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RESET w/C.I. (see I)

P1090260October 21, 2017   10am – 7pm

Gracewood Studio / 4920 NE 55th / 97218



Daylong CI retreat

to see I see you see I

to reset our nervous systems

to inherent belonging and freedom

to remember and re-member

our power and our peace

in the one and only

here and now


to be




A day to drop, to reset.

Yay. You bet!


Format:  Check-in/Dance/Check-out. Repeat….  Co-create. Reset.

3 Dancing sessions @ 10-12 / 1-3 / 4-7

Potluck style noshing on breaks.

Hot tub. Bring towel.


$10/session & $20-40 (sliding) for the day

Register w/ payment using ‘Donate’ button to the right>

Questions- touchmonk@yahoo.com

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I have a perspective in CI

I have a perspective in CI. My spiel goes something like this-

In the beginning they (Steve & friends) explored moving while in contact. Finding much to share, they decided to offer it up as an ongoing, open, evolving exploration with one operative- to take care of yourself, first. Caring for one’s self infers the entirety of one’s physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, etc. experience, as it is changing, in one and only now. And, since a first implies a second, it follows that we are to extend our caring to all that we’re connected to (think oxygen mask on an airplane).
Each explores moving while in contact, guided by what it means to care for one’s self in relationship! Exploration is infinite, unfolding and unique to each individual. Steve did what Steve did. You do what you do. Each owning their exploration contributes to the potential.
Rolling, sliding, pivoting, etc. at the point of contact are possible movement options* to explore, not what CI is.
CI is the dynamic, ever morphing dance that occurs when people connect and improvise while caring for all involved. It is deciding to meet and play with the diversity of our what is-es, guided by mutual respect and curiosity rather than rules and expectations. It trains us to attend to what is, as it is changing, and discover what else is possible. It trains us to be spacious and inclusive with the intent to care. It gives the paradigm altering possibility of mutual well-being in a time that begs for it. But, we have to show up and earn it as that is not how we’re hard-wired. It is a lifelong self-awareness practice in belonging and freedom.

*more on options at the point of contact @ https://contactgames.wordpress.com/writing/7-options/

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ACCEPTING (and playing with!) WHAT IS

photo(24)September 18-22, 2017

ACCEPTING (and playing with!) WHAT IS

POP-UP JAM At Gracewood Studio / 4920 NE 55th / Portland, OR / 97218

An alternative to the cancelled (due to fire danger) Breitenbush Fall Contact Jam!


Three sessions/day-  10-12  &  2-4  &  7-9   (except Tuesday the 19th we’ll dance at the Village Ballroom)

Limited camping available.

Meals potluck.

Hot tub.




$20/full day

$80/full jam

$20/night camping

Space is limited. Please register your level of participation by sending an email to touchmonk@yahoo.com 

AND pay with the ‘Donate’ (paypal) button on the right side of this page to claim your spot!


Housing may be found in the community by posting on Facebook pages-

Portland Contact Improvisation

sacred circle dance community – ecstatic dance in pdx


Questions? Email touchmonk@yahoo.com or call 971-334-4599


mayday mayday

wow, how/when/where/why it happened? dunno, but

i turn 70 on the 17 of the 17 of this two thousand

in the season of self-heal and forget-me-not

auspicious time for calling get-together

no duck and run for me this round

show up and commit to the fun

so be it. hope you can come!!!!

I’ve lined up my druthers below

to celebrate the complexities

existing in the earth plane

all this time with more

on it’s way. hurray.

for the dancing

and the love

with each




@ Gracewood Studio / 4920 NE 55th / 97218

Saturday  May 13   10-12pm  &  1-3pm   $10-20/session (nota;~)
C.I. Research into the Use of Scores for Dancing
Score. To organize intent, to rate outcome, to receive benefit. We’ll experiment with scoring our dances and explore the mind/body relationship? We all have one and we are each unique. What do we have in common, how do we differ?
The focus of naming my curiosity brings me closer to my experience of the here and now. In the here and now I enjoy the relaxation of being enough as I am. That is why I offer this research time.
I love to explore with others. I love how scores focus attention and expand options. Do you? If so, come. If not, are you curious? If not sure, come and find out!

All degrees of experience most welcome.

12-1 Potluck Lunch

4-7 C.I. Class/Jam as usual with added attraction of instruments available for immediate use to accompany the movement. And let’s potluck treats to celebrate 30 continuous years of Saturday Jamming!!


Sunday May 14  Mother’s Day

11-2pm  Split & stack firewood to help the mama.

2-5pm  Potluck to celebrate the mamas!  Studio will be available for dancing for those so inclined. Hot tubbing, too- come clean, bring towel.

Rain or Shine. Pray for sun, please!


In all ways, you are always the gift. Your presence is the present!!


I’ve a wish list to share-

*irises (seeking iris rainbow garden)

*cash  (inflation + aged equipment + teenager)

*miles  (aloha dreams + aging equipment + teenager)

*misc. help  (70 ain’t 17!)

Here’s to spring and relief, light and happy (and many more years of dancing dreams)

mayday. mayday.

only love.

questions? more info?

touchmonk@yahoo.com or 971-334-4599

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our process + performance example

~from a survey request in 2010 & example of said process from performance at 2008 Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation~

Margaret’s Ghost HD-complete

  1. Describe the style/genre of dance you work in:

Contact Improvisation

  1. How many years have you been presenting your own dance works (choreographed or improvised)?

33 years- 7 in modern dance, 26 and counting in C.I.     I’ll be describing the process of making dance performance pieces with Patrick Gracewood, my Contact Improvisation dance partner for over 20 years.

  1. Define the phases of your project process from initial phase to final form:

We begin by noticing what is. This means arriving and beginning by noticing what we are noticing. We notice what calls our attention, what is happening, what wants to happen? The noticing is all-inclusive, so beginning may occur in any way. We have begun rehearsals dancing, but also sleeping, eating, crying, flying, talking, gawking…..     We’re curious about what happens when we attend to what’s there, what wants to emerge. We follow that. Asking, allowing, noticing- going where it takes us. Acknowledging where we are takes us where we need to go. We watch the process unfold. We watch the process reveal the piece in all its elements; it’s nature, structure, sound, costume, environment etc. We notice when the piece is complete and how it wants to change as we perform it.

  1. What would you say are the biggest obstacles for getting your work from the initial stages to an endpoint:

Forgetting to trust in the process. Various kinds of stress can cause us to forget that the process will show itself to us. When that happens we go into trying to make something up and have to work harder for a much less satisfying experience.

  1. What would be the top three factors that have made your projects a success:

Remembering to notice what is, whatever that is. Trusting in, relaxing in the process. Following the process as it reveals itself.

  1. What would be the top three factors that could cause distress during your process:

The primary factor is losing the fluid awareness of what is as it is changing. If a particular stress consumes the attention then that stress becomes distress instead of simply more information in the process. Such loss of perspective has occurred when facing things such as time constraints, forms of performance anxiety, unconscious expectations and assumptions, etc.

  1. Working with other dancers either as a leader or in collaboration, how do you develop dances:

I let the noticing of what is lead and reveal. The majority of my experience has been in collaboration with one other, but the process I’m describing is also how we’ve worked with groups. I was creating modern dance pieces, solo and group, in much the same way, but had not identified the process yet.

  1. Has there ever been a reason or situation that caused you not to be able to realize your project as you had hoped or imagined:

One phase of exploration was to dance ‘anybody, anywhere, anytime’. On numerous occasions particular non-negotiable rules or laws prevented us from realizing projects.

  1. How has your process changed from your initial projects to your present process:

The process has remained the same; it happened to us. Change came in the need to recognize and name it. This happened when we started working with other dancers. We quickly recognized that our process was unusual and therefore needed to be defined to avoid confusion and frustration. We needed to articulate the idea of being present with curiosity and awareness as a means to follow the piece’s unfolding.

  1. What is it about your process that works for you:

It is fun and easy. Exhilarating and relieving to refer to and rely on what is, moment by moment. Magical and comforting to know that what needs to be revealed will be. We get to relax because we trust in the unfolding. It’s energizing to bring the whole self to the moment. It’s mysterious and exciting while being obvious and grounded.

  1. Have you ever been part of another person’s process that you liked but have not used in your own work?   Why?

No, can’t think of that situation. If I like something I want to integrate it, if I don’t I let it go.

  1. Have you ever been part of another person’s process that you liked and used in your own process? Why?

I’ve included the form Authentic Movement in my process since being introduced to it. It provides a foundation of self-study in awareness and movement, a perfect preparation for exploring how we improvise with others in C.I. In general I am drawn to and influenced by systems that explore principles in C.I.

  1. Have you ever been part of another person’s process that you did not like? Why?

Yes, once we experimented with joining another person’s process. We quickly discovered that her process was very different than ours. Experiencing the contrast was useful to identify the distinction. Her process was to bring in ideas for our bodies to realize. Ours was to begin with the body to discover the ideas. The focus was trying to make something instead of being curious about what was already there. We noted a greater tendency for body/psyche injury in the idea driven approach compared to our experience of a tendency toward healing when allowing awareness of what is to inform the thinking. Moving from the outside in rather than the inside out was more effort and less satisfying.


Here’s to the next 20 from 20 ago!

Finally putting a little toe into the digital video age to be able to show as well as tell!

This is an improvised performance at the West Coast C.I. Festival in the mid 90’s. It was one of several that came out of playing with the spectrum of choices from passive to active.

Since then, it has become clear that each of has an automatic pilot that will tend toward a particular place on the spectrum of tone. By becoming aware of our default habits, we are able to choose and explore other options. Each other option that we try on opens a new set of possibilities. And the more options we become comfortable and familiar with the greater our safety and potential. Having options at the ready is key to caring for ourselves as the moment morphs!

Our interest in this spectrum of possibilities continues, ever informing us as we change. There is no end to investigation, ever more to be gleaned, remembered………     By focusing we arrive to take in the details present and exercise our agency in relation to them.

Hope to post a current version of exploring this spectrum, or some other. But, we’ll see as my interest gravitates much more towards the having of experience than the documenting of it (not to mention I’ve been sitting at the computer tooo long again!).

Happy exploring to you in 2017. I’d love to hear (or see) what you’re up to! Feel free to comment below.

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Union founds diversity

Some imagine that I dance to cope. Yes, it can help in that way. But, more to the point, to a much greater degree, I dance to evolve! Contact Improvisation offers an alternate paradigm to the cultural one that is sustainable and nourishing for all involved. It is extremely challenging to change paradigms, to become aware of deep conditioning and make different choices. But the effort involved is well worth the possibility of mutual well-being!


Union founds diversity.

We share similarities and differences. That is a given. Both are true.

We are all subject to the conditions of the earth plane.

We are all subject to the conditions of our unique circumstance.

We are interconnected, interdependent. We influence and are influenced.

We are here together in the gravitational earth soup, the nature of which depends upon diversity. Mono anything is death. Health is relational. Sickness is solitary.

The physical practice of Contact Improvisation proposes connection as a through line to support and align the richness of our vast diverse expression. It is a template to engage our essential birthright of belonging and freedom.

Have your inspiration, agenda, raison d’etre. Please. That is your unique contribution. AND have your unique in relationship to your absolute connection to all that is. Track your influence influencing. Track your influencing influenced. Track your part in relationship to the whole. Does it serve the whole, If so, it serves your self. If not, it is a detriment.

We yearn to belong. We are creatures that cannot exist alone. We need each other. In belonging we can relax and thrive. Belonging is the foundation for movement.

In C.I. let us physically explore connection as the basis for movement. Let us pay attention to our union to experience the expression of our uniqueness-es. Let us be oh so attentive and curious and ready and willing and able to continue to stay present to the incoming ever unfolding evolution of who we are and what is transpiring, now. What is alive NOW, present NOW, important NOW. May we trust in what is current to take us where we need to go!

Come to The WOW of Contact to immerse for a few days in reestablishing belonging as the basis for freedom.