Week Eight – Juxtaposing energies

Tuesday 4th March 2014

What does it feel like to share your centre of gravity? Will it feel strange? Is it possible? When do you know you’re sharing it? How do you achieve it? These are just a few of the many questions that were flying around my head today once we had been explained the outcomes of class. Exploration of centre of gravity, balance and weight bearing were our focal point today… it scared me.


‘Have a sense of the room moving rather than you, how do we perceive that? How do we perceive those possibilities?’ (Silverthorn, 2014) When I’m in contact with another person in dance I feel like the space closes in on me and there is a restriction of direction and pathways that we can take. However I experienced the complete opposite of this feeling in the first task of today. We sat in a circle placing a hand on the person to our rights knee and sending breath through their leg to the person on our rights hand, the space seemed to open up and I had a sense of freedom and openness. Curtis writes that ‘When you are in the present moment and listening to your partner’s body, the point of cant can bridge the empty space between your bodies…’ (Curtis, 1988, 159)


I embraced the opportunities that arouse today allowing myself to be free in the space through connection of the breath with another dancer. I opened my eyes more to sense the space around me which in turn widened opportunities of movement. It has always occurred to me that I look away from opportunities in this class and try to get myself out of situations that I am uncomfortable with. Today I forced myself to get rid of these fears, to actually experiment with something that I haven’t before because I held my body back.


I took opportunities in the space to offer surfaces of support for another body. We worked more on giving and receiving weight through connection of centre of gravity. Chrissie and I worked on the element of touch as a sense of direction, opening up opportunities. We found it challenging to keep our centre of gravities connected when moving through the space whilst offering surfaces of support as we seemed to lose momentum occasionally and consistency of movement. However we both felt that we connected through the breath and widened our range of movement vocabulary.


After class today I felt that I needed to express to myself that exploring giving weight is a tough element of contact improvisation however one of the most important things to think about is the comfort and trust that the other dancer must feel when you are offering a surface of support, experimentation of this is the only way to progress.


Works cited:

Silverthorn, T. (2014) Sharing Gravity & (out of ) Balance off the floor, Awareness, Disorientation and Letting go [seminar] Contact Improvisation: An Ongoing Research Lab DAN2005M, University of Lincoln, 4 March.

Curtis, B. (1988). Exposed to Gravity. Contact Quarterly/ Contact

Improvisation Sourcebook I, Vol. 13. Pp.156-162.

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