Contact Improvisation Men’s Workshops, mid-1970s
04 Nov 2012
In the mid-1970s I was a ballet dancer living in San Francisco. A friend took me to a men’s Contact Improvisation class at Project Artaud and it was a revelation in many aspects. I continued through the workshop and another as well, before my career took me away from San Francisco. I am unable to recall the names of the men involved or the person who organized it but he did live in the building. I remember his furniture was hanging, suspended from metal chains. The CI technique broadened my partner work in classical ballet to an extent never imagined and propelled my partnering technique so that this became my strongest talent. At the CI workshop we would alternate playing instruments and moving together so that there was always musical or sonic accompaniment. Learning the principle of trust in moving with another person or persons was so powerful and will always remain a vibrant and enlightening experience for me as a young man and an artist. Now almost 40 years later and retired in Berlin, Germany I am considering seeking a CI course again – this time for seniors :-).
Contact Improv, mid-1970s in SF
Hello Jerome. Our paths may well have crossed in those San Francisco workshops in the late 1970s to 1980s. I attended contact improv classes at Project Artaud and elsewhere, and was a regular in the men's CI group at Project Artaud. My CI influences included Tai Chi, much yoga and a love of dance. Our teachers were from the early group Mangrove, sometimes others. It was a powerful, pivotal experience. I continue deepening yoga/movement and my arts in San Francisco. In recent past years I helped elders learn yoga. I renewed partner yoga and movement work; perhaps destiny offers an international CI group for mature men?
Smith Studios & Arabesque Concert Dance Company
Did you dance at Smith Studios with Pepper Smith and a principle dancer with Arabesque Concert Dance Company? I was a young dancer there in the 70’s & 80’s.
I attended men’s contact improv classes with my friend Marty in 1980, shortly after we both were getting divorced from our spouses. It was a healing invigorating experience. I’m back tonight with my wife of 30 years.
Smith Studios & Arabesque Concert Dance
Hi, Chris and Jerome, I was there too. I have so many heartfelt happy memories about everyone there. I'm not in Dance now, but maybe I'll give it another twirl soon! Best Wishes to you both... Julia