Photo by Tim Richards


Think Gravity — Dance Tank: Celebrating and Reckoning with Contact Improvisation and Performance (Think Gravity) is co-curated with Anya Cloud, Assistant Professor of Dance at University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) and my artistic collaborator since 2012. Think Gravity celebrates more than 50+ years of an evolving dance form called Contact Improvisation (CI), specifically in the United States. Considering the gravity of these unprecedented times, this project is poised to address our global crisis by bringing critical and creative dialogue about dance history, practice and futurism. Think Gravity is a collaboration and community conversation. The project is organized as an ecology of people, who reflect and imagine through their identities and share their performance strategies.


University of Colorado Boulder: Symposium March 19-26, 2022

These invited artists shared screenings, discussions, performance and workshops:

  • Darrell Jones (he/him). Darrell performed CLUTCH. With Elle Hong as DJ, taught: “Sissy Vop” and “I get lost…physical philosophical practice.”
  • Ishmael Houston-Jones (he/him). Ishmael screened “Fred Holland & Ishmael Houston-Jones, 1983. Contact at 2nd & 10th.” With jose e. abad, led: “TRY-ing” – Approaching queer and decolonial futurities through practices of opening to the unknown.
  • Karen Nelson (she/her). Karen offered: “CI interrogates: Participatory Jam Event Ritual and Sensation + Design: Tuning Scores and CI.” And with Eryn Blumenthal, they offered: “CI Democracy Lab: The body as laboratory for investigating dialogue, choice-making, roles, habits (social identity), and participation.”
  • Makisig Akin (they/them). Makisig performed Give me your heart. No, the real one. Give me your heart. No, the real one. heart. No, the real one. Makisig taught “Grief is a Part of the Dance.”
Rhyzomatic Curation

Lead Artists: Ishmael Houston-Jones, Darrel Jones, Makisig Akin, and Karen Nelson.

Collaborating Dance Artists: jose e. abad, Jun Akiyama, Elle Hong, Ryuta Iwashita, and Eryn Rosenthal.

Students from CSUSM & CU Boulder: Minnie Atkins, Daniel Grove, Ray Halmrast, Caiser Le Boss, Skyla Miles, Lesly Rodriguez, and Strina Ross.

Tim Richards – Photo Documentation

Tara Knight – Media and Documentary Director

Co-Curated and Directed by Anya Cloud + Karen Schaffman