Monday, January 31, 2011

February Class with Karen Nelson - Seattle

Dance Art Group / Movement Arts Research (DAG/MAR) is a weekly dance class series featuring a different local teacher/topic each month. It's a great way to dip your feet into the joys/mysteries of dance improvisation and related dance forms. Come try a class!

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Dance Art Group / Movement Arts Research
Thursdays 6:15-8:15pm
Velocity Dance Center, 1621 12th Avenue, Kawasaki Studio
$15/class; $56/4-class series; drop-ins and all experience levels welcome
Info at Dance Art Group

We'll touch-in each class with "essential images" of Contact Improvisation including skeletal balance, muscular release, and momentum of rising and falling, in solo, duet and larger group modes. We'll fine tune: the effort/ease of giving/receiving into one's own/another's center and periphery/space. Then we'll compose improvisations using Contact Improvisation as the basis, and see what we learn about freedom/fortune in improvisation. All levels OK; great for all of us if you can do whole series, but drop-ins acceptable.

Karen Nelson's first Contact Improvisation class came in the form of a letter with stick figure drawings from a friend in 1976. Later that year she'd worked with Nancy Stark Smith, Curt Sidall, Steve Paxton, Danny Lepkoff and Andrew Harwood (who finally helped her to see she wasn't actually giving her center to her partners -- yes, the earth moved). In the mid-1980s, after years of practice, teaching and performing, questions regarding "what is contact improvisation vs. other improvisation" drove her to detailed study of Steve's original proposition. Videos such at "Chute," "Soft Pallet," and "Peripheral Vision" as well as writings published in Contact Quarterly were very supportive. Composition is a natural interest due to a long-time performance practice; collaboration with Lisa Nelson since the mid-1980s has encouraged invention of "senses-based" scores/games for dance-making.


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Dance Art Group (DAG) fosters and promotes the study, practice, and appreciation of improvisational dance in Seattle. DAG produces the annual Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (SFDI) and other events that encourage and support innovative research and education in dance. DAG is supported by 4Culture, the Mayor's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and generous individual donors. Click here to help support DAG with your tax-deductible donation.

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