By Thomas Kaltenbrunner

Thomas Kaltenbrunner provides a finished survey of touch improvisation, providing sensible examples and ideas that have been attempted and verified in his personal workshops.

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Extra info for Contact improvisation: moving, dancing, interaction: with an introduction to new dance

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4 2 Steve Paxton It is often not easy to sanction physical closeness. It is important to first respect the physical borders of each other and not make excessive demands. With each new dance and new partner, a new consensus must be reached. All surfaces and areas of the body are used as shared surfaces in contact improvisation. This also includes areas of the body usually considered as taboo. The need for close physical contact and sexuality are often confused in our society and can lead to confusion.

3 Relaxed Tension through Release "Release work helped people feel their own weight ... sensing weight: the weight of the arm, the weight of the head, the pelvis ... " 19 Nancy Topf A method which started its development in the early 1960's in the USA, later became generally known as "Release work". The founders of this approach include Joan Skinner, Marsha Paludan and Mary Fulkerson. What evolved was a "kinaesthetic training form": the term "Release" comes from Graham's" contract - release"; if we pull our energy towards the centre and then let go, this impulse can lead to movement through space.

The taking of weight means the "taker" maintains enough force to give resistance to the "giver". This maintenance of force can be made by using ones own physical weight, structural force (the skeleton) or muscular force. There are often situations however where it is not clearly defined who is the giver and who is the taker. This is an important principle in contact improvisation, ensuring the liveliness of the dance. The learning process involves finding out how to use just the right amount of force needed to support.

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