Contact Improvisation Workshop

Attention adventurous performers,

Saturday May 6, from 2 to 4, Newnan School of Dance will offer a workshop introducing Contact Improvisation to interested dancers and actors and citizens (and as of this writing, it’s free). Annette Tomassi will teach it.

What is contact improvisation?

It was invented in the late sixties by Steve Paxton and Nancy Stark Smith, dancers connected, at that time, with the Judson Street/Grand Union group in NYC-(one of Twyla’s early stomping grounds, too). –Paxton trained as a gymnast and a Merce Cunningham company member. Nutshell definition: the active and passive giving and taking of weight with Newton’s Universe having the last word. Continue reading “Contact Improvisation Workshop”

Comments on The Art of Telling the Truth

These are comments Marc made originally in response to the post on our first meeting. They are important for working on our assignment for the 4/28/06 meeting.

On THE ART OF TELLING THE TRUTH. I want us to produce an evening (coffee house-ish, readings-ish) with the above ironic title and based on our work with that exercise. Last night has inspired me to try and create one (prepared, not improvised) and to write some more about ways of using and developing the exercise. Continue reading “Comments on The Art of Telling the Truth”

There’s room for all in Lacuna

The lacuna is what is missing (originally referring to a holein a manuscript). Those who churn out texts on our site create the possibility for a lacuna, but it is the silent hole in the midst of the babbling texts which is the lacuna. It takes both to make the lacuna, the text and the absence. To withhold words is to be in the lacuna, and perhaps closer to the heart of the mystery. There’s a work ethic implied here, I think; in fact, I’ve seen it at work in many instances of creative collaboration. Presence and absence are both necessary to create the mystery of collaboration: one person may define the possibility of a hole by revealing a boundarywhile another personis actually part of the substance of the gap (if a gap has a substance–maybe you can “take up residence in the gap”).Holding eitherposition implies astrategy and an approach, as does the possibility of moving from presence to absence and back.

Writing and reading (and acting and speaking) are ways of responding to the lacuna in ourselves as we find a new lacuna in our midst…grasshopper.

Inaugural meeting I: Prep

Newnan School of Dance is located at 30-something Amlajack Boulevard. On Bullsboro, at the Starbuck’s intersection, you turn away from Starbuck’s. A half a mile or so on the right you will see a converted warehouse with a dancer stuck on it; you are pretty much across from the University of West Georgia “Newnan Campus” at this point.

If you have some collapsible soccer mom chairs, bring them. There are a few chairs, but to circle up (loosely, mind you) comfortably, a chair may be kinder than the floor.

Wear comfortable loose-fitting clothes. We will be doing some physical warm-ups and hopefully getting some work done.

Bring a notebook/journal and something with which to write.

Some axioms

Apparently (for I am no mathematician nor a historian of mathematics) there were two famous British mathematicians, G. F. Hardy and J. E. Littlewood, who famously collaborated on a lot of stuff that would have even Marc crying “Reader’s Digest!” Before they began their collaboration, which they did almost exclusively through written correspondence, they decided to formulate some rules which would protect their “personal freedom,” whatever that means.
I think they bear consideration as we begin our own collaboration in considerably closer quarters.

The first of them said that, when one wrote to the other, …, it was completely indifferent whether what they wrote was right or wrong …

The second axiom was to the effect that, when one received a letter from the other, he was under no obligation whatsoever to read it, let alone to answer it …

The third axiom was to the effect that, although it did not really matter if they both thought about the same detail, still, it was preferable that they should not do so.

And, finally, the fourth, and perhaps most important axiom, stated that it was quite indifferent if one of them had not contributed the least bit to the contents of a paper under their common name …

[From the collected works of Harald Bohr, quoted by Bela Bollobás in the foreword to Littlewood’s Miscellany, Cambridge University Press, 1986. ]

Can we get this on a t-shirt?