Nobody’s Dance Minneapolis May 2016
Facilitator: Sarah Baumert
Participants: Emma Barber, Sarah Baumert, Emily Gastineau, Erika Hanson, Laura Holway, Rachel Jendrzejewski, Hannah Kramer, Pareena Lim, Kaya Lovestrand, Blake Nellis, Sharon Picasso, Anat Shinar, Anna Shogren, Jeffrey Wells
List of practices
Shared by: Hannah Kramer
Origins: This is a score I developed. I sited some influence on it’s development from having worked with Supergroup/Rachel Jendrzejewski.
Notes: Need a paper and writing utensil for written portion of score.
Directions: see audio file attached
Duration: 20 minutes total (15 minutes of the group movement/talking score, followed by 5 minutes of continuous writing).
2) Name: Alice Dances
Shared by: Erika Hansen
Origins: Richard Bull via De Facto Dance
Notes: Richard created this score inspired by one of his dancers named Alice. Alice had a
particular way of moving that he wanted to make visible. Alice Dances can be used to explore an individual’s movement style that stands out in some way or expose an individuals’ movement tendencies/defaults.
Directions: One dancer, a soloist, (Alice) enters the space and improvises for a couple of
minutes while the other dancers observe Alice. After a couple of minutes the other dancers enter the space, picking of the soloist’s movement style through direct copying, theme and variation. After a few minutes of everyone moving together Alice leaves the space and observes the other dancers perform in her movement style.
Duration: 2-4 minutes Alice improvises a solo, 2-4 minutes the other dancers dance with Alice, 2-4 minutes Alice leaves the space everyone else continues to move.
3) Name: Attention Score/Competition Section
Shared by: Emily Gastineau
Origins: Developed through Fire Drill’s process for Novelty Shots: A Political Fantasy
Directions: It’s best to do this score with 5+ people performing, and 2+ person serving as
viewers. The score lasts 5 minutes (by a timer), and then performers and audience can switch roles.Primary score: You must get the audience’s attention at all times. You are losing at all times. Secondary rules: You can use your body and voice, but may not touch any objects or touch the other performers. You may not cross the boundaries of the performance space. You may not verbally refer to the rules.
Tips: The way to win is to check in visually with where the audience members are directing their attention at all times. What worked a second ago may not be working now. Cheap shots and obvious moves may be the most effective. You do not need to dance, and you do not need to be interesting or good or developed.
Debrief: Open discussion, may relates to performative tactics, choreography and efficiency, spoken and unspoken rules of improvisation, the difference between physically looking and actually being interested.
Duration: About 25 minutes for two groups to perform, with instructions and debrief.
4) Name: Skin.Rock.Bone (a play on “skin-muscle-bone” ci score)
Shared by: Blake Nellis
Origins: common practice contact improvisation score (skin-muscle-bone) adapted to work with my desire for more skin/beauty/vulnerability/nature in all I do, but especially in dance and photography.
Notes: The performance of the wind… Be vs Feel vs Imitate / What things are constant? What internal pressure creates movement? How do you fit into the earth? What fears surface with the potential of being naked? Possible sensations to be aware of: temperature, moving air, surface texture, clothing, time passing. What does it feel like to BE the rock?
Directions: Each dancer finds a place on the earth (score best practiced outdoors). The score is open, but stillness is encouraged to begin. Then allowing the elements to move your body. Still photographs or video may be taken to show variations of texture, timing, coincidence, touch, etc. After a “long-ish” amount of time, playing with two particular experiences 1) I am the wind & 2) I am affected by the wind (or 1) I am the rock & 2) I am moved by the rock, etc)
Duration: (if applicable, if not already in directions) 30-45 mins
1) Name: Empathy Score
Shared by: Laura Holway
Origins: Ideas from my Laura Holway’s current practice.
All participants stand (nearly) shoulder to shoulder, but not touching, in a horizontal line.
Everyone is instructed to take 1-2 minutes to breathe together and be conscious of their entirebody, and their energy as it relates to the line of people. One at a time, participants walk in front of the line and face the main line, standing and breathing for 4 slow breaths. The line of participants is instructed to pay attention to the participant standing in front. After the 4 breaths, the single participant walks to the opposite end of the line, and the next participant walks in front.
The participants are instructed to stay in a horizontal line, but add about 6-10 inches of space between themselves and the next participant. Each participant is instructed to imagine one of the other participants, and move as if in that participant’s body. Their movement vocabulary, however, is their own. The participants can move at whatever tempo or level they like, but if they move forward, they must move forward as a line. They are instructed to focus their primary intention on moving as if in the chosen participant’s body, but their secondary intentions on (1) staying actively aware of the space they are in (2) staying grounded in their own body (3) the energy of the line as a whole.
Add to part two: up to two participants at a time can leave the line and move anywhere in the space, and then rejoin the line.
2) Name: Memory Form
Shared by: Kaya Lovestrand
Origins: Developed by Susan Sgorbati, part of her Emergent Improvisation practice
Notes: “In this form, the dancers create an event that is observed by the ensemble which then recalls and reconstructs the event over time. Inspired by Edelman’s concept of the remembered present, memory of the initial event reveals itself as a fluid, open-ended process in which the performers are continuously relating past information to present thinking and action. Memory of action is based on observations of relationships of time, space, and gesture. Its reconstructions develop variations that reveal subtexts through continual selection of valued information. The reintegration of past into present draws on repetition, nonlinear sequencing, and attention to the emergence of patterns to construct new adaptations.” – Susan Sgorbati
1. The Event
The ensemble creates an event that usually consists of a sequence of five to seven short simple movement phrases. Each phrase is offered spontaneously, one after the other, by individual dancers entering into a defined spatial frame, e.g., a square. The dancers remain in the space until the entire sequence is complete. They then return to the outside of the frame.
2. Repeated Event
The same dancers repeat the same sequence of phrases to the best of their memories.
3. Substituting Roles
The event is repeated again with each dancer taking a different dancer’s role in the same sequence. This phase can be repeated a number of times, with different dancers substituting for each other’s roles each time.
The event is repeated a number of times, each time with groups of dancers spontaneously filling singular roles. The sequence of the original phrases can begin to be varied. While on the outside, dancers have a view of the composition as it unfolds which informs their choices about when, where, and how to enter the reconstructed memory.
5. The Remembered Present
This is the fulfilment of the form where dancers begin to play with the texture and quality of the original phrases and select smaller portions of them, revealing subtexts or new narratives embedded in the material. The original event is no longer being replicated, but plumbed for deeper meaning by the collective memory of the ensemble. Dancers continuously exit and re-enter in a process of composing, remembering, and reconstructing their present reading of the unfolding movement metaphors.
Words taken from Susan Sgorbati’s Emergent Improvisation website:
3) Name: Reverse Engineer: Working to use (perhaps ) opposite muscle groups in the recreation of a known or predetermined movement phrase. An Impossible score.
Shared by: Jennifer Arave
Origins: Inspired by a Jeremy Quimby, Functional Movement Coach request to move my right hip forward to square up, instead of my left hip back.
Notes: Some people were confused at first, just wrapping my mind around how to explain this exercise.
Directions: For Example- Moving you left shoulder forward in order to cause your right shoulder to move back, instead of just moving your right shoulder back. This score might make some of your movements impossible, but be as creative as possible and think about what results you are willing to omit in the name of choreography and what movement elements are essential to the final output. The results will hopefully be some sort of queering of the original movement. A Breakdown of the prescribed order of things in movement. This is one of those impossible scores.
Duration was about 30 minutes including conversation and recording documentation. Could easily have an hour to “get better at it.”
4) Name: Name: Gift-giving solos
Shared by: Hannah Kramer
Origins: As adapted from my memory of a group session at Ponderosa/P.O.R.C.H. This was an impromptu score conceived and led by Sofia Tsirakis, who cited influence from Miguel Gutierrez.
Directions: This is a group solo practice. Each person will have 7 minutes to give the gift of a solo and to then receive a “gift” of their choice from the rest of the group. The first person gives a 3 minute solo. The directive is simply to “give a solo generously to oneself and to the rest of the group.” After three minutes, the soloist has one minute to request something from the group in return. The only requirement is that the request is for something within the realm of thegroup’s resources. So, the soloist must request something within reason that the group can either succeed in fulfilling OR at least realistically attempt to fulfill. It’s important not to give examples of what some potential requests could be. Leave it open to imagination and interpretation. Finally, the group has 3 minutes to fulfill the soloists request. Repeat this cycle with each individual in the group.
Duration: 7 minutes for each individual person in the group. (So, for example, if there are 7 people, this practice would take 49 minutes total.)
3 minute solo witnessed by the rest of the group, followed by one minute for soloist to articulate what they would like to receive from the group, followed by 3 minutes of the group fulfilling that request. Repeat this cycle for each person in the group.
1)Name: Tourist Score
Shared by: Anna Marie Shogren
Origins: Developed via distraction at beautiful residency studio, though the focus on dancing while looking out has endless histories, endless references. This is just another page in the practice or another approach.
Directions: Move while tracing the perimeter of a windowed space, or what-have-you. Maintain a small dance (TM- Steve Paxton) or a larger dance, be within an engaged, dancing body. Seek a calm mind, this is a moving mediation, a chance to step away from generative improvisations or polishing of a performance presence. Keep visual attention out of the mind’s eye and off of an imagined image of the dancing, keep visual attention traveling and tuned to the scene outside the window (and the near details of the wall/space between windows).
Duration: Can work as a warm-up or an arrival to the space, 10 minutes or dancer/meditator’s choice.
2) Name: Non-stopping
Shared by: Pareena Lim
Origins: Jeanine Durning from SUPA 2011
Notes: The practice can be started upon entering into the space so that the warm-up or
preparation to dance is subsumed into non-stop moving. Moving can be interpreted expansively. Track your consciousness and patterns (mental and kinesthetic) as you move, it can be simply to observe with interest or it can be to tap into it as a source for your preoccupations and interests that might guide you towards what you’re interested in making. Writing non-stop can be “about” anything; it can but does not have to be about the prior non-stop moving practice. Similarly, non-stop talking does not have to be “about” either of the previously performed practices.Directions: Move non-stop for the agreed upon amount of time. Write non-stop for the agreed upon amount of time. Talk non-stop lying down as your partner listens silently sitting beside you, switch roles after the timer goes off. The listening partner does not respond verbally, but offers
their steady presence.
Duration: malleable, facilitator or dancer’s choice but non-stop moving should occur for at least 20 minutes, if not longer. During Nobody’s Business Minneapolis May 2016 we did 25 minutes of non-stop moving, 10 minutes of non-stop writing, and 5 minutes each of paired non-stop talking (10 minutes talking total).
Shared by: Timmy Wagner
Origins: Earthdance 2016 New Years Jam
Directions: Choose music that totals 20 minutes (or however long you want to shake for.) Shake your body at whatever scale or intensity to the music. Shake the space inside of the body and the space around the body. After the music ends, do a 5 minute antidote improvisation.
Duration: 25 minutes, however can be modified to be longer or shorter.
1) Name: Preparing your body for dancing or your day.
Shared by: Laurie Van Wieren
Origins: This is a warm up that I practice. This practice morphed from what I learned in a number of workshops lead by Dana Reitz during the 1980’s. One of the reasons that I enjoy this practice is because anyone can do this, no matter what your age or dance experience.
Notes: The idea is to pay close attention to how your body moves and feels today. It is a way to find your own body and your own body language.
Part #1. 30 to 60 minutes. Begin on floor. Self massage and or partner massage. Beginning with massage of the feet, then legs, torso, arms, neck and head. Attending to the release of tight muscles as well as releasing energy along the meridians. With ease, slowly bring your self to standing.
Part # 2. 30 to 60 minutes. Now standing- center your self. Feel the weight of your bones. Shift as in Tai Chi- – as if shifting sand from one foot to the other. Now experiment with how the feet move, move your feet in a new way. How do your feet move? Let your joints be at ease. Shift-front, side, back. When you are moving easily in space bring your attention to your head. Attend to the weight of your head- experiment with the weight, feel the weight and now see how your head moves. Let your head carry you through space. Enjoy the momentum. Now move on to experiment with one of your arms- starting with the shoulder, the ball and joint. Imaging “oiling” up the joints. Rotate your shoulder. How does it move? how does it feel today. Let the movement of your arm – “open” up the front of your body. Let your self breath. Experiment in all directions. Let you arm move you through space. Feel the weight of the arm. imagine what the bone looks like. Continue this same experiment with your other shoulder,then elbow, wrist,
fingers. continue on until you have “oiled up”all of your joints, all of your bones- your spine, your hips, each leg- knee, ankle, toes. How do they move? Feel the weight of your bones. Move your bones through space.
Part #3. 20 to 60 min. Now practice moving through the space with your entire body. Keep your awareness open and let your self see and feel the horizon. Let your attention move from part to part. Shifting your weight. Let your bones move through space. Allow your self to develop patterns and your own language.
2) Name: Titanic/Time Score
Shared by: Emily Gastineau
Origins: Adapted from my notes from a 2012 workshop on improvisational composition with Julyen Hamilton. My notes were heavy on turns of phrase that struck me, and light on practicable directions.
[Physical instructions are written below in plain text, and concepts to talk through and try on are in italics.]
This is a score about time, developing sensitivity to different qualities of time.
Start by taking a walk around the space. You can go anywhere you like but stay walking
Julyen Hamilton proposed that instead of just past, present, and future, there are actually five prongs of time.
Place your hands together in front of your body, with flat palms and so that your fingertips come to a point, like the prow of a ship. This will serve as a physical model of time. Keep walking as you listen and consider the five prongs of time, and begin to locate, sense, or try on these proposals in relation to your own body. There is the future out of sight, which is far enough away from you that you can’t sense or determine it yet. We’ll envision that out front, away from our bodies. There is the near future, which we will locate at the tip of our fingers. This is the key prong for improvisational composition, because we can develop our ability to sense the future as it arrives. There is the present, which we can understand as located within our core. There is the near past or the leaving, which we can sense just behind our bodies, opposite our fingertips in front. This is the time just after an action, when we can still sense that action. Whatever happens in the leaving is in strong relationship to that action. Last, there is the actual past, when we are far enough away from that something that. We’ll envision this a distance behind our bodies. (Here the facilitator can clap and gesture immediately, then clap, pause, and gesture.) This demonstrates how to place the gesture in the near past of the clap, or the past–the fourth or fifth prongs. Next, we’ll allow our movements to expand beyond walking. You can move however you like, and you can always return to the model of walking with your fingertips touching. (The facilitator instructs the participants to focus on each one of the five prongs for a few minutes, while they mix walking and moving.) We’ll continue to mix walking and moving, and turn our attention back to the near future. Julyen suggested that the reason the Titanic hit the iceberg was because its awareness was at its own end point–the future out of sight, the other side of the Atlantic–rather than on the near future–the iceberg, or what was right in front of it.
Now we can open up our awareness to the other movers in the room, as we continue to focus on the arriving future. When we give attention to the compositional field, our own awareness of the near future shifts. One of the implications of this work is that improvised composition becomes not so much about choice, as it is about sensing the choice that is given to you. It’s less about personal will, and more about developing the sensitivity to find the dance as it is arriving. A last proposal to consider is the subdivision of time. As we develop sensitivity, we can check in to sense the near future every second, and as we continue to increase awareness, we subdivide those seconds so that we are never heading straight to the end of a gesture without checking in partway through, because maybe the near future has shifted in the meantime. Julyen called this hummingbird time, after the quick beating of wings. End with a few more minutes of open dancing, focusing on sensing the near future as it arrives in relation to the group, subdividing time with increasingly shorter intervals.
More options to practice:
1. Shift the physical model, so that instead of the point of the fingers modeling the near future, any part of the body can stand in for that point in time. What if the back of the body is the future instead?
2. Focus on prongs other than the near future.
Duration: About 20 minutes to practice, and 10 minutes to debrief.
3) Name: Tuning score- measuring units of time. And the GO score.
Shared by: Jennifer Arave
Origin: Lisa Nelson
Practicing Guiding Some of Lisa Nelson’s Tuning Scores to get better at it and to get feedback about the rate of guiding the scores and the completeness of the exercises. Also to get feedback on effectiveness. I have been doing some extensive study with Lisa Nelson and find her work intriguing and smart, and I want to get good at guiding this.
Duration: 1 hour
Directions/Example of the movement score:
Start by moving. Close your eyes. With eyes closed can you look in the direction you are
moving. Can you move away, opposite, from where you are looking.
Take time to alternate. Eyes open, everything still, even eye balls. Observe what your still eyes are seeing. Then close your eyes and look around. (No speaking)
Continue moving, but ask yourself, what is a unit of movement?Now, move with your eyes open.
Now continue moving, but now and again take the time to pause.
The next time you pause, close your eyes.
Keeping this score: eyes open when you are moving, closed when you are paused, Can you measure what is a single unit? How long is a single unit of stillness?
What is the measure?
What is the measure of a single unit of movement?
How do you know you are moving?
What are all the senses that help you determine a unit of movement.. What is the Texture of unit movement?
How do you know when you are at the end of a unit of movement or stillness?
Now when you move this next time keep your eyes closed.
Pause. This time, open your eyes when you pause.
What determines whether you open your eyes or not? Is it you pausing that opens your eyes, is it your eyes that cause you to pause? Why close them, because you pause? Or do you pause because your eyes are open? What is the determining factor.
With eyes closed, Measure a unit of movement. Can you Reverse this unit of movement, you just completed? How long is it reverse? Did you remember all of it? Is it still a unit of movement?
Pause. How long is a pause? Continue at the end of the pause with the unit of movement.
When you are done, try another unit.
Reverse it. If I said repeat the unit of movement. How far do you need to reverse it to start a repeat. What is the repeated part of the unit. What is the unit of repeat.
Is it a unit if it is interrupted, or cut short for some reason.How small or long is a unit of movement …
After this tuning exercise we played a couple of rounds of Lisa Nelson”s go Score.
Directions: The GO score.
Everyone gets an object with in the same culture of objects, (like we all have sheet of paper).
We all sit in a circle and take turns activating a “single movement” with our papers. There is no rule about order of turn, however it tends to move clockwise or counter clock wise until things loosen up.
Each dancer activates her sheet of paper. At any time during the movement the dancer calls “begin” to frame the action of the paper, and then calls “end”, to end the frame of movement. Movement can happen before and after the call is made. Between the calls of “begin” and “end”, the dancer must close their eyes to initiate the action of the paper.
This is the basic structure, but as things continue, objects get confused, players become partial objects and the playing space can grow. The whole exercise can be reigned back in with the call “restart”. And we are back to the basic rules.
4) Name: Careful Scientist
Shared by: Sarah Baumert
Origins: Chrysa Parkinson 2016 via Thomas Hauert
Directions: Start lying with your back on the floor. Articulating one joint at a time there are three rules:
1) Always be moving both the right and the left sides.
2) If you are moving the same joints on the right and left sides, you must move them in different ways. For example if your elbow joint on your right arms in extending, the elbow joint on the left side must be flexing.
3) If you are moving different joints, they must move in the same way. For example, if your right elbow joint s flexing, your left wrist joint must flex also.
Duration: 15minutes – 60 minutes
5) Name: Continuous Writing as if the day were a performance
Shared by: Sarah Baumert
Origins: Chrysa Parkinson 2016
Directions:1) Write continuously as if the the day (from the time you entered the studio) has been a performance. Duration can vary 5-20 minutes
2) Then find a partner. Leave the studio and begin walking outside. For 7 minutes tell your partner about your performance. Then switch partners and they talk for 7 minutes about their performance. Continue walking while you are talking with your partner.
6) Name: 10 Statements
Shared by: Emily Gastineau
Origins: I first read this score on the now-defunct website Everybody’s Toolbox, and Fire Drill has practiced it roughly weekly for the past several years, adapting it to our purposes.
Notes: Writing exercise.
Directions: Choose a subject for your 10 statements, either individually or with collaborators. Big topical subjects work well, and process topics work well (e.g., “10 Statements on the Future of Choreography”, “10 Statements on Last Weekend’s Residency”). Write the title on paper, and then write 10 numbered statements, one sentence apiece. The trick here is to avoid equivocation, to be bold and even bombastic, even if you’re not sure you believe in such an unqualified statement. Stake some claims, even if some of the statements contradict each other.
Do 10 statements exactly, no more and no less. Once everyone is done writing, you may
choose to read them aloud to each other.
Duration: As long as it takes everyone to write and share, no time limit.