Before we explore doing nothing let’s consider your frame for it.
In C.I. each is the authority! Each, the authority for the care taking of the self. There is no other outside central authority. No rules, no etiquette. Just care. Each makes up and owns his or her own version of C.I. We are unified by our diversity! Curiosity is the course.
*What are your particular pillars of Contact Improvisation? What words best describe the essence of C.I., for you! Choose words that also form another word by their first letters to create acronyms for your version of this acropetal fest of awareness and action we use to MEET (movement experiencing everything together) and SWAP (sensing with awareness present) in each moment!
Come up with your acronym. What are your essentials! Own them. Play with them, Together! OPT
(Patrick named YUM & MUY ~ you, us, me)
Take the words you’ve chosen and explore their meanings! The purpose of words is meaning. We use words to communicate, but can have wildly varying meanings intended. It is the meaning that matters. Meaning carries purpose. Purpose moves us where we need to go. Words without meaning are sound. And, sound communicates better than words without meaning!
*Select a word. Consider and communicate it’s meaning in sound, word and movement at the point(s) of contact. Play. Show and tell. Be curious. Share. Discover what you have in common with others, where you diverge.
on to nothing>>>>>
I’ve identified seven options I choose from, at the point of contact, when I dance. They are simple options that anyone can choose and play with, immediately and for a lifetime! There is no end to the depth and breadth of discovery to be had.
Option #1- Doing Nothing
From the nothing we come. Then we do be do until we die.
We do the doing of the things. We do the not doing of things.
What is nothing? What is doing?
Is doing nothing possible? Is doing nothing okay? (Or is it nothing doing!)
Who are we behind the words, what are we doing, how, and why?
Something comes from nothing. Movement from stillness. Manifestation from imagination. Choice from awareness.
*Choose stillness and allow yourself to be without doing. Relax all effort. Feel how you are held, supported. How much do you allow yourself to be received? Relaxation is the letting go of effort. It is not letting go of control. Relaxing is a choice chosen. Be the observer. Can you relax and stay alert inside and outside yourself? Notice what arises in your sensation, emotion, thought, etc. while doing nothing?
The human design is one of alternating between activity and rest. One is not better than the other. They need each other and having access to both offers a greater range of possibility to quench the needs of the moment. If you’re nothing doing with doing nothing, then you’re limiting the potential range of the dance.
Moment by moment we are living our choices of tension and relaxation. The point of contact is to be aware of the choices occurring and to be able to respond to them! Through exploring the degrees of tone we become more familiar with them and so gain access to more options in the dance.
*Are you curious to explore the spectrum of tone in your body, from completely relaxed to all out effort, to gather information about what serves what, and how?
*Solo. Begin with relaxation. What is nothing? Stay with the question. Hang out awhile- ask, allow, watch, glean from nothing. Notice what you notice. Are you interested in nothing or does judgment arise? Allow the solo to move from nothing to something. What is the absolute least effort necessary to move? Be very interested in the details of going from nothing to something. Explore the degrees of moving from the least to the most amount of effort.
*Play with degrees of tone in the body as a whole (is that possible?).
*Experiment with different degrees of tone in the different parts of the body. Can you tense in one place while completely relaxing in another? No end to the possibilities.
*Report. Translate your findings into words, sound, movement…… Notice what you choose to share, what you don’t. How does this information relate to the meta of your acronym?
*Dance with a partner. The game is for both to commit to using the shared contact to play with shifting between differing degrees of doing nothing and doing something. Partners source their nothings and their somethings from the connection, but do not have to match each others’ choices. Each chooses whether to explore matching or not matching their partner’s choices to move or relax. The commitment to stay connected contains the game. If questions arise there is the choice to hold them or ask them. Always feel free to use words as an option to clarify the research with the partner.
*What was your commitment to commitment? How did you play the game? What did you find? What, when, where is there benefit from doing nothing? When not?
The point is to get to know the spectrum of energetic opportunities and how they interact. When you know how and where to rest, you can dance all night!