Touching the Sky and Fly with Barbara Pfundt

This workshop was on Wednesday 26 July; part of Contact meets Contemporary 2017.

Lay on your side with one hand under your ribs and feel the breathe; allow it to flow through your body.

Allow your body to follow the breathe, and move like a jelly fish. Use your arms and spine; using knees to come to sitting; and then onto feet; allow arms to spread and interact with others.

Duet Barbara demonstrates flying. She dances in a duet such that her partner ‘flies’. She stands and extends her leg out, to provide a base, and her partner is balanced on it at their pelvis with their arms outstretched in a star shape (‘star fish’ position). We dance this with a partner changing roles – between base and flyer.

[Video: Barbara Pfundt and partner demonstrates starfish sidewards]

Trio + helper! Setup: one person is the base, another the flyer and the other is a ‘spotter’ who pulls on the hands of the flyer. The role of the fourth person (‘helper’) is simply to keep eye contact with the base, assisting them to maintain their orientation during the manoeuvre. Technique: Base and flyer stand next to each other; pelvis of flyer comes into contact of base’s outstretched knee, and into ‘starfish’ position; flyer’s outstretched arms are pulled by spotter. Flyer and base will exchange their positions: flyer returns to standing and becomes¬† base while base becomes flyer on their knee. Thus the changing of roles may continue infinitely! We find this exercise difficult and a bit contrived!

Shoulder lifts

Standing exercise: one partner – whose the flyer – places their shoulder at the pelvis of the other person (‘base’). The two rock back and forth – shifting the weight and pushing but the flyer does not jump onto their partner’s shoulder. The flyer is pushing and connecting onto the base’s shoulder until together, there is the lift.¬† The flyer reaches and lengthens when moving onto the shoulder. Once lifted then the legs of the flyer are facing forward – relative to the base. Shoulder lifts can be a tricky movement if the height/pelvis-height of the flyer and base differ alot.


When a flyer is returning to standing from a shoulder lift then the base will be tipping their should for the flyer to exit. When the flyer returns to standing then they can offer their outstreched foreleg to their partner who places their shoulder on the foreleg at pelvis, and uses their momentum to shoulder-stand onto it.

[Video: Example lifts from the workshop: a shoulder lift in the foreground, and then in the background another lift with a ‘shoulder-stand’ to follow]


Barbara Pfundt’s website

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