Joerg Hassmann – dancer

(*1970, based in Berlin)

My profession and passion is to dance and to share the dance with others. That's what I do through teaching, performing, writing and organizing.

Contact Improvisation was the starting point for my dance passion in '92. Soon I was driven by creating dance and theatre pieces, bringing improvisation on stage. Anatomy based movement explorations, contemporary dance, ideas from BMC, Capoeira, play and the joy of discovery became my main influences. I got deep inspirations from Lilo Stahl, Julyen Hamilton, David Zambrano and Frey Faust. Even more I have learned by the beautiful people I have been co-teaching with like Mirva Mäkinen, Christine Mauch and Daniel Werner. My main teacher will probably always stay the practice of the dance, the teaching itself and labbing with who ever is around and I hope to stay fortunate enough to continue teaching all over the world.

I started teaching in 1995, first movement technique & improvisation, later also theatre improvisation until I found my main passion in teaching CI. 2007 I began together with Daniel our CI training intensive programmes in Berlin, where we developed our systematic approach to contact technique.

Performing was a strong part of my practice until 2007 with more than 300 performances altogether and I once even won a first price with CI based duett in 2006 with Jenny Haack in Kalisz/ Poland. I am still intrigued by the question how it is possible to reach and hopefully touch people with my dance even when they only watch me dance. This question makes me randomly perform improvised bits and partly evening long pieces connected to CI festivals or workshops.

As the artistic director I am involved in organizing the annual Contact Festival “contact-meets-contemporary” in Goettingen/ Germany (www.contact-meets-contemporary.de). I am fascinated to find out what is needed for such a complex group of teachers, musicians and participants to gain a common momentum for exchanging, performing and exploring the dance together with enough space for individual needs and curiosities. With this intention I also support the annual Contact Festival in Madrid as a mentor (and also teacher) www.estudio3.org.

The practice of writing appeared 2004 when someone gave me an old laptop as a gift, while I was dancing and teaching in Boulder/USA. Writing became a tool for myself to clarify what I do and what my deeper motivations are in all parts of my profession. I clearly benefit from the analytic thinking that I got from six years at University, where I confronted myself with the two very different world views of Biology and Theology.

Writing turns out to be another tool to share my dance with others, especially my students and colleges. I experience dance as rather resilient to be squeezed into words. In my writing I combine my analytic needs with a partly poetic language - because the essence of the dance is beyond words.

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