What is CI?

The improvised dance form is based on the communication between two moving bodies that are in physical contact and their combined relationship to the physical laws that govern their motion—gravity, momentum, inertia. 

It is a free play with balance, self-correcting the wrong moves and reinforcing the right ones, bringing forth a physical/emotional truth about a shared moment of movement that leaves the participants informed, centered, and enlivened.

—early definition by Steve Paxton and others, 1970s, from CQ Vol. 5:1, Fall 1979

Steve Paxton © Peggy Jarrell Kaplan

About Improvisation

Nancy Stark Smith, Helsinki, Finland, 2007 photo © Raisa Kyllikki Ranta

Where you are when you don’t know where you are is one of the most precious spots offered by improvisation. It is a place from which more directions are possible than anywhere else. I call this place The Gap. 

Being in a gap is like being in a fall before you touch bottom. You’re suspended-in time as well in space-and you don’t really know how long it’ll take to get ‘back’. And then, when you Do finally get back, no one even noticed you were gone.

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