This is the fifth day of a five day winter intensive with Joerg Hassmann.
It’s the final day of the training course. We warm-up – mostly by lying on the floor and moving on our own. Joerg calls us to begin and we sit for five minutes in silence, meditating.
The silence ends and we gather for the first exercise. We are to move across the room – from one wall to the other, and we’ll do this for an hour – rolling across the floor at first says Joerg. We begin on our own, and then with a partner – using eye contact initially, and then in trios. There is no instruction on how to roll, we simply use our experience of contact improvisation, imagination and what-ever we feel. Some recorded music is played – two or three songs, and Joerg says this is the last song and we finish the rolling exercise. It’s a dance which is continuously moving in a linear fashion. There’s another silent meditation to end.
Catching the Head
We are to catch the head of a partner as it falls, using the head as the first point of contact with them. Working in pairs, one partner sits or kneels on the ground and the other stands and releases their head so that it falls into the hands/arms of the partner. It’s not easy – can you head ever be really free?
We’ve been given another option for catching the head which is to use our chest and belly. We present it to our partner and as their head contacts it, we move with it to the floor – slowing and supporting it. It works and it doesn’t hurt! Throwing our head around induces a certain amount of dizziness. I feel bedazzled.
Before lunch, we examine ways of dancing on our feet with a partner. Ways to initiate contact which are reminiscent of the embrace in tango or other similar dances. These embraces can be opportunities to use the shoulder for small lifts or using the head on the upper chest so that we fall out of standing.
We finish the course by walking in the space and brushing the surface of our body as we walk. Then working in small groups, we review the course and our thoughts about it
Joerg Hassmann’s writing about Contact Improvisation (dancecontact.de)
Read the diary entry for the FIRST day of the intensive (day 1)
Read the diary entry for the previous day of the intensive (day 4)