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Encima da Chapada - Contact Improvisation Festival

9º ENCIMA da Chapada

Contact Improvisation Festival

17th January - 7th February, 2024

Chapada Diamantina - Bahia - Brazil

Be ready for 22 days of classes, intensives, workshops, nature walks, waterfalls, contemplation, improvisation, interaction, integration and rest. Surrender to the energy of the water, the stones, the hikes. Enjoy the view of stunning landscapes and experience the amusement of moving through dance and nature. Be in touch with your inner self and with people from all over the planet.

This experience is a deep dive into nature. For all of those who feel ready to be enchanted, to be surprised, to surpass themselves, to get to know each other…


Encima da Chapada will guide us to a powerful journey, from the pure waters of Vale do Capão to the sacred mountains of Vale do Pati. An immersion of dance surrounded by nature, opening a space of deep listening for the sublime dialogue of the body with the environment.


Classes, labs and jams in Capão

- 22nd to 29th January 2024 -

During the first week we will be cohabitating in the village of Vale do Capão, – also known as Caeté-Açú – located at the entrance of Chapada Diamantina National Park, municipality of Palmeiras, in the state of Bahia. The term “Caetê-Açu” in Tupi (the local indigenous language) means “great true forest”. Upon arrival, all it takes is to look around to understand the reason for this name. This oasis with impressive waterfalls, breathtaking landscapes and diamonds sprouting from the earth, generated so much magnetism that it ended up attracting countless interesting and alternative people, healers and artists from all over the planet, becoming one of the most cosmopolitan villages in the world!

In this phase, we will be enjoying the grounds of the super charming Pousada do Capão, with a wonderful wooden dancefloor by the edge of the Batista River. A natural pool, sand court, saunas, hot tub, several lawn areas surrounded by nature and a beyond-inspiring view will be just some of the facilities of the place that will host us. There we will share classes, jams, experimentation labs, sensory exploration, trekking and lots of space for exchanging dances, ideas and coexistence.


Dance Hiking in Pati

- 1st to 7th February 2024 -

During the second week we will enter the Vale do Pati, an ecological sanctuary in the heart of Chapada Diamantina National Park. It is known worldwide for being a place of unspeakable beauty and a peculiar ecosystem, being one of the most sought after places by those who enjoy trekking in nature and hiking to spectacular sites. Away from car noises, cell phone antennas or other distractions, we will further explore the movement of the body in nature, opening up our perception and possibilities for interaction with the environment and other beings. In a 7-day dance trek, we will cultivate time to be silent, breathe, observe, walk, contemplate small dances, large waterfalls, movement and stillness… immersing ourselves in a space outside of time, opening to true connection with our essential nature.

Pre-Festival Workshop

- 17th to 19th January 2024 -

Master Class with Sasha

Before starting the Capão phase, there will be a pre-festival workshop, with our anchor teacher, who has been invited to collaborate with the festival on long term basis, because we love her research!
Since this work deals with fundamentals, it firstly affects our quality of presence and our relationship with the world, and secondly, it prepares the body appropriately for dance, revealing fresh possibilities for movement and interaction.

Sasha Bezrodnova - Encima da Chapada

Os professores

Em breve mais informações...

The teachers


Schedule Encima da Chapada - Pre festival
Schedule Encima da Chapada - Vale do Capão
Capão Valley
Schedule Encima da Chapada - Vale do Pati
Pati Valley
Photos from past editions


Stage Pre-Festival

Pre-festival workshop

- Master Class with Sasha Bezrodnova -

17th to 19th January 2024

3 classes of 3 hours each
(without meals or accommodation)

€ 75

Stage I

Capão Valley

- Classes, labs and jams in Capão -

22nd to 29th January 2024 –

8 days, including all activities and meals
(without accommodation)

€ 370

Stage II

Pati Valley

- Dance Hiking in Pati -

1st to 7th February 2024 –

7 days, including all activities, meals and guide
(without accommodation)

€ 440

All Stages (Pre, I and II)

Pre-festival + Capão + Pati

- Full package -

17th January to 7th February 2024

22 days including all activities,
and meals in capão and pati phases
(without accommodation)

€ 840
Accommodation at Pousada do Capão

R$ 50 (camping daily)

From R$ 160 (daily in shared luxury suite)

Have a look at the rooms and environment:

Accommodation at Vale do Pati

From R$ 50 (camping daily)

From R$ 100 (daily in shared room)

How to get

You can look for flights to Salvador (SSA) or Lençóis (LEC).

From either Salvador or Lençóis, you can take a bus to Capão. The cheapest option to arrive in Vale do Capao is taking a bus from Salvador to Palmeiras at 11 pm. This bus arrives early in the morning, at that time you can easily find a collective van that takes you directly to Capão village.

More information:

+55 75 9842-1657
encimadachapada @

Photo and video credits: Maria de Los Angeles, Carlos Gavina, Sasha Bezrodnova, Julia Limaverde, Xenia, Joana Shroeder, Ciro Becker, Felipe Godoi, Olya Glotka, Marina Sekacheva.

Encima da Chapada. All rights reserved.

“The Patterns of Being” Intensive at the Intersection of Somatics and Contact Improvisation

My passion and deep exploration in recent years has been working with movement patterns. According to the somatic (embodiment) approach, we move with our entire selves. It is through movement, which occurs on various levels of our existence, that we feel, experience, act, and relate, everything with our whole selves.

Therefore, the fundamental movement patterns can be equally called patterns of being. Studying how we use or don’t use various patterns helps us become aware of ourselves in interaction with the world in order to find more possibilities for free choice, if we believe it exists. If it doesn’t exist, then at the very least, it provides more opportunities for understanding our conditioning.

During the intensive, I will invite you to discover and explore different movement patterns from the following frameworks:

  • Neurocellular patterns, as per Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen.
  • Satisfaction Cycle patterns.
  • Primitive Reflexes, some basic infant reflexes.

Reflexes help movement occur instantly, bypassing the processing of information in the cortex of the brain, which is very helpful in organizing the body quickly and correctly in survival situations.

We will awaken the body in a dynamic way, enabling our reflexes to act easily in slides, spirals and lines of force. We will inhabit the bone structure and its connections with the ground and others, as well as the relationships between the ground and vertical lines. Standing here and guided by a point of contact, the dancers will be encouraged to look for fluidity of movement, without knowing exactly where it will take them. They will transport or will be transported by physical forces, already put into play. When physical safety is guaranteed in movement, on a more instinctive level, improvisation finds a more subtle playing field.

We will investigate specific Contact Improvisation skills, awakening our senses of the surrounding environment. We will seek and investigate our own fluid movement, bringing it to states that lead us to a safe and unique dance. We will accentuate our relationship with the ground, until we recognize it as a pair, through our own adjustments to gravity and our multiple attention. Another core of the practice will be the exploration of improvisation, practical and poetic games that the world of improvisation can provide, so that each singularity finds its own particular way of dancing.

Sasha Bezrodnova (Russia)

- Intensive with Sasha -

Limits, Margins, Boundaries:
a Place of Meeting

The intensive is gonna be focused on how we interact with the world in the very place of contact. Where we end, and where the other, or the world, begins? Where are our membranes that are both sensitive and protective? How do our boundaries change in the process of interaction? 
The topic of boundaries brings us to so many different places…

Why sometimes we say YES, when we are not sure, or when we mean NO?
When do we betray ourselves and when we are following our inner truth?
When do we neglect or ignore our limits, or pretend we dont have them?

Our ability to be nourished emotionally and bodily derives from our self-permission to trust, to absorb, to be aware of our needs, to accept that we have needs, to be fully present with all our shadow parts in contact with the other.

How do we manifest ourselves in the presence of the other? Who we think we are and how we want to be percieved? How we are with being seen, felt, smelled? How much are we ready to really be ourselves and to meet the others the way they are? What do we want from contact and why do we need contact?

What happens in the authentic meeting of me and the other, me and the environment? How the alchemy turns the  different essences into a new oneness? When we improvise, are we a bunch of individuals within the dance space, or a new unique expression of life? What is the dance that occurs when something meets something? Or when we meet with Nature? 

Playing with all these layers, we will encounter the sourses of movement within us, outside of us, among us and between us. We will create space for very personal meetings, for spontaneous artistic acts and for manifestation of something that we don’t know yet that we are.

We will investigate space as a source of visible and invisible forces that inform the intelligence of this very moment. We will explore curiosity as a force of nature that enables the body and mind to improvise. Opening the multidimensional body, we will work with the metaphysical levels of movement that invite the imagination and poetic thought. We will explore presence as an act of generosity to allow ourselves to be seen and enter the organic cycle of appearance and disappearance. Contemplation and breathing will be the basis for entering states of shared presence with the human and more-than-human worlds. We will be danced by Aluna.*

* Aluna is a term used by the Kogui indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia. It is a concept to define the space of thought, the invisible, the mind within nature – and it means idea, consciousness, thought and essence. It can mean “thought” and “ocean”.

The purpose of the class is to provoke a deep state of listening anchored in the observation of physical sensations to investigate the territory of the unknown. With the focus on the movement of attention, we will try to dilate the time between stimulus and response to open the spectrum of possibilities and choices. Promote awareness of the multiplicity of meanings and internal dialogues that contact brings. Make the body available to do by listening and to listen by doing. Move and be moved.

This class is a journey that, starting from the breath, will bring us to learn some simple “acrobatic” elements that will enrich our dance and therefore our possibilities of communication with other bodies, as well as our abilities to support each other and fly together.