|Instructor Info:||Sara Coffin|
Contact Improvisation is a duet form of movement improvisation where two people move together in a playful physical dialogue, communicating through the language of touch, momentum, balance and weight support. From this seemingly simple premise arise rich embodied investigations of such issues as trust, touch, support, focus, permission, initiation, safety, verbal and non-verbal communication and shared power. This dance form also invites equal access to people of all physical capacities, it is usually practiced in leaderless/democratic structures, and it remains continually curious about different movement vocabularies and possibilities. Ever since its inception in the 1970's, Contact has significantly influenced modern/contemporary dance. This course will serve as a research laboratory in which students will study the practice, evolution and philosophy of this contemporary dance form in motion in the studio. They will work to develop awareness of inner sensation, which is key to finding spontaneous fluidity of movement in relation to a partner, and they will practice basic components of the form such as rolling, falling, spiraling, playing with balance, counter-balance, jumping, and weight-sharing. No previous dance experience is necessary.
This course is designed to give students an overview of the dance form contact improvisation. Principles of weight sharing with active listening will be introduced and students will engage in creative moment-by-moment movement invention in both solo and duet form.
Each class will begin with a guided proprioceptive warm-up to wake the senses and engage the body’s kinetic chains in a supple manner. The warm-up will focus on exploring one’s skeletal landscape and learning to initiate head-tail, upper-lower and cross-lateral movement patterns. Concepts such as yield, tensegrity, and coil and release will be explored in the form of body puzzles and solo improvisational scores.
Such preparations will lead to the practice of various skills such as rolling smoothly, falling safely, being upside down, moving comfortably in and out of the floor, and supporting and giving weight effortlessly. A creative point of view from which to partner from will be explored and a balance of skill development, partnering practice and open dancing will be offered.
Highly Recommended Concert Events (must attend at least 1event below):
Class Attendance: Your evaluation will be based on your participation in class, openness and ability to incorporate the information given. Consistent attendance is essential to your success in this class and only through presence and practice will your ability to grow as a dancer is achieved. There is no make-up work for missed movement technique class in the department of dance. For Hampshire College students you will be allowed two absences before your evaluation will be affected, for FCDD students you will be allowed two absences before your grade is affected (1/2 a letter grade) and three tardy marks will count as one absence.
Lateness: Please arrive to class on time and prepared to move. If you arrive after class begins you will be expected to observe, take notes and participate in discussions. It is your responsibility to confirm that your attendance has been marked correctly and you will receive 1/2 an absence for being late. You should turn in written observations at the end of observing a class.
Premise for Evaluation
80% Quality of work in class, participation
15% Journal Assignments
5% Lecture/Performance Response
Safety and Wellness
Because this class involved physical contact you must cover any cuts with a sturdy bandage and clothing. If you get an abrasion of floor burn during class, stop what you are doing, clean and dress the injury before you continue dancing.
Please let me know of any injuries you have.
Highly Suggested Materials: Kneedpads, if required I can submit a group order for those interested.
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