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Date(s) - 08/07/2020 - 14/07/2020
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

KARUNA, Serra de Monchique, Algarve, Portugal


Welcome to our Facebook event.
We want to start by expressing our gratitude for your interest in this project.
We hope you will continue to be interested after you read the OVERVIEW and you understand what you are being invited to.
Sasha, Nirvan, Mario & Auri.

8 – 14 July 2020
Monte Karuna Retreat Center – Portugal




The 3rd Silent Contact Retreat is a gathering for experienced CI practitioners who wish to spend a week moving and living in silent awareness.
It’s a Contact Improvisation event that is not structured around classes or workshops. Instead, it’s a container, carefully designed for deepening the CI practice and journeying into self-knowledge.

The main structure of the gathering orbits around three fundamental pillars: Verbal Silence, Contact Improvisation and Authentic Movement, plus a strong invitation and support for meditation and a Deeper Silence.

An environment to be silent and fully immerse in the CI practice, whether you choose to move or to be still. A format that questions and reveals the meaning of movement, expression, and dance.


Here are some of the reasons you might resonate with:

You feel like most CI events don’t gather all the necessary conditions to support a full immersion into the practice. It does happen at times, but not as often and intense, as you would like it to be.

You feel that being busy with classes and following the proposals of teachers, takes you away from your own rhythms, solutions and from situations of uncertainty, that can be full of creativity and self-knowledge potential.

You are motivated by questions like:
Can my presence be more supportive than my action?
Can I be moved, without my own guidance?
How will a silent environment affect my body and my dance?
Can I join others, so it will nourish my needs and interest?
Can I join others, so it will nourish their needs interests?
Can I join others, without that becoming a distraction?
What do I want?
What happens if I don’t choose what I want?
What happens If I choose not to choose?

You feel most CI events don’t give space to explore these questions and you find little space to bring alternative proposals, which may not be aligned with the organizations script.

You look for a place to learn from yourself and from your peers, instead of learning from a teacher’s voice: a place where classes are not the main focus, but jamming and labbing experience become the main practices.

You don’t find space for meditation and silence and you feel that chatting fills most of the free time.

Finally, you perceive a tendency to lose awareness of the body sensations, for example when the meal times are mixed with socializing time, which leads us to emotional eating or eating in an inattentive way. Frequently end up overeating, which does not support the dance.

In summary, you are noticing the magic happening in those few moments when people stay focused, and not when they are told what to do. And then a common flow is created out of true listening, as the expression of a common field.

If you resonate with these motives, let us introduce you the Silent Contact Retreat.


A 7-day gathering for deep immersion. In these days, we consciously and deliberately remove any distractions which may interfere with the attention, focus, and genuine deep connection. The structure that is offered provides the conditions to keep oneself comfortable, focused and naturally Integrated with the flow.

For this purpose, the conditions are set on various levels…

3.A. Silence

A lot of time and energy in most CI events is directed to verbal communication and socialization. We invite you to take that energy into your movement research, your meditation, and self-contemplation. This is truly an exceptional opportunity to leave aside all the social noise and daily life tasks knowing that you are not expected to behave according to the habitual social conventions.
The deeper presence and subtler focus become more evident as the verbal communication is removed…

In this retreat, we empower the recognition of our own self, from there awareness becomes tangible and manifests through our dance. To get there, Verbal Silence is essential.
Silence, however, is not to be taken simply as the absence of verbal communication. That is a start, but let’s go further. We encourage you to go deeper and drop other default habits and conventions related to social acceptance or politeness, like nodding the head or smiling when we meet someone in the way.

To ensure the above stated we all agree to the following SILENCE COMMITMENT:

We commit to:

– Avoid Verbal communication and be aware of the boundaries and choices of others.
– Avoid the use of communication devices. (if you find it convenient you can leave yours under the care of the organization for the duration of the Retreat).

There is no supervision or judgment over personal actions and choices, but breaking these basic commitments can compromise the overall experience of the group. Who goes into this kind of behavior, may be requested to leave the retreat.

We also commit to doing our best in:

Understanding, that each one follows her/his own process.
Respecting and supporting those who go deeper into silence or meditation
Not judging those who stay only within the frame of the Verbal Silence.
Being mindful in every interaction.

Exceptions to the SILENCE COMMITMENT:

Need for emotional support. Team members are available to listen and give emotional support to participants if needed. Practical needs will be addressed in a simple non-verbal way.

Everyday In the frame of the Morning Silent Listening structure there will be a 15-minute space with the possibility of unilateral verbal expression to take place (meaning it excludes dialogues, commentaries or advice)

The team follows the same commitment as the participants, and will only meet with the purpose of managing the practical needs of the retreat.

The organization has a phone number and an email address available that participants can share with any close person, relative, friend, partner or whom they want. Both are being checked during the day, and participants will be notified immediately if someone requests so. This is, however, a resource to be used in cases of emergency, therefore we request discretion.

Delicate situations, in which the participant needs to communicate with the outside (for example, a seriously ill relative, or a child in the care of another person), have to be communicated in advance to the organization. In such cases, an exception could be made, as long as it doesn’t compromise the process.

3.B. Practices

Contact Improvisation, Authentic Movement structures, Meditation, Artistic Expression and Connection/Exploration of the surrounding nature. Those are the core activities.
The basic daily structure gives space to a personal morning practice, Group Contemplation, an Open Jam (unstructured), an Authentic Movement structure, and an Evening Score.

3.C. Participants

Because of the nature of the retreat, a request of experience is needed. Without that requirement, it wouldn’t even be responsible to make an invitation like this.

To apply we request the following experience:

Regarding Contact Improvisation and the Scores inspired in the AM discipline, we request a certain concrete experience, in order to ensure a common ground of understanding. Because of the Silent nature of the retreat, there won’t be explanations, neither lessons, therefore the principles that inform these practices must be known and familiar for all. It’s worth saying that it is not required dancing acrobatic skills, technique, or any degree of virtuosity.

This event is also an invitation to explore and pursue conscious awareness of oneself and the environment, as well as to inquire about the patterns that distract us from that. And even though this is an invitation and not a condition, we expect your willingness to explore and support these with the quality of your presence.

In order to register for the Silent Contact Retreat, participants have to fill a Form. The answers will be read carefully, and if it is clear that both applicant and retreat fit each other then we’ll confirm the invitation to join.
If there is a need for further clarifications, one of the organizers will ask to have a “Skype” meeting, in order to discuss and reach more clarity.

This is done in the sincere spirit of taking care of the persons and the retreat, for the benefit of all the group.

Ultimately, if a person’s attendance is considered inconvenient, they will be informed, as well as the reasons for such consideration. We ask for the understanding that such a decision is not personal, and not comfortable to make.


The retreat will take place in Karuna Retreat Center, in the South of Portugal, an hour away from Faro airport, and around 3 hours from Lisbon. Literally translated as Compassion, Karuna is a retreat and meditation center and a non-profit organization.

Karuna Retreat Center is located in the green mountains of Serra de Monchique in the Algarve. Serra de Monchique is known for it’s healing thermal water, medicinal plants, pure air and lush green landscapes. The Retreat Center offers a stunning view over Portugal’s southern coast and the Atlantic Ocean. Karuna is amongst one of the most secluded and silent places in this area and is home to a variety of local flora and fauna. The Retreat Center’s property is isolated and perfect for those in search of silence, seclusion, and peace.

Our dance will take place in a large meditation hall with wooden floors and a view over the Atlantic Ocean.

There is a ​small meditation hall for those who need more quietness and a smaller space for mediation.

​We have a lake onsite to refresh ourselves during the hot times of the day.

We share breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in a very cozy dining hall. We will eat with an outstanding view!

Karuna is a non-smoking place. No alcoholic drinks, meat or fish are allowed.

In Karuna, we are hosted in double and triple rooms. Most of the rooms have a splendid view over the southern coast of the Algarve. We are provided with towels, bed linen and blankets. Exceptionally there is space for a few camping tents or caravans.


We have 3 meals per day.
We have 3 meals/day. Only local products are used and, whenever it is possible, fresh products from the vegetable garden at Karuna. Also throughout the day, there is tea and fruits available.

Food is vegetarian, with vegan food available. Any special request/health condition will be acknowledged as best as possible if communicated in advance.

You are invited to bring with you any treat or delicacy of your choice. No alcoholic drinks, meat or fish are allowed.


Mario Blanco (Spain-Argentina)
Contact Improvisation dancer. Organizer of the Water & Land Contact Festival in Thailand (ci-thai.com).. Body Worker (Zen Shiatsu). Freediving instructor. Creator and facilitator of OceanDance (Oceandance.net)

Sasha Bezrodnova (Russia)
Contact Improvisation dancer, teacher of body awareness and CI. Organizer of the Water & Land Contact Festival in Thailand (ci-thai.com), Ladoga Dance Village Festival in Russia (ladoga-dance.ru). Social Psychologist, Embodiment facilitator, Bodymind Gestalt therapist. Creator and facilitator of OceanDance (Oceandance.net)

Auri Ladeira.(Angola-Portugal)
Contact Improvisation dancer, facilitator and organizer of CI Workshops, CI Intensive Classes and events in Portugal and Spain. Creator and facilitator of Ponto Contact and Lisbon Friday Jam. Creator and facilitator at Sincronia Contact and AlmaZen9 (Madrid).
Trees healer and whisperer, Ancient Tantra Kriya Yoga Instructor and Bodyworker.

Nirvan (Portugal)
Spiritual apprentice, researcher explorer.
CI and Chi Kung practitioner.
Facilitator and organizer of CI and Movement Awareness events… in land and water.
Aquatic Bodyworker, Therapist & Artist.


We are choosing a sliding scale pricing in order to welcome and give space to those less able to afford the retreat, as well as to those able and willing to be supportive. Bear in mind that these are not unconditional options. By choosing “fragile economy” you will be benefiting from other’s generosity (participants and project), it is an option meant for those in need. On the other hand, choosing a contributory price you are expressing generosity to others (participants and project). In both instances, we invite you to be mindful of your financial situation. If your choice does not appear clear, them we encourage you to choose an equitable price.

Fragile economy € 300 (does not support organizers work)
Equitable Price € 360 (fair payment for retreat costs and organizers work)
Contributory Price € 390 (supports scholarships and organizers work)


In order to Register we request that you follow the following link, and answer the form:


Following registration, we will contact you to confirm that your request is accepted.
That answer implies that your place in the retreat will be on hold for the next 15 days.
It will be definitely confirmed by paying the deposit of € 125.


AUTHENTIC MOVEMENT is a movement practice pioneered by Mary Starks Whitehouse in the ’50s that evolved through different perspectives with the subsequent offerings of different teachers (most notably Janet Adler, who coined the term Authentic Movement). The practice typically involves verbal sharing.

Since we are in a context of silence, other structures will be proposed and sharings will happen through silent means.

If you have other questions that are not addressed here, please write us to:


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