Felt Sense Expansion

with Carmen Serber, Mihyun Lee and Marcus van Duren

Friday May 6 – Sunday May 8

Contact Improvisation. What a multilayered dance! It offers so much and challenges each and every dancer on levels we probably haven’t even known existed. It ranges from stillness and awareness practices to highly athletic dancing.

This workshop strives to be facilitated in the spirit of a beginners mind placed in a container of inspiration and awe. Our guide and main support will be our felt sense. The intention is to play, to learn skills through improvisational and introspective scores, to become more familiar and curious with ourselves and deepen the practices that we already know. There will be a possibility for one on ones with the facilitators.

Friday 5:30pm-8:30pm
Saturday 9am-5:30pm
Sunday 9am-4:30pm
@ Wildcat Studio, Berkeley
Registration: Call/text Carmen: 510-213-4007

1 hour lunch break.

Sliding scale: $200 – $300 (I have a NOTAFLOF policy but please reach out to me beforehand)

Carmen’s offerings:

Felt Sense: The felt sense is an enormous thing. The body’s story is being heard and acknowledged with empathy through our hands. This certainly isn’t new information for the majority of CI dancers, but there is lots of judgement around the “right” and the “wrong” touch. I offer information and relational exercises with the intention to deepen our understanding of how our hands can expand our felt sense and use that for more clarity in dancing Contact Improvisation. We play with how touch and the felt sense ability help with lifts, dynamic dancing and with finding our “space” among the “chaos”.

Biomechanics of the Shoulder: This time we look into the shoulder Axis Arcs, study the angles associated with optimal force transmission through the articulation of the shoulder joint and the connection to the spine. We work with boundaries and play with joints being a source for living in relationship.

Contemplative Dance Practice: This is an invitation to build a fluid group field with the intention of allowing creativity to be our teacher. 

Mihyun’s offering:

Laban Movement Analysis: I have been interested in the therapeutic aspect of movement education. I am in the process of integrating LBMA into my education in dance and somatic psychology. In this workshop, I will use LBMA as a framework. While there are four major categories in LBMA including BODY, SHAPE, SPACE, and EFFORT, I will focus on our BODY with breathe and body connectivity. Participants will have multiple moments to reflect their experiences and to integrate materials in their life situation. https://movementflow.org

Marcus’ offering:

My offering for this workshop will be a combination of deepening our felt sense of certain mental and physical states, digging deep into technical pathways and playing/researching through scores.

The Earth

In contact improvisation our first partner is the floor. Our first partner is the earth. After finding a felt sense for the earth, we will look at what it means to maintain this essential connection as we dance with others. We will develop a sense for feeling the earth through our partner’s skeletal structure. Moving at the speed of trust we will learn both how to support confidently and share our weight safely.

Some topics we will cover are coming in and out of the floor, leading with the pelvis, the power of spirals and entering and exiting lifts.

Axis Syllabus

The hearty technical meal of this class will be learning solo floor work that will seamlessly transition into partnering pathways in contact. Some topics we will cover are coming in and out of the floor, leading with the pelvis, the power of spirals and entering and exiting lifts.


Backspace is often an intimidating frontier for many. My aim in this workshop is to create a safe container for you to explore this exciting territory. We will work to familiarize the body with the felt sense of dancing backwards and upside down and hopefully catch a glimpse of the word of possibility that opens when we gain comfort in this area.


Marcus van Duren is a dancer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Marcus has intensively studied movement and dance performance since his discovery of contact improvisation in 2013. He has had the pleasure of studying with Chris Aiken, Angie Hauser, Frey Faust, Scott Wells, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Ray Chung, Martin Keogh, Nita Little, Sarah Shelton Mann and many others. Marcus actively investigates new ways of moving and understanding movement as a member of the international Axis Syllabus community. In addition to pursuing dance as a performing art, Marcus is fascinated by the therapeutic nature of movement. He is consistently curious about how dance can be used to access different states of being and uncover new ways of seeing.

Weekend schedule:
Friday eve: Carmen
Saturday 9am-10 am Carmen
10:30am-1:00pm Marcus
2:30pm-5:30pm Carmen

Sunday 9am-10am Carmen
10:30am – 1:30pm Mihyun
2:30pm – 4:30pm Carmen

(This workshop is limited to 16 people. I trust that we have the tools to take care of ourselves and hold a safe and loving container for us all. Please assure your own safety precaution regarding covid as we will be sharing intimate space together. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have any.)