Jam! Dance session for contact Improvisation, February 2023

In February 2023, Oxford Contact Dance held a dance session for contact improvisation in the dance studio at the Old Fire Station, Oxford. One of the dancers – Marta Wasielewska – who is also photographer, took some wonderful photos – presented here. Thank-you Marta.

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Captioning Contact Improvisation 1972

This year 2022, is regarded as the 50th anniversary of contact improvisation. In 1972 there was a performance – recorded on film – at the John Walker gallery in New York City showing contact improvisation. To aid understanding by everyone, I created a set of captions for the film which you can see online and download. The captions are a transcription of the film’s narration by dancer Steve Paxton.

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Dancing with Georgica Pettus

Dancer Georgica Pettus and I created movement sequences at the end of June which she set to music with ‘nonsense’ captioning. The result is ambiguous, comic and arresting. The strong graphic elements of the dance space – a dojo (martial arts hall for Aikido), combine with improvised dance practice, and leave us wondering and questioning.

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Corona chaos 2022!

In the winter of 2021, I started to plan for a return to dancing in physical contact (no social distancing) at Oxford Contact Dance. However, a new variant of Covid – the Omicron variant – stopped that. Eventually, I restarted the class and dance sessions for contact improvistion on 29 May 2022 – almost two and half years since the start of the pandemic.

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Torus 2.3.3 – a dance #LandscapeDance #FoundDance #Voluism

This dance was recorded on two occasions in January 2022. While this is a solo performance. It is also a duet. For I dance with the embodied memory of my previous dance. Thus the past is present: always present.

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Lessons from dancing with sticks – the semiotics of stick dancing

When I began teaching and facilitating dancing with sticks, I draw on my experience of contact improvisation but quickly found it wasn’t enough. I needed new concepts. A movement practice with sticks, has its own semiotics (meanings) and its own physics.

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Becoming Gentleness: performance

I’m very proud that despite a global pandemic, we still managed to create a new dance – ‘Becoming Gentleness’ – at Oxford Contact Dance. We danced with sticks – outdoors – in University Parks, Oxford on 23 October 2020. There was a beautiful sunset and a carpet of autumn leaves.

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