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Ivanna Smolyana // Teacher
IDOCs » ECITE 2019 jorney.
Thoughts about Ecite during the conference and after.

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- How was Ecite for you from 1 to 10?
- All scale fits.

If I could sum up all experience just with poetry, I would use the poem of my dance-movement teachers, Alexandr Girshon:

At some point, inner animals are puzzled
Why the primary prey is not the power and food,
But glimpses of beauty,
Moments of intimacy,
The warmth of silence,
And twinkling of mutual insanity.

Inner animals stand still when the bells ring.
They go further into the internal woods,
Lookout with yellow eyes
And keep puzzling.

Aftertaste. One week after.

The first couple of days on Ecite, it seemed to me that we talked, danced and lived about anything, whatever, but not about the pure contact improvisation. Everything that stands next to the form, but not the essence of the practice, received a lot of attention.
Ecite - annual teachers conference of contact improvisation.

About relationships, about intimacy, about sensuality, about sexuality, about boundaries, about substances. But not about weight, point of contact, rolling and so on.

However, the party of the “physicists” also was active, using the slogan “Cut the Bullshit” for their labs.

The remaining 2/3 of participants joined the party of the "chemists" and went as far as anyone can go.

In the middle of a conference, we were discussing whether to be psilocybin mushrooms on jam or not. At that moment, I was greatly puzzled where we were going to in our research with this beautiful, democratic, self-organized, and flowy company that doesn’t come on time anywhere except for food?

But as time went on curiosity and attention of about 50 CI teachers brought everybody to Underscore jam. "Physicists" and "chemists" got mixed finally and developed a bunch of long juicy dance where all my choices and intentions were obvious.

Finally, in the dance, I didn’t crave only warm human embraces, gentle touch to the skin, or experiencing a comfortable intimacy. I percieved the levers, weight, inertia, balance, and the unknown at the tip of my attention.

Since then, I was haunted by an altered state of mind in every dance. As soon as I start to move, a massive amount of information immediately begins to flow to the sensors.

I did not begin to dance more physically and sportier. But I started to dance in such a way that I find it very interesting with myself and with others.

Attention as a tool has become able to distinguish a bunch of particles. Now, after the jam, I can highlight my focuses of attention in the dance. I can see and what happened in the group and the shared space.

The gifts of Ecite are still arriving.  


Written during Ecite/ Beginning.

I arrived at Ecite after 4-days module of body-mind gestalt therapy (BMGT) program by Arye Burshtein. In details and thoughtfully, those therapeutic days were about meeting with another human being and exceptional attention to space in-between us. For therapy purpose, of course.

And now I was on Ecite: many strangers from different countries, dancers, teachers, experienced practitioners.

My attention after the BMGT module was very focused on the meeting not only skin-to-skin but from inner human suchness. Meeting a new person from this position can be both exciting and vulnerable and scary and emotional. Touch quickly invites me and maybe other human beings into the space of intimacy. 

But we gathered here for a specific dance form, not for all these therapeutic presence and connection. 

How can I switch my attention? How Can I disconnect from the human aspect of the meeting and dive into pure physical form?

What if I will meet some new people and become closer to them? And in a week I will never see them again? Is it worth going into these territories? 

I do not know. Will see.

Written during Ecite/ Middle.

With all my questions I went to Arye, who is both therapist and dancer. In conversation, several valuable thoughts came.

In the practice of CI, there is indeed a selective decrease in sensitivity to the meeting of two individuals, when body-mind meets another body-mind. So far in pure CI form, from the perspectives of physicality, it's more about body meets another. 

I see now, that variability of sensitivity is a skill and a tool to adjust my perception for different contexts.

In CI practice, there is a lot of contact and interaction on the one hand. And according to the laws of the Tao and Shadow work, one manifested extreme makes stronger the other one, hidden - Loneliness, Solitude. 

Acknowledging Solitude invites waves of sadness — doors of sensitivity to the subtle, fleeting, beauty open.

After this conversation, which I cannot share in details, I went to the somatic lab, with an emphasis on embryonic development.

I find myself as a cell that belongs to something big and alive, which is part of the whole. And for which the question of Solitude does not exist. Even if I am alone, doing my job, or just lying, I remain part of an incomprehensible whole.

As a body-mind of modern human being, I know Loneliness.
The same I, with the same body-mind, directing attention through somatic to the origins of my life, live connecting with the most significant alive whole appears.

I reduce the sensitivity to the human-relational part, translate it into sensitivity to other layers of a life that occurs under the skin.
I recognize myself as more than Homo Sapiens. I am becoming a Homo (Latin) - being human.


As I wrote earlier, after the body-mind gestalt therapy module, I was puzzled at the CI conference. The fact that in contact improvisation sensitivity to the layer of human-human relations is shifted to the physical interaction layer - weight, supports, levers, inertia, and so on was surprising. How come this transition happens?

Recently, I met in Esther Perel book the term “sexual objectification.” It means the ability to objectify another human being so you can desire another person. 
Now I understand that in CI, we can talk about “dance objectification.” And it helps to switch attention from interpersonal layer to physicality.


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