Preworkshop | 30. Juli - 3. August 2011
The Art and Sport of Contact Improvisation
In CI, the movements and forms arise as a result of what happens in the present moment. Can they be truly spontaneous or are they patterns that repeat from past experiences? Are such movements artful or is it the form as a whole that has an aesthetic appeal? Simone Forti once used the term “art sport” to describe Contact Improvisation (CI). This apt description includes the physicality in the sport, and the creativity in the art. For me, the sport aspect has always been easier to come by. The “rules” of the game are clear—the laws of physics, how we communicate to establish trust and support, taking risks to stretch boundaries. The art has been more elusive, but less so when grounded in experience. Creating the bridge or connections between the “art” and the “sport” will be a primary theme of this workshop.

What is necessary to practice, safely, with ease, and connected to the players? We will conduct a survey of CI essentials, with a focus on efficient, effortless use of technical skills, to develop a facility for, and availability to, changing physical states and levels of touch and weight. Once essentials have been established, we expand our practice to include issues related to the art of CI—recognizing composition as it happens spontaneously, or intentionally. What makes a composition? Is it the way we perceive the action, or is it the intention of the player? Framing our intention, we practice embodying stillness in movement, and movement in stillness, as an aesthetically satisfying compositional activity. Furthering our practice, we will working with ways of moving "out of the box" of the duet form, expanding our range of choices of how to include more than one other dancer while moving seamlessly into, and out of, contact. We will practice strategies for improvising, or how we improvise the way we improvise, as well as ways of embodying our imagination in movement. How do we make choices that create more choices, rather than limit them?
raychung Ray Chung
Ray Chung is a performer, teacher, engineer, and artist who has a passion for dancing which he likes to share with other people. His main focus is improvisation and he has worked with Contact Improvisation since 1979 as part of improvisational performance practice and integrates other movement forms into his work, including martial arts, bodywork and Authentic Movement. Ray has worked with the leading proponents of Contact Improvisation and regularly collaborates with dancers, musicians, and other artists.