3 – 9 Feb 2022

Contact Gathering Lago Atitlan

A seven days gathering in an intimate setting. Daily workshops, circles and explorations surrounded by powerful nature, held by international and local artists.

Contact Improvisation * Community * Live Music * Mayan Cosmology* Classes* Somatics* Labs* Jams* Rituals* – all levels welcome!

With Itay Yatuv (ISR), Vega Luukkonen (FIN), Hugh Stanier (UK), Andrea Scheel (MEX), Barbara Ramos (PT), Saraswati Dasi (GER) and more

The past year has forced a radical change in the way we have moved in the world, the way we got close to each other, touched, listened, breathed and danced. The freedom of being outside in nature, with nature, part of nature- has been restricted as well.

Gently, we'll dive in again to CI and somatic work with intensive workshops, classes and labs. We'll offer space and guidance for bodywork, live music and some sharing circles to talk about this unique moment in our life, as humans and dancers.

The Singing Circles serve to build community within the group and provide opportunities for deeper integration of the core material. We will invite lovely musicians for this heart opening circle in the mornings before classes start.

 Intensives, most mornings during the whole Contact Gathering Lago Atitlan. This gives the teacher the possiblity to build up the material and develop a deeper process into the form.

Sharings are a daily practise and space in small groups of 4-5 people where you witness and express what is going on in this particular moment, with in your body, mind or emotional system. It can be a shared as well in silence or you can ask for feedback and support.

Lunch & Dinner, Gaia Dance Temple Resort offers delicious vegetarian lunch & dinner for $ 6 per dish.

Daily classes in the afternoon with different teachers you can choose day by day. Most of the teacher teach twice in the Gathering to be able to share more of their knowlegde.


Beginners support, In CI Gatherings can occur challenging situations which may trigger certain voices in our head that make it difficult to stay connected to ourselves, the other and the community. The timetable offers a variety of supportive formats such as the jam skills class, the CI basics classes, the reflection time, breaks for relaxation or singing circles.

In the laboratory we explore the unique quality of CI as a practice and as a form of performance.

Underscore Nancy Stark Smith originated this practice. The Underscore is a vehicle for incorporating Contact Improvisation into a broader arena of improvisational dance practice; for developing greater ease dancing in spherical space—alone and with others.

Scholarship program for guatemalan dancer The scholarship supports young dancers from Guatemala in their participation to the Contact Gathering Lago Atitlan. The Gathering offers them a introducing in the full spectrum of aspects of Contact Improvisation. The application for the scholarship opens soon.​



GAIA DANCE TEMPLE The stunning nature venue Gaia Dance Temple is a high vibe community located in the village of Tzununá on Lake Atitlán. The Dance Temple features a 6000 sq. ft combination of martial-arts mats and floating wood dance floor space underneath. Gaia Dance Temple is surrounded by avocado and kushin trees and a spring-fed river. 

Tzununá, the small Kaqchiquel village, whose name can be translated as “hummingbird of water”, is a jewel between coffee plants and avocado trees, and has retained its indigenous character. Yoga and permaculture farming is also on the rise in Tzununa. Expect many colourful surprises! Search Gaia Dance Temple on Google for the exact location in Tzununá.


You can fly into Guatemala City. Attention: if you fly trough the USA from any other country you need a vaccine passport, also if you are just in a transfer. 



From there you can take a tourist collectivo (shuttle) or private taxi to the lake. Lago Atitlan is about 3.5-4 hours away from the airport, pending traffic. 



Recommended private Taxi drivers Martha or Fernando. You can contact before you arrive in Guatemala.

They offer private/shared transportation to Antigua, Panajachel, San Marcos or any destination in Guatemala. Safe and reliable service. The drivers are nice, responsible and professional.





+502 3073 0413








At the lake between the villages you use Rikshas or boats. We have an awesome crew of Tuktuks that are always around Gaia.



Gaia Dance Temple, Tzununa, Lago Atitlan, Guatemala



All passengers flying into Guatemala must present evidence of either: a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival; COVID-19 vaccination completed at least two weeks before arrival; or documented recovery from COVID-19 within three months of arrival.

Our cooks will spoil us with their delicious local cuisine. Organic vegetarian meals + elixirs are available at our Cafe on-site, as well as three other farm-to-table Cafes less than 5 minutes walk from the Gaia. About $ 6 per healthy vegetarian meal.  Tea Temple will be open during dances.

On-site Camping: 30 USD per person for 6 nights. Includes drinking water & showers.


Bed in dormitory on-site plus $ 120, six nights


Plentiful hostels, hotels, and Airbnbs are available in Tzununá and in San Marcos to sleep comfortably and cheaply nearby.


We recommend as well the Taiji Temple Apartments in San Marcos. Search in Air Bnb: Divya`s Account   Casa Buena Vista, Casa Veranda, Villa Mirador, Cabaña Sencilla, Cabaña mejor, Cabaña modestia.


After registering you will receive a mail with our bank details. CHECK your SPAM filter! You need to pay -  deposit to our  account within the next 5 working days to confirm your participation. In need of cancellation, we will keep 50% of your deposit before January 1st 2022, if your cancellation happens after January 1st 2022, we will keep the full deposit.

Should we cancel, all deposits which are already paid will be returned.

Participation is on your own risk. Please note that if you are under medication, or are suffering from any severe physical injuries, please let us know before registering

The organizer reserves the right to cancel the festival, even at short notice, if there is a danger to the well-being of the visitors and organizers, such as viral infections (corona epidemic), storms or natural disasters (fire, hurricanes, floods). In this case the organizer cannot be held liable for private failures. Deposits will be refunded at 100%. To prevent further personal loss, we recommend to take out a travel cancellation insurance.

We reserve the right to refuse your participation, if necessary without giving a reason. In any case you will get your deposit back.

You can reach us at admin@forgotten-land.com for any questions.


Registration is open.

The Festival Ticket includes full program with all Classes, Circles, Jams, Labs and Sharings. Not included is food, accommodation and transfer.

Early Bird Price: $ 250/ €220 till 18 Dec 2021

Regular Price: $290/€250 

Guatemalan National Price: $150/ Q1160 till 18 Dec 2021

We give to a limited amount discounted tickets of $150/ Q1160 and scholarships to Guatemalan nationals only. For scholarship PM us and tell us about your motivation. admin@forgotten-land.com

Meet Your Facilitators

Vega Luukkonen

Vega Luukkonen

I am dancer, dance-teacher, performance-artist and bodyworker made in Finland, but currently based in Berlin, India, and nomadic temporary moments in time and space. I have studied in Finland, Helsinki – in Theatre Academy of Finland (TEAK) and Metropolia AMK. Though – I guess my dearest high-school and university in dance and contact-improvisation has been finnish contact community, where I have learned so much, by sharing the dance and rolling point with the other spiralling beautiful finns since 20 years. I have been teaching contact and dance since 15 years all around the world, on many internationally acknowledged festivals and retreats.  I am one of the organisers of Goa Contact Festival since 10 years, and that has become big part of my life – to live my winters in India, and create platforms and possibilities for cultural exchange, dance and learning – throughout the whole winter-season in Arambol Beach, in “Forgotten Land” which is our collaborative dance-center.

Itay Yatuv ContaKids

Itay Yatuv

Itay has been practicing and teaching CI worldwide for 15 years. Trained as a contemporary dancer in New York, Italy and Israel. Choreographing independently for the last 12 years, Itay has been leading international projects of improvisational performances. Itay has been training in Aikido for the last 8 years, a practice he integrates into his CI research. In the last few years Itay has been conducting CI workshops for little children and their parents and developing the ContaKids method.

Barbara Ramos

Barbara Ramos

Barbara Ramos graduated as a Clinical Psychologist in 2009, where she began exploring therapy through movement. This interest was later compounded after a casual encounter with ethnic and middle eastern dance, which led to a professional and artistic practise developed over the following ten years. This journey then led Barbara to aerial acrobatics which she studied for over two years, this in turn fed her curiosity for more free movement expression. For the next five years Barbara studied contemporary and acrobatic dance and in her current research and personal practise now focuses on contact improvisation, partnering composition, instant composition, flying low and capoeira. Working under the inspiring guidance of teachers such as Pia Kramer ( movement psichoterapist ), Prashant More ( contemporary dance and flying low), Abhilash  Ningappa (instant composition), Magalie Lanriot ( contemporary dance ), Kira kirsch ( CI and Axis Sylabus ), Maximiliano Sanford ( Acrobatic dance), Vega Luukkonen and Hugh Stainer (Contact Improvisation ), Shura Baryshnikov and Sarah Konner (Contact Improvisation).

Volker Eschmann

Volker Eschmann

is an artist who positions his artistic work in the context of society. He develops and realize successfully concepts, strategies, and ways of working in the framework of various life-worlds. In relation to systems of expertise he understands non-artistic questions, problems, and prejudices, to respond to these professionally, and ground the relevance of his own work. He studied anthropology in J.W.Goethe University Frankfurt/Main with focus on rituals in traditional communities. Practical anthropological studies with the Griot (trad. mythteller) Nago Koite from Senegal/Berlin in african dance, music and storytelling He has bases in Berlin/Germany, Algarve/Portugal and Goa/India. Volker is in the directors team of Goa Contact Festival, Goa Ecstatic Dance Festival, Body Love Festival, Ecstatic Dance Festival Germany, Portugal CI Gathering & Meeting and Ecstatic Dance Festival Portugal. He is the founder of “Forgotten Land” at Arambol beach and in Aterra/ Alentejo, he is a co-founder of the Yoga & Dance Retreat “Ibiza Moving Arts” and In Touch Festivals international. He is an original member of Spacewalk. Spacewalk works with interventions in social and spacious areas of conflict by using means and methods of theater, dance, music, video and visual arts.

Hugh Stanier

Hugh Stanier

Hugh is a Contemporary Dance Artist specialising in Contact Improvisation. He has over 12 years of teaching & performance experience. He began dancing when he was 15, training in Break dance and Contemporary. He went on to train at Northern School of Contemporary Dance, graduating in 2008. Since then he has worked with companies such as 2Faced Dance, Tom Dale, STAN Won’t Dance, and most recently Wim Vandekeybus/Ultima Vez. He has taught internationally at the Goa Contact Festival, Goa Dance residency, Thailand Contact and ecstatic arts festival, Berlin Contact Festival and Portugal Contact festival and for National Dance company Wales (NDCW) as well as organising his own workshops and retreats in Portugal, Germany and Israel. Within his teaching practice he combines his experience in Breakdance, Contemporary and Contact Improvisation to create a highly physical, technical and intuitive approach to movement exploration. He has collaborated and choreographed with Danceworx Delhi on an international 360 degree dance film, and creates his own work focusing on collaborative improvisation with Musicians. He is also a qualified TMW (Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing) facilitator. The principles of Tai Chi and Qi Kung underpin his approach to teaching and sharing movement.

Sarasvati Dasi

Berlin based Sarasvati Dasi – multi instrumentalist/ vocalist/ DJ – grew up in a Vedic culture of song, dance, philosophy and devotion between ashrams and temples both in India and the western world.  She cofounded Kirtaniyas in 2009 and toured extensively for the next ten years sharing traditional mantra music in yoga studios, festivals and dance floors around the world. In more recent times her love for music has brought her into the ecstatic dance world where she blends live performance with eclectic beats and bass that will make you want to hit the dance floor. She has collaborated with artists such as The Polish Ambassador, DJ Drez, Cheb i Sabbah and Saqi. https://soundcloud.com/sarasvatidasi  

Andrea Scheel

Mexican artist trained in contemporary dance in AREA, espai de movimento; (Barcelona, 2006 – 2008) and the dance conservatory of Sevilla (2009 – 2010). She starts her professional dancing with CAD- centro andaluz de danza (Sevilla, 2010 – 2011) with different choreographers such as Johan Inger, Isabel Vasquez}. Now in constant exploration with somatics, biomechanics and evolutionary movement on land and water. She has practiced Contact Improvisation since 2008, facilitating spaces for its practice since 2013.

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