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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.