Contact Improvisation As A Solo Practice
“We’re all alone in this together”
Steve Paxton from a class in 1995
We always move in relation to the earth (ground), from which we get support, and to the air (space) which invites us to move through it. When we dance alone, we receive the support of the earth mostly directly through the floor.
CI offers the the additional possibility to play with the support of the earth as it presents itself to us through other living bodies. It’s like leaning against a wall or sitting on a chair, but more interesting since this support is warm and contoured, constantly in motion, and that motion controlled by a nervous system similar to our own.
In this sense, CI can be considered as a solo practice. I experience myself having a dance, a solo, with the earth (ground) and the air (space) however they present themselves. I dance in, and offer my dancing body to, an environment which includes other moving human bodies.
This has the advantage of removing psychology from the dance, or at least grounding the social relationship in physicality, through a common tuning to gravity. In thinking of CI as a solo practice,
I don’t have to worry if others I’m dancing with are having a good time or not, I just work with the support of the earth as it presents itself through them and through the space around us.
A jam becomes a multiplicity of ongoing solos and can be experienced as a living, moving, playground of possibilities. Each solo is directed by the attention, interest and desire of the individual dancer.
Here we’ll play with the idea of CI as a solo practice and see what the image brings us, both in the study of technical aspects of the dance and as a tool for jamming
More info at www.italycontactfest.com