New dance : Spring Awakening (triptych)

The Arts Centre at the Old Fire Station, Oxford had requested proposals for short films under the banner of ‘Lights Up’. I submitted a dance called ‘Spring Awakening (triptych)’ which used the concealed human figure – inverted in a headstand, as its basis. It’s a solo piece and used humour – which seemed appropriate for a venue that hosts Oxford’s fringe festival.

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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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Becoming Gentleness: composition session

A dance performance during a global pandemic was always going to be a bit different. At the composition session for it on 14 October 2020, we devised an outdoor dance in a park using sticks called ‘Becoming Gentleness’. The outdoor setting and the distancing from each other through sticks reduced the risk of infection from COVID-19.

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Zoom! Dancing together – alone

When the UK Coronavirus lock-down started in March 2020, dance sessions and classes were halted. The response of many organisers was to host the sessions by teleconferencing – often using the service from Zoom. Here, I reflect on three Zoom sessions at London Contact Improvisation with Robert Anderson, Rachel Dean, and Angus Bainbridge in spring and summer 2020.

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Looking back: Tango Diferente 2015

In Summer 2015, I attended Tango Diferente – a week-long course combining Argentine tango and contact improvisation, organised by Adriana Pegorer. It was held at Ponderosa, Stolzenhagen on the German Polish border. I wrote an essay about it ‘Dancing the metaphor : impressions of Tango Diferente 2015’ which is presented here.

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Dancing contact improvisation with ‘contact-through’

In an age of coronavirus (July 2020) with the need to avoid bodies in contact, we can have some contact with each other through the use of artefacts like – balls, ropes, fabrics, sticks or poles. We can ‘contact-through’ them to other dancers while dancing outside. This article includes Government guidelines about reducing infection risks.

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Dance with Social Distancing

Each summer, Oxford Contact Dance has organised Dance in the Park – where we dance contact improvisation outside. This year’s Dance in the Park is going to be a bit different due to COVID19. We won’t be dancing with our bodies in contact but physically distanced (‘social distancing’) and there must be no more than six dancers – by law (in England). Let’s investigate and research this configuration – six people, two metres apart. Let’s dance six two (#dance62)!

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