Kajiwara, and George Coates Performance Works. Currently based in San Francisco & Sweden,

    Ray regularly teaches abroad.