Return to Earthdance

During the hustle bustle party preparing evening of December 31st, 2014, at Earthdance (Plainfield, Massachussetts) some people were dressing up in crazy attire, preparing chocolate covered pineapple and other yummy midnight delicacies, or creating a ritual to release the old and create space for new. Around fifteen Contact Improvisation dancers sat in Studio 3 to focus on “Five Ways In”. We were almost all from the US and Canada.  

Here are a few comments that stood out from our feedback session afterwards.   (Alyssa Lynes)


Political Activist & CI dancer: [It is] “exhausting to activate and search for and integrate and promote social action and I am relieved that I haven’t had that thought with contact. [improvisation]. Both appreciating it and also feeling like I just want to dance. “

CI Dancer A: I think my beliefs and values are very much in line with this community and dance form. What Jashana said about the form completely opened my heart. How do you negotiate that idealism? I do think that this is the way I envision people interacting beyond this community and yet there is the reality. My question is how do I reconcile this Utopia with the outside world?

CI Dancer B: Yeah, who was the bad guy in that movie. I missed that. (laughter).

CI Dancer C: I appreciate how raw the conversations were. They let us in to what they were really feeling. We could really get inside their heads. We have so much in common with each other. Witnessing that. I saw a lot of insecurities in them that I feel in myself. It really helps.

CI Dancer D: Jess’s critique when upper middle class white pretty euro-north American.   I am glad that it’s in there. It is a privileged group of people. I don’t know if it necessarily needs to be. But I wonder what the boundaries are.. I wonder if it’s having had an easier time of things.. It’s not a homogenous community in terms of experiences we’ve had.. maybe there is something to it, that means we are more open to go out on a limb. What are the boundaries to being not so exclusive, as homogenous as it is?

CI Dancer E: Vocalizing something I don’t want in a dance. I thought that was really interesting. The things that resonated with me the most —

New CI Dancer: Being someone who is new to contact it’s hard to get from watching people jam. There is an accessibility by having a lesson in the film.   The interacting with the natural environment and the playfulness.

CI Dancer F: …When she [Manuela Blanchard Russi] was dancing with a rock as she would with a rock. So much of CI is in communication and connection and the rock is immobile. It was interesting because there is something missing.

Activist & CI dancer: I was interested in the fact that Jashana was looking for a place to be alone and really crying really hard. Something about the political seems to be about equality and belonging. It’s so interesting that her question was about that. And then with the lack of connection her wanting to be alone that connected to a past trauma of being alienating and disconnected.


Alyssa Lynes

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