12 day workshop with John Faichney. Contact Improvisation makes a place for many different kinds of conversation, and in John’s class we will try-out a number of different modes of CI ‘speech’. Some of these will exploit game-like and/or martial-arts-like structures, while others will work both with and against sound. However, we will be particularly interested in duets organized around (1) rolling, contiguous, single-point touch (a.k.a., ‘RCSPT’); (2) the ambiguity (agreement,dispute,open-endedness) of who has the initiative for ‘what happens next’; and (3) particular configurations or qualities of movement which emerge, if only for a moment, as a shared topic for duet partners’ curiosity.
We will be particularly concerned to become comfortable and resourceful with RCSPT. Thinking about CI this way, it is as though duet partners were oriented to ‘writing on’ and being ‘written on by’ each other’s body-surfaces. In fact, it is because of RCSPT that dancers are able to ‘keep up with each other’ – that is, sustain high-quality communication regardless of what the other dancer is doing. From this base, we will seek out the invitation-and-reply that happens when we resist, exceed, and pivot against our partner’s touch trajectories.
In general, we will explore the space between, on the one hand, how CI grounds itself in a process of awakening the body to its own intuitive grasp of movement/touch – its poise, balance, extension, tactility, weight, inertia, and so on – and on the other hand, how skillful CI seems to consolidate itself around particular habits of movement/touch. (Sometimes CI is much like other forms of dance training: some habits we awaken and refine; others we learn through focus and practice.) Our aim, throughout, will be to develop each dancer’s unique ‘voice’: those individualised qualities of CI ‘speech’ which emerge in touch/movement dialogue.
John Faichney studied dance at Oberlin College (USA), graduating in 1975. He performed in Steve Paxton’s proto-Contact-Improvisation work, Magnesium (1972), and, from 1973, pursued CI in parallel with choreography, group improvisation, and music theory. In 1976 he created a series of solo dances (including, for a European tour, Mutatis mutandis) which merged CI-inspired rolling technique and structuralist compositional principles.From 1979 to 1985, he was rehearsal director for Susan Macpherson, whose touring show, A personal collection, featured commissioned work by internationally-recognized choreographers. Since that time, John’s practice of CI has emphasized its resemblance to ordinary conversation, and, particularly, how specific mindfulness and techniques catalyse its full potential as ‘both-speaking-at-once / both-listening-at-once’ dialogue.
$725 includes tuition, all meals,dormitory, camping, transportation on Lasqueti