Name of teacher
Vivianne Rodrigues de Brito

Period, duration
weeks 1-7 Block 3

Study load
28 hours

1, 2, 3, 4 & 6.

Contact Improvisation (CI) is a dance form in which points of physical contact between two or more moving bodies provide the starting point for movement improvisation and exploration. The form was founded in 1972 by the American choreographer Steve Paxton. Content and design of the class In this class students learn to explore their bodies in relationship with others by using the fundamentals of sharing weight, touch and movement awareness. The class starts with gentle manipulations in which the body becomes soft and receptive for touch. These manipulations evolve into a soft sensorial dance and gradually build into a playful and highly physical dance though the space. The classes will consist of:

  1. Creating a strong skeletal base of support to sustain the weight of a partner.
  2. Practicing falling and rolling and moving into and out of the floor more fluidly, at greater speeds, from greater heights.
  3. Focusing on our skeletal alignment and body-use, to lift and support weight with greater ease and freedom.
  4. Practicing different qualities and ways of touching: pushing, pulling, brushing, sliding, and pivoting the point of contact.
  5. Improvising with eyes closed, focusing on the connection from the floor, to the core and to the partner.
  6. Witnessing each other’s dancing, discussing and reflection on one’s own experience using non-judgmental language.
  7. Participating in group improvisations with the focus on safely sharing and giving weight with a partner through sensing and responding to a partner.

Learning goals

  1. Understand and utilize creatively the physical forces (gravity, inertia and momentum) while dancing with a partner.
  2. Are able to roll, slide and pivot the point of contact for navigating over and around their partners and for giving them support.
  3. Are able to roll out of falls from different heights and are comfortable using the landing gear of hands and feet for shock absorption. Are able to be disoriented and out of balance while dancing with a partner.
  4. Demonstrate constant reediness to interact in all directions and to safely react to what is happening in the moment.
  5. Know basic lifts and their stages.
  6. Are aware of different degrees of muscle tension in the body. Understand skeletal alignment and body –use.
  7. Are able to create, compose and perform all at the same time, exposing themselves with clear intent and full presence.
  8. Acquire insights into the different perspectives of a dancer and audience by watching others and being watched while dancing.
  9. Demonstrate the ability to analyze and to give peer-feedback based on the principles taught in the classes.

Working method(s) used
Training, peer teaching and feedback, reflection, improvisation and own exploration regarding dynamics, states of mind and personal interpretation.

Used study material
Contact Improvisation – Pallant (2006) Videos- Steve Paxton (Magnesium and Fall after newton)

Assessment criteria
Students are assessed in regard to the class learning goals and their attendance, attitude, participation, physical and artistic personal development, insight and communication.

Method of assessment
Continuous feedback, self-reflection and assessment, and teacher’s evaluation

Learning goals in the class contribute to the overall development of the competency indicators:
1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.8, 2.1, 2.2, 2.7, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.4, 6.2 6.5.

The development of the student in regard to the overall competency indicators will be assessed at integral assessment meetings through combined self-assessment and assessment by teachers, coaches and mentors. This course forms a continuous line with the Awareness Through Movement (Feldenkrais) and Floor Work courses in year 1.