contact festival kuala lumpur

August 22-28, 2023

Teachers and Workshop Descriptions
Hamzah Mas

Hamzah Mas is an avid movement practitioner, facilitator and performer interested in the profound experience of the human body in conversation within and with others. His pursuit of freeform movement and dance began through his encounters with ecstatic dance and “movement culture” inspired by the Ido Portal method, eventually finding a deep love for the practice of Contact Improvisation, drawn in by the artform’s deeply connected and curious approach to movement.

He is currently involved in the Emerging Artist Programme “Activate” at Newcastle-based Catapult Dance Choreographic Hub, with experience performing as a physical theatre and movement practitioner in a diverse range of shows from cabaret to contemporary dance. Beyond his movement pursuits, Hamzah enjoys deep dives into his music practice as well as his ongoing passion for holistic living as a healthcare professional, physical trainer and yoga teacher.

Somatics of Touch and Pressure

“If you touch one thing with deep awareness, you touch everything” - Thich Nhat Hanh

Touch is our vehicle of communication between us and our partner in dance. There is a richness in the presence and grounding that touch brings when approached with deep awareness. In this class, we explore the profoundness of touch and pressure through exercises that calls upon us to listen to the elasticity and integrity of the skin as well as the layers of tissue and muscle beneath which informs the dance between ourselves and others. We will conclude in a score to integrate these learnings.

Mimi Lo

Mimi Lo @ MimiLOPADF (Mimi Lo Performing Arts Development Foundation) teaches contact improvisation at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She is a graduate of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts modern dance program, majoring in choreography and dance diirecting. Mimi followed Nancy Stark Smith in 2016 and 2018 to practice CI at EarthDance in the US and undertook the Long Dance Research project at The Dragon's Egg Studio, also in the US. She completed her DanceAbility® Teacher Training in Helsinki, Finland and her ContaKids Teacher training in Arezzo, Italy. Her current focuses are on contact improvisation and somatic dance and movement.

Create with resistance!

The power of resistance is real and has another sense of security; and often in the communication of sharing body weight, it is really necessary to have a clear counter-force, so that various ever-changing movements will appear. Those unpredictable actions cannot happen under pure following. Resistance can be fun!

Sometimes, the habit of the body allows us to respond directly without thinking, but walking between resist and follow, we are actually making different choices. Of course, resistance will feel like it takes a little more effort; so how not to force yourself, but also to grasp the fun of resistance, is the topic. Create with resistance!

Yu Yen-Fang

Yu Yen-Fang is a choreographer, performer, improviser, and dance instructor from Taiwan. Since 2001, she has choreographed, collaborated and performed with companies and individual performing artists in Asia, the U.S. and Europe. In 2013, she initiated Project Muo-Muo with a collective of young, emerging artists from multi-disciplinary backgrounds to develop an artistic voice that is poetic, specific, and accessible. In recent years, Yen-Fang has returned to focus on her development as an individual artist. Since then, she has been involved in international creative projects in Europe and the U.S. Yen-Fang teaches improvisation, contact improvisation and choreography to professionals and non- professionals, including Muo-Muo workshops for people of all levels and all ages since 2018 and at Taipei National University of the Arts and Taipei City University for dance majors and MFA students. She has also been hosting the Global Underscore Practice in Taipei every year since 2018.

Telescopic Awareness and Streaming: Rethinking Solo and Duet Dancing

In this workshop, participants will be introduced to research tools developed during Yen-Fang’s recent solo study, with inspiration from Nancy Stark Smith’s Underscore practice. Applying zooming perceptions to solo dance improvisation, our dance shifts and becomes affluent in time and space, our imagination takes space, and a sense of story emerges, allowing our streams of consciousness to take us traveling. This streaming of awareness will then be taken into duets, where we'll be practicing shared stories without losing our own streaming awareness.