Contact Improvisation Brighton

Contact improvisation is a form of dance I recently experienced in Brighton that is influenced by aikido.

Good ole’ Wikipedia says, “Contact improvisation (CI) is a dance technique in which points of physical contact provide the starting point for movement improvisation and exploration. Contact Improvisation is a form of dance improvisation and is one of the best-known and most characteristic forms of postmodern dance.” Here’s what it looks like:

I saw a contact improvisation performance last night in Brighton by some of these guys, and will be taking it up in January with Brighton local Charlie Morrisey. I really enjoyed the beautiful, playful, even humorous spontaneous nature of the show. As a martial artist it looked like one slow complicated hip throw, and I kept wanting to shout, “go for the choke” and the like at! Some budoka refer to softer aikido as “dancing” meaning the term as an insult. If the meatheads that say this had half the strength, sensitivity, stamina and creativity as these guys, they’d be the men they think they are.

I’m not sure if the contact in Contact Improvisation is the same as what I’d refer to as contact – the stuff I’m interested in has an element of mental and emotional “tying-in” (ki no mususbi in Japanese), guess we’ll see.

Also interesting to me was that dancers spoke directly to the audience and lighting man at times, and blurred a line between performance and communication which was wonderfully unsettling. An enjoyable evening.