MAZOPALOOZA IS A DANCE FESTIVAL which has been quietly thriving in the dead of winter in a tiny town in Southwest Wisconsin for over a decade. We’ve filled the streets, galleries, community spaces and storefronts of Mazomanie with spontaneous physical composition; enjoyed exquisite afternoons of focused movement; explored aerial, vocal, musical, silent, site-specific, physical, theatrical and contact-based improvisation, welcomed the curious via free classes and performances, and accrued rich memories of retreat and reconnection in a peaceful, beautiful rural setting. It is always a delight to witness new eyes opening to the lifelong practice and joyful play of improvisational movement, and to welcome back old friends for whom Mazopalooza has become a New Year’s tradition. Here are some photos from past ‘paloozas.
Mazomanie is a lovely small town in Southwestern Wisconsin’s Driftless region, about 25 mi. west of Madison. Cozy local accommodations and locally-sourced meals are also available for the weekend.
Our festival this year will feature 2 days of Contact Improvisation and Ensemble States workshops with SCOTT WELLS (San Francisco), shorter (1-2 hr) offerings by regional teachers and facilitated warm ups leading to open jamming. On Saturday evening, we’ll create and witness some improvised performance.
In 1981 Scott Wells discovered the pleasure of contact improvisation shortly after becoming obsessed with the struggles of modern dance. He stuck with both, received an MFA in dance from the University of Illinois (1991) and currently directs a company in San Francisco. Wells has created works for skateboarders, for boxers and choreographed West Side Story for Sonoma State University. In 2010 and 2005 Scott received the Izzie (San Francisco’s most prestigious dance award) for Outstanding Choreography and was selected by Dance Magazine as “one of the 25 To Watch”. Scott has toured to Europe for the last 20 years teaching and performing in festivals in Moscow, Barcelona, Budapest, Berlin, Vienna, Zagreb to name a few. Wells has been practicing Alexander Technique for twenty five years and BMC for fifteen.
Scott’s style of contact is athletic and emphasizes freedom of movement, flying, fluid acrobatics (easy to advanced), safety, precision, pleasure and technique. What students often like best in Scott’s classes is the variance between the meditative, listening, slow and sensual dancing and the fun, playful, very physical dancing. And students appreciate how the scary or advanced moves are safe, relaxed and made possible.
FROM ZERO TO FLYING Friday 11-1 and 2-6, Saturday 10-1
We’ll start with deeply satisfying contact where pleasure is the first teacher, learn some techniques and traject towards a space that supports freedom of flight and expression. Expression that takes us into interaction and ensemble improvisation. That is: we start at zero to redefine what is contact—to ourselves, others, reality, gravity. We start at zero to connect with our bodies, our interest and spontaneity. We’ll be doing my favorite contact exercises and current curiosities. Created or learned over the decades investigation and indulgence.
Pleasure → Technique; Somatics → Acrobatics
ENSEMBLE STATES JAM, Saturday 2-5:30
Sourcing–connecting with your body and spontaneity using authentic movement, the art of forgetting….
Ensemble states–tuning exercises, composition and non-composition
Performance Jam–open space with intention and group focus, but less tight than a formal performance.
Scores–the way in, Aesthetics–how we watch.
“Welcoming Body/ Circulating” with Sarah Gottlieb. (Friday 7:30-9 p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.)
Sarah Gottlieb, Chicago born and raised, is a CI lovechild of the GLACIER community currently prancing around the world. 2017 saw Sarah teaching in Spain, Chicago, Boulder, and Colombia. Just as she was getting used to teaching in Spanish, it appears that she will be teaching in France in 2018, so things are getting fun! Her movement pedagogy is informed by many years of training with CI master teachers, Laban Movement Analysis, (Sarah was certified by IMS in 2014) and mentorship with Nana Shineflug, author of “The Conscious Body.” Sarah values deeply integrated bodies, meta-cosmic imagery, and subverting the patriarchy. In ‘Welcoming Body’ we will lovingly warm up for several days of dancing, and in ‘Circulating’ we will enjoy the pleasure of dancing together before going our separate ways.
Here’s our preliminary schedule for the weekend:
|10:30-11||Arrival, registration||Rumpus Room|
|11-1:00||Opening circle, and “Zero to Flying” workshop with Scott Wells.||Rumpus Room|
|2:00-6:00||“Zero to Flying” workshop with Scott Wells||Rumpus Room|
|6:00-7:30 p.m.||Dinner, check in to housing||Rumpus Room|
|7:30-9:00 p.m.||“Loving Body” with Sarah Gottlieb||Rumpus Room|
|9-10 p.m.||Jam||Rumpus Room|
|9:00-10:00 a.m.||Arrival, Registration||Rumpus Room|
|10:00 a.m.||Opening Circle||Rumpus Room|
|10:15 – 1:00||“Zero to Flying” workshop with Scott Wells||Mazo Community Bldg|
|10:15 – 1:00||Jam space available||Rumpus Room|
|1:00-2:00||Lunch||Mazo Community Bldg|
|2:00-5:00||“Ensemble States Jam” with Scott Wells||Mazo Community Bldg|
|2:00-5:00||Jam Space Available||Rumpus Room|
|7-10 p.m.||Live music jam? Costume party? Just a jam/jam? Anyways, let’s dance!||Rumpus Room|
|8:00-9:45 a.m.||Morning practice with Daniel Halkin||Rumpus Room|
|11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.||“Circulating” with Sarah Gottlieb||Rumpus Room|
|2:00-2:30 p.m.||Closing Circle|
Date(s) - 01/05/2018 - 01/07/2018
10:00 am - 10:00 pm
The Rumpus Room