Otto Akkanen

a wave
Form passing materia
Materia passing form
Not a half
Not yet whole
a shore to crash on
In the beginning of my dancing and dance training, I never was much for working with images or imagination.
But more and more I danced and more and more I taught, I noticed, that I can’t explain
some of the qualities of movement I sense in any other way than through imagination.

How do I conceptualise myself affect how do I feel, how do I feel affect how do I move, how do I move affect my possibilities and so on.

The qualities I am interested of, flowing, liquid, smooth, wavy, ripply have not come through imagination but the only way I can articulate and conceptualise them is through imagination. Because to explain what do I sense I need to apply images to myself that I know are not true.

The tragedy of being a human is, after all, that you can’t trust anything except your senses, and you can’t really trust your senses.

I want to cheat myself, to tell myself to be, or to do something that the physical reality clearly disagrees on, but that I can sense in me nevertheless. Shaping myself through imagined I can reach qualities of movement which pleases me: Dynamic spriralling flow, with some waves thrown in. The easiness of articulating the forces of support and gravity through me. Letting the suspension and expansion move me.

Physically on these classes we are working a lot with our center and center line and the movement around them. Ukemis, rolls, twirls, whrils.
How to move and articulate the forces through the physicality?
To work together with other person(s) as one organism.
To let that organism to move against itself, in order to change, to build, to improvise.
We are going for articulated but dynamic movement together with a clear sense of gravity and support.

This should not be your first time in doing contact improvisation.

Resident Teachers
Christine Cole
Nini Ghibradze
Yu Gen
Gomarduli Zen Garden is a CI based mountain retreat in Georgia. We hold the ongoing contact residency for 30 people and organise educational and research events around contact improvisation, contemporary dance, embodiment and somatic treatments.
What do we eat?

Vegan rustic food, fresh local vegetables and fruits.
Nutritious and delicious.
Guilty pleasures like cheese and fish are also around :)

As for the drinks, we are offering fresh coffee, blackberry tea, wild strawberries tea, chinese teas, cacao and more.


We have rooms with the forest or mountain view.

4 rooms on a second floor of each of 5 houses.
Every room has a bathroom and a balcony.
Ground floor of the cottage is a public space, with kitchenette, fireplace and big windows.

We live in a shared double rooms.
Single room is available by request.
Getting into the country
From March Georgia allows to enter people from the EU, Israel, USA, Switzerland, Norway, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Turkey
with 72-hours PCR test.

Rest of the world:

Can come having the document about vaccination (any kind of vaccine)

Gomarduli is a Covid-free place. It is a mountain resort, the village is about 1 km away, about 40 families live there. We are about 30-40 people living here, those who arrive, are coming with the test or vaccine.

For questions, please contact us:

+38 050 287 86 10

How to get to Gomarduli!
Gomarduli Village
60 km from Batumi
GPS 41.6639° N, 42.1968° E
(You have to pass Shuakhevi first!)

Detailed guidelines on alternative ways to come including the fares will be sent to your inbox with registration info letter.

Bus website (from Kutaisi)
Train website (from Tbilisi)

Your best friend in Georgia:
+995 591 01 77 22
299 €


- workshop with Otto
- classes with resident teachers
- accommodation
- 3 meals a day

Dance with us
Summer Contact Workshops
In the beginning of my dancing and dance training, I never was much for working with images or imagination.

But more and more I danced and more and more I taught, I noticed, that I can’t explain some of the qualities of movement I sense in any other way than through imagination.
What's the possible meaning of these terms in dancing CI, in the physical interaction with our own and another person's body?

How can I create a state of relaxed awareness, where every moment is an invitation to learn and grow and every surprise is a gift?
We will start warming up the body with the DanSoma Postural Training (a stretching in movement
developed by the teacher that improves both the body's health conditions, its coordination skills and then
the movement quality), we will study handstand and acro dance movements

Book Your Place
(You will receive an e-mail with next steps to complete the registration.)
What are you coming for?
When are you coming?
When are you leaving?
How did you hear about us?
Say something :)
Are you going to make the prepayment within 3 days after the registration?
You will receive an e-mail with next steps to complete the registration. Please check promotions folder too and sign us as inbox material ;)
I don't have experience in dance. Can I come?
Yes, we are beginner friendly. We have both, educational and research programs.

While here, you don't have to participate in everything, but you can choose your own rhythm and level of involvement in the center's activities.

Most of the program is designed for all levels.

How long I can stay?
From 1 week to 3 months

If you have been in the residency for 3 months, you will need a one-month break before you can return to the residency again.

There is a possibility to stay for a shorter time in our comfortable hostel. You will be able to attend classes with the resident teachers and to join the most of our activities.

Will there be classes and activities happening in between intensive while I’m there or just freestyle?
Sure, these are our routine, they always happen. We have a base schedule that has morning practices like qi gong , yoga or etc, and then two slots in the day for dance classes or other sharings. Then an open slot at night for jams or parties sometimes. We usually gather in the beginning of each week to decide the specific schedule for the week according to the mood of the group.
Can I bring my pets/children?
Yes, we are children and pet friendly. Children till 12 will get a 30% discount.
Can I buy things around? Any other restaurants?
We are the only restaurant around. We have a bar and a small store with chocolates, lighters and fruits. We don't sell tobacco. Once a week we are getting our supply from the city, you can order things you need and they will arrive on the scheduled day.
Can I offer my class/service?
Yes, we have slots in the schedule for the residents classes/labs.

If you want to offer some service/product in exchange for payment, please let us know. We're not demanding our share, we just want to make sure you're not offering absolution or karma correction.
What do I need to bring with me?
Personal belongings, clothing, knee pads, toiletries, some small presents/yummies from your country for other participants. For the personal mobile card we recommend Geocell, their internet works best here. Also we have a tradition of gift exchange - we give genuine Chinese/Taiwanese tea in exchange for a good book/vinyl plate/house plant.
Are there conditions for remote work?
Yes. We have a coworking space, 25 Mbit/s Wifi, tables, chairs, lamps and inspiring views
What language do you all speak?
We are coming from different countries, so we choose English as a main communication language.

Besides of it you can meet French, German, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian, Turkish and Italian.
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