a 3-week OPEN training
"open" = for dancers with experience in contact improvisation (intermediate level)

plus Mike Vargas and other guests

January 5 – 24, 2014

at Earthdance retreat center (and environs)
western Massachusetts, USA

Contact Improvisation
Solo Training • Changing States
Composition • Performance
Improvisation Scores • The Underscore

The January 2014 OPEN training
is a residential workshop specifically designed to develop our practice of contact improvisation and other related improvised dance work. The workshop will include physical training, improvisation and composition scores, listening practice, jamming, watching, discussion, feedback, labs, contemplative practice, and performance studies.

In solo, duet, trio, and group work; in and out of contact; in silence and with live music, we will move toward greater clarity and inspiration in our dancing and watching.

Please come prepared physically and psychologically for intensive practice (and a bit of fun!).

Monday–Friday, 10 am to 5:30/6 pm
There will be some early morning, evening, and weekend activities.
Workshop involvement is full-time–with the exception of some weekend time–so please don't expect to schedule other things during the workshop.
All participants must attend workshop for the full 3 weeks and live at Earthdance (no commuting). This means you must arrive and depart within the established times (below); there are no exceptions.

At Earthdance, a beautiful dance retreat center located in Plainfield, Massachusetts, 35 minutes west of Northampton, MA, in the Berkshire Mountains, with two dance barns and a wood-fired sauna. We will also practice at an Aikido dojo in Florence/Northampton.

Who is eligible?
The January 2014 OPEN workshop welcomes dancers who have intermediate-level experience in contact improvisation. Although levels in CI are difficult to assess, your CI practice should comfortably include: fluency with falling, rolling, weight taking and giving, being upside down, dancing with disorientation, following a point of contact, working with subtlety (and exertion), and improvising in physical contact. Other background in dance and improvisation a plus.

Language: The workshop will be conducted in English. Moderate fluency in the English language required. (Verbal exchange is an important part of the workshop.)

To Register:
Fill out the online application form (see below) outlining your background and skill level in contact improvisation, dance, and improvisation; if and where/when you've worked with Nancy; and your reasons for wanting to attend. Submit this form with your $160 deposit online or via postal mail. All applications must be approved by Nancy. 

Limited space. Apply early.

Early Registration Deadline: October 15, 2013
Generally by this date, the workshop has more applications than places, so please apply early.


$760–840 (sliding scale*) if application form & $160 deposit are received by October 15, 2013
Add $30 to above fees if application or deposit is received after October 15, 2013
*Sliding scale is a way for people to pay according
to their ability.
General Guidelines:
$760  student rate: economically challenged
students or unemployed
$800  regular rate: employed but
economically challenged
$840  economically comfortable: you feel
you can afford it (support the arts!)
(Remember to add $30 to above fees if application or deposit is received after October 15, 2013.)

$760 plus 3–4 hours/week of housework for 3 weeks shared room, food, and use of facilities at Earthdance.
Earthdance fee is an additional payment to the
Tuition payment; total cost includes both fees.
All participants must be residential; no commuting.

A limited amount of workstudy is available.  There are a few workstudy positions for $50-$105 for work done during the workshop.
We are sorry to say that we (Earthdance included) do not have any extra workstudy for work done before or after the workshop. 

Arrive Earthdance: Sunday, Jan. 5, 2–5 pm 
              Registration: 5 pm
                  (First evening includes dinner and an optional public jam.)
Depart Earthdance: Friday, Jan. 24, 3 pm 
                  (Do not plan to leave Earthdance before 3 pm.
                  The earliest your flight should leave BDL is 6 pm.)

Contact Earthdance if you wish to arrive early or depart later.


  • Directions to Earthdance: earthdance.net/visit/directions
  • Closest Airport: Bradley Airport (BDL) in Hartford, Connecticut (about 1.5 hrs from Earthdance)
  • Rides to Earthdance on Sunday, Jan. 5:
    • from Bradley airport: $80.
                Flight must arrive by 3 pm.
    • from Northampton: $35.
                You must be in Northampton by 4 pm.
    • from Amherst/Hadley: $40. (Megabus)
                You must be at bus stop by 4 pm.
    • If more than one person per ride, there is a discount.
    • Commercial cab rides to Earthdance: from BDL ($101), from Northampton ($57).
    • Contact Earthdance as soon as possible to arrange. Deadline: Dec. 15
  • During workshop: Travel to and from the in-town sites will be arranged through carpooling using participants' cars (sharing expenses: $15–$20 per person).

Please bring your car, if at all possible! Thank you!

Apply online soon and pay your $160 non-refundable deposit
Early registration deadline: October 15, 2013

Space is limited. Apply early. Applications must be approved before final confirmation will be sent. A packet with more detailed info will be sent on acceptance.

To Apply: click below

Online Application

Other Tuition Payment methods
if not using PayPal payment buttons below:

Mail your Payment:
Send check or bank money order in U.S. funds, drawn on a U.S. bank.
Checks payable to Contact Collaborations.
Mail to: NSS January Workshop
c/o Contact Collaborations
PO Box 603
Northampton, MA 01061
Bank Wire Transfer: contact Patrick: email

To Pay Deposit: click below
(Deposit is non-refundable if you are accepted. If your application is not accepted or if you do not get in from the wait list, your deposit will be refunded minus a $10-50 service fee, depending on extra time spent with your application.)

Pay Remaining Tuition Balance by December 1, 2013
If accepted (after approval by Nancy)
Please pay by eCheck if possible: PayPal eCheck instructions
(Or to send your payment by mail, see above.)

To Pay Earthdance Housing/Food/Facility Fee:
Pay when accepted (after approval by Nancy)
or at Earthdance registration, Jan. 5.
Please pay by eCheck if possible: PayPal eCheck instructions
If paying Jan. 5, come prepared with cash, US checks, or credit card. There are no banks close to Earthdance.

Online application

Contact: Patrick Crowley, workshop coordinator, 
email (617) 320-9792; or Nancy, email (413) 586-8243


Nancy and Peter Bingham, Vancouver, B.C., 2005
photo: Chris Randle


January Workshop 2004 at the dojo
photographer unknown


Nancy and Charlie Morrissey, Moscow, 2010
photo: Ilya Domanov


Nancy, Vancouver, B.C., 2005
photo: Chris Randle

A project of Contact Collaborations



hieroglyphs Nancy Stark Smith

hieroglyphs Nancy Stark Smith