« Anyway, just want you to know how much I totally and completely appreciate you both. I think you are profoundly lovely people doing fabulous and important work in the world. »
Santa Cruz, USA.
« To meet with you as teachers in my experience with CI, Improvisation and Performance has been a gift that has given me tools not only to understand in depth these practices but to maintain awake the curiosity that makes it something alive and in constant construction. With simplicity and accuracy you bring in a subtle way the experience of CI as something open with endless possibilities, focusing in both, inner and outer listening and arriving to dilate the present moment without offering closed formulas but guidelines through which investigate and discover. You generate creative and inspiring experiences that are useful for life, because they touch the essence of the work with the body, the movement, the group and space »
Garganta de la Olla, Spain.
« I am writing to tell you again, that i loved the course, I learned a lot and integrated several concepts on the mechanics of the human body. Hopefully, in the faculty i had been taught anatomy of movement or biomechanics in this way. I also loved the use of the hands to create inputs on different body parts, by increasing the perception of who gives and receives. In its totality, the CI workshop was pure kinesiology, in a artistic level, super creative, playful, natural, fluid and at times it seemed to be spatial, extraterritorial »
Buenos Aires, Argentina.
« Hi there. I just wanted to say thanks to the two of you. I am here in guayaquil, coming closer to home and I feel that after your workshop I have a great gift with me and that I gonna share with the people of my city…
And I also wanted to send you a beautiful text from T.S. Elliot that I found and that for me expresses a lot what we were doing in the workshop:
« …at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And don not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only dance… »
And another one that I just connected from Rumi:
« Don’t worry about saving these songs
And if one of our instruments break, it doesn’t matter
We have fallen into a place
where everything is music. »
Thanks for your abundance and your beauty…hope that there would be a time when I dance again with you.”
« Thank you for sharing with us a large part of you, it has been a pleasure to see, listen, follow and zdance with you …
I’ve enjoyed and I’ve learned a lot. I had a hectic week, intense and complicated, running through obstacles, and even if I felt that those times these clutter appeared in my head and filled me with thoughts, most of the time with you, they disappeared completely from my mind and i could connect. Thank you very much! I float, I lost myself, i’ve found me back , the earth has hold me and other bodies also. The movement and information still settling in my, for future dances and for my day to day. »
Buenos Aires, Argentina
« Contact Improvisation, the reconstruction of the self in the other
To create an experience where diverse people, experiences, stories, apprehensions, interests and sensibilities meet is not common. In our current context individuality is firmly established and it is from there that we perceive the environment, others, and the relations we can establish. Thus, we believe we know what surrounds us, and consequently that we know ourselves. We immediately judge them based on the image that defines them, almost previous to the image that limits the other.
The contact improvisation seminar proposes and invites us to reconstruct from the very first act of listening how it is that we relate with ourselves, our surroundings and thus with others, developing a space of atemporality, or, in other words: a time re-evaluation of time as a path to the recognition of “being in the body”.
Being in the body is an experience where diverse patterns are present (resistances, tensions, fears, etc.). These appear in the collective practices (with others) developing awareness through the corporal bond and the ludic exploration we are allowed thanks to improvisation.
The work with the other is the possibility to see each other mutually reflected and to comprehend that our own difficulties are the ones of the other in terms of complementarities and opposition. Also, it is possible to understand that these difficulties are the ones that allow the flow and the carrying out of the whole dancing experience.
In constant movement, societal roles are completely driven away and swing, allowing for the dissolution of the dichotomy between the self and the other, finding a balance that does not centers on the acknowledgement of roles, but rather on the continued presence and listening as a path to the fulfillment of both.
The path through time and space brings forth the dynamic of experience in nothingness, or the readiness of the body whose movement originates in what is provisionally its own center, but which constantly appears as the other, where movement and its musicality are limited to the silence imposes on the meditative experience (similar to the zazen practice).
Maybe this is why it is impossible to define the contact-improvisation experience since it involves a series of levels and layers, that are only understood in terms of the requirements of being corporally present, being, feeling, receiving, flowing, inhaling and exhaling, letting be maybe in the same sense as the Tao-te King:
Simplicity breeds the absence of wishes,
The absence of wishes breeds peace
And with this the World sorts itself out.
(Tao TE King, Lao tse, p. 123, translated by Gastón Sublette.)
It seems as if the contact dance style were constantly in a search of sorting itself out, (according to the term in the previous quote). But, we could also add from the experience, that sorting out with the other is a path of constant renewing and encountering, as in a free fall that proposes minute after minute uncertain certainty and the chance to reappear again in another.
Perhaps, contrary to our everyday understanding, to abandon ourselves is necessary, after all, the space of contact puts us where we really exist: in and with the other. This is why the fall is only half a sensation, because we know that we are inevitably – with the other. In the end, there is no dichotomy.
“In order to fly we need to abandon ourselves” 08 January, 2008
The recent contact improvisation workshop, held in Santiago de Chile was and will be in our thoughts, until a next time. A human event, artistic, and a reflective-conscious time and above all, affective, in an environment of silence and passivity we were able to discover each other, look at ourselves, be present and dance.
The teachers Eckhard Mueller and Daniela Schwartz created the much needed atmosphere to reflect and practice contact. Perhaps, what we will remember the most is the environment that the group knew how to recognize, where everyone, and when I say everyone, I mean that no matter where we came from, our disciplines, our previous experiences, etc., we managed to establish the necessary conventions to dance in diversity, and to welcome the points of view the teachers were presenting (the same I have mentioned in all previous paragraphs.)
I hope we will be able to remember and every time we dance with each other, we will carry the memory of this week with its many experiences and many encounters. For an instant, we breathed in the quietness and the joy of the teachers, who captivated in the listening of the group, started to dance.
We are also grateful to the Chilean teachers who supported this initiative, from their own point of view and background, sharing their methodologies, their search and their experiences with the group. »
Santiago de Chile, Chile.