THEA 33 – Week 9: Contact Improvisation/Partnering

This week we will investigate partnering, specifically through contact improvisation. We will practice basic elements of this form by learning these terms:

Point of Contact/Sharing Weight

Roll

Slide

Pivot

Push/Resist

Lift

For more reading please visit…

http://www.contactquarterly.com/contact-improvisation/about/cq_ciAbout.php

http://www.movetolearn.com/contemporary-dance/contact-improvisation

http://www.aikidosantacruz.org/dynamics.html

Wear comfortable layers and bring kneepads if you have your own.

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12 thoughts on “THEA 33 – Week 9: Contact Improvisation/Partnering

  1. Yesterday’s class was incredible. I was able to make a strong connection with a quite a few classmates. It was interesting to experience a willingness to follow and then suddenly gain audacity to lead. It went back and forth so seamlessly and would have have been possible without the trust that we have instilled within each other over the last 9 weeks.

  2. Tuesday’s class was so much fun! It was cool to shift gears and be much more creative with your movement when working so closely with a partner. At first, you could sense the feeling of uncertainty with both dancers, when to follow and when to lead, but the more you worked with one person you started understanding and listening to their body and yours until you moved as one. When it came to the lifting, you really had to out your weight and trust into the other person, which was a challenge for me. I would love to continue Contact Improvisation because it really forces you to listen, trust, and think outside the box all at once.

  3. I LOVE CONTACT IMPROV! It’s something I’ve only been introduced to quite recently and I thoroughly enjoy it. It feels very natural and real, and it helps one explore their range of movement and choreography they may not have known they had in them. I loved working all of the different people in our class and building unique connections with them in this way. I find contact improv to be one of the most sincerest way you can listen to another person, and it has nothing to do with talking.

  4. I’ve been wanting to attend a contact improv class for months, and am so happy to have finally taken one! I loved connecting to other people through the medium of touch, beginning with paying attention to my partner’s breath, then movements. When movements became more about wight shifts, leading and yielding, I found it challenging to find the subtlety while leading and still being attentive to my partner’s body. Looking forward to exploring this more!

  5. Tuesday’s class was very challenging for me in all the best ways. I discovered that I have a hard time trusting my partner and allowing them to hold my weight, and that I have a tendency to try and “help” by jumping. I really look forward to exploring this type of movement more in the future.

  6. The partnering work we did during week 9 was unlike anything I’ve ever done. The the biggest challenge I was faced with seemed to be allowing myself to surrender my weight to my partner. Especially in the “surfing” exercise, I found that it was actually more challenging to try to aid the process by pushing myself across my partner. This was a good lesson for me in letting go and trusting the procedure as opposed to resisting it.

  7. This week was incredibly fun. At first I found partnering improvisation to be a bit challenging. Knowing that your moves are going to directly impact the moves of your partner makes it a bit more stressful. Even though at first I was a bit uneasy it was so great to spin through the dance room with my partner. I definitely felt closer to my class mates after this week.

  8. I really enjoyed learning about contact improvisation this week. It has always been a part of dance that I want to continue practicing and getting better at. I found that engaging in some of the simple lifts during improvisation were trickier than I thought especially if I didn’t listen intently to my partner. Trust and having a good sense of weight shift played a huge role in the process. I found that the process of improvisation in overall is refreshing to the mind of a dancer and it is what keeps me intrigued in dance especially after long periods of structure classes and technique.

  9. Contact improvisation is still a very new thing to me and my body, but I felt that when we did this (that being the second time I did it) it was so much more natural in my body then it was the first time. I enjoyed being able to follow and lead thoughts/feelings/impulses with my peers. At times, I felt that even though more than one body was touching, that they were so ensynced with each other and spoke so well with each other that it seemed like they were one. Being an espectator of this type of improvisation was just as fun to watch as when I was inside the circle. Seeing fluidity and connectivity with so many parts of the body made me feel the need to join the converstions that were happening, which I did. Contact improv is just out of this world and I know I want to explore it even more!

  10. I have always found improv and especially contact improv to be very awkward at the start. You basically have to meet your partner on this obscure telepathic wavelength and try and keep that connection for a long period of time. It is very intimate in a way. I remember in an improv class I had in high school, my whole dance class was assigned to dance and put up a ladder at the same time, have someone climb to the top of it, fall back into everyone’s arms and then all put the ladder back down. This all had to be done without speaking That was one of the must challenging assignments I’ve had but it really taught me to tap into other peoples movement.

  11. I found contact improv thrilling and extremely challenging! Although i had difficulty allowing my weight to fully bear onto other people I danced with (I’m a very independent person!) it was a good reminder that I can – literally – lean on other people.When I finally allowed myself to let go and focus on connecting with other dancer as opposed to focusing on only my own movements, I found such an exciting exploration of movement. I REALLY want to do this again.

  12. This was so much fun! Contact improv allowed me to let go in ways I never really thought about doing before. Being free in my own body while being connected to other bodies was something I never thought was possible, but now see in both possible and very interesting.

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