3 week residency, an in-depth training with Kirstie Simson: Dance improvisation as practice of Resilience and Support in Difficult Times – 9-29 January 2023, Chiang Dao, Thailand with the assistance of Sylvain Hemeryck.

Where: Thailand

When: 9-29 January 2023

Deadline for applications: 1 December 2022

Kirstie draws from her extensive experience of Contact Improvisation, dance techniques, the Alexander technique, Aikido, meditation, and her broad knowledge of improvisation in performance. She shares her work through facilitated exercises, open time for play and exploration, movement scores, observations, discussion, and humor. Much of the work is experienced through partnering and connection with others, balanced with solo time for processing and reflection.

There is deep inspiration and rigor in a practice of improvisation that posits vulnerability at its heart. Developing the skills to be able to care for, engage, respect, and respond to that state of openness in oneself, others and our environment generates creative work that is powerful and transformative. Learning from a place of interconnectedness can give us the resilience and insight to face life’s challenges and complexities. In this workshop Kirstie shares the movement practices and underlying philosophies she has developed over forty years of her committed involvement with dance improvisation as a ‘life-practice’ that has helped her negotiate life’s ups and downs, including a life-threatening illness in 2020. Integral with the physical practices she will elucidate how she sees embodied practices as vitally important for developing the resilience to face into and respond to the challenging times we are living through.

During these 3 week, Sylvain Hemeryck will be present as Kirstie’s assistance and will offer Aikido classes to support the overall content of the project.

This is a rare opportunity for participants to delve deeply into the wisdom embedded within embodied practices, both in the studio space, as well as exploring movement scores in the outstanding natural environment surrounding the space. Kirstie will facilitate the work, guided by her own depth of body-knowledge gleaned over the years in which she has pursued a dedicated practice of listening, inquiry and belief in the importance of life-affirming embodied knowledge.


The training will take place at the Youth Camp in Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai, Thailand. The open-air dance space is situated right next to a big green field and a small stream and the venue is a 10-minute walk from a natural hot spring by the river.
Chiang Dao is 1.5 hours North of Chiang Mai, it can be reached by public bus, taxi or with your own vehicle.


Sliding-scale contribution
Contribution to the training is presented in the sliding scale format and based on your financial situation. Please consider and choose consciously as your decision can affect the other participants and organisation team. The contribution also includes a hearty vegetarian lunch on each of the training days and 3 integrative day trips. Accommodation is not included.
25,000THB/€650 Low income/minimum price which covers the minimum cost of organisation.
29,000THB/€810 Regular and fair price which covers the cost of organisation and bring income for organisers.
33,000THB/€920 Supportive price which covers resources to be able to offer low income price.


There are 2 options for onsite accommodation:
Camping space (bring your own tent) – 4,200THB/~115EUR
Bed in a shared dormitory – 5,250THB/~145EUR
Both options have a shared kitchen and bathrooms
There are bungalows for rent within walking distance, please check the information pack for more details.


About Kirstie
Kirstie Simson (UK) has been a continuous explosion in the contemporary dance scene, bringing audiences into contact with the vitality of pure creation in moment after moment of virtuoso improvisation. Called “a force of nature” by the New York Times, she is an award-winning performer and teacher who has “immeasurably enriched and expanded the boundaries of New Dance” according to Time Out Magazine, London. Kirstie is internationally renowned today as an excellent teacher, a captivating performer, and a leading light in the field of Dance Improvisation, with a dance practice that spans over four decades. From 2008 – 2020 Kirstie held a position as a tenured professor in the Department of Dance at the University of Illinois.
In August 2020 Kirstie returned to her home base in Wales from where she continues to share her work around the globe. She is currently involved with the Black Mountains College in Wales, helping to design an innovative degree course of planet-centric education towards building a better future incorporating the arts & sciences. The BA in Ecological Futures will launch in September 2022. Kirstie is beginning to frame her work now, in the light of our uncertain future, as practices that can help us develop resilience in the face of challenge. She uses her own experience of facing a life-threatening health issue in 2020 as a foundation for her ongoing research into the power of embodied intelligence.


About Sylvain
Sylvain Hemeryck is a dancer and teacher in Dance and Aïkido. He is 3rd dan and member of the FAAGE teacher community. The Aïkido he practices is called Aïkiryu (愛気龍) initiated by Abelé Shihan.
Since 2013 Sylvain has been dancing with the Anja Gysin company in Solothurn (Switzerland). He is currently dancing in a play titled “Racines” with the company Gazibul in Bretagne (France) for young audiences, and in 2021 he joined “La Traversée” with the company Lamadéo (Bretagne).
Sylvain started his own company ADAAGE; where he shares dance research and creation spaces for amateurs and organizes events to promote the encounter between the ‘Arts of Gesture’ (Dojo Ephémère). Through the ARENAAGE association, he develops Aïkiryu: regular classes, workshops, initiation workshops at festivals interweaving Aïkiryu with dance practices, Contact Improvisation, and Body Mind Centering.
In his dance and pedagogy, his major influences are the approaches of Isabelle Dubouloz (Mouvement Dansé) and Gyoheï Zaitsu (Butô dance).
In October 2021, he was deeply touched by Kirstie Simson’s work during an Aïkido and Dance Workshop she gave with Patrick Cassidy senseï. He felt that she increases the power of life, of love and lightness.
Sylvain considers himself to be ‘On the Way’.


Organised by
Towards – Centre for the practice and research of Contact Improvisation in Thailand / Southeast Asia.
Dolores Dewhurst Marks
Fern Sripungwiwat
Sasha Dodo
Steven Le Blanc

How to apply:
The group size in 35 and there are 20 places available. Participants are asked to fill in the application form which will be reviewed by the organizers and facilitator. Deadline for application is 1st December.
Full commitment to the 3-week training is required to participate. Some previous experience in the field of movements is recommended but is not a prerequisite to participate.
Please fill in the application form here: https://tinyurl.com/KSjan23

Costs for participants: Sliding-scale contribution, see in description.

Contact details:

FB Event: https://fb.me/e/o7LPFv7O7

For further information, please visit https://towards.contact/

For more RESIDENCIES, please visit https://dancingopportunities.com/category/residencies/