Check Out Velocity's International SFDI 2015 Line-Up

The international Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (SFDI) is the leading convening of dance improvisers in the country, and a leading international festival. Bringing together renowned dance artists and teachers to perform, collaborate, and share their creative processes, SFDI is a jam-packed week of intensives, classes, jams, performances, and discussions focused on fostering the study and practice of dance improvisation. This year's all-star SFDI faculty includes legendary improvisers and Guggenheim fellows Ralph Lemon and Jennifer Monson, among other extraordinary talents.

Ralph Lemon is a world-renowned choreographer, conceptualist, director, writer, and installation artist. "A multimedia star of a new constellation" (Huffington Post), Lemon is renowned for intellectually rigorous and experimental performances addressing rich social, political and identity issues. "Pushing boundaries of one sort or another" (TimesUnion), his work uses frameworks that merge dance and visual art, text and film, theatricality and movement. Lemon's SFDI intensive work begins with a practical study of the body as cultural language, as place, as memory, as a virtual and digital image, and as architecture.

Jennifer Monson and her award-winning projects have radically reframed the role dance plays in our cultural understanding of nature and wilderness. In her SFDI site-specific intensive, Dancing the Systems and Scores of Local Urban Ecologies, Monson explores how we use dance as a research tool to understand the patterns and systems of the environments we inhabit. Bringing her unique methodology, Monson investigates the rapidly changing urban ecology of Capitol Hill.

In 2014, Maximum Velocity, Velocity's summer festival including Strictly Seattle and SFDI, drew a record of 773 students from 5 continents.

In 2015, SFDI, now celebrating its 22nd year, will also be the world's first climate-neutral dance festival, committed to offsetting all of its greenhouse gas emissions through Bonneville Environmental Foundation's greenhouse gas offsets. This effort is largely inspired by SFDI faculty alum and Kidd Pivot dancer Eric Beauchesne's incredible SFDI 2014 Lightning Talk "Beyond the Ephemerality of Dance" on Kidd Pivot's carbon-neutral tour.

SFDI 2015 takes place July 26 through August 3 with performances, intensives, classes, and free events with some of the world's leading dance innovators including- Ralph Lemon, Jennifer Monson, Joy Davis, Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood, Jimena Paz, and Ronja Ver-and Dance Innovators in Performance, one packed evening of performances by international SFDI faculty who have been performing everywhere but in the mainstream.

INTENSIVES // Ralph Lemon / Andrew de Lotbinère Harwood / Jennifer Monson / Joy Davis / Jimena Paz / Ronja Ver

CLASSES + PERFORMANCES // Onye Ozuzu / Karen Nelson / Cathy Madden / Scott Davis / John Dixon / Katherine Cook / Nóra Hajós / Ralph Lemon/ Jennifer Monson / Joy Davis / Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood / Jimena Paz / Ronja Ver / Dani Tirrell / Sarah Gamblin / Michal Lahav / Jessica Jobaris/ Matt Drews / Corrie Befort


Velocity Lobby 1621 12th Ave
FREE + open to all

Experience alternative ways of orienting our sense of place. This work builds concentration, resilience and adaptability, and understands the dancing body as a highly specialized perceptual apparatus. More info >>

WEDS JULY 29 / 6-8:30PM
Velocity Founders Theater 1621 12th Ave
FREE + open to all

In this popular evening of performance, presentations, and community dialogue, Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (SFDI) intensive faculty share what's currently driving their research and practice.

THURS JULY 30 / 1:30PM
Velocity Founders Theater 1621 12th Ave
FREE + open to all

A lecture demonstration and conversation facilitated by Karen Nelson with Andrew de Lotbinère Harwood, Ronja Ver, Scott Davis + Katherine Cook.

Broadway Performance Hall 1625 Broadway (Broadway + E Pine)
TICKETS $12 / $15 at the door (FREE WITH SFDI PASS)

A critical mass of exciting artists who have been dancing everywhere but in the mainstream. Featuring inter/national SFDI 2015 faculty.

FRI JULY 31 / 7:30-11PM
Century Ballroom 915 E Pine St

A long-form open improvisation structure for practicing and examining dance improvisation.

Public Participation + Observation
SAT AUG 1 / 9-11AM
Velocit Lobby 1621 12th Ave
FREE + open to all

Experience Jennifer Monson's process by participating in the last day of this site-specific intensive. Monson brings her award-winning methodology to investigate the rapidly changing urban ecology of Capitol Hill.

Open movement jams welcome to all.
Velocity Founders Theater 1621 12th Ave or Century Ballroom 915 E Pine St
$5 at the door / FREE for SFDI Participants
Learn more about each Jam on the SFDI 2015 Jams page >>


RALPH LEMON (US) is a choreographer, conceptualist, director, writer, and installation artist who is artistic director of Cross Performance, Inc. He develops intellectually rigorous and experimental performances that are as socially and politically resonant as they are personal, including the multimedia collaboration How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere? (2010); a commission for the Lyon Opera Ballet, Rescuing the Princess (2009); and the epic cycle, The Geography Trilogy (1997-2004). His honors include the Alpert Award in the Arts (1999), a Creative Capital Award (2000), the USA Fellowship (2006), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009), and the American Choreographers Award. In 2009, he was an IDA fellow at Stanford University. For the fall 2011 semester he was a Visiting Critic with the Yale University School of Art, Sculpture Department.

JENNIFER MONSON (US) (Artistic director, choreographer and performer, iLAND-interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature and Dance) uses choreographic practice as a means to discover connections between environmental, philosophical and aesthetic approaches to knowledge and understandings of our surroundings. As Artistic Director of iLAND she creates large-scale dance projects informed and inspired by phenomena of the natural and the built environment. Her recent projects include BIRD BRAIN (2000-2011) iMAP/Ridgewood Reservoir (2007), NYC and Mahomet Aquifer Project (2009)in Illinois, SIP(sustained immersive process)/watershed(2010) in NYC and Live Dancing Archive(2012). Her current project, in tow, is based in Urbana. Monson is on the faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign in the Dance Department and is currently a Marsh Professor at Large at the University of Vermont. She is an inaugural Doris Duke Impact Artist (2014).

JIMENA PAZ (US/EU/AR) is an independent dancer, teacher and maker sharing her time between New York, Europe and Argentina. As a certified Feldenkrais Practitioner she has a private practice in NY and teaches internationally. Paz had the pleasure to work with Vicky Shick, Lance Gries, Susan Rethorst, the Stephen Petronio Company ('99-'06), Martha Clarke, Constanza Macras (Berlin), Iris Scaccheri (Buenos Aires), Burt Barr (video) Analia Segal, Virginie Yassef (France), Antonio Ramos and Todd Williams among others. Currently, she is developing a project on foreignness and a fictional and portable-landless Argentina.

ANDREW DE LOTBINIÈRE HARWOOD (CANADA) is a leading international teacher, performer and creator, deeply influential in the development of contact improvisation and instantaneous composition since 1976. Andrew studied extensively and performed with Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith, and Nita Little. He also has a background in gymnastics, the Alexander Technique, Aikido, Release Technique, contemporary dance and yoga. Andrew danced for the companies of Marie Chouinard, Fulcrum, Jo Lechay, and Jean-Pierre Perreault. He has presented at international festivals extensively since 1980; and collaborated in performance with Chris Aiken, Kirstie Simson, Ray Chung, Lisa Nelson, Benno Voorham, Peter Bingham, Marc Boivin, Benoît Lachambre, among many others. He is the recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts' Jacqueline-Lemieux Award for the year 2000.

JOY DAVIS (US) is a dance maker, performer, and teacher. She is one of four certified Countertechnique teachers in the US. Developed by Anouk van Dijk, Artistic Director of Chunky Move, Countertechnique is a dynamic movement system that offers a clear framework of tools in which dancers explore ways to continuously direct and counter-direct the weight of the body through space. Joy teaches her celebrated classes and workshops all over the US. Originally from Nashville, she has spent the last 15 years between Knoxville, Chicago, Amsterdam, and New England creating, performing, and studying contemporary dance and improvisation; including working with Chris Aiken and Angie Hauser, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Erica Mott, Shaina Cantino, and Delfos Danza.

RONJA VER (US/FI) is a dancer and dance maker, a teacher, a mother, an activist, and a lifetime student of performance as meaning-making. Her choreographic work addresses current issues through movement and sound, technical but unpolished, often working with extreme physical states to invite her audience into a sensory nonverbal place of knowing. She has worked in Europe and in the United States, most recently with Nancy Stark Smith and Mike Vargas in New York City and San Francisco, Risa Jaroslow and Scott Wells in the SF Bay Area. She was a soloist at the National Theater of Findland and in Riitta Vainio Dance Company, and dances on Steve Paxton's dvdMaterial for the Spine. Ver is co-organized of the West Coast Contact Improvisation Jam and co-founder of the Finnish CI festival Skiing On Skin. She holds an MFA in Dance from Hollins University/ADF.

See the full line up here:

Related Articles View More Dance Stories

More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Never Miss a Story
Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram instagram