When life weighs us down, we become sensitive, touchy, raw, tender. We don't want to be touched, or touch others. This weighs us down even more. We lose our levity, our lightness, our ability to fly. Sometimes we are carrying the world on our shoulders.
Ironically, touch can get us back in touch with our touchiness. Our tenderness can be a recognition that there is responsivity alive within us, and we can use it to listen to others. And realize that in every touch there is a touching b ack, a listening that is active, responsive. As we respond to others, we share this touch with them.
An openness to touch can let us be lighter - to share the burdens of life. To share weight. In this workshop we will use contact improvisation - a dance form that involves the exploration of bodies in relationship to others by using the fundamentals of sharing weight, touch, and movement awareness. We wil create knowledge by and for ourselves. This is done through moving and sometimes moving in contact (or not), through moving at just the right speed, the speed of our attention and then also the speed of the attention of another. In this way we will learn about our edges, about balance and how we are out of balance, and how we can learn to enjoy being off balance. Perhaps we will learn how to be joyfully off balance with another.
Getting in touch with our moving, sensing bodies in this way is an experiment in sensitivity, in touchiness, in security and insecurity. As we move with others we will think together about control, when we think we have control, when we don't know whether we are in control or not, and what practices we might engage in to play with our various desires for control. As we play with sharing weight with others, we will think together about support, about standing on our own two feet, holding ourselves up, about independence and dependence, borders and mutuality. And experiment with sharing the weight of life so that it is lighter for all.
About Dorte Bjerre Jensen
Dorte Bjerre Jensen is a dancer/performer, researcher, teacher and organizer, and she is deeply interested in bodily movement and expression as an art form both in practice and in theory. As an artist she creates, direct and perform. Dorte holds a 2-year postgraduate education for professional dancers: Dance partnership; research, performance/dance and facilitation, at the Danish National School of Performing Arts. Her final research project was in the frame of process philosophy and contact improvisation. Furthermore Dorte is an educated school teacher, yoga teacher, Rosen Method therapist, Conscious Touch therapist. She teaches contact improvisation nationally and internationally, in dance and acting schools, at festivals and in open workshops. She offers her work to professional dancers, actors, people in leadership roles, and to the general public.Dorte is the author of the two chapters: Contact improvisation and Dance & fight, in “The Anthology of Dance” (being released this autumn). Dorte has also journeyed through life as a soccer player, material artist (Taekwondo) and as a circus artist.
About Joe Dumit
Joe Dumit is an anthropologist of passions, brains, games, bodies, drugs, and facts. He is chair of Performance Studies and professor of Science & Technology Studies and Anthropology at UC Davis (and visiting professor at Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University). His books, Picturing Personhood: Brain Scans in Biomedical America, and Drugs for Life: How Pharmaceutical Companies Define Our Health, look at how knowledge is made and how facts get into our lives, beliefs and activities. His recent work has concentrated on how learning and training take place in bodyminds, transform people, and generate new possibilities for action through contact improvisation, performance studies, practice as research, and embodied mindfulness. Combining medical anthropology with movement research, he’s been delving into fascia – training in massage including cranial sacral, dissecting cadavers with Gil Hedley, teaching minds in motion with Nita Little, teaching improvisation and movement to neuroscientists and artists, creating a Fascia Research Movement Lab with Kevin O’Connor, combining neuroscience and CI with Asaf Bachrach and others, and working with 3D virtual reality technologies.