Contact Improvisation

What is contact improvisation?

Contact Improvisation is an expression of dance guided by different points of physical contact between one or more moving bodies. It’s an opportunity to explore interactive movement, broaden range of motion, and build trust between two moving bodies. Through this, a sensational dance free of form is created.

Contact improvisation (CI) expands the fundamentals of movement such as;

  • rolling & sliding
  • momentum & direction
  • weight & resistance

Through contact dance, dancers can develop a deeper connection to their moving body and broaden their range of motion. The practice is in the art touch, play, connection, and presence.

Marissa’s contact journey began in southern India.

She attended contact dance intensives based in Arambol, Goa. There, She learned under a handful of modern day contact teachers from around the world such as;

  • Vega Luukkonen  
  • Hugh Stanier
  • Guru Suraj
  • Malcom Manning and many more.

Marissa continued her dance studies within India at the Jungle Dance Theatre.

She trained under Daniel Alnuma, An Israeli modern Sufi dancer and choreographer. Marissa, along side many other international dancers, performed Daniel Alnumas piece, “Games of Transformation”: a theatrical dance inspired by touch.

A photograph of the performance in action, with Marissa being lifted at the top.

After India, Marissa began facilitating contact dance workshops in Koh Phangan, Thailand.  She lived on the small Thai island for months, expanding her teaching and practice. 

Marissa eventually brought contact improvisation to Las Vegas, introducing the art to the sub-cultures and communities within her home city.  She began hosting Vegas Contact Live” bi-weekly contact dance workshops complimented with live music. 

She now resides in Nevada City, a dance hub in California where she continues to offer contact dance playshops at festivals, studios, and community events.