Maxine Saborowski and Christine Mauch
On watching and being watched
„Exploring the relationship between watching and doing as a resource in the experience and the learning of Contact Improvisation.
Whereas especially in the teaching of beginners much focus is dedicated to the tactile and proprioceptive senses of the body, extending our awareness to the sense of vision can open to a wide field of possibilities.
Here are some of our ideas and considerations on watching and being watched:
- Watching others move creates reference and connection between members of a group and builds a history to refer to.
- Bringing attention to the function and the physical substance of the eyes enhances the possibility to use that information as a source of inspiration in one¹s own dancing and watching: It helps to stimulate awareness of the activity of the eyes in dancing, exploring and identifying what we do with our eyes when we dance.
- Watching - as receiving visual sensation - requires a sense of tuning one's attention and activity to staying alive while not moving: Both watcher and mover are active - in their choicemaking, in the pursuit of their interest, timing, etc.
- Learning to take responsibility for one¹s experience in the activity of watching serves as a model for doing so also in the dancing.
- Watching affects the quality of the activity that's being watched. How can we design the activity of watching in order to support the dancing?
- Watching is one way to create feedback. How can we arrange and frame the process of giving feedback - through speaking, writing or moving?
The intention of the proposed work is to collect and sort different approaches and questions around the issue of watching and being watched through exploration and discussion.“
“Even “contactors” need to make money!
More and more people in the CI-community feel ready and want to teach - but only a few people want to take classes?!
I want to share and collect information about the conditions under that
we do our work and make our living – mostly as freelance dancers and
What are the different models of working as a CI-teacher?
Which strategies did we develop to survive in a capitalistic world?
How do we deal with the marketing /financial aspects of teaching CI?
How do we deal with the limited number of students or amount of money? Do we share or do we believe in the survival of the fittest?
What does that do to us and to our teaching?
How do we satisfy our need for sharing, exchange and learning together?
How do we relate to our colleagues?
Where do we hinder, where do we support each other?
Do we believe in continuous growth or are we afraid that there is a limited amount of students taking classes and spending money?
How do we further development and increase?
Maybe we can develop a clearer picture of the career of CI-teachers.
• Helpful education
• Role of hometown / - country
• Different models and their pros and cons
• Possible income
• How is it related to experience, time, background and networking?
I would like to address the emotional aspects of these themes as well and
find constructive ways to deal with them (dance them?!)
Where do we feel successful? ...satisfied? …supported? What gives us a good perspective for the future?
CI for me is more than a dance technique. Dancing and teaching it I experience and share and hopefully further also a different way of communicating, cooperating and creating together with trust, generosity and respect.
I am interested in sharing our wishes and visions for better working- and networking conditions? What do we want and need - and how can we make it happen?
Can we find ways to integrate and use the values of CI into the way we deal with each other as colleagues?
As a “side effect” of this Lab I want to develop and try out
ways to discuss and evaluate this theme not only verbally, but also physically.
I want to integrate our moving, dancing bodies and actively use the space
that we are in for our process.
I wish for a minimum of five and a maximum of 15 courageous and curious improvisers in this Lab.
I will facilitate and document our Lab.
In order to get a clearer picture of your specific interests, questions and ideas I would appreciate it, if those who already know that they want to be part of this Lab email me their thoughts, wishes, questions and ideas. (For our first contact please write to the ECITE team.)”
“I propose to work and investigate on my lasting interest in performing
I want to focus on the different possibilities to direct and compose without choreographing. All dancers will have the chance to step out of the dance and into the position of a director, trying to shape and specify a certain idea that you have or the inspiration you get out of the dance happening in front of you. Your partners dance for you and take the challenge to serve your idea, try to make your vision happen without loosing their own individual stream of movement motivation.
A second chapter of work (if we get that far) would be to compose and direct from within the dance, to investigate in the relation between pre-prepared ideas, roles, themes, agreements and the actual moment of dancing.
Watching composition, reflecting upon, talking about, changing it, exercising the communication about it is the aim of the intensive.”
smooth space / striated space
„I want to work loosely from a description of two opposed yet existing
together ideas of space.
In ‘Mille Plateaus’ Deleuze and Guattari they speak of smooth space/striated space. Some of the words associated with smooth space:
Haptic (means pertaining to the sense of touch)
Felt (a kind of fabric)
Words associated with striated space:
Smooth space is characteristic of sea, steppe, ice and desert. It is occupied by packs and nomads. The characteristic experience of smooth space is short term, up close, with no visual model for points of reference or invariant distances. ‘smooth space is made up of constantly changing orientation of nomads entertaining tactile relations among themselves.’ Striated space is being related to urbanity, long distance perception, grid, having top and/or bottom, constancy of orientation, boundaries. ‘It is canopied by the sky which serves as a measure’.
Although one can move into all kinds of philosophical and political discussions
with these definitions and how they reflect society I’m mostly interested
in questions of space, interaction and how interaction creates space and
It would be interesting if we could work in a space that can change characteristics or alternatively we could work in different spaces. I would like to work with a series of improvisations with different parameters and put them on video as well as having a record of the experience by having the participants write about it from the inside.“
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