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Contact improvisation “jam” Contact improvisation (CI) is a dance technique in which points of physical contact provide the starting point for exploration through movement improvisation. Contact Improvisation is a form of dance improvisation and is one of the best-known and most characteristic forms of postmodern dance. Contents 1 History 2 Practice and theory 3 Quotes 4 See also 5 Further reading 6 External links // History The first performance work recognized as Contact Improvisation is Steve Paxton's Magnesium (1972) which was performed by Paxton and dance students at Oberlin College at Warner Main in Warner Center. Five months after Magnesium Paxton led the first Contact Improvisation performance series at the John Weber Art Gallery in New York City where dancers performed Contact Improvisation in marathon fashion on mats. Practice and theory Contact improvisation can be practiced as concert or social dance form. In the social setting contact improvisation meetings are called "jams" in which participants can participate or watch as they choose. The name is perhaps derived from the "jams" of jazz musicians, who come together to spontaneously explore musical forms and ideas. Contact improvisation is often practiced in duet form but can also be performed in groups or as a solo using physical objects (floor, walls, chair, etc.) as the point of contact. As many teachers say in introductory classes, the floor is your first partner. Contact improvisation techniques can include weight transfer, weight sharing, counter balance, rolling, falling, suspension, and lifting. CI practitioners may also draw on: 5Rhythms Alexander Technique Acrobatics Acroyoga Adagio Body-Mind Centering Cognitive science Emergence Feldenkrais method Eutony Gymnastics Ideokinesis Kinetic Awareness Laban Movement Analysis martial arts, especially Aikido, Tai chi chuan and capoeira Newton's laws of motion Parkour Skinner Releasing Technique Tango Yoga Due to the improvised nature of CI and depending on the choreographic structure used, a CI performance may contain little physical contact. When used as a choreographic technique, movement sequences that emerge during a jam may be adapted and set to form a part of a fixed choreographic score, or a specific set of rules may emerge for an open score. Quotes If you're dancing physics, you're dancing contact. if you're dancing chemistry, you're doing something else. - Steve Paxton (1987) When an apple fell on his head, Newton was inspired to describe the three laws of motion, that carry his name. ... In his attempt to be objective, Newton overlooked the question of how it feels to be the apple. When we put our bodymass in motion, we raise above the law of gravity and go towards the swinging, circulating attraction of the centrifugal force. Dancers ride upon, and play with these forces. - Steve Paxton (1987) The earth is much bigger than you are so you'd better learn to co-ordinate with it. - Nancy Stark Smith (1987) Contact Improvisation or CI is "a contemporary game" says Steve Paxton. CI started in the US as a means to explore the physical forces imposed on the body by gravity, by the physics of momentum, falling and lifting. CI is a complex but very open form with infinite possibilities and is a dance form that is made by the dancer in the moment of dancing. - Touchdown Dance (2002) Some movement improvisation artists and theorists, (eg: Steve Paxton, Bonnie Bainbridge-Cohen, Simone Forti) as specialists of the phenomenology and aesthetics of human movement have reached theoretical and practical insights about human interaction and embodiment that are closely related to the ones that are found recently in the fields of artificial intelligence (embodied robotics), cognitive science (embodied cognition) and new biology (self-organization and emergence). - Barrios Solano, M. (2004) Barrios Solano, M. (2004) Posthuman Performance: Dancing within Cognitive Systems. Paxton, S. (1997) in Fall After Newton. Videoda / Contact Collaborations, Inc. (video) Stark Smith, N. (1987) in Fall After Newton. Videoda / Contact Collaborations, Inc. (video) Touchdown Dance (2002) Contact Improvisation See also Steve Paxton Nancy Stark Smith Lisa Nelson Nita Little Grand Union dance improvisation Judson Dance Theater Choreographic technique List of dance style categories choreographers List of contact improvisation festivals Further reading Novack, C, J. (1990) Sharing the Dance: Contact Improvisation and American Culture. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-299-12444-4 Pallant, C. (2006) Contact Improvisation: An Introduction to a Vitalizing Dance Form. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-7864-2647-0 Tufnell, M. and Vaughan, D. (1999) Body Space Image : Notes Toward Improvisation and Performance. Princeton Book Co. ISBN 1-85273-041-2 Encounters with Contact; Dancing Contact in College (2010); Edited by Ann Cooper Albright, with Katie Barkley Kai Evans, Jan Trumbauer, David Brown and Rachel Wortman. Oberlin College Theater and Dance. ISBN 0-937645-13-3 External links "Contact Quarterly" serving the international dance and improvisation community since 1978, publishing an internationally recognized dance and improvisation journal. "Contact improvisation comes of age" - Elizabeth Zimmer, "Contact improvisation comes of age," Dance Magazine, June 2004. Making Contact: Contact Improvisation in Israel - Introduction to the Israeli scene of contact improvisation. Contact Improvisation in Sweden - Jams, classes and workshops in Sweden. OPAL Contact Improvisation Photo Gallery Kontakti-improvisaatio - Contact improvisation in Finland. Brief info and timetables. - Contact improvisation and mime in Italy with Francis Calsolaro - Contact improvisation in Argentina - Festin Mundial de Contact Improvisacion - Contact Improvisation Worldwide Festin