3 – 9 Feb 2022

Contact Improvisation 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 Aaron Brandes (US), Itay Yatuv (ISR), Vega Luukkonen (FIN), Jovair Longo (BR), Jeanette Soria (GT), Andrea Scheel (MEX), Alejandra Garavito (GT), Ana Root (PT), Barbara Ramos (PT), Sarasvati Dasi (GER), Tiago Rouxinol (PT)

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 Improvisation Gathering Lago Atitlán. 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 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.

Our scholarship program supports dancers from Central America in their participation to the Contact Improvisation Gathering Lago Atitlán. The Gathering offers you a introduction in the full spectrum of aspects of Contact Improvisation. Application for a scholarship ticket send to mail admin@forgotten-land.com​



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.

You might need a recommendation for an economic accommodation, we made a list for you with really good places. Most of them are not even in Air Bnb, have a look


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.


Regular Price: $290/€250 

Central American National Price: $150/ Q1160 

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

Meet Your Facilitators

Tiago Perfil

Tiago Rouxinol

Tiago Rouxinol born in Portugal in 1977 and moved to Brazil in 1999 where he became a Capoeira teacher. Traveling around Latin America he fell in Love with music and went to Cuba to study percussion. Looking for the roots went several times to West Africa to learn traditional and tribal instruments such as djembe, kora, balafon. Became a multi instrumentalist and created 2 bands of world music that still exist, Yemadas and Onda 9. Also he has been making a research on how to include everybody into the music and started to study Body music with a great master Keith Terry- Cross Pulse. Some years ago he created and facilitated the Music for All workshop  based on Body percussion and Circle Singing, where people can learn many music games and different forms of developing rhythm and coordination in a very playful way without using instruments , but simply their bodies!

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  

Javair Longo

Jovair trained in dance at Unicamp University in Brazil and EDDC-Arnhem in the Netherlands. He also trained independently following his interest in the work of some particular teachers, such as Eva Karczag, Kirsty Simpson and Julian Hamilton. In the UK, where he has established from the 90s, he performed with Yolande Snaith, Rosemary Lee, Gaby Agis and Earthfall Dance among others. His work in the independent dance sector involved teaching, making work, performing and curating. He has taught worldwide at different schools, festivals and companies. His teaching mostly focuses on the subtleties of composition and on improvised movement forms including Contact Improvisation, and is often somatic based. His latest work for the stage, “Logic of Dreams”, was performed at The Place Theatre in London and involved the live creation of movement, music and visual projections from a VJ. He joined LCDS (London Contemporary Dance School) in 2004 on a part-time basis where he developed his personal pedagogy, which focuses on individual empowerment through dancing and creating work, and horizontal power structures in teaching dance.

Alejandra Garavito

Performer, cultural promoter and psychologist. Moved by Body research, the transpersonal spaces, and the Body/Territory dialogue. Focus in the pedagogic connection between Contact Improvisation, Ashtanga Yoga, Vipassana breathing work and traditional mayan cosmovision. Creator of spaces for collective research, co-founder of CONNATURAL – Campamento de Danza Contemporánea (https://www.facebook.com/connaturalgt/); weekly gathering of Contact Improvisation in Guatemala City and the First Contact Improvisation Gathering (i/). Vice-president for Central America and the Caribbean at the World Dance Alliance – Americas (2011-2016) Teacher at the B.A. in Contemporary Dance and Choreography at Escuela Superior de Arte USAC. Has facilitated movement laboratories and workshops in Guatemala, Philadelphia (USA), Costa Rica, Ukraine, Poland e Italy.

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.

Ana Root

She has been a dancer since she was a child. Her training was developed around classical ballet, contemporary dance, flamenco, butoh and odissi dance, classical dance from India, where she lived for seven years. Lately, it was on the African continent, Mali, Senegal and Burkina Faso, that she found the right space to develop her most recent projects. Since 2009, her great dedication is focused on regular Afro dance classes where she develops a work of body and cultural awareness. Ana Root, is the voice of the Yemadas musical project, a world music band that has already released 5 albums. It was during this project that she developed her passion for music, having a natural gift for playing different instruments such as the ukulele, space drums and multi-percussions. She lived and worked artistically in several countries, until taking root in the south of Portugal, where she currently lives in a community. Invited by Madalena Victorino, she developed choreographic and musical projects such as Rastilho, Mar Adentro, Evaporo 2, A Cantora Deitada and Quando in the context of the cultural project LAVRAR O MAR. Recently, as percussionist and dancer, Lusitana de Mariana Root, her sister, is part of a musical project dedicated to Portuguese roots.

Jeanette Soria

Dancer, body artist, and writer born in Guatemala City. With extensive training in classical ballet and contemporary dance, she has studied contact improvisation, stage improvisation and instantaneous composition with local and international teachers, including artistic residencies in EEUU and Canada. Since 2014, guided by her curiosity, she has been developing in-situ interdisciplinary creative processes in collaboration with circus artists, painters and musicians, in which they use the instant moment as their muse. Collectively, she has co-held an emerging Contact community ever since she got back from the First National Gathering in Tepoztlán, México in 2016. She is currently intrigued by embodied practices evoking softness and pleasure such as haiku writing, Organic Intelligence, Feldenkrais, and puppetry art. She lives Contact as a portal to experience oneself at each moment and in relationship.

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

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.

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.

Aaron Brandes

Aaron Brandes, MSW, M.Ed, loves the art of crafting pedagogy in a non-codified system such as Contact Improvisation and has taught workshops and intensives throughout North America and internationally. He is honored to have shared the stage with Nancy Stark Smith, Chris Aiken, and Angie Hauser among others. In 2016 Brando together with dancers, Shura Baryshnikov, Paul Singh, Bradley Teal Ellis, and Sarah Konner founded a Contact Improvisation Research and Performance ensemble called SetGO. The group has performed at universities and festivals across the United States. Brando’s fascination with the moving body, inspired him to complement his dance training with more anatomical specificity. In 2014, he completed the Anatomy Trains Structural Integration training with renowned anatomist, Tom Myers. Brando has recently earned his Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work. Brando has integrated these aspects of bodywork, movement, and mental health in a practice he calls Body&Being. These elements have become essential to Brando’s healing approach. More information can be found at BodyandBeing.net

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).

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