Dance IS Peace

Dance is Peace Festival, Lviv, Ukraine- May 2015 The question of how contact improvisation is political was at the heart of the Dance is Peace festival in the beautiful Ukrainian city of Lviv in May 2015. We had seen Poured Out, the powerful video of spontaneous dances in Maidan square, Kiev,  at the Bern Jam the year before. It was not difficult to resist the temptation to offer Five Ways In as a way of exploring what was meaningful for people at the festival. Their manifesto for the festival moved Sonja and… Read More

Reflections on Vision and a Community Research Visit

The need for a core group with a coherent vision is often regarded as vital to starting a community that lasts. I reflect on feedback on our Monastery of Dreams intensive in relation to visits to several formed and developing communities in Catalonia in 2013. We visited Kanawen, Arcadia, Arlequi, Cal Cases, Can Masdeu, Esblada, Irehom, Cala Fou and Molinàs. I also offer a brief history of the group that formed to set up the Monastery of Dreams and the extent of our mutual involvement to provisionally suggest that a lack of… Read More

Two Weeks at the Monastery of Dreams

At the former Seminary of the Marist Brothers, Outdoor Pursuits Centre (Casa de Colonies Ca n’Oliver) and Festival Location of MAPA.   I spent some time thinking about how to summarise or even give a taste of what happened during the two weeks I spent at the Monastery of Dreams, the first week spent preparing for the second, a intensive process of dancing, sharing, performing while thinking, living and imagining community. I realised it would be impossible. The richness of the experience, the fact that my understanding and appreciation is still forming… Read More

CI & Community? a Post-screening Discussion at Tempelhof Contact Festival with Johan & Alyssa 

Contact Improvisation and Community?   “Wow this is a community and how can I be part of it? Do I want to be part of it or when am I part of it?  Who’s part of it ‘cause I felt when I watch it that I didn’t feel that I’m part of it and so I was wondering what would make me feel part of it and do I want to be part of it and how closed is it?  Who decides who’s part of it and all of these questions came… Read More

Social Anthropology Conference Screening & Feedback

Five Ways In was screened in the Film, audio and multimedia programme as part of the annual anthropology conference of the ASA (the Association of Social Anthropologist of the UK and Commonwealth).  ASA15 Symbiotic Anthropologies: Theoretical Commensalities and Methodological Mutualisms was held at the University of Exeter in April 2015. Our film was shown last from a number of multi-media presentations. I was not able to attend in person but joined on skype to hear some feedback and receive questions about the film. I was particularly interested what questions social anthropologists would… Read More

‘Explore Contact Improvisation’ in Cambridge, Mass.

‘There was so much in there to take in. It is almost overwhelming to  absorb their honesty- their physical honesty and their emotional honesty’. (Feedback from screening).   I am really grateful to Marcus Schulkind for supporting this event and thrilled to have collaborated with another dance mentor to host this evening- Neige Christenson. Neige teaches Contact Improvisation in the area and is a supporter of the film. I am a  Boston raised dancer but have been living in Europe for the last four years dancing and teaching Contact Improvisation, Modern Dance,… Read More

Being Generous

During an International Viewing and Discussion Session at Earthdance on January 8th, 2015 a group of around 30 people gathered to watch ‘Five Ways In’.  This group contained staff from Earthdance and participants of Nancy Stark Smith’s 3-week Intensive, along with Alyssa Lynes (a co-director). Most people present were therefore intermediate—advanced and/or teaching CI practitioners. Many are familiar with festivals and various international CI communities. We represented the following nationalities and home countries: Russia, Germany, France, Mexico, Canada, Morocco, the US, Italy, England, Ireland, Switzerland, & Brazil.   Alyssa: What were you… Read More

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]… Read More

Feedback from Prof. Michael Jackson

‘ It lifts my spirits, knowing that anthropology is moving in such novel and thrilling directions, transgressing or dismissing old borderlines, trying out new forms of direct experience, and looking for new ways of reporting on those experiences.’ (Michael Jackson. 2014) It was really special to get such positive feedback from Professor Michael Jackson. I have found his many books hugely inspiring over the years. His preamble in Minima Ethnographica on intersubjectivity is, for me, one of the most powerful justifications for putting relationship  at the heart of  research. I also think… Read More

First Review of ‘Five Ways In’

‘This film is radiant and perceptive and pleasurable to watch. It achieves a rich and reflexive multivocality. Through a series of uniquely reflexive vignettes, from a Hawaiian political activist to Swedish biodynamic gardener, the filmmakers weave a narrative that foregrounds the inextricable bond between individual knowledge, experience and bodily intelligence.’ (Richards, J. 2014. Review of Five Ways In)   The first review of ‘Five Ways In’  was written by  third year anthropology student, Jade Richards, at the University of Kent for one of the assessments for the Visual Anthropology Theory course I… Read More