A performance by Britt Angus, Anne Cooper, Arash Khakpour, and Brandon Schwinn as part of the exhibition Touch and Tumble. The performance included a demonstration of Contact Improvisation by leading a round robin into an open improvisation.
The round robin is one of the foundational formats to practice and perform Contact Improvisation. It involves the formation of a circle by participants, in the middle of which one person begins a solo then is joined by another to form a duet. After some time, a person from the circle enters the space and a transitional trio emerges until one person leaves the dance and goes back to the circle.
In an open improvisation, the dancers’ familiarity or unfamiliarity with each other, their own physical and dancing histories, and the commitment to exploring what emerges from the openness as it arises becomes the score for the movement. Together they compose a dance with the space by using chance, choice, intuition, sensation, and resonance.
Angus, Cooper, Khakpour, and Schwinn began their round robin in the Western Front lobby, responding to each other and the architecture of the space. The demonstration continued into the gallery as the dancers transitioned into their open improvisation, moving alongside archival video documentation featured in Touch and Tumble of early Contact Improvisation workshops and performances that took place at EDAM (Experimental Dance and Music) and Western Front in the 1970s.
Audience members were welcomed to situate themselves around the dancers throughout their demonstration, and were invited to attend the full duration or come and go as they pleased.
Presented with support of the Government of Canada.