Contact Improvisation UK
due to CORONaVIRUS, most CI events are cancelled or postponed.
this website being updated as new information is sent to us.
regular sessions are cancelled until its safe to dance in contact again
there are two new pages Here: CI ONLINE page
and CI- related Activites During COVID
What is Contact Improvisation?
Contact Improvisation is a dance form originally referred to as a "art-sport" in which the point of contact with another dancer provides the starting point for a movement exploration. It is most frequently performed as a duet, but can be danced by more people. There can be music or it can happen in silence. It is about sharing weight, rolling, suspending, falling, passive and active, energy and awareness.
"Contact Improvisation is a dance form, originated by American choreographer Steve Paxton in 1972, based on the communication between two or more moving bodies that are in physical contact and their combined relationship to the physical laws that govern their motion—gravity, momentum, inertia.
The body, in order to open to these sensations, must learn to release excess muscular tension and abandon a certain quality of willfulness to experience the natural flow of movement. Practice includes rolling, falling, being upside down, following a physical point of contact, supporting and giving weight to a partner.
Contact improvisations are spontaneous physical dialogues that range from stillness to highly energetic exchanges. Alertness is developed in order to work in an energetic state of physical disorientation, trusting in one’s basic survival instincts. It is a free play with balance, self-correcting the wrong moves and reinforcing the right ones, bringing forth a physical/emotional truth about a shared moment of movement that leaves the participants informed, centered, and enlivened."
(From Caught Falling by Nancy Stark Smith and David Koteen)
The form has continued to evolve in various ways since it started 40 years ago but the basic principles remain the same.
This website is a resource for Contact Improvisation in the United Kingdom.
Nancy Stark Smith February 11, 1952 – May 1, 2020
Nancy passed away May 1, 2020 after a struggle with cancer. Many did not know about her cancer, so it is understandable if this is a shock. Her partner and collaborator, Mike Vargas, was by her side at home. Nancy was able to see the lilacs, which she loved so dearly, start to bloom outside before she passed.
All are invited to share remembrances and inspirations on a Facebook page created by Contact Quarterly: Nancy Stark Smith Harvest.
If you want don't have Facebook or want to share more privately, please write to : firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Dance Magazine obituary:
Remembering Nancy by Wendy Perron
In lieu of flowers, she's asked people to donate to Contact Quarterly:
More about Nancy's work:
Nancy's website: www.nancystarksmith.com
Contact Quarterly: www.contactquarterly.com
Global Underscore: www.globalunderscore.com
Global CI Calendar: www.ciglobalcalendar.net
Nancy visited the UK many times over the years - first coming to London, Cumbria, Bristol and other places. Her last visit was in 2012, with Mike Vargas. She led the Underscore Workgroup at Roehampton University, taught at Moving East and led an Underscore at Siobhan Davies Studios and the Global Underscore at Chichester University.
In addition to her own teachings, Nancy initiated countless projects including Contact Quarterly, ECITE, The Underscore , Contact Connections, and has endlessly supported the development, propagation and discourse about the practice all over the world.
Are you a teacher or organiser of a CI class or event in the UK? We are taking a survey of the CI provision in the UK.
Please click the button to participate and let us know about your practice. Regional representative are collating this information to improve communication and dialogue amongst teachers.
This site is evolving and certain sections are still being developed.