IDOCs » Summer Intensive Contact Improvisation 2013 „Intuition and Techniques in Contact with the Earth“
This is the documentation of the 7th intensive for Contact Improvisation (CI) of our independent rollingpoint association for Contact Improvisation and related dance and movement forms. For a week we teach for experienced non-professional dancers in the studio and in nature in a beautiful place in the mountains south of Vienna. This year's theme was „Intuition and Techniques in Contact with the Earth“.
2013.12.29

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 Summer Intensive Contact Improvisation 2013

Intuition and Techniques in Contact with the Earth“

Directed and taught by Maria Probst and Christian Apschner, rollingpoint association for Contact Improvisation and related dance and movement forms

Documentation: Christian Apschner

 

Introduction and workshop content:

This is the documentation of the 7th intensive for Contact Improvisation (CI) of our independent rollingpoint association for Contact Improvisation and related dance and movement forms. For a week we teach for experienced non-professional dancers in the studio and in nature in a beautiful place in the mountains south of Vienna. Each intensive has a different theme that we focus on. This year's theme was „Intuition and Techniques in Contact with the Earth“.

Our general personal teaching mission is to open everyone's eyes for dance as an art form and somatic education as a holistic learning process.

On the one hand the idea is to offer specific movement principles and techniques for Contact Improvisation. On the other hand we want to provide tools for opening up the dance for the intuition of the moment. In our extended teaching practice we have found that bringing together technique and intuition can be a challenge both for non-professional and professional dancers, although in different ways.

The memory and wisdom of the subconscious mind is much bigger than conscious knowledge. Awareness and subconscious are constantly working together when we are learning new things. To learn a new movement pattern we use our awareness to bring light on what happens at the moment. When we have learned a new pattern it shifts from the conscious to the subconscious mind and the embodied memory. Trust in our inherited natural body intelligence and in well-integrated movement patterns are the basis for letting our dances form in the moment and guided by our intuition. Taking clear and conscious decisions while being kinesthetically aware of what is going on at every moment is another tool that can inspire our dancing. In this way we can actively participate in the unfolding of the physical forces in motion in the CI dance. 

 

Teaching content/class setting:

Teaching and directing a group of twenty people with a very wide variety of personalities and movement backgrounds is much easier in a co-teaching process. Both keeping the mind in an open, perceptive state and the physical workout pose a big challenge for nonprofessional dancers — especially for an extended period of approximately six hours every day. The group dynamics of the life together form another aspect that requires our attention and consideration in planning every day.

Morning class content:

Somatic movement, developmental movement patterns and passes, physical training, finding and learning new moves, working on CI principles, partnering techniques for contact improvisation, correct alignment when taking weight

Afternoon class content:

Often outdoors in nature (weather-dependent)

Extending of perception and awareness, scores for improvisation, spatial awareness and composition, contact with nature and earth, group scores

Over the years we have developed and refined some specific tasks/suggestions for CI in nature.

Example: “Notice specific qualities of parts of nature and let them inspire your dance”. So for example a blade of grass, gently stirred by the wind, could bring ease into the dance while a compact rock brings stability and form.

Another example: Perceive bodies as a landscape. Then perceive your bodies as part of the whole surrounding landscape and shift between these two foci.

Nancy Topfs spacewalk score (Contact Quarterly No. 25) provides a good structure for walking from one spot to another in the landscape. One full day of the week we spend outdoors and walking up the mountain to a very beautiful place with snow-white quartz rocks. This is always the highlight of the week for most of the participants.

 

Teaching experience:

Every group we teach is unique. Limits can be physical, emotional or concerning the long periods of awareness and concentration. Shifting between tasks addressing different systems of the mind and the body allows us to work for about six hours a day. Due to the different physical abilities of the participants we offer exercises of various degrees of challenge. As a teacher it is a beautiful moment when I can watch how a new movement pattern becomes integrated in the dancer's repertoire. The most fulfilling experience is to see the dancers' radiant eyes while creating art in the middle of nature,

To get to know and hear the participants we do a long introduction round at the beginning and two long feedback rounds, one in the middle and another one at the end of the workshop.

 In this last round we got feedback like this:

“I have never before danced in nature. The experience of dancing and creating art while immersed in nature is a great experience. I am very inspired and exited to be here although sometimes I did reach my physical li

“I realized how important it is in Contact Improvisation to learn technique. Improvisation is a lot more fun if movement patterns are well integrated.”

 


Comments:
user avatar
Defne Erdur Eligible Member // Teacher
2016.02.08
Dear Christian, you have written this idoc way back in time and I have "utilized" in here and now - with joy and admiration. Simple yet very comprehensive. Thank you very much for all the juicy seeds you've planted here. I especially appreciate how you have defined the learning process. Thank you. With love and joy and hope to read more from you! All the Best, Defne


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