Contact Improvisation

Ateliers

Mouvements/Danse Impro, contact impro, chaque vendredi à MENS

 

Upcoming  Workshops/ Les Prochains Stages

De quoi dansons-nous? Stage Contact Improvisation, 10 & 11 Novembre, à Avignon

 

french flagLe Contact Improvisation est une pratique ludique et créative accessible à tous parce qu’elle s’appuie sur les sensations de chacun et non pas sur un modèle extérieur. Elle favorise la conscience de soi et un bien être général permettant le développement d’une certaine mobilité, de sa force et de sa créativité…

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My current approach to Contact Improvisation emphasizes the exchange and development of somatic wisdom through structured and improvised contact with others.  Somatic Wisdom is the inner knowing of our selves as an integrated body-and mind living in this world, in the here and now. Contact improvisation is one of the best ways to cultivate Somatic Wisdom because we work together with other people.  The synergy of human attention and contact is both challenging and highly creative.P1070553

Contact Improvisation is also fun and deeply nourishing: Human touch is deeply nourishing.  It is a basic human need. Contact Improvisation creates an environment and skills for sharing human touch in a safe and creative way.

As a somatic dance form we learn to move from our inner sense of authenticity grounded in our connection to the felt sense of gravity, efficiency,  force and touch.

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Contact Improvisation is an art–sport—dance that has specific and broad definitions.  For more examples and history see http://www.contactimprov.net/about.html.

or

Contact Improvisation in 1972 with founder Steve Paxton

french flag   Le contact improvisation (CI) est une pratique dansée dans laquelle les points de contact physique sont le point de départ d’une exploration à travers des mouvements improvisés.

Au-delà des simples points de contact physique entre partenaires, entre en jeu le contact global (auditif, kinesthésique, perceptif/énergétique et même affectif) du danseur avec son ou ses partenaires et avec l’environnement (le sol, l’espace, la gravité, etc.).

Aussi appelé danse-contact, c’est un genre de danse improvisée, une des formes les mieux connues et les plus caractéristiques de la danse postmoderne. En dehors des cours ou ateliers, Le contact improvisation se danse lors de pratiques libres appelées “jams”.

Le contact improvisation s’est développé aux États-Unis dans le courant des années 1970, par un groupe de danseurs, menés par Steve Paxton et Nancy Stark Smith. La première pièce présentée comme du contact improvisation fut Magnesium de Steve Paxton, en 1972. Paxton enchaîna avec la première performance de Contact Improvisation à la John Weber Gallery à New York. Par la suite, les ateliers et les jams ont permis de mettre en commun des expériences diverses et éparses, ayant toujours comme point central les capacités d’adaptation du corps en situation d’appui ou de contact extrêmes ou accidentels, en jouant avec la force de gravité et les relations entre les protagonistes. Peu à peu un langage commun s’est formé et une nouvelle pratique du mouvement a vu le jour, qui utilise la danse, les arts martiaux, la gymnastique et le « psychocorporel ».

La priorité est donnée à l’écoute et à la confiance entre les partenaires : les rencontres doivent se faire en toute fluidité, les danseurs doivent se rendre disponibles aux mouvements des autres, les partenaires doivent adapter leurs mouvements et déplacements mutuels.

Le contact improvisation peut se pratiquer en duo ou plus.

De nombreux chorégraphes contemporains utilisent également le contact improvisation comme élément central ou secondaire dans leurs pièces, laissant alors libre cours à l’inventivité des danseurs.

Il existe aujourd’hui un réseau important de contact improvisation, particulièrement intense aux États-Unis, au Canada, en Argentine, en Europe de l’Ouest mais aussi en Finlandeet en Russie, au Japon, en Australie et en Nouvelle-Zélande, etc.—Wikipedia

Voici la description de certaines des thèmes du Contact Improvisation, que je ai présentées lors des ateliers au cours des années:

Here are descriptions of the some of The Contact Improvisation Themes I have presented in Workshops  over the years:  

Restorative Contact Improvisation:

We will explore contact improvisation from the perspectives of health and the development of somatic wisdom. Drawing on methods from Bodywork, Qigong, and Somatic Education we direct our contact towards the maintenance and development of our health, integration and growing somatic wisdom. Bodywork teaches us that by giving and receiving touch, health can be cultivated; Qigong teaches us how to balance ourselves while harmonizing with the way of the universe; and somatic education shows us that through teaching and studying somatic wisdom can be transmitted. The content of the class will be structured around testing out differentiating our roles in a dance to learn about the usefulness of various polarities such as giver and receiver, the one who is moved and the one moving, the teacher and the student. All of this will be done with an attitude of expanding our awareness of and understanding of roles, so we have more choices available to make our dances deeply nourishing and educational. The class will draw on a larger body of work that uses the concepts of polarization, merging, and gradation of polarities, which can be useful in scoring dances.

Some of the gradients are:

<polarized roles—non-polarized roles>

<giving—receiving>

<focus on internal sensation—focusing on sensing another>

<stillness—movement>

<actively responding with movement—passively receiving by letting go of activity>

<sensing—moving/manipulating/directing>

<self—we—other>

The class is designed to develop students embodied capacity to differentiate roles spontaneously as well as a conceptual understanding of roles useful for people creating scores, classes and laboratories.

Some notes about the history of Restorative Contact Improvisation which I wrote in 2010.

After years of movement work and dancing I began developing the concept of “Restorative Contact Improvisation” through experiences of dancing with people that I first named “mutual simultaneous bodywork.” In these dances we both moved toward unwinding, releasing tension and energizing ourselves and the other person at the same time. Wow!

Teaching these aspects of Contact Improvisation evolved into investigations of differentiating roles and working with complementary polarities as a way to move towards health and balance through a dance/bodywork session. It has been great to do this in Boulder, working with amazing groups of individuals experienced with contact improvisation as well as bodywork and various somatic therapies. Examining polarities has allowed us to work with the gradients in between and allowed us to mix things together in various ways that many bodywork and movement contexts don’t explore.

With a primary focus on expanding our options, we are evolving new ways of working, both together as peers and as professional therapists. This class is a context in which to build on our experience and develop new ways of mixing movement, dance, and bodywork. While plumbing the depth of mutual simultaneous bodywork still intrigues me this work has expanded beyond that as I have explored integrating it within a professional bodywork context.  My hope in sharing this work is that individuals expand into engaging and evolving their full range of possibilities and to share that with others for the balancing, health and vitality of everyone involved.

Dancing with the Mind, Body and “Heart” in Contact Improvisation:

Where is the “heart” in Contact Improvisation? Contact Improvisation is a dance created largely through attention to the physical sensations of gravity, displacement of body mass in space, and the transmission of forces through physical contact.  To expand the possibilities in our dances we train our attention together with our body to listen, perceive and create a wide range of sensations and movements — in our selves, in others and in the shared space.

Building on the foundation of physical and sensory skills we will explore bringing more attention to qualities associated with the “heart.” How does compassion relate to the principles of efficiency, listening and safety?  How does joy become spontaneity and creativity in a dance? How does forgiveness relate to staying present with what is happening “now” in the dance.  How do gratitude and generosity relate to giving and receiving weight, support and touch? How do we develop trust in our dance and in our connection with our partner?  Staying grounded in conscious, physical explorations we will enrich the dance by integrating explorations of these “heart” qualities.

french flag Danser avec l’esprit, le corps et “Coeur” en Contact Improvisation

Où est le cœur en Contact Improvisation ? Le Contact Improvisation s’est largement construit à travers une attention aux sensations physiques de la gravité, aux déplacements de masses corporelles dans l’espace et à la transmission de forces à travers le contact physique.

Pour étendre les possibilités de nos danses, nous entrainons notre conscience, notre corps, pour écouter, percevoir et créer une large gamme de sensations et de mouvements — à l’intérieur de si,  chez les autres et au sein d’un espace partagé.

En investissant nos compétences physiques et sensorielles, nous explorerons des manières d’apporter plus d’attention aux qualités associées au « cœur ». Comment la compassion entre-t-elle en relation avec l’efficacité, l’écoute et la sécurité ? Comment la joie  se transforme-t-elle en spontanéïté et en créativité dans la danse ? Comment le pardon entre-t-il en relation avec le fait de rester présent à ce qui est en train d’arriver dans la danse ? Comment la gratitude et la générosité peuvent être en lien avec le fait de donner et recevoir du poids, du support, du toucher ? Comment développons-nous de la confiance dans nos danses et dans la connexion avec nos partenaires ?

En ancrant le stage dans des explorations physiques, conscientes, nous enrichirons la danse en intégrant ces explorations autour des qualités du cœur.

Human – Object in Space & world of possibilities:  Physics, Contact and Divergences: 

Its 11:13 AM on Sunday morning, do you know where your center of gravity is? Does it matter? In these classes we will alternate between exploring classical CI Interests in the physics of movement and divergent material based on intentionality, energetic and physical anatomy, and somatic states. In the physics part we will practice creating and sensing: friction, force, tensegrity, momentum, gravity, fulcrum, center of gravity and other physical principles. Clarifying our dynamic “physical” situation and options will expand our possibilities for movement and suspension in space. In the other part we will continue with what I have been calling the “bodywork score,” studying and engaging specific anatomical structures, exploring the embodiment of East Asian energetic anatomy, and other state based material.

Contact Improvisation and Somatic Wisdom.

In this class we develop our Somatic wisdom: the capacity to sense, feel and move oneself in rich detail, with a sense of internal harmony and harmony in relationship to others. The combined attention and awareness of two people dancing contact improvisation, is an excellent context for the exchange and cultivation of somatic wisdom. Our movement and our contact will be a laboratory for conducting research into what is enjoyable, interesting and functional. We will explore contact improvisation as a balance between an expressive form, where we allow our impulses to flow, and a practice of sensing and supporting. We will use methods from bodywork as well as the understanding of polarity, unity and balance from Qigong.

As we develop somatic wisdom, we develop greater embodied awareness, we strengthen our capacity for transformation and we learn to be at peace in the present. In contact improvisation we can share with each other the somatic wisdom we have cultivated and help each other along the path of development.

french flag Contact improvisation, sagesse somatique et Qi gong

Durant ce stage, nous développerons notre sagesse somatique : la capacité de percevoir, ressentir et de se mouvoir subtilement, avec un sens de l’harmonie intérieure et de l’harmonie dans la relation aux autres.La combinaison de l’attention et de la conscience de deux personnes dansant en contact improvisation est un excellent cadre pour le partage et le développement de la sagesse somatique. Notre mouvement et notre contact seront un laboratoire de recherche de ce qui est agréable, intéressant et fonctionnel. Nous allons explorer le contact improvisation dans un équilibre entre une forme expressive, par laquelle nous permettrons à nos impulsions de s’écouler, et une pratique perceptive et de support. Nous allons utiliser des méthodes de travail corporel ainsi que la compréhension de la polarité, l’unité et l’équilibre du Qi gong.

Fascia and Bones in Contact Improvisation:

Clarify and dance with the support and mobility of our skeleton and our fascia. We will draw on the Feldenkrais Method, and classical Contact Improvisation explorations which clarify the felt sense of the skeleton and its great capacity for clear and effective support. The clear structure of the skeleton is supported and softened by the fascia, which connects and integrates everything together. We will experience how the fascia is global and creates a medium for communication between ourselves, the floor and our partners.

When we connect with bones and fascia our contact with others has a distinctive inner richness. The combined attention and awareness of two people dancing Contact Improvisation with these focuses becomes an excellent context for the exchange and cultivation of somatic wisdom. Our movement and our contact will be a laboratory for conducting research into our bones, fascia and communication through touch. In this class, Contact Improvisation is a dynamic balance between an expressive form of our inner creative flow and also a practice of sensing, supporting and learning.

Pelvic Awareness and Dynamics: For Dance, Contact Improvisation and Life

Understanding and clearly embodying the pelvis helps establish a balanced, mobile and powerful basis for our being and our activity. This workshop will employ the Feldenkrais Method, Embodied Anatomy and Physical Therapy techniques to help us clarify the structures and movements of the pelvis and the highly important pelvic floor. This somatic awareness we develop will be mobilized and integrated through explorations in Contact Improvisation. We find here an incredible capacity for power, ease and diverse spatial orientation in our own dancing and in our partnering work.

french flag  Conscience et dynamique pelvienne et Fascias comme support dans la Danse, le Contact Improvisation, la vie.

Explorer l’espace du bassin, son lien avec le reste du corps, le plancher pelvien, la respiration, établit une base puissante, mobile et équilibrée. Nous éveillerons aussi la conscience des fascias, espace élastique entre la peau, les muscles, les os, fascinant réseau tridimensionnel reliant nos différentes structures, afin d’amener de la fluidité, de la légèreté, une aisance dans l’orientation spatiale et dans la communication directe avec le corps de l’autre. Nous nous appuierons, entre autres, sur la méthode Feldenkrais® pour clarifier le squelette, développer notre conscience de la structure subtile de notre mouvement global et nous aider à nous libérer des habitudes. 

 

A link to films of contact improvisation from the web

http://contactimprovonscreen.org/

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