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Dancing with another: the game of life

A little bit more…


According to some members of ACI

“Contact improvisation (CI) is a creative dance form emerging from physical contact between partners. It was created by Steve Paxton, a student of Merce Cunningham, in the United States in 1972.
The practice transcends the established boundaries between gymnastics, martial arts, meditation and dance. In doing contact, dancers directly experience with their partners the dynamic physical forces which affect all movement: mass, momentum, inertia, friction. The multidimensional nature - physical, emotional and spiritual - of the point of contact also allows the dancers to engage in non-verbal communication in a concrete manner and on several levels.

02. spip_cacher

“A typical CI session begins with a moment of being present with oneself, during which the participant engages with the floor and with his or her body. I stretch, I yawn, I pay attention to my breath, to my mass, to my feelings, to the environment around me. Then, somewhere nearby, the presence of another takes form, which I perceive first as a vibration, then as light pressure somewhere on my body. This is the point of contact, where pressure fluctuates, changes, and impacts the duet. I let go of balance and I feel myself fall into fluidity, arcing over my partner to meet the ground. The liberty I feel comes from responsibility. By acting slowly, a quiet strength allows me to face any surprises or emergencies. The dance has begun.

“Permeated with interiority, CI can easily do without sound, sets or costumes. It doesn’t even need an audience to express its value. What is essential is the relationship with the body. The dancers are not executing a choreography which they have learned ahead of time; far from it. Rather, their fundamental guide is a finely developed sense of listening to that which is present. No one leads the dance; improvisation becomes magic.

“The intimate, corporal nature of the relationship with another brings up the question of sexuality. Proximity in physical contact goes beyond social norms and brings about a revolution of touch. To protect the physical and psychological integrity of its participants, CI requires absolute respect of one’s partner.

03. spip_cacher

“A definition of CI wouldn’t be complete without mentioning its community. The notions developed in CI end up having an effect on everyday life. More than a form of movement, a vocabulary or even an improvisational technique, CI is notable for its capacity to bring forth attitudes of collaboration and cooperation in society. In this respect, CI is part of the school of life.”

Quotes unformatted

“The simple pleasure of moving and living through one’s body is what I think matters most here. And the pleasure of dancing with someone in a spontaneous, unplanned way, free to create without disturbing one’s partner. It’s an extremely inspiring form of dance.”

 Steve Paxton, interviewed on CBC Radio in March 1977, quoted in Contact Quarterly, vol III, no 1.

“Contact improvisation is the beauty of natural movement combined with complete communication.”

 Curt Siddall, in Contact Quarterly, vol III, no 1.

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What’s contact danse?

An invitation to let go in a haven of peace. Dancing, experience the laws of gravity, momentum and balance, that is the contact improvisation.

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