druna - tableland
contact improvisation, dance, movement, experience, voice and meditation

Physical Poetics and Human Contact

weekend 8 – 9 February 2020

The syllabus of the Human Contact workshop series explores a reframing of the art of contact improvisation… diving into subtle awareness of the physics, bio-mechanics, and states of two bodies in contact combined with an open sense of the poetics of physicality. We explore the improvisational play of human contact: developing deeper sensitivity to physical detail and a sense of the poetic play of experienced meaning in movement and art-making.

The workshop will be equal parts technical functional awareness work and artistic investigation, developing tools and perspectives for distilling and diversifying our explorations of physical contact and unnamable sense of meaning in the body.

Physical Poetics

We look at our sense of meaning in movement… a sense of the poetics of interaction, whether in kinaesthetics and physics or in the poetry of sensation, emotion, and experienced image. We play with holding onto themes and frames of reference in the dance in a sense of collaborative art-making that moves us literally and metaphorically. The poetry is the poetry of inner experience shaped by and interlocking with the physical. I collaborate with you on the poetry of your experience. You collaborate with me in the poem which is mine. It is both real and kind of interactive theater. While embracing the practices that have developed through contact improvisation, we give ourselves permission to ‘start over’ with our investigation and not confine ourselves to previously encountered answers to our questions and directions of curiosity.

A primary tool in this exploration is the distilling of questions. By narrowing our focus and allowing this specificity to reshape our whole body-use, we find a freedom to explore territories that habit and daily social impulse prevent us from discovering. For example, by holding our attention on specific qualities of sensation of skin or fascia or by narrowing our movement to specific ranges of speed, this restriction launches us into new territories that freely wandering attention would otherwise never allow. This allows for a more nuanced interplay of deliberate intention and abandon in finding more meaningful dances.

Technical exploration in contact: The Passive Sequencing work

Developed out of principles from release technique, Alexander technique, and practices from the internal martial arts, The Passive Sequencing work cultivates finer awareness of how we use our bodies and how we affect the state and body-use of our partner. We increase moment-to-moment functional awareness through tuning into proprioception – our physical experience of the body – allowing for greater ease, speed, and power. Through more sophisticated movement intelligence (as opposed to “muscling through”) we find a more dynamic perception in time, informed by our accumulated skills but less hindered by attachment to physical habit. Through releasing excess and unintentional control of movement, we find dense, rich awareness of and participation in human interaction.

Karl Frost (USA)

He has been practicing, performing, and teaching contact improvisation and interdisciplinary, dance-based performance since the mid 1980’s in California. His work has been showcased over the last 3 decades across 5 continents, both in established institutions/universities and in independent studios and theaters. Known internationally for his dynamic movement style and for the edge-pushing nature of his work, both in process and performance, his performances take the body and emotionally and physically felt experience as their reference points. He is known for his articulate teaching and the depth of the material that he accessibly offers. He began his movement explorations in martial arts as a teenager, before expanding his studies to contemporary dance, contact improvisation, physical theater and a variety of somatic practices.

His performance work, via his company, Body Research Physical Theater, explores postdramatic works rooted in somatic psychology and paratheatrical exploration, alternating between stage productions and highly interactive performance happenings exploring audience agency and personal meaning. A base of his movement practice and teaching is the Passive Sequencing work which he has developed, cultivating ease and presence in motion, soft power through movement intelligence, and the pleasure of finer moment-to-moment awareness of self and partner in motion.

He has a BA in Physics, an MFA in Dramatic Arts, and a PhD in Ecology. Currently, he is a research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Human Behavior, Ecology, and Culture in Leipzig, Germany.

His CI and dance/theater work can be found at www.bodyresearch.org, while some of his visual anthropology work can be found at www.culturalvariant.org

The workshop is intensive: Saturday 10:00 – 18:00 and Sunday 9:00 – 17:00, and is open to anyone regardless of age or previous experience.

Price 150 EUR. For reservation the deposit of 50 EUR needs to be paid.

Interested in this workshop? Book your place!

Workshop:   Physical Poetics and Human Contact | weekend 8 - 9 February 2020 | Karl Frost (USA)

For more information reach us at druna@druna.cz or via the phone on +420 725 449 409.