Friday the 13th May was the first night of the UKcite event and light night in Liverpool, a citywide celebration of performances, cultural events and open studios. Jo Blowers set the context for a performance of CI duets at the Bluecoat Art Gallery. Archival footage from the early days of the form was projected as a backdrop for the performances, featuring duets by Nancy and Steve amongst others. It was quite an ask for the teachers arriving from all over the UK to get up and perform our practice on a Friday night, but they were game and thanks to their investment it was a beautiful success. The combination of the archive and the live demonstration of the practice in the foreground meant that CI was seen by many less expected audience members and illuminated more so even by Jo’s eloquent descriptions of the form, fostering the engagement of new audiences.
“Contact Improvisation (CI) was innovated in the USA by Modern Dancer Steve Paxton and others in the 1970’s. It is an improvised movement / dance practice which employs the physical principles of gravity and momentum, touch and weight exchange. The vocabulary is very varied ranging from still and contemplative to intensely physical and athletic. CI continues to be enormously influential; particularly in the worlds of Contemporary Dance and Physical Theatre and is increasingly practised worldwide.”
One of the outcomes from the weekend was to compile a list of CI definitions in all its diversity. This is a little reminder to share your definition and send this to the ukcite email and it will be used to create a resource, and posted on the CI liverpool facebook page and shared elsewhere online.
Saturday 14th May AM: Open dancing took place followed by introductions and discussion on proposals
PM: Nancy’s Trio Feedback Score was explored by all-a witnessing score with a focus or a seed
Talking and Dancing in Round Robin structure. Mostly topic around issues of ‘professional and non-professional’ which the form didn’t perhaps fully accommodate
2) CI in HE Discussion in the Garden Courtyard-Sharing practical methods and ideas from teachers at Lipa, Rose Bruford, The Place, Goldsmiths, UCLAN, Liverpool Hope, Chester Universities
Sunday 15th May
AM: 10 am Community Meeting with minutes from Mark re-resource sharing, website and a UK festival (see below)
Resources: Admin is one of the things that local community CI organisers feels takes a lot of time. Some of this is specific and local in the area, but some resources on the UK website might be beneficial. Such as having templates for flyers, links of videos and explanation pages to help with enquiries, and what suggestions of what language to use. Mark set up a Google Document that people can add their questions and also used resources. Please add to this via: https://docs.google.com/document/d/14gubHppxrlhCMiCKMBCK8Wc-CoE4G1CoC40UNogNWdI/edit?usp=sharing Website:It would be good to have the website updated more. This responsibility is falling on Colleen at the moment, and her input is appreciated. Discussion around setting up a system where people can log in and enter their own events. General agreement that it would be good to have a website that has all up to date information to refer people to. We discussed getting possible funding to have a paid admin person for UK CI. Also brief discussion around starting something along the lines of an Association that has a membership fee that can be used for admin. Saskia to look into the IT aspects of website to see if a similar system to Bristol website can be set up. And to then do a brief instructional page on how to do this for everyone.
Jo will research possible funding application writers that only take fee if successful. If we have nothing by mid July we will look into pooling resources from different communities to pay someone to apply for funding. National Festival and CI 45 Discussion about a UK CI festival which continued over lunch with several action points made to hunt for a big enough venue to celebrate CI in the UK. Here is a link to a blank editable Google Doc for anything Festival related https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VO9IvnKj-Ea2RunGYWCgNal2efPFpIrmcPQJrVntSJ4/edit?usp=sharing AM : CI Sunday -Class led by Anne Gaelle, Penny Chivas and Rachel Dean “an improvised trio” -Beautiful qualities of touch explored, including the very focused light and detailed to the very full bodied and hands on. From this all over touch exercises I caught inspiring ideas for teaching with lots of potential to go in new directions and explore my two partners as a landscape to push and yield into.
PM : CI Sunday Jam 2-4pm
Closing Circle 4.15pm
Discussion and Bubbly in the courtyard, till 6pm close
Written by Mary Prestidge and Rosalind Holgate Smith