Throughout this session we referred to one of our readings The Movement Of Attention an interview with Daniel Lepkoff by the postmodern dancer Simone Forti. In this reading he discusses that the head, eyes and breathe are in constant motion. Even when your eyes are closed they are in constant motion. He also talks about feeling and reading the space “when you walk through a door, there is a “reading” that you take” (Lepkoff, 2005, 3), this was so important, you should feel the space, feel where you are, read the space and make yourself aware of where you are and where your about to perform. In class we made contact with another person (Chloe) and we were only allowed to make contact with that body part, trying to explore movements and staying in constant motion with each other was difficult and challenging for us both, but because we have the trust and connection with each other already we did manage to find ways of moving in and around each other whilst doing this which was helpful for me. 

Was our moves creative? 


We also rested our head in a different partner hands (Hannah) allowing them to take all of our weight.

Did my partner have my head supported properly? 

Did I trust my partner? 


In fact, I did trust my partner, although I haven’t worked with Hannah much in contact we have a good relationship outside of dance which allowed trust to format fairly quick. I felt like I did have the confidence in her to take care of me and not drop my head. 

 The last part of the session we finally started to take each other’s body weight which related to a video we had watched earlier on in the session which was Steve Paxstons Magnism, the founder of contact improvisation himself. This was such a chaotic number and the dancers were weight baring so much which relates to our pebble and roll over the back which eventually turned into head stand over table top. We didn’t exactly throw ourselves on top each other like the video we watched but we got to the stage of weight baring on each other was fun and exciting as it was something new. It felt like we had taken that next step to doing more creative and challenging lifts. We were encouraged like every week to work with different people which is what I did, even if some people I didn’t have the best trust or relationship with. Kye was really hard to work with on the last exercise (head stand over table top) as he is a lot taller than me therefore I had to create a lot of momentum and trust in order to get over his back safely.

Can they take my body weight? 

Will they drop me? 

Have I created enough momentum to get over Kye or not? 


One reading in particular stood out to me the most which was Essentials. By Margaret Sunghe Paek, Beginning, Approaching, Practicing, Dancing. This reading I felt was so relatable to me and out of any described the way I was feeling in contact and what actually happens during the lesson. She talks about how in a lesson we would instantly run to a friend if a teacher was to say grab a partner, but in fact although we picked our friend out to work with our bodies in the space might not work well together. Trying to work with different people to find them connections with different bodies. Paek also mentions that the unknowns Is actually creativity and that not knowing what’s going to happen next is a great way of pushing the boundaries and creating different movements with different people. 

 

Bibliography-

 Forti, S. (2005) The Movement of Attention. The Movement Research Performance Journal, 29 (Spring), Available from http://daniellepkoff.com/writings/Daniel%20Simone%20Interview.php [accessed 15 October 2017] 

 Paek, S. M, (2015) Beginning, approaching, practicing, dancing. Contact Quarterly, Vol 40: 1, pp. 36. 

Klubika (2011) contact improvisation 1972

. Availbale from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FeSDsmIeHA&t=1s[accessed 10 october 2017]   

 

 

 

 

This week’s reading Touch: Experience and Knowledge, by Fiona Bannon and Duncan Holt. This was so interesting reading for me, the reading really explored the different ways that touch is one of the most important elements of contact improvisation and also in just daily life as well. The reading is very repetitive and talks a lot about how important touch is and sometimes we don’t remember what that touch feels like. 

The reading talks about touching in day to day life and in this particular part about a chiropractor and how ” hands on” (Fiona Bannon and Duncan Holt pg. 217) the job is and the experience you encounter when you’re a client and the professional. They do this every single day there for they probably don’t remember the sensation and the contact that the skin made. This made me think about all different experiences I’ve encountered with people and how I’ve never felt about how I’ve touched somebody and the sensation I got. I then touched a fellow class mate and tried to feel the sensations I got and what I could feel, I didn’t get much sensation off them as this is something that you do every day. 

In class we started by lying on the floor, the aim of this exercises was to move from side to side. We did this whilst our eyes were shut, I found having your eyes shut helpful because then I didn’t have the urge to look at anyone else to see what they were doing, you were in your own world and I was just exploring different reaches and pulls that I could do and also how big I could make my shapes before rolling on to each side. I tried keeping all my parts of the body in contact with the floor thinking about all the different parts that are touching the floor and what feelings I got through my clothes, and what does the floor feel like when it brushes against my skin. This was such a simple exercise but by thinking about how the feelings and sensations of my skin and body gave me a knock-on effect in to different movements. 

The surfing and rolling exercise was such a fun exercise and again like the first week we were encouraged to try this exercise with different people, experiencing people’s bodies differently. I first tried this with Kirsty my lecturer and a professional contact improvisation so straight away I was feeling nervous by working with someone I hadn’t worked with before. She eased me into the exercise so gently explaining every step to me. She was contently speaking to me breathing and making sure that I was comfortable with what we were doing. The main element in this task was being engaged at all times and staying on contact via word of mouth and making sure that at least one part of our body was in contact which we did and made me feel so much more confinement and comfortable trying it with somebody else, I then felt comfortable going in to this exercise with different people. This exercise also relates back to the reading where it speaks about the over and under dancer   

” what we have is continuity of connection, between touching in and touching out and in this way emphasizing that we in habit world that is inconstant motion, a continuous mode of existence.”(Fiona Bannon and Duncan Holt pg. 220). 

We were rolling over one another keeping in contact at all times, this is so relatable as both under and over partners had to be comfortable.  

Working with Kye which was someone I had never worked with before was very challenging. He is a lot taller than me but actually doing this we were actually very good and I was just as comfortable as him when he was rolling over the top of me. We were constantly talking and helping each other along the way helping each other out on parts we’re we felt unconfident and by doing this is gave us both the confidence to work to want to work together more as we completed the task. This was a great feeling of success. 

 

Bibliography

Bannon, F. and Holt, D. (2012). Touch: Experience and Knowledge. Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, Vol. 3 Issue 1/2, pp.215-227.

Week 1 -26/09/2017 

This was the first week we have had contact improvisation. We were gently eased into the session with different based exercises gaining trust and relationships with each other.  the readings this week at first were very strange as of course I read the readings before we started our first session. My favorite reading out of them all must have been the Leading and Following by Joerg Hassmann. This reading states exactly that building trust is a big thing when it comes to contact and that easing into bigger points of contacts comes with trust. And practice and that small points of touch at first is not such a bad thing.  He states  

“I find a point of contact, preferable with a gentle leaning into each other I like for example, leaning with my shoulder/upper arm against my partner’s back…we will stay with only one point of touch for quite a while.” (pg44 by Joerg Hassmann) 

Simple stating that this isn’t a bad thing to stay just shoulder to back swaying for a long time. During the lesson we did many exercises gaining trust from one and other and building relationships with each different person in the class. Some of these exercises I found difficult especially when you weren’t used to working with a specific classmate. But these exercises where there to tackle any nervous feelings that you had and being able to work and gain the relationship with people you might not specifically work with. 

We were eased into each exercise gently, first creating dialogue with our bodies, like we were having a conversation with each other. We were encouraged to work with different people and not only people we felt comfortable dancing with. I found this difficult because when you have danced with somebody before you know how their bodies work and I found it hard working with some of my class mates as I didn’t understand properly how their bodies moves and they didn’t mine. This caused awkwardness in the movement and a lot of stops and starts in the conversation which didn’t feel good. The good thing about this was the we discovered new movements be probably would have done with somebody we were used to which I found helpful and useful in a lot of ways. 

We also did a lot of trust exercises. For example, going back to back with someone and bending your knees until your almost in a squatting position and then trying to walk either forward or backwards. This was so fun as the exercise itself was enjoyable and I had a good time doing this. With these exercises it’s as all about just listening to each other and trusting each other. Listening to directions off one another and trusting in what each other said as well as in when to take the steps in order to get somewhere. This relates to the first reading again Leading and Following by Joerg Hassmann.  in the reading he talks about that listening to each other is a really important thing if you’re not in a contact jam of course and your just in a lesson like us. And this was so useful as we worked together and we made a connection by just speaking and by that we succeeded at the task which was set. 

Another reading called Moving from the skin by Dieter Heitkamp. This reading was all about your skin. How skin is the most important thing and the reading makes you think about your skin in a totally different way, as to how people touch you or your skin and how you touch there’s. All of the readings became so much clearer when we got up and started moving and started the little points of contact with in the lesson. 

 

Bibliography  

Hassmann, J. (2017) Leading & Following: focusing on the communication in and under the skin. Contact Quarterly, Vol 42: Pp. 44 

Hietkamp, D. (2003) Moving from the skin: An Exploratorium. Contact Quarterly / Contact Improvisation Sourcebook II, Vol. 28:2. Pp. 268