Poetic Reflections on Contact Improvisation, Part I

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

In December of 2018 I was commissioned by the Israeli Contact Improvisation (CI) association to write about my experiences in the CI Greenhouse, an intensive 5-day-long festival that offers master classes, workshops and opportunities to meet and dance with movement artists from all over the world.

I wrote these words in the hopes of fostering a dialogue between the members of CI community as well as those who are not yet familiar with CI but might wish to explore the possibility of experimenting with bodies in motion and in stasis.

All the pieces I wrote about this event are dedicated to the memory of Shalhevet Naim who was a source of inspiration for many and who I was lucky enough to meet during her life time.

"body in trans-form-a(c)tion" by Hofit Rauchberger, 2018


Part I: Deepening Our Roots: bodies in trans-form-a(c)tion

Hebrew is the language of roots. Each word is impregnated with traces of other words. For example, the word ‘NAIM’ [נעים] has two seemingly unrelated meanings: ‘pleasant’ and ‘moving together in the now’. NAIM also contains within it the root of ‘melody’ [נעימה].

Whereas roots might symbolize immobility, linguistic roots remind me of processes that take place in communities that grow and change and yearn for communication. Linguistic relations often are expressed in sound patterns, and in my mind’s eye, connote the transformation that takes place when we allow ourselves to foster deep roots: to foster a home within ourselves.

Hebrew—this modern language with ancient roots—embodies the inherent relationship between body and mind:between emotions, sensations and the materiality of our bodies in motion.

Come to think of it, human language is always already body in motion:

The movement of the tongue within the oral cavity and its interaction with the palate, the teeth and lips, the vibration of vocal cords all of these produce speech—or absence of speech; the movement of air in and out of the nasal and oral cavities allow for breathing…allow silence—the subtle dance of life.

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