an honorable human relationship - that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word "love"

is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell to each other

it is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation

it is important to do this because in doing so we do justice to our own complexity

it is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us

adrienne rich


just another word for tantra

Contact Improvisation proposes novel types of relational space, doing away with notions of intersubjectivity to the degree that it exists before its emergence, in the inter- corporeal ruction that precedes it. It shows bodies  being expropriated, decentered, delocalizing their centers of gravity to the periphery of their skin: a transit-place for shared gravity.  Bodies full of emptiness and pathways,  becoming pure interfaces along the lines of the chinese caligrapher’s ‘empty hand’ as described by poet Henry Michaux: animated only by the desire to not obstruct what moves through it. Bare bodies giving only that which they do not possess: the weight that binds them to the earth. Masses moving around a common cause in mutual agreement, based on reciprocal trust, not based in ideology but rather on knowledge harvested within the very potential of tact.

The ultimate know-how may be this one: by touching what is most physical, most tangible (another body) we may be giving each other the possibility to touch - together - the untouchable within impersonal life, freed of struggle and face-offs. Contact Improvisation will have created an experimental frame in which ‘two fluid bodies” work to make their dermic boundaries porous, to the point of potentially dissolving the part of selfhood within us.

Nancy Stark Smith and Steve Paxton refer to it as a ‘third entity’: a third,  either you nor me, emerges between us, in our dancing, and dances with us.

“There is a feeling of non-dualism coming up, where it isn’t me dancing with Steve, Steve dancing with me, but we are in an environment together, and we both condition that environment. (...) The response to that acitvity, that third thing, is really important too, it seems. It’s not that it’s dancing you: it’s like an equal. (Stark Smith, 1983)

This union, this peculiar osmosis we experience in moments of grace offered by Contact Improvisation, arrives with a phenomenon of our own core melting, as if it were momentarily vaporized, a cloud in  the in-between. In these brief instants, dancers are not even “subjects” enough to be in dialogue: they can only espouse the shared shapes of their common body. In doing so, CI renews possibilities regarding what we might call proto-social life, and fiercely questions all philosophies of identity and alterity. Turning the key of touch operates a radical change of plan, from intersubjectivity to intercorporeality, from the parliament of subjects to a conspiracy of bodies.

Contact Improvisation is a dance of communication through touch: a testing-ground for weight, forces and identities. Within this communication it can, for brief flashes, open into moments of communion. This is perhaps also what Paxton ‘s digraph, the two-waved symbol, unveils: a promise to suspend adversarial subjectivities. A Tao for dancing. A different way of living.

Alice Godfroy

(Steve Paxton: Drafting Interior Techniques)


by heart

quando em meu mudo e doce pensamento
chamo à lembrança as coisas que passaram
choro o que em vão busquei e me sustento
gastando o tempo em penas que ficaram

e afogo os olhos (pouco afins ao pranto)
por amigos que a morte em treva esconde
e choro a dor de amar cerrada há tanto
e a visão que se foi e não responde

e então me enlutam lutos já passados,
me falam desventura e desventura,
lamentos tristemente lamentados

pago o que já paguei e com usura

mas basta em ti pensar, amigo, e assim
têm cura as perdas e as tristezas fim

shakespeare (trad. vasco graça moura)


when to the sessions of sweet silent thought
i summon up remembrance of things past,
i sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
and with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:
then can I drown an eye, unus'd to flow,
for precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
and weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,
and moan th' expense of many a vanish'd sight;
then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
and heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
the sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
which I new pay as if not paid before.
but if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
all losses are restor'd, and sorrows end.

angelina jordan

she keeps growing, in all senses of the word...


that which oppresses me, is it my soul trying to come out in the open, or the soul of the world knocking at my heart for entrance?

rabindranath tagore