The contactfestival freiburg exists since 2000. It was initiated and is co-organized by Barbara Stahlberger, Benno Enderlein and Eckhard Mueller. As committed CI practitioners, teachers and organizers, and following the synergy of the encounters, interests and experiences, the three founders met and imagined a new International CI event in Freiburg, as a gathering of the teachers and the international CI community to exchange about their practice.

Each of them merged their experiences to co-create the contactfestival freiburg: Benno Enderlein having organized "Arnhem, Göttingen and Freiburg Jams" national weekend events since 1991;
Eckhard Müller adding his experiences as a co-founder and co-organizer of the "Blackforestjam" an international-national weekend event (1995-2002).
They brought the national jam culture traditionally with full board and studio accommodation into the new event.
Barbara Stahlberger, being inspired by her participation in the WCCIF (West Coast CI Festival) 1998 & 99, Berkeley, USA, shared what became the structural model for the Festival.

Their great investment, energy and passion have created the first international CI festival in Europe, influencing the CI community worldwide. Many other CI festivals with a similar structure have followed it.

In 2002 the Association for the Advancement of Contact Improvisation , Freiburg, e.V. was founded, to give a more clear administrative frame for the Festival with Barbara Stahlberger, Benno Enderlein and Eckhard Müller as presidents.

Since 2002 a teachers meeting precedes the Festival. The former and the current teachers meet to prepare the Festival, search for possibilities to improve the structure and the communication inside the Festival, looking for new interesting ideas and ways how to support each other.

2009 Celebration of contactfestival freiburg 10th anniversary with 300 participants. Starting with the competitions where the participants can win a free entrance. One for the festival t-shirt design and another one for short movies about Contact Improvisation with changing topics.

Since 2011 the teachers meeting is 4 days long and became even a stronger support of the whole event.

2012 Benno Enderlein takes a sabbatical year in the organization and Daniela Schwartz replaces him for this year.
We extend our festival structure for a Research Project during the Festival and a Research week.
A daily regular jam during daytime parallel to the classes and daily Bodywork into Dancing classes on the first afternoon slots, are introduced into the schedule.

2013 The festival team grows to the number of 4 organizers: Barbara Stahlberger, Benno Enderlein, Daniela Schwartz and Eckhard Müller.
The teachers’ meeting is 5 days long.

2015 After 16 years of collaboration Benno leaves the festival team in mutual agreement. The new team consists of Barbara Stahlberger, Daniela Schwartz and Eckhard Müller.

We gratefully thank and honor Benno Enderlein for being a co-founder and a co-organizer, and for accompanying us in the adventures of creating contactfestival freiburg all these years. We welcome him to the future Festivals as a Honorary Founder.

The Festival has developed over the last 20 years, integrating CI teachers from 6 continents, spreading and deepening the diversity of CI practices worldwide in about 60 countries. It is now the oldest and largest Festival in Europe, and a model for emerging CI Festivals worldwide.

We organizers have grown and developed our production, communication and human resources skills with the Festival. The teachers have developed the skills to teach large group numbers and attended to a conference each year with about 50 international peers during the Teachers’ Meeting, which has become an important platform for the exchange of knowledge, networking and archiving for the International CI teachers’ community. Over the year’s participants, teachers and organizers have learned from the experience and matured in the very rich social and cultural environment of the event.

Since it’s beginning, the Festival was conceived as a Performance platform to share individual practice, aesthetics and artistic points of view. We have had the opportunity to put into practice different curatorial proposals, scores and programs.

Since 2012 the Festival has also become a platform for Research. Since then, we have invited 1-2 researchers each year on an exchange basis, to develop their investigation during the Teachers’ meeting and the Festival. We have had researchers in the fields of choreography, visual arts, science, philosophy and anthropology using CI as their field of investigation and relating it to diverse disciplines. Each research greatly influences each event.

Since 2015, the Festival has become more inclusive by establishing 2 Scholarships for professional dancers living in countries with fragile economies.
Since 2016, a private donor has sponsored a dancer, who has a deep commitment to CI practice and is not able to afford the Festival with a full grant.
Since 2018 we have received other private sponsors’ support and for the first time in 2018 we started a donation box to give the opportunity for teachers and participants to collaborate too. We have gathered for 2019 a 2 1/3 sponsored places additional to the Festival call.
We are very thankful for your support!

The Festival has become a living collaborative platform to be reinvented every year, an inspiring container for learning, cooperation, support and growth in all directions and among/with each other and irradiating the knowledge throughout the world.

flyer and
class-,teacher- descriptions
workshop archives
competition archives
research history
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