C.I. or I.C.?

do you do contact improvisation or improvisation contact?


in contact improvisation

the contact occurs first and is the source of the improvisation


in improvisation contact

the improvisation is primary and may include contact


how do you combine the contact and the improvisation?



2 comments on “C.I. or I.C.?

  1. I will not say I never start with contact first. However, most of time we are alone without touching someone else at the beginning. So ifor me t is more natural to start improvisation (in solo) first. And the way to conduct the solo improvisation mostly determine how we interact with others later: Some people only dance with a very selective type of people. The extreme case is that they only dance with the people look exactly like themselves. So it is not surprising that they end up with solo all night long.
    I do not put too much ego in CI jam, but I also do not want to be ‘slave’ of the ideology that eagerly hunting for someone endlessly to connect with my body. So I just meove and move, to warm up my body, and let myself to be more familiar with the space, the people around, and how I feel of myself now. By varying the tempo of how I move at different locations, e.g., gracefully slowing down when I pass-by someone, some people can sense that I have offered a chance for them to connect with me. This is done in a natural manner, so it is not awkward if they do not want to connect. What I do is merely make a clever way to suggest the possibility of having an interesting/intimate connection, but not to force them to join. So even if they refuse to join, my encounter with them is not an abrupt stop in my solo improvisation, it is still a smooth improv. with some tempo variation. One of the characteristics in that kind of offering is to put me into a supportive position, so an experienced dancer can sense the chance to make some interesting movements if they connect with me. From the prospective of getting control (or power if you may say), I offer them more power of control in the encountering to express my sincere to lower their self-defense, where the self-defense is mostly the biggest problem of dancing duet. Once they trust me, the rest of dance is just follow the fusion of the consciousness of observing things: my body and theirs, sound, movement tempo.rhythm , space orientation, maintaining (single clear) contact…..anything you feel comfortable to ‘think’, and the subconsciousness: how much you trust yourself in pushing yourself to do something new but risky. Someone may have problem of my words when I said “think” in CI. but I do think in CI because I can ‘think’ very fast. So if I feel bored, it is my geeky nature to think of how can I make my duet or group dance with people interesting and move my body to make that happen. However, when I really connect with someone with very good technology and being able to trust me, I barely think, everything just flow out of my subconsciousness: It is too fast and too lovely for me to have time to think, the only thing I can do is to follow or to against something had happen. Why I should to follow or to against something has been practiced in thousands times when I have time to ‘think’ in previous dances, so it is naturally coming out from the flow of my body and subconsciousness, with the connection of someone else.

    Doing contact and Improvisation is like eating beacon and eggs. To me, eating which one first is less important than how are I going to enjoy mixing of them…. The more juicy experiences I like to hear form people are specifically:
    * How do you engage others, when you are not connected with them, using the context of your (solo) improvisation. and
    * How do you unfold the improvisation, using the context of your contact(s) with them.

    • Oh, Hello Shelandy (you changed your name from Kuo-Chieh?),
      It is fun to pick up the unfinished (never to be finished) dialog after years and years!! Thank You. I love to hear the words of how others describe their experience. Like other pieces of the puzzle, they often help me deepen in my understanding of what it is I think I already know.
      Your words have helped me remember that in my interest to distill my experience of C.I. into the simplest of terms ie. connect, move, I also need to define the words that end up being chosen, for it is only then that they have specific meaning.

      The ‘connect move’ score continues to be a source of ah-ha’s for me, so let me say more about the word ‘connect’-

      To connect is to focus my attention on the particulars of my circumstance. What is happening right now? What am I a part of and, therefore, effect and am effected by, right now? To connect to the particulars of what is here now, what I am related to, what specifically I have to work with.

      To connect is to become alert to what is, whether in contact in a dance with someone, or in a solo, or in life off the dance floor.

      I find the reminder to connect brings my awareness more fully to the actual present moment. In that presence I accept what is as it is. I accept rather than judge (this is a very important piece!). I connect to assess what is available for interaction and I stay connected to notice the effect of my choices.

      By the simple call within myself to connect I become more present and alert to the changing characteristics of the dance, with another or in my solo. In life the reminder to connect first improves my relationships by first tuning into what is present in myself and in others before I follow my impulse. By connecting first I am less likely to cause harm.

      Also this ‘connect, move’ score does not bog the dance down by making it cerebral. Instead it amps my awareness and creates a greater seamless quality to the dance, wherever it is. I suspect that in time the practice will lead to a habit of greater presence in the moment, for through the practice I am becoming aware of varying degrees to which I lack presence!

      – in the AWE session this morning I got that the crucial connect is with the aspects of myself, the selves that step up and the selves that hide. Who is running the show now? and now? The focus of AWE is to connect with and cultivate the witness within that casts a spacious eye on the layers and levels of discourse that can steer my course if I’m not aware of them. Awareness of puts me in relationship with. The more I connect to, the more resources become available.

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