Get ready for FALLS BRIDGE: new movement, improvisation and performance festival

poster fals bridge1

FALLS BRIDGE: new movement, improvisation and performance festival, founded in in 2010 by Curt Haworth and Nicole Bindler, is a laboratory for the investigation and performance of dance, music and movement-based performing art forms. Based in the first part of January, FALLS BRIDGE offers improvisation classes and workshops taught by internationally known artists and innovators; as well as performances and showings for established, emerging and student artists. Valuing the individual artist, their creative process and vital role within society, FALLSBRIDGE is dedicated to the creation and implementation of affordable programs that nurture and initiate experimentation within performance. In addition, FALLS BRIDGE acts as a vital line of communication between the improvisation and performance community of Philadelphia and the University of the Arts community.

Here is this year’s line up…


Friday, January 13th, 6pm
@ University of the Arts, 1401 Walnut St, 2nd Fl
FREE Workshop showing with Ishmael, Yvonne and participants.
Just show up!

Saturday, January 14th, 8pm
@ Mascher Space Coop, 155 Cecil B. Moore Ave
$10 / $8 (dance professionals/student/senior)

Ishmael Houston Jones (NYC)
Yvonne Meier (NYC)
Meg Foley
Zornitsa Stoyanova
Manfred Fischbeck
Sharon Mansur (DC)
Daniel Burkholder (DC)

Sunday, January 15th, 6pm
@ Philly PARD, 1720 Mt.Vernon St
$10 / $8 (dance professionals/student/senior)

Leah Stein
Michelle Stortz
Green Chair Dance Group
Merian Soto
Silvana Cardell
Lela Aisha Jones

with Yvonne Meier and Ishmael Houston-Jones

Yvonne and Ishmael teach at University of the Arts, 1401 Walnut St, 2nd Fl., Monday – Friday, 1-3pm and 4-7pm.

Classes are FREE but are currently wait list only, and preregistration is required.  To preregister please email [email protected]

(Ishmael and Yvonne will share the teaching of both 1-3pm and 4-7pm sessions with Ishmael taking the lead in the 1-3pm and Yvonne in the 4-7pm.)

1-3pm, Dancing Text / Texting Dance

In this workshop we will use several improvisation strategies to open a free flow of immediate, spontaneous and automatic writing, speaking and dancing. We will use the resultant dance and text to construct impromptu group pieces as well as a means toward broadening self-expression in solo work.

4-7pm, Authentic Movement / Releasing / Performance

Authentic Movement (warm-up)

Authentic Movement is a simple form of self-directed movement. It is usually done with eyes closed and attention is directed inward, in the presence of at least one witness. Movers explore spontaneous gestures, movements, and stillness, following inner impulses in the present moment. The witness watches and tracks inner responses to the mover with the intention of not judging, but focusing on self-awareness.

Releasing Technique

Releasing Technique is an innovative approach to dance and movement. Releasing utilizes image-guided and hands-on studies to ease tension and promote an effortless kind of moving. This technique smoothly integrates technical growth with creativity.

For Performance

We will investigate the improvisational technique which Meier calls “Scores.” “Scores” are essentially words containing images that we will learn to possess our bodies from head to toe. “Scores” can be physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual. Some “Scores” will possess different body-parts; some “Scores” that Meier calls “no-no scores” explore socially unacceptable content.

Ishmael Houston-Jones’ improvised dance and language work has been performed in NYC, across the US, in Europe, Australia and Latin America. He has taught many movement, improvisation and writing workshops, notably at the EDDC (The Netherlands), American Dance Festival, Seattle Festival of Alternative Dance and Improvisation (SFADI) and at the San Francisco Festival of Improvisation. He was last seen in Philadelphia with his collaboration with Michael Biello and Dan Martin, (What We’re Made Of) and in the work of Lionel Popkin, (There’s and Elephant in this Dance). More info at

Yvonne Meier has been exploring Improvisation in performance and teaching Releasing Technique, Authentic Movement and her own improvisational technique “Scores” throughout the US and Europe for the past 32 years. She has been on the faculty of the American Dance Festival for the past 5 years. She has taught dance companies such as Anna Teresa de Keeresmaeker’s “Rosas” and Meg Stuart’s “Damaged Goods Company” etc. For her choreography Yvonne Meier has received two “Bessie” Awards as well as an “American Masterpiece Award” from the NEA.


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