Nicole Bindler––dance-maker, Body-Mind Centering® practitioner, writer, and activist––has practiced contact improvisation (CI) for 25 years, and her work has been presented on four continents. Recent projects include collaborations with Diyar Theatre in Bethlehem, Palestine; teaching about consent culture and disability justice in CI; somatic research on the embryology of the genitalia from a non-binary perspective; teaching experimental classes such as Embodying Neuroqueer / Neuroqueering Embodiment and Polyvagal Theory and Protest through freeskewl; presentations about rebuilding in-person dance and somatics communities in ways that tangibly address the inequities laid bare by the pandemic; and a solo dance, The Case for Invagination, in which her scars speak candidly about trauma and desire.
Her dances have been supported by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Leeway Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, and the Ellen Forman Memorial Award. She has been presented by High Zero Festival, Transmodern Age Festival, FringeArts, D.C. Improvisation Festival, The Kennedy Center, Danspace Project, Links Hall, Performance Mix Festival, Cultivate Festival, SOS Festival, nEW Festival, Bowerbird, Community Education Center, Philadelphia Dance Projects, First Person Arts, Irtijal09’, Warsaw CI Flow International Dance Festival, Ponderosa, Ontario Regional Contact Improvisation Dance Jam, Mütter Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Contact Festival Freiburg, among others.
She holds a BA in Dance and Poetry from Hampshire College, a degree in Muscular Therapy from the Muscular Therapy Institute, and three certificates from the School for Body-Mind Centering®. Bindler has been on faculty at Temple University, University of the Arts, and the University of Pennsylvania. She has guest lectured at Drexel University, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Hameline University, Arizona State University. University of Texas, Austin, Goldsmith’s University, St Mary’s College of Maryland, Moore College of Art and Design, and Ursinus College. Additionally, she has presented at The Future of CI Conference, Body-Mind Centering Association Conferences, International Conference on Disability Studies, Arts & Education, Conney Conference on Jewish Arts, Women in Dance Leadership Conference, Jews and Jewishness in the Dance World, and Bodily Undoing Symposium.
She has performed in the work of Linda Diamond, Brenda Divelbliss, Jennifer Hicks, Debra Bluth, Ju-Yeon Ryu, Leah Stein, PIMA Group, Zornitsa Stoyanova, Willi Dorner, and Katsura Kan, and has studied with many dance masters including Judson luminaries Barbara Dilly and Deborah Hay; Contact Improvisation masters Nancy Stark Smith, Karen Nelson, Chris Aiken, K.J. Holmes, and Felice Wolfzahn; and Butoh master Yoshito Ohno.
She has participated in residencies through Move Move Collaborative, Light Box, The Wedding Space, Cross Pollination Residency, Place [Maker} Space, and Mascher Space Cooperative. From 2003-2013 she curated performances, workshops, and festivals including FALLS BRIDGE: new movement, improvisation and performance festival, and the Deborah Hay Solo Festival. In 2020 she co-produced the Consent Culture in Contact Improvisation Online Symposium at Earthdance.
Her writing on dance, somatics, and politics has been published in Critical Correspondence, Contact Quarterly, Emergency Index by Ugly Duckling Presse, Jewish Currents, BMC® Currents, Curate This, Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices, Somatics Toolkit, American Jewish Studies Perspectives, and thINKingDANCE. She was a founding member of the DEI Committee at Earthdance, and organizes with Jewish Voice for Peace-Philadelphia and The Philadelphia Community Bail Fund.