Vienna, Austria – Underscore Meeting – 29th June to 3rd July 2020

UnderScore Meeting

Vienna 29th June to 3rd July 2020 with Christine Mauch and Malcolm Manning

A five-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.

Ensemble Improvisation

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 the environment in which we work.

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.

The Menu

We will work for six hours a day adjusting the schedule as we go. We will offer:

  • at least one Underscore practice each day
  • practices to support the Underscore
  • facilitated talks
  • silent morning

A constant theme will be how our quality of attention while dancing can be brought into life beyond the studio. 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 Underscore 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.

However, studying the Underscore with Nancy during it’s formation offered a very different experience. There was the deepening into the practice that repetition over days, weeks and years offered. And the possibility to get to know and develop history with others through our ongoing practice together.

She offered a number of supporting practices that allowed the dancers to sharpen particular behaviours that enhance the Underscore. She also gave lots of time to reflect on our experiences and coached us on how to share those with each other.

We found that as familiarity with each other and the Underscore grew, so did the ease and richness of each practice . The Underscore became less a sequential set of rules to be followed but more a container with a common language that allowed us to research both ourselves and what we created together.

It is in this spirit that Christine and Malcolm offer this week of dancing and shared study with the Underscore.

More resources

Nancy Stark Smith – on the Underscore from her web site
Nancy Stark Smith – An Emergent Underscore: a conversation
Nancy Stark Smith – Global Underscore
Malcolm ManningSome thoughts on Nancy Stark Smith’s UnderScore
Malcolm ManningOn teaching Contact Improvisation

The Team

Practical Information and Registration coming soon …