Theses are frames for duet explorations of contact. The idea is to have a simple, clear frame, a thing that you are investigating, hold onto that as the constant reference point. Use the restriction to generate specificity and to interrupt the usual and thereby reveal it.
I came to this way of leading contact explorations after many years of tecahing and wanting to get back to ground zero… why would one be interested in investigating contact wth another? This was the original frame of investigating contact improvisation. After a short while, a few answers were found and they became encoded as the base of exploration. Why should we, 36 years later, be confining ourselves to answers found by people who had only been exploring for a few years? So, with these explorations, we might have abilities cultivated from past experiences with contact imprfovisation, but we let go of the intentions behind those skills and start over. What happens when we move into contact in different ways? What is interesting? These frames help make these questions more specific.
This list is just a beginning…
- Proximity/distance/facing w/o touch – as felt kinesthetically vs emotionally. As some interesting thing is noticed through gross level adjustment, try to steer into the sensation via subtle adjustment. Steering into the sensation is different satisfying a desire. For example, a certain proximity may generate a desire or an impulse to move away or towards. To Move away (or towards), would then likely remove the sensation. Amplifying the sensation involves not satisfying it, subtly adjusting until the impulse is felt stronger, rather than satisfied.
- Movement into and out of light touch (including geometries of approach and disengagement)
- Texture of Touch (Slide/Role/Stick, Sharp/Broad, etc)
- Skin – (note in many BMC influenced circles, skin is code for light touch… when I suggest to explore skin, it is much more open and cold involve manipulating the organ, exploring an equanimous sense of the whole organ vs certain parts, light as well as more vigorous interaction with one’s own or one’s partner’s skin, etc)
- Effort level – very relaxed and low effort, vs lots of muscle use and effort
- Joints and articulation – following curiosity in both sensation and function of articulation and coordination of the joints
- support/be supported/yield
- amount of body in contact – very small amounts with the rest ofthe body pulled away, lots of the body wrapped around or smeered into one’s partner. Again, what happens mechanically, how does it feel? When we try something mechanically with our partner, how much of our body goes into contact? What happens if we tweek it?
- Space between torsos while in physical contact. 1cm, 3 cm, 10cm, etc… how do they all feel, what possibilities emerge?
- balance/off-balance – personal (off)balance vs duet (off)balance
- Eyes (looking at, fuzzy eyes, peripheral look, look away, closed eyes, examine other vs eye contact, etc)
- Tone level – very relaxed vs maintenance of higher muscle tone (this is different from effort level, though related)
- Emotional Content (personal vs relational) vs kinesthetic experience
- Stillness & Motion – the effect of constant motion vs interrupted motion, the effect of relative stillness for varying times, movement within relative stillness, stillness as a deliberate action with effect
- Speeds – holding fine grade control of speed and momentum range, speeds of different parts of body, functional and social implications of different speeds
- Exploration of “my” vs “your” experience – movement of the body is actually not very interesting in and of itself… it is interesting insofar as it effects the movement of experience. How do we move experience in meaningful ways. Stillness of the body can contain and generate enormous movement of experience. Rapid and constant movement of the body might make for a superficial and static experience.
- Organizational awareness states – ways of organizing the body in relationship to sensation, environment, memory, personality, etc… States work. Examples … animal impulsive athletic vs intellectual vs specific emotional states or characters, induced mental states