The risky stuff – Improving CI technique, but how?

“If you want to reach the maximum of your technical abilities you need to work on jamming and improvisational skills.”

A recent workshop with our experienced Half Year Programme group in Berlin led me to this statement, which is refreshingly provocative for me.

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Communicating through touch – we have cats …

It feels a bit embarrassing to write about our cats in this blog that has a main focus on dance, the moving body and teaching and learning. Anyways, I dare it and it won’t be too long …

I am not really an animal person. I like the animalistic part of the moving human body, it’s juicyness, it’s lack of hesitation and it’s clear gut-intentions. I like to see animals in the ‘wild’, or at least outside without being fenced in. My wife and my boy love animals, also pets, and I love my wife and my boy. So we have two cats since two years. And I like them surprisingly much. Continue reading

Irritationen

Irgendetwas ist anders, es passt – fast, aber nicht so ganz … naja, nicht so wild, geht ja trotzdem.

Bei meinem letzten Workshop habe ich das Anerkennen von Irritationen als einen Schlüssel für lebendige Räume erkannt. Es sind feine Momente, undramatisch und es scheint nicht wirklich wert groß Aufhebens drum zu machen. Aber in diesen Momenten entscheidet sich Richtung und Qualität von gemeinsamen gelebten Situationen. Continue reading

What is it that makes me feel ‘I am dancing’? And is that all I want from the dance?

There are these moments in my practice where I suddenly think and feel ‘Now I am dancing!’ What makes me feel that? And what am I doing, when I don’t feel like saying that?

A participant of our CI training programme asked this question. And I noticed that I have given conflicting answers in writing and teaching about it. Continue reading

Adventure Falling – site specific experiencing

I am running with my boy through an autumn forest on a winding path, that is covered with freshly fallen leaves. Suddenly my left foot gets caught behind a little root. Time will slow down very soon.

Later on I will be amazed how much can go through my head and emotional body in one second and how much it can keep me busy after this second has been long past. I am not 100 % sure if this experience is so appropriate on this blog, but I enjoyed the freshness and quirkiness of it so much that I felt like sharing it anyway. Continue reading

Contact-Technik Grundlagen – Gedanken zum ‘rolling up someone’s spine’

In meinem letzten Workshop tauchte der Wunsch auf an einer spezifischen Form zu arbeiten: Vom Beckenlift jemandem rückenaufwärts auf die Schulter zu rollen – und ich war überrascht wie vollkommen involviert und emotional ich einige Teilnehmer begleitet habe, als ginge es um Leben und Tod. Als würde sich in der Art, wie wir diese Form angehen entscheiden, ob wir den Wesenskern der Contact Improvisation nähren oder zerstören. Ich musste zum Glück auch ein wenig schmunzeln, denn es ist ja nur eine bestimmte, oft genutzte Form, die am Lauf der Welt so gar nichts ändern wird.

Was trieb mich so an und hin und her? Continue reading

Doing what I need & want? – Thoughts about Jamming and Workshopping

I am more and more intrigued by the mystery of focussed spaces. I guess it is a mayor part of my dedication to Contact Improvisation. I am almost getting used to being in a space, where people follow their own interests, diving into a personal investigation that is still in touch with the group. Moments when this dense and generous atmosphere disappears make me realize how special and also fragile a focussed space is.

In a good jam or a well created dance frame in a workshop I feel the space to go for what I need and the freedom to do what I want. I guess most contacters share this experience. But how aware are we, that it is actually not true? We are very much not free to do whatever we want! Continue reading

Beglückende Überforderungen und Irritationen – ein Tanz mit Katja Mustonen

Katja Mustonen und ich hatten ein sogenanntes Dancedate in Berlin: ein bisschen reden, ankommen, checken wer was braucht und dann die simple Struktur eine Stunde lang zu schauen, was so passieren will. Sie als Contact Skeptikerin wünscht sich Gewicht zum Anfangen, ich als Contact Monofokussist wünsche mir Phasen von purem, nicht direktivem Hands-on. Nach 40 Minuten fühle ich mich erinnert an meine Anfangszeit. Es ist alles so viel, irgendwie viel zu viel, so atemberaubend komplex. Continue reading

My Teaching Journey – slow developments & crucial phases

Recently I got asked several times about how I approach my teaching and if that has changed over the years. So, I felt like looking at my own process of how I prepare workshops, and how my attitude and my values might have shifted.

Maybe one thought beforehand, that I discovered pretty early in my teaching career:

A crucial part of filling the teachers role is to know what I know and what I don’t know and to be honest about it with my students. Continue reading

Hands-on work – Why does it touch me so much?

A highlight and red thread of a workshop in Warsaw became a very simple hands-on exercise, kind of the most simple version of it: One person is moving, the other one follows with the hands on the movers body without giving any directions. That’s in a way it.

What is the work? The work is mainly to not do many things we usually do. Continue reading