IDOCs » Trios CI Lab - notes from Contact Festival Freiburg Teachers' Meeting 2018
Freiburg Teachers' Meeting lab facilitated by Vega Luukonnen & Malaika Sarco-Thomas, around the topic of TRIO EXPLORATIONS: possibilities, challenges, and joys of trio dancing in CI. The following documentation is realized by Malaika Sarco-Thomas.

1226 views      0 appreciations    

Freiburg TM lab with Vega Luukonnen & Malaika Sarco-Thomas

Topic: TRIO EXPLORATIONS: possibilities, challenges, and joys of trio dancing in CI

Labbers: Benno Enderlein, Robin Berkelmans, Sabine Sonnenschein, Ingrid Horlezeder, Elske Seidel, Gesine Daniels, Iwona Olszowska, Inna Falkova, Manuela Blanchard, Richard Sarco-Thomas, Malaika Sarco-Thomas, Vega Luukonnen



FIRST: Circle, each expressing their interest/curiosity in trios.

Vega. Trios need patience to focus, to build awareness of duet patterns. I love coming in and out, bringing more air and space into the dance through trio. People say they don’t feel comfy with trio, so we should practice it.

Benno. I just danced in a trio and it was great, and its about how we divide our attention.

Robin. Trios sometimes die, and need more effort to make it bloom.

Sabine. I enjoy a trio when it feels like one organism—not a duo AND. Sometimes I leave a trio when I feel like it becomes more like a duet. I like the format of the exercise/score where one person is being supported by two people.

Ingrid. I end up in trios a lot, and I’d like to focus on witnessing.

Gesine. I’m hungry for trios in jams and in general. A trio doesn’t mean that there is someone you can steal. Trios give more opportunity to improvise. 

Elske. I’m interested in the essence of the trio, different scores, and how to feed my teaching.

Inna. I’m interested in balancing the trio.

Iwona. I like the rhythm / timing, sculpture of shapes/people, changes of relation in trio/duo/solo.

Malaika. I was at CMC festival last week and one of the instructions was, “It is super okay to leave a duet or join a duet”, and I kept these words “super okay” in my mind all week— it really freed up my dancing in terms of entering and exiting spaces openly and easily.

Manuela. I’m interested in how trio enables us to use other bodies as geometry and support. And not being too mental. I enjoy when trios are really slow and sensitive.

Richard. I like trios that breathe… those with more space work best. It can be hard to enter a duet— I often feel that there is at least one person in the duet who is like, ‘fuck off’ when you approach.



SECOND: We then formed quartets, and danced four rounds of trios dancing  (7 min each), with one person watching and taking notes as they watched. We came together in our quartets to discuss what we noticed, while writing notes about our experience.


THIRD: From the notes we took, we chose three scores that emerged from our observations, and created four trios. Three trios each tried a different score, and one trio watched the space, for 10 minutes. Scores were:

1 - Trio looking for balances - balancing shapes and structures that extend for a longer time

2 - Trio looking for tableaus — considering the composition that emerges when three people are in a picturesque stillness 

3 - Trio looking for stillnesses


FOURTH: We all came together to share observations, while taking notes.

Observations included:

The balancing trio was very interesting to watch, very performative.

The tableau score worked well when the energy out of the tableau really gathered speed, intensity, making the stillness/tableaus more contrasting / surprising.

Observations about the score of looking for balances included that the task of looking for balances all together meant that all three stayed engaged in the activity, and there was a risk-taking element. In addition, focusing on balances also creates the situations of tableaus, stillnesses, and lifts as an outcome.


Other scores which were suggested, but not tried:

Stealing the middle: the soloist always tries to steal one person away from the duo

Maintaining your solo in the trio practice

Middle person connects the other two— communicates

One satellite observer

Always try to get into the middle.

Compress and expand space.

Staying in a role a bit longer, for example supporter.

Playing with connections




This document is created based on the consent of all the participating teachers during the contactfestival freiburg Teachers Meeting 2018. 

If for some reason you (as one of the participants of this meeting) changed your mind and wish some or all parts of this document not to be published, please contact


IMG 2376
IMG 2375
IMG 2374
IMG 2372
IMG 2373
IMG 2371
IMG 2369
IMG 2368
IMG 2366
IMG 2367
IMG 2365
IMG 2364
IMG 2370

You must be logged in to be able to leave a comment.