Saturday, October 15
Finding Autonomy and Connection through Contact Improv
Contact Improvisation is an evolving system of movement initiated in 1972 by American choreographer Steve Paxton. The improvised dance form is based on the communication between two 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, learns 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.—early definition by Steve Paxton and others, 1970s,
from CQ Vol. 5:1, Fall 1979
In this three hour workshop we will begin by helping each other get into our bodies through a hands-on warm-up involving light body-work paying special attention to warming up the joints. Then moving on our own, we will focus on finding ease and multi-directional movement in basic locomotion such as rolling, walking, falling and rising. In tune with ourselves, we will bring this listening quality to dancing with a partner, locating the autonomy of our own bodies’ desires while relating to another. Basic fundamentals of Contact Improvisation, such as the point of contact, basic weight sharing principles and the relationship between safety and risk will be covered.
A life-long dancer, Jen Hong began her modern dance training at Reed College in Portland, OR. A Watson Fellowship recipient, Jen graduated with a BA in Chinese Literature, pursued dance training at the Beijing Dance Academy and American Dance Festival, and was on-call for Stomp. In the Northwest, Jen performed with Keith V. Goodman/Dance Gatherer, Tere Mathern Dance, Oslund + Co, and danced and toured nationally for six seasons with Minh Tran + Co. In LA, Jen has danced with Stephanie Nugent, Body Weather Laboratory, Rosanna Tavarez and most recently Laurel Jenkins. In her recent choreographic work, she explores the use of improvisation in performance. In addition, Jen co-facilitates the Santa Monica Contact Improv Jam and has a private practice as an energy healer in a modality called The Awakening Process, often collaborating with Jeffrey Nash. She has recently been exploring a set of tools known as The Axis Syllabus, founded by Frey Faust, which she hopes will provide a container to explore her own research and continued collaboration with dance artists.
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