Julija Melnik (Vilnius-Alsace-Berlin) – Master of Science in Education with 14 years experience in dance pedagogy (from hip-hop dance to argentine tango, from improvisation to sacred dervish dances), teacher of Samara Yoga, instructor of Choreographic Samadeva and Gurdfjieff Movements and Dances, constellator by method of Idris Lahore. Since 2006 she has been developing and teaching contact improvisation (CI) in Baltic and in many other countries, including teaching at various CI festivals and other related conferences or events.
She also explores other forms of improvisation and performance, and her search for movement is also informed by practices of meditation, bodywork, dance therapy and other psycho-corporal techniques such as the Feldenkrais method, Lou Yong Tao Te Qi.
Julija studied contact improvisation with CI pioneers – Steve Paxton and Nancy Stark Smith, as well as Nina Martin, Andrew Harwood, Angela Donii, Joerg Hassman, Charlie Morrissey, Adrian Russi and many others. Improvisation and performances she also studied with Julyen Hamilton, Daniel Lepkoff, Nita Little, Alexander Girshon, Keith Hennessy, David Zombrano and others.
Her teaching at CI includes projects with various educational and artistic institutions in Lithuania and abroad, as well as the Lithuanian Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired.
My dance score ,,I See You”
Structure. Decision. Tuning in. Dance
“Dancing is not just getting up painlessly, like a leaf blown on the wind; dancing is when you tear your heart out and rise out of your body to hang suspended between the worlds.” – Rumi
We all have our own space and live in our personal reality through which we are meeting the others. But sometimes… we can meet in another space, where I know: “I see you”…
Knowing that CI emerged as a performative dance-movement practice, we will have space to experience CI with a performative approach. This class is a proposition to experience some scores and tools for solo, duet and group improvisation. I will be glad to share some inspirations and my “favorites” from N. S. Smith, J. Hamilton, D. Lepkoff and other improvisers.
What is the role of structure and decision
in contact improvisation and performance?
What are the prerequisites for a harmonious functioning
of a contact dance duet system?
What is the source of my movement?
These and many more questions can be interesting to ask, because the answer exists and we can experience it.
,,In the duet form, when you attune together, not with any ambition to get the dance started but really taking a moment to just connect <…> there could be a dance of such feathery lightness and such absolute security, absolutely beautiful.” – S.Paxton
Lina Pavalkytė (Vilnius)
Argentinean tango teacher, dancer and physiotherapist
My first meeting with CI happened many years ago in a workshop for contemporary dancers. I don‘t remember the name of the teacher (such a pity!) neither the date when it happened, but I can still remember the impression I got. It was fascinating! I was exited about the freedom and connection I felt and the enormous possibilities of movement I never even dreamed about. It was a new exciting world opening in front of me. It still is.
Class – Grounded and connected
What does it mean to be „grounded“? How the feeling of support from the ground changes the quality of
the movement? How can it gives more freedom to move together with partner?
Julia Vallet (Alsace, France)
I am a woman, in a woman body. Looking for truth hidden in all of us, to discover the worlds. I love words as much as mistrust them -player-dancer-secret singer-connector. Dance, meditation, Qi gong, yoga, and other diverse energetic practices makes my daily life. I am also midwife, accompanying couples who want to see a new world birthing at home. So I am a witness of the mystery of breath. Maybe, that is what I am looking for in this sharing, this way out of time, where worlds converged : this new breath, new at each moment. I am a lover of life and my higher wish is to live alive, in link with others.
This workshop propose you to move through your different polarities.
Inhale-exhale, masculine-feminine, inside-
myself-the other, up-down, left-right,
Play with your duality world in the movement. Find your center by loosing it. Change your perspective, and come back in your world with different eyes. Experience the other as another side of the same coin.
Gabrielius Mackevičius (Vilnius)
The main preparation for CI to me was a decade of Aikido practice at the dojo of great master who paid a lot of attention to inner work which I value a lot.
I’d like to merge some Aikido principles into CI practices. Hopefully we will not fight or wrestle, but will search for the ways to connect and calibrate with each other. We will observe what’s happening around us and how smoothly dive into that jumble to have a unique journey.
When you have trained and when you
have the unseen things
Look not for “Secret Teachings”
For all is there, before you eyes.”
– poem of Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido