A six-day immersion in the world of the Underscore
This is an opportunity to dance contact improvisation and practice, study and develop how we play together in the container offered by Nancy Stark Smith’s Underscore.
We welcome anyone already familiar with contact improvisation, both those who are already engaged with the Underscore or are curious to know more.
The Underscore Meeting will be facilitated by Christine Mauch and Malcolm Manning who both began working with the Underscore during its formation 25 years ago.
Throughout the week, we will focus on developing our ability to dance together as a group – ensemble improvisation. We will do this by taking care of ourselves, each other and our environment.
We will also offer some practices from our own work that we consider supportive to the Underscore. There will be no teaching of CI technique.
We will adjust the schedule as we go. We will offer:
- at least one Underscore practice each day
- open-ended jamming
- practices to support the Underscore
- facilitated talks
- spontaneous self-organised activities
- a silent day
- an open evening
A constant theme will be how our quality of attention dancing can be brought into sharing the life together. We think of the week as offering an experience of improvisational community living.
More about the UnderScore
The Underscore was developed by Nancy Stark Smith as a container in which to practice and research dancing contact improvisation and other associated phenomena. It is a group score that we each negotiate as individuals.
The score is written in the form of a list of phases – each represented by a name and a graphic symbol. These days it is typically introduced by being talked through for about an hour before being danced.
Studying the Underscore with Nancy offers a different experience. There is the deepening into the practice that repetition over days or weeks offers. And the possibility to get to know and develop history with others in the group.
She also offers a number of supporting practices that allow us to study and sharpen particular behaviours that enhance the Underscore, and gives time to reflect on and share with each other about our our experiences.
As familiarity with each other and the Underscore grows, so does the ease and richness of each practice . The Underscore becomes less a sequential set of rules to de followed but more a container with a common language that allows us to research what we create together.
It is in this spirit that Christine and Malcolm offer this week of dancing with the Underscore.
The deeply personal sense of perception and how it gets expressed in texture, rhythm, form, imagination, vitality never ceases to inspire me. How each of us is making sense of what is going on, how we engage with ourselves and the environment. What are the fine negotiations constantly necessary to honor definition and responsability as well as freedom of choice?
As a dancer and body worker, my teaching and practise draws on intense research and reflections in the field of movement and awareness, and a firm belief and joy in improvisation in all areas of life.
I was invited to teach intensives at CI Festivals, and share a long history of teaching and organising different formats for the study and practice of dance, keeping both content and context alive.
As a teacher, I share my inquiry of what it is to be a thinking, feeling, moving subject in this world through developing a dialogue with ourselves and our environment in which we are empowered to be our own experts. I specialise in teaching the application of somatic approaches to contemporary dance practices and I’m also interested in how this work can be applied wider society.
I am certified to teach the Feldenkrais Method® and the Body And Earth work developed by Andrea Olsen and Caryn McHose. I studied for two years at SNDO Amsterdam and have an MA in Dance Pedagogy. I've also made extensive studies of Contact Improvisation, Authentic Movement, Movement Shiatsu, Body Mind Centering and experiential anatomy.
Baptiste Sejourne is a lifelong musician playing the guitar, drums, violin and cello. Over the past 10 years, he’s been dedicated to the electric cello, developing a specialised technique for building loops with special effects.
Baptiste has performed in festivals around the world including the Contact Improvisation Festival and Bali Spirit Fest. Embodying music in all forms, he’s also a dancer, teaching contact improvisation and organising dance events.
Most of his music is played from improvisation for Ecstatic dance and is a mix between electronic, ambient, world and classical. His music evokes a sense of serenity and presence. Baptiste is available to play electronic cello and DJ at Ecstatic dance events.