!!! UPDATE: Festival Postponed !!!

The Covid-19 situation here in Austria has unfortunately caused events to be limited to small groups of people. Hosting a festival the way we envisioned it seems no longer possible and we have therefore decided to postpone the festival until 2021. While we cannot yet announce a new date, we are determined to make the festival happen and remain positive about what the future will hold.

Join us for an international
Contact Improvisation festival with a regional focus.

We care about regional organic food; we cherish a strong sense of community; we value our teachers and their work; we admire the magic created by our musicians; and we LOVE to dance!

Come join us for this year’s Contact Festival Austria in Landhotel Yspertal with beautiful surroundings, comfortable rooms and delicious food. Yspertal is centrally located and reachable from Vienna by car and public transport. We do our best to accommodate various budgets and offer discounted prices to helpers (note that all of our helper places are already taken).


Teachers  Schedule  Prices & Location 

Contact Festival Austria 2012 - 2017

Origins / History

Founded in 2012 by artistic director Sabine Parzer with co-organisers Sabine Müller, Johannes Benker and Teresa Hunyadi, the Contact Festival Austria aimed to create an environment for dancing, learning and sharing Contact Improvisation within an international scope. During the first two years (2012 and 2013), the festival took place in Vienna before moving to the countryside of Lower Austria in its third year. There has always been a focus on research, performance, community and connection to the environment in the design of the event. Both beginners and advanced dancers have joined us for the festival, creating a lively and inspiring journey.

Former Intensive teachers have included:

Eszter Gal (HUN), Martin Keogh (US/MX), Ray Chung (USA), Nita Little (USA), 
Alicia Grayson (USA), Chris Aiken (USA), Scott Wells (USA), Angela Donyi (RU), Anya Cloud (US), Malcolm Manning (UK), Charlie Morrissey (UK), Eckhard Müller (GER/FRA) & Dani Schwartz (ARG/FRA), Benno Voorham (NL)


This year, the festival has a new format and is being organised by Lui Springer (organiser of Wiener Winterjam), Katrin Oberrauner and Ben Croker (co-organisers of Schloss Jam, Schlössl Jam and Fokus Jam Graz).

Teachers 2020

Molly Nyeland (Intensive I)

Molly is a dance artist and teacher from Denmark. Her foundation for work is within contemporary dance and centered around improvisation and instant composition. Working with courage, curiosity and the empowerment to say yes and no in her dancing, as well as living is fundamental to her practice. She understands the body as the only way to engage with the world and sees dancing as a way of training how to relate and communicate with other beings. She sees contact Improvisation as an opportunity to tune into the essence of being human.

Inspirational teachers for her practice include Nita Little, Anya Cloud, Charlie Morrissey, Dorte Bjerre Jensen, Andrew Harwood, Jori Snell.

This research intensive will aim towards turning on every part of our being, softening and sharpening our bodies. Staying sensitive within our wild physicality. The research will include solo, duetting and ensemble work.

Softening while Sharpening

Trust. This research will take a starting point from trust. Finding trust in our own bodies before engaging with others. Creating a trustful atmosphere from where we can commit to the research.

Communication. What are you putting into space? Are you being clear in your wishes, needs and desires? Being real about saying yes and no? Tuning into our bodily intelligence when we engage with other bodies. Physically and non-physically.

Commitment. Commitment to the research, yourself, your partners, the space. Staying present as the starting point for contact. Listening. Tuning into being present as a way for us to engage more freely and with greater sensitivity.

Failing. Finding the courage to fail, whatever that means, as a way for us to keep exploring and to keep finding new ways of moving.

Jumping. We are going to jump.

Sweating. We are going to sweat.

Running. We are going to run.

I invite you to bring a notebook and a pen for this intensive.

Johan Nilsson (Intensive II)

Johan is an explorer of natural sciences and art. He’s a trained gardener and teacher in Biodynamic farming. This is a great source of inspiration for him due to its deep relationship with the natural world, alternative methods and plant forces. In dance and improvisation, he experiences the same fascination as when he was a child playing in the forest - in contact with nature - a world full of imagination and playfulness!

His movement background includes Capoeira, African Dance, World Dance and fire spinning, but his interest deepened when he first discovered Contact Improvisation in 2004, with his main inspiration coming from Måns Erlandsson and Malin Anclair, Stockholm/Sweden. Since then, Johan has been participating as a teacher and performer in several projects, festivals and dance events throughout Europe, India and China. He is regularly teaching classes in different dance institutions and is organising CI events in Sweden. For the past 5 years his passion lies in organizing METAMORPHOSIS Improvisation Festival, where he is the co-founder.

This intensive is designed to meet the needs of those completely new to the practice and definitively to inspire and challenge those experienced in dance, movement and improvisation.

Imperfect Sphericity – Critical Connectedness

We will work from 3 INSTANCES OF PRESENCE.

The presence of the past, where habits and memories determine the now. The presence of the now where one can loose oneself in activity, happiness or enthusiasm and The presence of the future, where desires and dreams are present in visions and plans.

And while moving through these 3 layers of reality we will arrive at a CRITICAL CONNECTEDNESS. The heart of CI. Where it is real.

Technically we will work on our beautiful IMPERFECT SPHERICITY. 
That is our ability to be round, global, spherical. Spreading our awareness all around. Practice, practice, practice to work from hidden places, unseen back space and up-side-down. We are striving to be perfect, universal, awesome. But we enjoy failing and staying imperfect.

This is how I see us work: 
Let’s together reach through the darkness to inject love and passion into our dance. 
Let’s play with the forces of fun and forces of momentum as we move into dance.
Let’s pass through stages of playfulness as we spread our shape, 
imagining ourselves to be hyper-spherical.
 Then, travelling on the full spherical landscape of another in a shared dance, moving through big spaces without vision.
 Let’s give our compactness air and wings to our play with gravity!
 Let’s work with and question how we move over each other, on each other and with each other.
 Let’s receive each other as people and as moving creatures.
 Constructing bubbles of functional dance.
 Dialogues in shared moments.
 Moving through landscapes and offering each other landscapes to move on.

Lui Springer (Workshop)

Lui loves to discover new pathways for movements. Enthusiastically, she accompanies people on their way to a greater freedom of movement. Lui teaches the Feldenkrais Method, Contact Improvisation and combines both methods in her classes. She is the organizer of Wiener WinterJam and part of the hosting team of the weekly Viennese WUK jam. As a former competition rower Lui engaged with optimizing movement from her teens on. She is passionate about the question: How does a movement get even more comfortable, smooth and efficient? The variety of movement options and the possibilities to learn through movement and dance fascinate her. freibewegt.at »

Katrin Oberrauner (Workshop)

Katrin lives and works as a dance & yoga facilitator, following her passion for coming alive through movement and finding ways of authentic communication between human beings. She collaborates with researchers and teachers from various disciplines and is especially dedicated to the fusion of different movement and embodiment approaches. The methods that have inspired her the most are Contact Improvisation, Authentic Movement, Yoga, Spiraldynamik® and embodied systemic constellation work. In addition to her teaching work she organises Contact Improvisation festivals, retreats and jams. katrinmove.com »

Ben Croker (Workshop)

Ben sees contact improvisation as a research and exploratory dance form. Using sensation, imagination and (role) play, Ben enjoys discovering new ways of moving, connecting and opening to unforeseen possibilities. The essence of his teaching is an inner listening that develops into physical expansion and expression, a game of proximity, juxtaposition and wonder.

Schedule 2020

Thursday (3 Dec) Friday (4 Dec) Saturday (5 Dec) Sunday (6 Dec)
8:00-9:00 Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast
10:00-13:00 Intensives I & II Intensives I & II Intensives I & II, Closing Circle
13:00-14:00 Lunch Lunch Lunch
15:00-17:30 Arrival & Registration Workshops I & II Workshops III & IV
18:30-19:30 Dinner Dinner Dinner
20:00-23:00 Opening Circle, Jam Jam Jam

Prices & Location

Festival Participation in all intensives, workshops and jams.
Early-bird Price Registration & payment until 31 October 2020. €195
Regular Price Registration & payment after 31 October 2020. €235
Accommodation 3 nights including all meals.
Sleeping Hall Sleeping hall with mattresses and sheets provided. €138
Four-Bed Room Per person for 4 people sharing. €174
Triple Room Per person for 3 people sharing. €192
Double Room Per person for 2 people sharing. €216
Single Room For 1 person. €246

Registration »

Your registration is confirmed only once we have received payment for the festival participation in full. Your accommodation is to be paid at the hotel on arrival in Yspertal.

In the event of cancellation at least 2 weeks before the festival (until 18 November 2020), there is a cancellation fee of €50. Cancellations within 2 weeks of the festival will not be refunded. If you find someone else who is willing to take your place then you may request the transfer of your cancellation fee towards their registration. In the event that we are forced to cancel the festival due to Covid-19 then your payment will be refunded in full.


Here are driving directions to Landhotel Yspertal. We will send out a participant list shortly before the festival with car sharing offers.

Public Transport

The easiest option is to take a train to Ybbs an der Donau and from there bus #780 to Ysper Marktplatz. The bus leaves from Ybbs an der Donau Bahnhof at 14:02, 15:27 and 16:45 (see the full schedule) and takes half an hour. You can plan your trip at VOR.at.


Contact us at [email protected] with any questions.