Contact Improvisation

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Playing with gravity, exploring physics using bodies, finding the limits of attention and expanding them.

Contact Improvisation may be a dance of improvising and partnering based on the physics of touch, balance, weight, momentum, flow and resistance. It tunes our senses to be ready to respond in an ever-shifting dialogue of movement. Sometimes quiet and meditative, sometimes wild and athletic, it is a form open to all bodies and enquiring minds.

It is quite fun, sometimes scary, always different, and is training my bodymind to move in ways I never could have imagined. New forms of attention, more balance, strength, flexibility and creativity are great side effects.

Learning to fall creatively.

UC Davis is blessed with a good number of PhD students in performance studies who are also world-renowned contact teachers. It has been a wonderful to be able to learn from them.

There are many jams in the Bay Area and most other big cities. UC Davis jam is Tuesday evenings. Here are some links to videos that inspire me and show some of the play and variety of contact improvisation: 2012 West Coast CI Jam, The Play of Weight, Trio (Poland).

 

»Haptic Creativity

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Co-authored with Natasha Myers. 2011 “Haptic Creativity and the Mid-Embodiments of Experimental Life,” in Companion to the Anthropology of Bodies/Embodiment.  In this chapter, we present our collaboration working as anthropologists of experimental forms of life. We examine fieldsites where practitioners develop and use computerized visualization technologies. In the process we aim to collaborate with scientists and Continue reading…

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»Drugs for Life

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How Pharmaceutical Companies Define Our Health (2012 Duke University Press) Kindle version is now out! Hear my radio interview about Drugs for Life on BBC 4 Thinking Allowed Every year the average number of prescriptions purchased by Americans increases, as do healthcare expenditures, which are projected to reach one-fifth of the U.S. gross domestic product Continue reading…

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»Embodying Improvisation

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What are we talking about when we talk about embodiment, bodies, our bodies, other bodies? How did we learn to talk these ways that these words come so easily out of our mouths and fingers? And are we always improvising, and if so, how, and against what background of non-improvisation? Embodying Improvisation Class Winter 13 Continue reading…

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