Poetic Reflections on Contact Improvisation, Part IV

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.


Part IV: I'M NEW: Knowing one's boundaries through movement and stasis

Once upon a time there was chaos.

So we are told.

No boundaries distinguished between elements.

All was one.

No words existed to describe what was.

Language was mute.

Shapes could not be manifested.

Earth was in its pre-form condition. I

t was merely a concept, an idea: materiality without borders.


A pair of eyes.

A voice.

A creative force.

So we are told.

Differentiation started to form.

To manifest concepts into substance.

To form light and darkness, to establish relatability that came to be realized as binary oppositions.

On the 6th day, so we are told, human kind was created. Molded as a complete form.

I wonder how could I tell the story of human kind if I was to include the story of the fascia formation. That which holds everything together and apart. That fascinating soft, changing, shape-shifting organ which forms order out of chaos. That which gifts every organ with a safe space for its solo such that the body as a wholistic organism can dance its collective self.

Boundaries form order that can be dissolved into chaos and vise versa only to re-new and re-establish the connection between the public and the private, the personal and the collective, the solo within a duet: an odyssey of transformation from individual into in-dividable.

I follow my body's stream of consciousness to relate to my environment, to explore personal and collective responsibility: the ability to respond in space and time to what is. Every. Single. Mo(v)ment.

I remind myself that we create space with our bodies and if I neglect my responsibility as a space within a space my solo can easily dissolve, my boundaries can be easily crossed. My metaphorical fascia can easily be punctured. I can easily forget that I matter, that I am made of matter.

To me, Contact Improvisation is a creative process through which I can defamiliarize myself with my own body and its boundaries. It is a way to relate. It is my fascia: A space to explore touch, care, responsibility, love, authenticity. It is a way to be. Every mo(v)ment. A new.

A prayer in motion (AKA a breakfast poem)

There is no us and them when humanity is involved It's always hearts and feet

and arms and necks and armpits

and backs and shoulders and spines and

guts and uteri and

the distance between the nose and the upper lip

and it's us and us and us and

fingers touching and knees and thighs

brushing against each other and

hearts aching for good reasons and

there is us and us and us and,

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