We have been accepted to present a session at the annual conference for the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science. This is happening in October 2007 and there is more information about the programme and presenters available on the IADMS website.
We’re looking at integrated conditioning, awareness and safety through Contact Improvisation and related forms.
Here is the original abstract, which is now changing as the session we are presenting is slightly different to the one we applied for:
Contact Improvisation (CI), as a practice form, has a focus on embodied kinaesthetic awareness and experiential learning. Through the development of, and increase in, three-dimensional open-ended pathways CI can allow dancers a greater awareness of their habitual movement patterns and, in turn, provide tools for shifting patterns of behaviour that have negative physiological outcomes.
The form uses elements of Newtonian natural philosophy (gravity, momentum, inertia, centripetal force, friction, resistance, weight and velocity, amongst others) in an ongoing investigation on the interactions between two or more dancers and the floor. In partnering work the form allows one to investigate the potential for alignment, and the harnessing of natural forces, to provide safe and extended weight bearing or lifting. That is, using an integrated awareness of alignment, habitual pathways and the potential for new pathways CI can condition the dancer to utilise more than simple muscular strength in weight bearing.
As a young and non-codified form (CI was established in the early 1970s and there is no accreditation for teaching) there has been interaction with related areas such as Feldenkrais, Alexander technique, martial arts, Tango and release-based techniques. CI can provide a useful training tool for dancers in any form and, through developing personal kinaesthetic awareness, extended proprioception and integrated alignment, it conditions the dancer’s body in safety.
We will present this work as an interactive forum through demonstrating particular techniques and with hands on experiential learning. There will be ample opportunity for discussion as well as direct knowledge transmission through movement.