As some of you know, I started a round of P90X on Memorial Day this year. I decided that a good reward for finishing would be a dance class. At the time, I thought modern dance was where it’s at, and I enrolled in a beginners modern dance class at Zenon Dance Studio. I have nothing bad to say about that class, except that it just wasn’t quite what I was looking for. I missed a few classes because of my crazy weekend plans (and one surprise visit from my parents), and the studio lets me make up missed classes with any other class they offer. I decided to try contact improv. Here’s an example I found on youtube. The people in this video are way, way, way out of my league, but it’ll give you an idea of the form.
I’d experienced contact improv once before at Zenon’s open house at the beginning of the season. It was intriguing, to say the least. I’m a little scared of how much I like it. It’s just what I was hoping for from a dance class. A chance to really engage with my physicality, to explore senses that aren’t processed intellectually, and to be surprised at what my new fit body can do. I can do handstands, as it turns out. And cartwheels. I can lift another person’s whole weight with my back or legs. It’s a new space I’m discovering, with new kinds of touch and movement, dimension and gravity. I’m excited to see how this new experience manifests itself in my work.
1 thought on “Contact Improv”
Oh wow, that was an absolutely beautiful video. I’ve never been a dancer, because I didn’t believe I had the rhythm or stamina but this makes me wish I were more brave (well, that and someone to dance with!) It takes trust, and awareness, and openness, an authentic connection with a partner to be able to dance. This is amazing to me because without doing, you would not experience this asexual intimacy otherwise. It plays with a boundary, know what I mean? But it’s beautiful in that. There is joy in trusting, freedom in the expression, knowing that the respect goes two ways. Observations from an outsider (-: